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British Liver Trust
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Does this sound like alcoholic hepatitis? Inflammation? Worse?!

Well, it's been several months since I stopped drinking and I am at wits' end. The past week I have felt crummier (when all month felt pretty good) with some shakeyness, dizziness and generally felling unwell. Some pins and needles here and there, and my anxiety is still horrid. I also have constant head pressure, and migraines.

I was feeling so crummy I went to emergency yesterday, and they checked me out. They said I was fine and discharged me - bilirubin, liver enzymes all normal (although my urea was very low - doctor said this is due to my vegan diet?!) and my ferritin is slightly high, and the doc felt my liver, stating that it didn't feel hard or even slightly abnormal.

I've had three ultrasounds now and an insane amount of bloods - all found nothing. What I am wondering is - could I have inflammation of the liver or alcoholic hepatitis? Has anyone had this and recovered? I don't know what other tests to get short of a biopsy, but since quitting the drink I just have felt absolutely crummy. I read online that this can happen with people who drink when they quit, but who knows... I don't have jaundice, ascites or any of the other liver stuff...yet.

Just really at wits' end :( Thanks for listening...

Also, 28/M/Vegan/Celiac+Meniere's Disease

7 Replies

Hiya I have cirrhosis due to alcohol. I gave alcohol up 2 years ago and even though I wasn't an alcoholic I was a social drinker I thought I would be fine giving it up. How wrong was I, I had withdrawal symptoms for a good 6 months and even when I thought worst was over I still felt rubbish! If doctor is not worried don't you be have some trust in them it's a life changing thing to do stopping drinking and in long run you will feel much better. The anxiety makes you feel that things are actually worse than what they are. Good luck and take care :)


Hi Cthulwhoo. You have had some tests and everything seems normal, a high liver function would definitely show up in blood tests, which would indicate something wrong like inflammation of liver,I had no symptoms at all until I had blood tests, then after leaving it for to long in my opinion drs decided to do more blood tests which showed high liver function again, the only thing that confirmed I had cirrohiss was a biopsy, I would have thought that after stopping drinking after several months you should be feeling OK, no shakes or anything, as far as liver concerned I am sure something would have showed up in all tests you have had, I would go back to your doctor and talk to him/her about your anxiety and take it from there, good luck and let us know how you get on. Angse


"Does this sound like alcoholic hepatitis? Inflammation? Worse?!"

No it doesn't.


Hi, I have liver cirrhosis caused by alcohol. I was never an alcoholic but a social drinker, so I have learnt that this disease is not reserved just for alcoholics. However, 3 years before my diagnosis, I had acute hepatitis. Leading up to the diagnosis, i felt unwell, rather like having a month long hangover....but I was still able to work full time! I went to the Dr and was sent for a blood test.......I was called less than 24hrs later to tell me to go straight back as they had recorded my ALT levels in excess of 2000!!! They retested and re confirmed at which point off I went to the hospital. A couple of weeks later I was bright yellow, itching skin that nearly caused me to throw myself out a window, plus my pee was like black tea. However even with such an acute infection, I did recover after a few weeks and the Drs considered me fit and well. It was another 3years before my liver deteriorated enough to get diagnosed with cirrohsis after I developed portal hypertension.

So trust that your blood tests are accurate, if there was something severely wrong it would most certainly be showing up on your tests. There could be any number of reasons why you feel unwell, take it easy, plenty of rest, ensure your diet is balanced which being a celiac I appreciate can be difficult, look after your liver and every other organ in your body and they will (hopefully) look after you.....


I'm losing my god damn mind. Canadian healthcare is the WORST.

I just got discharged from the ER because I am 90% sure I was experiencing Hepatic Encephalopathy. I showed the doctor 'spider nevi' that are on my chest and he said 'those aren't spider nevi'

How bloody hard is it to just get me a diagnosis and some form of treatment. UGH. My specialist and GP both won't give me a biopsy. Two ultrasounds clear, but I KNOW they can't detect cirrhosis anyway. Just got a non-contrast CT while I was there which is worthless anyway. And ER doctors assured me it's not liver failure. Too bad I know better :/

Here's my bloodwork:

Calcium: 2.57

Albumin: 48

ALP: 59

ALT: 14 L (Low ALT...which can only mean that my liver is not functioning whatsoever)

AST: 19 (ALT>AST, meaning cirrhosis)


bilirubin total: 16 (2-20)

Urea is VERY low (also indicative of liver failure)

But I could explain all of this to doctors and they'll just shrug it off and say "Nope"

ER didn't test my ferritin or ammonia (would LOVE to just know if I have HE or not.)

I'm 90% sure my liver is cirrhotic and every doctor I have gone to has disagreed with me. Even though I have more than enough reason to suspect that I do.

Sorry, just need to vent I guess. What's your thoughts, guys? Anyone had similar bloodwork or signs?

Really bummed. Just met an amazing girl, don't want to tell her I have ESLD at 28


I'm no expert, but it sounds to me you are suffering symptoms of extreme anxiety. I suffer from anxiety myself and have suffered very similar symptoms, headaches, pins and needles, feeling dizzy, skin allergies etc and generally feeling unwell. Anxiety can play havoc with your body causing alarming physical symptoms. You have had many tests that have shown everything to be ok, so I think you need to take that on board and listen to your doctor. Go back and see him, and get help for the anxiety, otherwise you will drive yourself mad and make yourself more anxious, causing more side effects.

Take care and very best wishes.

1 like

As someone with actual cirrhosis I'd be really happy if I had those numbers. They look great.

They're normal.

Your assertions re: ALT and AST are completely wrong.

On the basis of those numbers whatever issue you have it's not cirrhosis. You got lucky - you must have stopped drinking in time. You need to embrace your life while you're healthy otherwise you'll really regret it if you ever do have something serious.

Best of luck.


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