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Liver Disease and Tests

Specific emotional or mental health problems, like anxiety, depression, insomnia, confidence etc. Along with bodily health, exercise, nutrition.
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Mark.
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Mark. » 11 Mar 2013 18:17

PS.

Here are a couple of other threads that might have info in them that helps, Jaffa. You may already have seen them - if so, apologies.

As I say, though, feel free to continue the conversation here.

Very best wishes,
Mark

Withdrawal

Detoxing Safely (Tapering Off)
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jaffa21
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by jaffa21 » 11 Mar 2013 18:38

Thank You Jarvis
.. Well here goes. Basically I have been drinking for around 6 years, wine on an evening to block out depression family and relationship issues and also the fact I’m a carer for a parent with severe COPD. They have been on a ventilator numerous times and my sibling doesn’t help with the care at all it is left to me to do everything as sibling lives 120 miles away. Hubby works abroad and I have 2 children.

What started years ago as a bottle here and there or on weekends has gradually increased over the years to last 12 months of being 2 bottles most evenings. Most weeks I would drink 5 days out of 7 but recently I knew it had got severe when I would finish the wine and then start to drink anything else I could get my hands on. I do not have an off switch and am always the one saying lets have one more.

I would say to my hubby I would cut down but only ever managed one or 2 nights then it would creep back up. My husband works abroad for 6-8 weeks at a time and I drink so much more when he is away.
When he went 3 weeks ago I was drinking every night and I knew he really had had enough so told him I’d seek help. After plucking up the courage to go to my GP he suggested the local drop in centre which I went to and he told me at that appointment I would be referred to the local alcohol community team with probably needing detox (residential). There is approx. a 2-3 month wait for that. He said to not cut back and stay as I was as I was at risk of a seizure and wait to see what the alcohol team says. I went back last week but the guy was off sick so I’m going again tomorrow.

I carried on for a week and then last week cut myself down to 1.5 bottles only to have severe bodily shakes and AWFUL nightmares/dreams and waking every hour. I called my GP the following morning to ask for some help quicker and he said id reduced too quickly and to go back to the 2 bottles. This was soul destroying.
I am expecting and know I WILL and HAVE to have some withdrawals but after being told I will have a seizure I am terrified of what is ‘normal’ withdrawals or severe on the verge of a seizure withdrawals.
I have been on 2 bottles still for the last week but instead of 11-13% I have only bought 8% wine.
I have read on here of people going tapering quite quickly and even cold turkey who drink far more than me with no seizures, but I feel the GP has scared me so much that this is making me unsure of whats normal and what is not.

The other issue I have to say is my hubby is abroad at the moment and has been for the whole of this process 3 weeks now and will be away for another 2 weeks. This means I am alone with my 2 children which is another reason I think im scared to reduce too quickly as I don’t want anything to happen to me whilst their dad is away.

Sorry if ive repeated myself or saying things that are of no relevance. Thank you for any advice and help this site is proving to be invaluable..
I am fighting this with all my might.

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Topcat
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Topcat » 11 Mar 2013 19:22

Hi Jaffa, seizures are rare, but they can and do happen. I suffered one myself. The safest way to withdraw from alcohol is with a supervised detox as your doctor has advised. Suddenly stopping the suppy of alcohol is dangerous. Tapering can be done, but needs to be done very slowly and is, therefore, extremely difficult . It can be more difficult to cut down than stop completely in fact. My own tapering was pretty quick, but I had medication as an additional precaution against seizures.

I had no indication that a seizure was going to occur until about 5 minutes beforehand. I was into day 3 of withdrawal and felt fine. I thought I was over the worst and then the seizure happened. There was hardly any warning.

I would strongly advise that you follow your doctor's advice to the letter. It seems hard that he is telling you to carry on drinking, but it is for your own safety. You could, of course, seek a second opinion and maybe ask for medication (Librium) to assist with a home detox. Good luck <:)> <:)>
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by jaffa21 » 11 Mar 2013 19:41

Hi Topcat. Thanks for your reply. I am finding so hard to taper I just want to drink it all once that first glass has gone down.

I have requested a home detox to be arranged for when my hubby gets home so he will be with me 24/7 but apparently the criteria for that is hard to meet! They won't even tell me what the criteria is though.!!!???

I have a friend who I've confided in who's a nurse and she seems to think it's cause we have kids but the kids would be at school during the day and I understand completely that the kids have to come first but their dad would be around so I don't get the issue if that's what it is!!

It seems to me I am going to have to become a tee totaller after all this and that worries me too as all our friends are social drinkers. So many questions and so many feelings.
I am fighting this with all my might.

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by jaffa21 » 11 Mar 2013 19:45

Please May I ask if you had any Illefects after the seizure? Were you admitted to hospital with it? The not knowing about things drives me mad. I'd rather know as much as I can even if it's grim. The not knowing things makes me more anxious. Forewarned is forearmed in my opinion. This is a huge factor in me seriously not wanting to go into a supervised residential detox. X
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Topcat » 11 Mar 2013 19:49

jaffa21 wrote:It seems to me I am going to have to become a tee totaller after all this and that worries me too as all our friends are social drinkers. So many questions and so many feelings.
Just because your friends drink Jaffa doesn't mean that you have to as well though does it? It's your body and your decision. As you say, your friends are "social drinkers". You, on the other hand, are not. Big difference. I find not drinking is no longer a problem. I socialise perfectly well without alcohol and so can you.

It is very hard at first. There are so many things going on at once and it feels very strange and a bit like being on a roller coaster. It does settle down though - honest. Just get the withdrawal sorted out first eh? <:)> <:)>
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by jaffa21 » 11 Mar 2013 20:22

Thanks Topcat!! :) I just cant wait to be as strong and positive as the majority of you on here.. :lol: (::)

I sooo want to do this and NOW!! Grrr Withdrawals scare me as I dont know what to expect and how severe....

x
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Mark. » 11 Mar 2013 20:23

Hi again,

You're already getting great advice from TC, but I just thought this thread may help you as well, especially if you do get a home detox. It was started and written by our member, Miss Cheese, who undertook a home detox in 2011.

Miss Cheese's Detox Diary

This may or may not be the right way for you. There are different ways for achieving sobriety safely and successfully. The important thing is, like TC says, to keep following medical advice.

However, I did just re-read Miss Cheese's first and last posts on that thread, and found them incredibly powerful and inspiring.

Whichever way is right - medically - for you, I am sure you will achieve the same end result ;)?

Very best wishes,
Mark <:)> <:)>
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Blade79 » 12 Mar 2013 20:37

hope22 wrote::o I honestly think when my doctor sees my name on his patient list for the day he starts crying.

xx
I think exactly the same thing. I also spend that much time talking about head problems I neglect talking about my physical health which has been effected greatly after years of drink and drug abuse.

Supposed to be having a liver function test and general medical but have been putting it off for ages for fear of what they might find.

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by hope22 » 12 Mar 2013 21:25

Hi Blade,

Are you just getting the test done as a routine or are you having health problems? I was honestly terrified of getting mines done but it took very little time I only waited 2 days on the results and they where not nearly as bad as I expected.

My advice would be to get them as if there isnt anything wrong its the end of your worry and if there is then it can be sorted out as we know the liver is tough.

Hope
xx
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Blade79 » 12 Mar 2013 21:36

hope22 wrote:Hi Blade,

Are you just getting the test done as a routine or are you having health problems? I was honestly terrified of getting mines done but it took very little time I only waited 2 days on the results and they where not nearly as bad as I expected.

My advice would be to get them as if there isnt anything wrong its the end of your worry and if there is then it can be sorted out as we know the liver is tough.

Hope
xx
Hi Hope,

Went to see an alcohol doc at a local health centre and he instructed me to get them done. My health's not great but that's probably down to stopping playing footie a year or more ago. Gonna book an appointment this Friday when i'm next at the surgery. 2 days isn't that long to fret about it is it?!

Must add that I've had blood tests before for unrelated things and each time they've mentioned that I have very large blood cells. Worried that this is a sign of liver disease.

X

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by hope22 » 12 Mar 2013 22:27

Hey Blade,

Good shout on going on Friday and getting it sorted. Im not an expert but I think large blood cells can mean alot of things. I thought it was something to do with vitamin deficiency (I could be wrong). I know when I was drinking I definately wasnt consuming the proper vitamins. If none of the doctors have followed it up I dont think youv got a lot to worry about.

Be honest about what your drinking and if you are still using drugs and they can check out all sorts of different things. They done a thyroid test with my first one and a kidney function test with my last one and 2 days isnt a long time it maybe different if you go on a friday though.

xx
I never ever want to feel the way I felt on Monday 19th August again !!!!!

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Blade79 » 13 Mar 2013 07:22

Your right about large red blood cells meaning several things - vitamin deficiency being the main one.

Although my GP now knows the extent of my substance misuse, when I previously had the tests, I was a full blown user of all sorts, mainly alcohol, and my docs were totally unaware.

I'm three days dry or clean right now, going into day four and feel loads more positive. I'm sleeping better and stuff and as a consequence feel less apprehensive about a prospective test.

Anyways, off to work now. Have a good day everyone. Have a good day hope. X

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by jaffa21 » 13 Mar 2013 17:59

Hi Blade.
Well done on making the desicion to get the tests done.

I was terrified of having my liver funtion test done but it came back satisfactory!! God know how mind... :o :oops:

My full blood count did show large blood cells and the more ive read into it it does seem to be vitamin related which as the others have said we always end up being vitamin deficent when drinking large amount and often. My Doctor didnt seem concerned by that result so i'd say get the tests done as the others have and keep us posted. Good Luck. ;)?

Jaffa
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Blade79 » 13 Mar 2013 20:33

jaffa21 wrote:Hi Blade.
Well done on making the desicion to get the tests done.

I was terrified of having my liver funtion test done but it came back satisfactory!! God know how mind... :o :oops:

My full blood count did show large blood cells and the more ive read into it it does seem to be vitamin related which as the others have said we always end up being vitamin deficent when drinking large amount and often. My Doctor didnt seem concerned by that result so i'd say get the tests done as the others have and keep us posted. Good Luck. ;)?

Jaffa
Cheers Jaffa,

Will book them in this Friday when I'm at Docs. I'll definitely keep you posted.

Fingers crossed they come back ok.

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Rachel » 14 Mar 2013 20:02

I don't know if it helpings saying this, but just over a year ago when I had a test after a big relapse I had a gamma BT of about 700 . I think it should be 25-80 (not sure about that.) Two months later it was normal.
Rachel

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by hope22 » 14 Mar 2013 20:17

Rachel wrote:I don't know if it helpings saying this, but just over a year ago when I had a test after a big relapse I had a gamma BT of about 700 . I think it should be 25-80 (not sure about that.) Two months later it was normal.
It is really how amazing are bodies can heal themselves so quickly isnt it Rachel (not that I want to be taking any more chances).

Can I just add it is good to ask the doctor exactly what these things mean I know I for 1 have left worrying because I didnt ask

xx
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by gruffalo » 28 Mar 2013 13:51

Hi there, hello, I'm new. I'll make my introductions on the new members board in a min, just want to get this down while I have a rare quiet moment.

I know none of you are drs, but I've been lurking around for a while and I really would appreciate opinions on this one, as it's starting to get me a little bit obsessed.

I'm 40 y.o. female. I have drunk too much since I was 20, I guess. I've always thought I've drunk 'a bit' too much, but not excessively.... and only recently taken proper stock of how much is too much. I'm a stereotypical 'wine o'clock' mummy with two young kids and a job. When they go to bed I have (had - stopped now!) a large glass, and then another. Those two large glasses are 2/3 of a bottle, and more at weekends, but had this ridiculous ability to firmly never go a drop over a bottle. I never had hangovers, it's never impacted my life or caused issues, it's never 'increased', no one has ever over these 20 years told me they think I needed to cut down or that it was too much. I've never hidden my drinking. However I suppose doing the maths 6 or 7 units a day 5 days a week, and 9 or 10 units a day the other two, is way too much - 55 units a week or thereabouts :shock:

I've had two pregnancies in the last 5 years and stupidly thought that these 9 month breaks from alcohol would have given my liver a good rest and chance to recover/regernate.

However, my youngest is now 1.5 and for the last 12 months I was back to the same routine, until January when I got sick. I was diagnosed with a mystery virus, which went on and on and on. I had all the symptoms of glandular fever but the bloodtests were negative. The symtopms included an elevated ALT blood of 77 (ast was normal, if that helps) and general discomfort in the liver area. Both these things are not abnormal in glandular fever but the GP kept telling me that I didn't have that. I told her I had liver pain, and she palpated the area and said there was no inflammation that she could tell. I took a breath to tell her about thinking I was consuming more than I should but she cut me off, said that if alcohol was a cause of my ALT being up then my AST would also have been raised (it wasn't) and that she believed all was just fine, my ALT raise was 'probably' due to this mystery virus and to re-test in 12 weeks.

That was 6 weeks ago. Since then I have lost 12lb through healthy eating, and have radically reduced my alcohol to under the 14 unit guideline. It's been tough, but the weighloss (probably need to loose another stone to be within normal bmi) has been a huge motivation. But the pain is still there..... and I'm still paranoid about my ALT results. Here are my thoughts:

- having cut back so much, surely this pain would have gone if it was alcohol related? I don't intend to go back to old habits, I'm really happy as things are now, but I desperately want this pain to stop.
- the pain comes and goes, like a dull nagging pain. Funnily enough I don't have it in the mornings, it seems to appear after I've eaten lunch. I read somewhere that a swollen liver that is then pushed by a full stomach behind it gets more uncomfortable. Cue more worry.
- there is no correlation between the pain and days when I drink small amounts of alcohol. I had two glasses of wine last Saturday and the pain was the same the next day as it had been when I had 6 previously alcohol free days
- how bad is an ALT of 77?
- there is nothing else symptomatic going on - just this pain, and my previously elevated ALT. Otherwise I feel brilliant, so happy to be 10lb lighter, lovely clear skin and eyes and relieved to be free of this 'virus' which knocked me sideways for 3 weeks!

Anyone got any random ideas? Was it the virus that did this or the wine? Of course I am going back, but she was adamant she didn't want to see me before May. If the ALT was still raised then she said she would send me for a scan. She said nothing about reducing alcohol or loosing weight; these are things I have done myself.

Your opinions would be very much appreciated....

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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by Jaxom » 28 Mar 2013 15:30

Hello gruffalo! (Great username!)

As you say, we are not docs - well some of us might be but that is not the point. I cannot tell you why you have this pain and neither can anybody else here, even if they are a doc. Any doctor worth his salt would want to see you. I can just speak from my experience. I suffered from the sort of pain you describe when I was drinking very heavily (as in 200+ units per week). When I quit it eventually went away for a long time but came back occasionally, even though my liver tests got back to normal. Very, very, very occasionally I still get a minor bit of discomfort in the liver area but I shrug it off nowadays and it goes.

Now, bearing in mind that I am not a doctor, is that the be-all and end-all of it? Suppose the pain went away, never to return. What would you see that as? Phew! Got away with it, never to drink too much ever again? Or - way-hay!!! I can carry on drinking as before! This is a question for you to ask yourself. I am not judging or trying to persuade you down any path. Are you uncomfortable about the amount you are drinking? Don't compare yourself with anybody else. That is pointless. In my hey-day I coud probably drink you under the table. In my hey-day other peope here could probably drink me under the table. But! It is not a competition. What matters is: Do you feel you have an alcohol problem? If yes then you do because it is making you unhappy. If no then OK but listen to the people around you and be as honest with yourself as you can possibly be. I do think though, in general, that when we begin to post here we are at the very least facing up to something. That is to be applauded.

Doctors are not perfect and there are bad apples in every barrel but on the balance of probabilities I would say do not be too concerned with your physical discomfort if the doc is not concerned. At least for now. Why not go for a period of abstinence? It can do no harm, even if it does not relieve your symptoms. If it turns out harder to do than you thought then - well, something to think about? If it is easy then good for you and well done on not getting sucked in!

Dave
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Re: Liver Disease and Tests

Post by MissCheese » 28 Mar 2013 15:41

Hi Gruffalo,

First of all congratulations on cutting down and losing a few extra pounds! Not at all easy to do and very beneficial in the long term.

I cannot really help but I would say that it is too soon to tell whether the ache/pain in the liver area you are feeling is due to the virus or to excessive alcohol consumption. I would carry on as you are or maybe cut down even more and follow your GP's advice of returning in May to get retested. Lets face it the things you have done to improve the problem aren't going to make things worse in that time.

If the pain gets worse then I would obviously return to see your GP but otherwise I would try not to worry.

It took almost a year for some of my liver function tests to come back to normal, specifically my Gamma GT.
MissCheese

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