Have I damaged my liver?

Hi all

I'm James, I am 29 years old.

When I Was 16, maybe twice a week I'd go to a friends house and we'd hve 4 cane of lager each (4% fosters)

At 17, this turned into maybe 3-4 times a week.

At 18-19, it stopped, and I started drinking wine. 12% wine, often a bottle every other night.

between 20-26, I'd drink I reckon on average 4 cans a day, every day. Maybe 5 at weekends.

26-29, around three pints a day.

I've never needed alcohol and could stop drinking at any moment without issue

I've never had a single symptom (apart from bad guts after too much beer the next morning)

Recently, my stomach looks bloated, whereas i've always been really thin

I'm also worried I may have a couple of small brown patches on the whites of my eyes, which are otherwise white, albeint a bit bloodshot

The skin on the back of my hands is a dry but not itching or flaking

It's only since doing a bit of research, i've thought - God - all of these symptoms point to liver damage

Do you think I've damaged my liver? Can my GP help?

I was thinking of a roadshow for the love your liver campaign in January,I'd have to travel a long way though, I'm worried I will do that and then not be able to be seen...

I'm actually scared stiff, and can't decide if my skin looks jaundiced or not

My parents laughed when I Said it... but I'm seriously worrried I've done some really serious liver damage

I'm feeling to scared to go get checked..

My girlfriend tells me I'm obsessed and that I have nothing to worry about and probably most people drank that in their 20s, and just slow down to safe limits for my 30ss.

Any thoughts? :(

13 Replies

  • Hi James, I would advise you to go and get checked out, blood tests at least. Why live in fear of something which might be nothing to worry about? Go and get checked and put your mind at rest. If it does end up being something then you'll know and you'll be able to moderate your lifestyle in order to preserve your liver for the future. Go and see your GP, explain your worries and get some tests done.

    All the best, let us know how you go on.


  • Dear James

    I would reiterate Katie's advice - explain clearly your concerns to your GP and ask for 'liver function tests' - next steps will depend on the results but if need be your GP will refer you to a consultant. Meanwhile rest your liver - stay off alcohol and keep to a healthy diet.

    Do not wait - make an appointment today or tomorrow - worrying will not help and you will remain anxious.

    Best wishes


  • As the others have said a simple blood test is the way to go. X

  • Ditto everyone else. Go to your GP, ask for the tests, don't be ashamed or feel guilty. I let those feelings stop me seeking help and I carried on drinking with awful consequences.

    Take care and I hope you get to your doctor soon. X

  • and if you are that worried, cut right down on your alcohol intake, Have none at least two days a week to give your liver a chance to recover

  • hi James, I echo all the other comments-I'm exactly double your age and up to a year ago was drinking in a similar fashion-in my case wine. You're currently drinking at least double the daily guidelines-and not giving your liver a break for a day or two. In the end if you continue to drink like this you will at the very least end up with fatty liver and possibly worse. At your age you have every chance of reducing any possible damage you've done if any. Stick to the daily guidelines -have a couple of alcohol free days a week and go and see a doctor and I have no doubt you will be fine Being informed and researching on the web is ok but self diagnosis is the road to perdition-be honest with the GP

  • Hi James,

    You say that you have never needed alcohol so given your understandable concerns why not give it up completely starting today?

    No one can ever be sure how much alcohol is too much nor how long it will take for damage to emerge further down the road.

    See your GP, have the tests others on the forum have mentioned but give up the alcohol now - at the very least you will save your money but much more importantly you will give your liver it's best chance of remaining healthy longer term.

  • Hi James,

    The liver is very resilient and silent too. Generally you will not know if your liver has failed until it packs up just like a car running out of petrol. It just stops.

    The good thing is that today we can measure the liver's performance and it can also be reversed by controlling what goes through it. i.e. dieting. That is food & alcohol.

    All the advise above is correct....go and see your doctor and ask for a liver function test. This is taking a small sample of blood and they analyse your blood particularly for two paremeters....called AST & ALT. 0-55 & 5-45 are the normal ranges respectively. Now these two readings will measure the amount of liver enzymes that come from the breakdown of your liver. The liver like other organs naturally has deteriorating cells which are replenished, and this on going process releases enzymes into the blood. Now if they are high, it may not necessarily mean it is from your consumption of alcohol, it is likely, but it could also be e.g. Hepatitis B or C....The doctor will give you these measurements and advice. It is worth remembering these numbers because if you have a high consumption of units with your lifestyle it is worth getting checked out annually. Now if your readings are high the doctor will want you to go for a Fibroscan and they put a probe next to your skin, near your liver and it measures the fibroses (hardness) of your liver and the fat levels.....the fat builds up when the liver cannot process sugars and carbohydrates and is an indication of a overstressed liver. Good news is it is reversible if the liver is functioning.

    The liver fat has nothing to do with your bloated belly which is probably a reflection of your overall intake of both food and alcohol.

    I am no expert however the expert thing to do is to go and see your doctor. They will be pleased that you have visited them with your concerns rather than ignoring potential signs You cannot beat preventative medicine!

    Good luck! (another James)

  • I saw my Gp today. He has ordered a full set of bloods to basically check everything such as pancreas etc. I saw "liver function test" in the list. I presume that's all I need?

    I went straight to hospital for the test (surgery had no nurse free) and i had already fasted. I'm told results will be in within one week

    Doc says likelihood is my liver will be fine just because I have no family history

    He also said my anxiety something MIGHT be wrong is probably making me more unwell than anything else!

    I'm going to play darts tonight, I will have 2 pints instead of 4, and then working 4 days which will be dry.

    If my test is normal im going to reduce my intake to 21 units a week tops.

    If its not I'm prepared to quit if doc advises it, be that forever if needsbe.

    Thanks for all your support, I'm honestly grateful and touched



  • that's the ticket-keep us posted

  • Hi all

    Results are in

    My bloods incl LFT are all totally normal and healthy

    I'm amazed

    Might still get a fibroscan

  • good news-from now on stay within the guidelines and you should be fine-

  • Hi James,

    Glad to hear your results are all "normal". All mine are norml too but still believe I have something "going on" which is not showing up in these tests. I have just recently has an Ulrtasound done which was normal and had a fibroscan last year which was also normal. I have a lot more sypmtoms than you though. If it puts your mind at rest go for the Fibroscan. Good luck.

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