Can he have liver failure already

My husband is in hospital as I type was only ever a social drinker until 2010 when his mother died followed by my mother then 6months later my farther then January this year his farther past his drinking got worse after my mother past at the end of 2012 he drank nearly a litre of streight vodka day managed to cut down then when his farther died he hit it hard again he has mental illness that stretches back over 13 years he said he used the vodka to hide what was going on in his head 4 weeks ago he was diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis lost over 3stone he was already quite slim his ggt levels were in the thousands and his red cells are low and so is his white cells his jaundice level is still going up was admitted due to very thin blood and very dehydrated he's just finished 4 days of detox is still very confused he fell twice while there is very weak dr says he needs 2more days of pableox I think that's what it's called he's been having that since he went in he needs to have a scan done to see how much damage has been done could it be cirrhosis already he thinks you have to be drinking years and years for that I'm really worried for him he's only 45 yrs old and we have 2 children that are already missing there dad we have been together 22 years never been apart this long not even when I had the children I see the worried look on drs faces but they don't say anything how worried should I be or am I just being paranoid I just can't think streight at all

17 Replies

  • Hi Dixibell

    Firstly, sorry for the worry you are going through. It must be very hard.

    Obviously the true answers lie with the doctors and the tests but in my opinion, yes he could already have liver failure.

    I say this as an alcoholic. I was a social drinker from my 20's until my mid 30's. Then the drinking got out of control when I was about 36. I was drinking 2-3 bottles of wine a day, then in the later days, it was vodka. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis last year at the age of 42.

    Last year I was very ill in hospital just like your husband. Yes you should be worried but please know there is hope. Listen to what the doctors say, make sure the tests get done, ask what the results mean, what medication does he need, etc. You really have to fight your corner.

    I hope your husband is willing to give up alcohol completely. The hospital can refer him to a service to help, it does not have to be AA. He doesn't have to attend addiction counselling at all but the help is there. He should also be referred to a dietician as he needs a special diet to regain weight and minimise salt.

    I was in a right mess. The doctor shook his head and said "this is bad, really bad". I have now been completely sober for one year and 2 weeks. I have cirrhosis but for now I am doing well. I lead a normal life but everyone is different. Some people need daily medications, procedures to alleviate complications of liver damage, and in some cases, a liver transplant.

    I wish you both well. Fingers crossed that your husband can stop drinking and he can get the help and tests he needs.

  • Thank you for your reply I spoke to his dr they want to keep him on pavelex for another 2 days he still can't eat much he says nothing tastes right he has said he won't drink again his mental state is not very good high anxiety which he had before he would never go anywhere without me he won't leave hospital room to scared I do feel for him never understood before till I started going to alanon meetings myself , they want to give him a scan to see what damage has been done I'm just hopeing dr says 1 day at a time I'm glad you are manageing there is hope then thank you so much sometimes you just feel helpless

  • I have had a liver transplant caused by excessive alcohol consumption and I would say that your husband is going down the same route as I. The way forward is to stop drinking, otherwise he will stand virtually no chance of receiving a new liver if he does not. In addition, even if his liver damage is not beyond repair then to coninue will only make things worse. Liver donations are in short supply and are not wasted on people who continue drinking or are so old or in to poorly a condition to survive a transplant. One upside is your husband is relatively young so,if he stops drinking his chances could be optimistic. I was 67 when I had my transplant. I wish you the very best of good fortune. Try to be referred to a unit who specialises in liver transplants. There are only about 5 such units in England, I was operated on in St James hospital in Leeds, I know of others in Newcastle,London,Southampton.

  • Hi dixiebell, it is a very worrying time but I can give you my experience. I have cirrhosis caused through alcohol. I am 39 people have a misconception that only older people develop this, not true. I suffered from anxiety attacks and started using alcohol to control it. I ended up drinking the equivalent to a bottle of vodka a day (sometimes more) for 10-11 years. I decided to do something about my problem and did a detox and got off the drink. Then a couple of months later I was rushed to hospital with a big upper gastric bleed, I was not in a great way. I spent the next 8 days in hospital had the tests scan and was diagnosed with cirrhosis and varices. Now for the bright side. That was 14 months ago, obviously I don't drink anymore, year and a half sober, and am now fighting fit. Had the varices treated, once a month, took 6 treatments but are now under control, bloods are back to normal. The cirrhosis is under control and being managed, still have a scan and blood test every 6 months but things are fine and should stay that way. It is possible you can live a normal healthy life with this disease, another misconception people have that you've had it if you have this, again not always true. Your husband may not have progressed to cirrhosis, the docs will let you know that. But one important thing especially if it has, he has to stop drinking for good, its the only way his condition will improve. Anyway enough boring you with my story,

    I hope everything goes well.

  • hi nbee

    your story is terrifying, how come you got bleeds after stopping? I thought the liver would get better after stopping? 1 stopped drinking 3 months ago after a heavy week end, but usually 3 maybe 4 bottles of wine a week, now im worried.

  • Hi ralph2014, every case is different. To be honest I was bleeding for a long time, when I was still drinking I was getting black stools but just ignored it. The liver has many functions as i'm sure you know, and it helps with clottong factors but my liver wasn't functioning very well. Yes I had stopped drinking but not for very long and it can take a long time for the liver to start functioning properly again, especially after the damage I caused, which I presume is why this happened. I had no medical check ups when I stopped, if I had, the bleed could have been prevented. But you don't have to worry, I think you said in a another post you've had various tests which have come back clear, if so there's nothing to worry about. Learn from your mistakes and as they say onwards and upwards.

  • 2 lots of LFTs and blood counts 10 weeks apart, ultra sound all clear. im still scared, its hard to shake this doom feeling. Your so brave and its great you have pulled yourself back from the brink.

    im never drinking again, ok i was never a daily drinker but it was still too much on a weekly basis. i am looking more healthy. I suppose i need to some to terms with the fact what happens will happen, all I can do is not to drink and eat healthy etc. Atleast with alcohol liver issues if you remove alcohol you should do quite well. how long since you stopped now?

  • It's been over a year and a half since I stopped drinking and your right if you take away the alcohol you won't cause anymore damage. It's great that you've stopped drinking, you should be proud, even if you weren't a daily drinker it can still be difficult. But it's time for you to stop feeling doom and gloom, your tests have come back clear. You realised you were doing something that was causing you harm and did something about it, you should feel good about yourself now. If it makes you feel better, share your experience with other people you know so they don't fall in the same trap. Just keep a healthy lifestyle and you shouldn't have any problems.

  • Thanks for conversing with me. I doing what I can regarding friends , family drinking etc, they think ive gone slightly mad. The thing Is around here it is the culture to drink not only a fair amount at the weekend but also a few beers everyday, ok only about 16% of the population run into problems, but its still very bad people aren't aware of the risks. Perhaps I have been a bit a panzy regarding my fears, but it has scared me not to drink ever again.

  • Nah your not a panzy it's natural for you to be scared but this is a good site to come to if your worried about anything. I think a lot of people still think it's only alcoholics who get liver disease which isn't always the case. And people don't realise how much they drink until they start totting it up. There does need to be more awareness about the liver. I still find it amazing how many people I talk to, know so little on such an important organ it is.

  • Thank you all for your replies he will stop drinking I think this hospital stay has shook him up he says he won't drink again and I hope he dosent ,all new to this , time will tell will keep updates soon thanks again guys take care.

  • Take care Dixiebell.

    I hope things go as well as they can for you both. X

  • Hi hubby hm alchol free 2 weeks doing well there only he feels very weak still very yellow scan showed very swelled liver and spleen slight damage to liver and fatty has small cyst to lots of sludge in gallbladder may have blockage in duct sees consultant again soon and doc wends for more bloods thanks again guys for your responses fingers are crossed they can see image better when swelling goes down

  • Hi, Fairplay to your hubby for being alchol free. My problem was my own immune system attacked my liver. I cannot deny at times it's been a struggle but I am feeling OK now. There will be good times and times he will feel down but together and support from you, you can both beat this. Good luck..

  • Well he's back in hospital still no drink for 3 weeks but his bilirubin level gone up over 350 , when discharched 2 weeks ago it was 150 he's not eaten now for 3 days being sick and nausea had a nose bleed other night went to visit him today he said they keep giving me lactulose I've been 7 times now my bum is sore I had a look and there was a pile sticking out he has never had them fluid in his tummy they tried to drain was not successful has gall bladder sludge can't get any answers of him he just says can't remember feel to weak u ask a nurse and all they say is he's under review I had to bath him coz he felt to weak he is worse now than before he went in also now allergic to thiamine by intravenous can he be going down hill this quick his liver and spleen still enlarged thanks for all reply's

  • Sorry to hear this, I hope he recovers, Good luck

  • Thank you we hope so to?

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