I am a 46 year old male from Belfast.
After 25 years or so of generally moderate, social drinking, a series of negative life events over recent years caused me to develop depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Exactly one year ago, I started to self-medicate with alcohol. My drinking became heavier in October 2014 when I had two severe (80+ units) binges, both lasting 2 days. On both occasions, I ended-up in hospital for detoxing.
I then drank very little from November 2014 to March this year. However, I started to drink more heavily again in March, with occasional binges (no hospital treatment), then more heavily in June and very heavily (80+ units per week) in July.
In August, I had occasional binges and also attended the GP surgery twice for blood tests. The first test was done in early August. This showed the AST enzyme at 96 and GGT at 121. The other blood tests (LFTs and full-blood count were normal). I had blood tests repeated later in August. These showed AST down to 25 and GGT down to 72. The other blood tests were all normal. A GP also gave me a physical exam and said my abdomen was soft and supple and there was no sign at all of liver inflammation, enlargement or hardness. She said my liver was fine, and the blood tests simply reflected recent heavy drinking.
My last drink was a binge last Thursday and Friday (about 50 units on both days). This time, I suffered alcohol poisoning and had to be admitted to hospital.
While in hospital, I developed some very sinister symptoms. First, a painful red rash appeared on my chest. I was given anti-biotics for this and it does seem to be improving. Next, and more sinister, something like a spider naevi, only it looks more like a bruise now, appeared on my arm. Then some hair fell-off my left arm. I also noticed some bruises. My palms went red and painful. The backs of both hands turned a darker colour. I had many pimples across my body. I was sweating profusely on-and-off. Even my genitals darkened.
While in hospital, I spoke with a doctor. He said that liver function tests had been conduced on my admission to hospital. He talked me through the results and said that, while some of the enzymes (AST and GGT) were elevated, but both under 100, the others were normal. Nonetheless, he could see how frantic with worry I was and agreed to repeat them (this is 3 days after my last drink). When the results came, he talked me through them. The AST and GGT were less elevated than 3 days before, and the other tests were again all normal. The doctor said that I did not have either cirrhosis or hepatitis. Unfortunately, he couldn't explain the strange symptoms, other than the rash which he said was folliculitis.
I was released from hospital after 3 days. Some of the strange symptoms have gone or improved, but others (brusies, spider naevi) have remained. I also feel tired and fuzzy-headed, despite sleeping well. I am eating OK and trying to eat and drink healthily. I've not drunk any alcohol and don't feel any inclination to.
Despite the GP (2 weeks ago) and the doctor in the hospital saying that I do not have any sign of serious liver disease, the unpleasant symptoms are telling me that I have - because they appeared so suddenly after my very heavy binge last Thursday and Friday. I don't see what else could have caused most of the symptoms other than my liver having been damaged.
I see my regular GP next Monday but am frantic with worry and feel helpless and in limbo in the meantime.
I don't know if or how any of you can help me, but would appreciate any comments.