Liver disease?

I use to drink alot of alcohol when I suffered a long period of depression, approximately a bottle of wine most days for a year. In January I started get a pain on the upper right side of my abdomen when I had alcohol. I went to see the doctor and he performed a physical exam and said my liver felt normal (not enlarged) he also sent me for a blood test which tested for multiple things including liver function, it all came back normal. The pain then ached all the time so the doctors examined my abdomen and still alll felt normal, so now I have asked for an ultrasound and im waiting for an appointment. I have since stop drink but I am terrified I have ver serious liver damage, but no one will listen because im 25. I have alot of symtoms like tiredness pain on the right side, trouble sleeping , itchy skin and piles. This stress is driving me insane I dont know what to do now?

8 Replies

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  • Hi Lizzy. Honestly try not to worry until you do have something to worry about, easy for me to say I know, but wait for all tests to be done first, you did well to stop drinking,,even if there is nothing wrong with your liver, alcohol would not do you any favours anyway, my liver function, was high sent to specialist and he sent me for scan, which came back normal,,my bloods were not normal so he did not discharge me, I was then sent for liver biopsy which confirmed I had cirrohiss, scan did not pick it up or else technician did not do it right, so try not to get stressed out, you will only bring yourself down, I'm sure your doctor will eventually do biopsy if he feels its necessary, just keep on getting doctors to test you, good luck. Angse

  • Hi. I'm not saying you are wrong to have concerns, but regarding the alcohol consumption, I drunk more, sometimes much more than that for about 23 years.. Now, with you only being 25 years of age, well, you haven't matched my drinking levels for as long as me , and I've only been getting symptoms (still not confirmed as Liver Disease) over the last three years.

    Of course, we are all different genetically and some people will tolerate more alcohol abuse than others.

    But given the fact that you say you have "only (!)" been drinking a bottle of wine a day and you are only 25, what's that? About 7 years of that behaviour? ...assuming you started at age 18?

    It's only a personal opinion, but I think extensive liver damage solely through the wine consumption is unlikely at this stage. However, there could be other non-alcoholic factors at play...so very wise to get checked out in any case.

    Anyhow stay off the booze regardless, it's an easy trap to fall into if you have mental health issues - I've been there, done that - don't carry on and then another 10-20 years down the line be regretting the fact that you can't turn back time.

    Good luck :)

  • The development of liver disease seems to be an individualistic thing with some who drink moderately succumbing to liver disease (like me) and others who drink heavily seem to escape liver disease and other problems of alcohol consumption. In my opinion each case is an individual with an individual response to alcohol.

  • I agree with the above. Also there are other causes for liver disease. It may not be entirely due to alcohol consumption but also an underlying condition. Try not to get to far ahead of yourself (easier said than done!!!). There's obviously something going on but it may not be as bad as you think. The liver can regenerate if not to much damage has been done. Take it one test at a time & hope all goes well for you :)

  • have you considered the tiredness, etc might be symptoms caused by the stress. Chronic Stress can release glaucocortisoids which can cause physical symptoms. I'm wondering if you might benefit from talking to a mental health professional. Additionally/alternatively exercise and meditation are often good for helping to alleviate stress.

    Stress is an important part of life, it's when it becomes chronic, it maybe needs to be looked at.

  • I think you are doing right by stopping drinking. Your liver can recover provided the damage has not progressed too far. An ultrasound will help in the diagnosis but an mri scan will give a more exact view of things. I would wait for the results of the ultrasound and then push for an mri. Try not to worry, what is done is done and worrying will only make matters worse. I know this is easy to say but even if your fears are realised then there is still hope as liver transplants are available and performed routinely. By stopping drinking you would be in a better position for this as donor livers are in short supply and not freely given to people who persist with alcohol. I wish you the very best of good fortune.

  • Must be a kizzy thing ;) similar to you I'm an ex drinker but was for 15+ yrs 41 now and having probs keep pushing for scan/ bloods if you feel unwell. Good luck :)

  • Hi Kizzy. Have you thought it might possibly be your gallbladder playing up? I can't honestly see that having a bottle of wine most days for a year has ruined your liver. But I think you're being given a warning. I suspect your body's saying any more alcohol consumption like this and I will be damaged! You're obviously doing the right thing by stopping drinking and going for a scan. I am sure you can turn your health/life around with the help of your doctor and your reduction of alcohol. Be positive. The only way is up! x

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