Suspected Liver Problems

Hi all,

Approx 12 months ago I noticed an unusual pain in my upper right abdomen that radiates through to my back......I abused my body for a couple of years with some pretty intense alcohol intake due to stresses of life (won't go into the detail) I decided to quit alcohol and subsequently the pains faded and all seemed fine, I then decided to start treating myself to a few strong drink a night after work....the symptoms of pain in the abdomen and my back came back but we're very intermittent...I decided to visit my GP and explained my issues and concerns. I was sent for an ultrasound scan to see if I had a fatty liver (results fine) blood tests (results fine) endoscopy (results fine) chest X-ray as I had intemittent breathing issues (results fine).....anyway I continued to drink significant amounts and noticed my stools were starting to appear loose on occasions with literally no smell to them and they were more yellow than brown.....I also on rare occasions noticed fresh blood after going to the toilet (very rare) in the last 3 months I've noticed I have a constant nausea feeling but haven't actually vommitted once.....obviously due to my stools and the nausea and blood in stools I decided to visit my gp and explain my symptoms. He did another round of blood test (again fine) he's then prescribed me with lansprozole which certainly helps with the nausea. I decided to quit alcohol and haven't touched a drop in over 3months and I intend to abstain for life. About a month after quitting alcohol I've noticed my stools seem far more normal and definately smell more normal (sorry for the detail) I haven't noticed any further blood either. I do still feel mild discomfort in my abdomen and on occasions in my back but it's not permanent....I also seem to get itchy skin but again this is very rare...another symptom is my face feels hot internally but the skin on the outside looks and feels fine.....I've noticed my blood pressure has been a little up and down but nothing to be overly concerned about....anyway because of the pains etc I decided I needed to visit my GP again he did another rounds of bloods and this time they've come back with slightly elevated enzymes (his words are he wasn't concerned as it was only slightly over normal) anyway I explained my stool issues prior to quitting alcohol and he's asked to see me again in the new year, this is after I've had more bloods and provided him with stool samples.

I know there is a lot of experience and people that are going through similar issues and wondered if you think I've got a serious liver issue or have I hopefully abstained just in's really worrying me and I'm also concerned my weight is contributing to my issues. My GP has advised I cut down on fats and eat more healthy to try and lose weight and continue to abstain from alcohol. He did say he wasn't worried but should I be??

Thanks in advance

23 Replies

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  • The tests you have had to date are unlikely to miss serious Liver damage. Your enzymes being raised is a strange one, although it could an infection or something.

    Drinking in short sharp binges is likely to cause Gastritis and other stomach problems, you could have an ulcer, although an endoscopy should see this and the Gastritis.

  • Before you repeat your beliefs again I should point out out that I have had all these tests and more. All results within normal parameters, especially my LFTS.

    A liver biopsy however shows cirrhosis secondary to NASH.

    The moral of this is do not give false hopes when you are not qualified to do so!

  • sorry to hear about your condition. However I stand by what I am saying, yes things can be missed, but im talking about the chances here. It is extremely unlikely that someone will have clear tests and still have serious Liver damage. Of course it is not impossible and you have proved that, but it isnt the norm, its very rare in medical terms and of course no test is 100% accurate in any case.

    Also keep in mind different causes have different characteristics, viral and fat causes are usually more difficult to detect because they can slowly chip away at the Liver with normal or high normal bloods

    I also don't want to give people false fear! The moral is don't you assume everyone has the same condition as you and give your unqualified advice

  • I think i read somewhere that for every year you have been drinking it will take you a month to fully recover, so if you have been drinking for say 4 or 5 years it will take 4 or 5 months to recover. Perhaps it is just going to take longer than you hoped. Stay off the drink, and do everything else about diet and lifestyle the GP has recommended.

  • Thanks for the responses.....I get good days and the bad days are easily tolerable....tbh I don't notice the issues until I start to relax in the evening and my mind isn't occupied ๐Ÿ˜Š and it certainly doesn't affect my work As I works long hours and my day can start at 4am and last up until gone 7pm. I do struggle to concentrate at times and my memory I would say has got worse but it's never been great anyway....I have to write things down to make sure I don't forget. The itching itself is very intermittent and tends to be worse around my ankles and are showing signs of small red spots I also have a few around my neck but again it's all very tolerable. I don't know maybe I'm worrying over nothing but I know how bad I treated my body for a significant period and it goes to show how robust the body can be at times. I intend to follow the GPs advice and try to shed a few pounds.....exercising is a problem because when I'm running the motion of my stomach going up and down certainly exaggerates my stomach issues for a good few days. Fingers crossed I've dodged a bullet and I will eventually fully recover from whatever is going on. For reference I binged and drank quickly rather than chilling and drinking slowly don't know whether that's better or worse tbh.

    Once again thanks for taking the time to respond it's much appreciated.

  • hi i've got exactly the same symtoms as you-suspect it's mild alcoholic hepatitis and like you the symptoms flared up after giving up alcohol-this hapend to me first a couple of years back and it took me about 3 months to be asymtomatic-liver enzymes remained high. You've probably got fatty liver too which can take a while to get rid of-exercise/diet helps especially if you're a bit overweight. Stick with the no alcohol and things should start to improve.keep us posted

  • Hopefully I will just recover in time....drink is out of my life for good now I actually feel sick thinking about it now. Diets started and I will report back with any progress. Thanks

  • diet more important than exercise although all helps-remember its the carbs in refined foods that are more damaging than fat. I had very good results with the 5:2 diet-lost about 10kgs in 6 weeks. Your digestive system in my experience is a good indiactor of liver health-as soon as I started to see stool colour/form normalising I was on the mend. BTW at 36 you should see a full recovery-I was late 50s when I started to see liver problems -take a look at my posts on raised ggt I'd been overdoing the vino for years.

  • Don't like talking about it but my stools 3 months ago didn't have any smell they were very loose and pale in colour....this is the point I said enough is enough somethings going on here despite all the positive (good) results I'd been getting from the doctors... Now my stools are definitely more normal and have a normal appearance and stench's only on occasion they do go a little loose....another point I will make is I was suffering pretty bad flatulance and that has also curbed somewhat since quitting the alcohol...I'm just praying I stopped in time for my body to fully recover.

  • yep that all sounds par for the course-liver is a major player on digestion so if its stressed expect those kind of results. dont worry abour descriptions of symptoms-we're all friends here...without accurate descriptions-people cant help..there are some really knowledgable people on this site (not me though sadly....) all the best

  • Firstly, well done on realising you need to STOP DRINKING. Alcohol, for all of its social side, has no benefit to the human body.

    The symptoms you describe are signs of the liver being under stress and you need to stop drinking now. Give it at least a year. Then if all settles down a glass of wine or a sociable beer every now and again won't kill you. Moderation is key.

    Itchy skin is a side effect of stressed liver. The pain will be something else as the liver has no pain receptors as I've repeatedly mentioned on here.

    Losing weight is actually very easy and only the ignorant and stubborn think otherwise. Don't go running, it's completely the wrong exercise to lose weight. Buy some dumbells and do some arm curls, squats holding weights, anything for some resistance. Walking up and down your stairs 10 times at once, twice a day. The main thing is change your diet too. Out with processed garbage. Eat clean. Eat the basics. There's so much you can do with fish, chicken, eggs, all vegetables. Just don't fry them. Grill or bake it all. Drink water or green tea etc. It certainly won't kill you unlike a bad diet and alcohol.

    I'm not lecturing you, far from it, but speaking from experience it's worth giving up the alcohol and eating clean for a fair while. I haven't had a drink since last December. I don't have a drink issue, but my liver was/is slightly fatty due to drinking when I was younger. I've had gallbladder removed as they found stones when they did liver scan. I have high ggt readings but have had for as far back as I can remember. I am well aware of it.

    I hope you can turn things around. Do you need to work crazy hours. Is there an alternative work /life balance you can find? Anyway good luck and come back in 3 months and tell us all you're doing great. Cheers.

  • Thank you for responding, I would consider my self a good 4stone overweight but because I used to do a lot of weight training it doesn't look bad on my frame.....I know I need to shift some and I will....I quit the alcohol a while back but haven't had the best of diets since, I have decided since my last doctors appointment diet at least in the short term is as important as the quitting of the alcohol. My job itself is 4o4o 12 hour shift and is pretty demanding as I run a factory shift with several depts.....the 4am to 7pm is including travel etc....tea last night consisted of steamed veg and chicken with water to help wash it down. I'm determined to beat this and get myself right not only for me but my young family also.

    Once again thanks and fingers crossed all will be ok. I will categorically never touch alcohol again.. Since I've quit I've worked out the financial savings also and that is a nice surprise too ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • I am in a similar position. I decided to stop drinking but my medical requires it for 12 months just to satisfy the regulator. No big deal. And sounds as if the diet is starting to come together for you too. You'll be amazed at a) how much money you save and b) how quickly you lose the cravings for crappy foods. The weight will literally start to fall off. If it doesn't it only means you're cheating yourself lol. Calorie deficit can only lead to weight loss. Anyone says otherwise has no idea what they're talking about. Big boned, thyroid etc it's all crap. Physics says energy cannot be created or destroyed, only turned from one form to another.

    Great that you're doing it for your family too. Stick with it, give yourself a target weight, realistic targets remember, then adjust once you reach it. My next target is a six pack by new years eve. I'm 46 yrs old!!! Lol

  • The key there is you didn't detail New Year's Eve of a specific year ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ so your target is movable be more specific hahaha. In all seriousness it's serious stuff we're talking about and I'm not giving into it not even for a second. The benefits from health and a financial perspective are great but the biggest thing for me is being around to see my family grow up and be part of that and being there for them is my primary reason for sorting my shit out (forgive the language) I'm only 36 and have 6 children 2 from a previous marriage 2 with my wife and she had 2 from her previous marriage who I also consider mine. Good luck on the six pack that takes real's easier to opt for the barrel look ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I was always told to get in shape. My answer was that round was a shape too. ??? OK maybe not, but new years eve 2015/2016 I should be six-packed. Have to cut out all crap carbs, sugary snacks and stuff. Only non processed and clean food and small and regular meals. No food after 6pm. Eat within the 10 hr window or not at all and if possible do a fast day once a week. Works wonders. I think with your job and 6 kids I'd be drinking a lot too and it's easy to see how these things creep up. Take care and good luck. You've made the best decision of your life. Because it is your life we're talking about.

  • oh and don't binge-it's defintely worse

  • And 4 units or more at a time is considered bingeing! !!!!!

  • I would say I had at least 12 a night within an hour then bed so yeah I was binging. Thanks

  • Not good.

  • sadly true-I could go for weeks/months withought drinking but put a bottle of wine in front of me and I'd drink most of it. High days and holidays only from now on....

  • I was talking in units not pints. Still too much to put in my body though.....thinking back I resent doing it but at the time I never even thought about it due to other things going on in my life....onwards and upwards and 0 alcohol will pass these lips again not even on special occasions. I recently went to a wedding and everyone was drinking around me but I didn't touch a drop. It was kind of strange seeing drunk people when I was sober. Hopefully I will go on to recover fully....eating well plenty of milk thistle and on advice from the forum cutting out processed foods.

  • Hi all thought I would give an update.....I recently had another round of bloods and they've come back all within normal range....I still have to provide a stool sample in the new year as there was a labelling issue at the hospital so still need to sort this prior to the 11th of January. I will add my stools have returned to a more yellowish colour and are again very diet is pretty much fruit and veg so I'm guessing that's why? Symptoms I'm still getting is abdominal discomfort and pretty intense itching but I do have small red spots where the itching occurs! Brain fog is intermittent. Still got my fingers crossed I'm all good or in recovery but things don't seem to be easing. Yet positive blood results ๐Ÿ˜•

    Merry Xmas to all of you and I wish you all good health.

  • stools came back normal and my doctor has now put me on a 2 month appointment schedule rather than monthly. I'm still getting significant pain in my abdomen and back and seem to get pretty intense heartburn.....does anyone else suffer with this? Basically my results are all clear but I'm still suffering 5 months after quitting alcohol! Is this normal? I will add my diet post Christmas has been poor and for a good few weeks all my symptoms had eased and were not really noticeable! But last few days all have come flooding back sounds weird but the better I eat the worse I feel ๐Ÿ˜ž. Hope your all well

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