Living with portal hypertension

I have my excuses for drinking in the past. Post natal depression stress etc etc. having stopped drinking for a month because i decided to get fit and healthy I decided to check my blood pressure, what a shock, it's always been normal, it's sky high. They're trying to bring it down but it seems I have portal hypertension. Is anyone else coping with this. I'm scared to death and wish I'd stopped drinking sooner.

8 Replies

  • Hi

    Yes I found out I had cirrohiss 2 years ago approximately, I had my first endoscopy in Jan 2013 in Feb 2013 I lost 5 pints blood through mouth due to varcies in the esophagus, caused by portal hypertension, I was not aware of it happening, I woke up in ICU 2days later, lucky to be alive I was told, it has taken me another year to get over the fear of this happening again, escepically as my husband died 6 months after this happening and I know live alone, but really as long as you don't drink alcohol you are doing yourself a favour as with every drink you are closer to these veins erupting and it is a very serious condition, which can be fatal, I am treated with propranolol which keeps the pressure in the portal vein down, and regular endoscopys every 6 months to see if veins are there and need banding which means they put a band around them and they will fall off, I do have varices at present but to small to band, so by giving up alchohol you have done the right thing for yourself, that drink is just not worth it, I hope this has helped you somewhat and I wish you well. Annette

  • Thank you Annette for taking the time to reply. Was it when you had your endoscopy that you started to bleed. I'm taking amlodipine at the moment but going to ask to change to beets lockers as from what I've read that's what seems the best.

  • Hi

    It was a month after my first endoscopy when bleed started for some reason, but I have to have them now regularly, yes I have also heard beta blockers are the best, I have had no problem with propranolol, although I don't have high blood pressure, it does keep everything in the portal vein down, actually everything is slow heart rate, so nothing pumps to fast, I really think you should go to your doctor and get explanations on your options good luck Annette

  • you cant tell from blood pressure alone if you have a liver problem, it could be a number of things, hae you had blood tests done and ultrasound?

  • Thank you for your reply Ralph. I've had blood tests after having very normal blood pressure to a sudden raise to extremely high. Bad virtually instant bruising and bleeding that's very difficult to stop after just a scratch. Also a cough for 4 years that I believe is connected in some way to alcohol, that I had originally put down to living in damp conditions but after moving six months ago it hadn't improvd. My old doctor just dismissed it and said there was nothing wrong with me when asked about the cough.

  • how long have you been drinking and how much? have you had complete blood counts? it does sound like low platelets, which is a worry. you really need to get to the bottom of this.

  • By the way ask doctor for a liver function test, demand one if you have to. Annette

  • Self-medicate, there is a difference between hypertension i.e. the high blood pressure which is indicated on a blood pressure machine and portal hypertension which is the high blood pressure in the portal venous system linked with liver issues - this isn't picked up by a blood pressure machine but can be indicated in ultrasound scans and such like. Portal Hypertension can indeed go on to cause the issues that Angse describes i.e. varices, issues in the stomach, even aneurysms elsewhere such as in the splenic artery.

    My husband has chronic cirrhosis and portal hypertension with varices and the other issues but has got generally low blood pressure when checked with a blood pressure monitor.

    What have you been told you have? - hypertension i.e. normal high blood pressure which can go onto cause heart and stroke risk or portal hypertension as they are totally different things. Perhaps a reassuring chat with GP or practice nurse could clarify your situation.

    If they are saying it is portal hypertension then you should be being referred to a liver specialist as it's a sign of a damaged liver and needs identifying and treating asap.

    All the best to you, i'd stick with the booze reduction or abstinence though, why give yourself any further troubles, alcohol no good for your liver or the rest of your well being actually.

    Katie :) x

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