British Liver Trust
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Concerned I Have Liver Problems

So I'm a 23 year old female who has been drinking VERY heavily for the past year, and moderately heavy before that between the ages of 18-22. Depression and toxic company led to me drinking large amounts of liquor pretty often occasion and drinking a bottle of wine or a 6 pack daily. It got to the point where I knew this was very damaging and eventually cut back to only wine, but still a large amount of wine on a daily basis. I found it disturbing how hard it was for me to stop drinking, alcoholism runs in my family. However, for the first time in the past few years, I haven't had a drink for the past two days and do not feel compelled to. :)

But, I don't feel compelled to due to how disgusted and scared I am after researching Alcoholic Liver Disease. I came to that due to irregular bowel movements... very few and light colored. Definitely not something I really want to discuss with anybody. It's been going on for a few months now and I made an appointment to see the doctor and I'm scared.

Am I thinking too hard about this?

7 Replies

To be clear, "I came to that due to..." means "I came to researching that online due to...", I have not been diagnosed with anything.


I have a non alcoholic fatty liver. I drink only occasionally, buy I'm overweight and I have had unhealthy eating habits for quite a long time. I'm scared enough now to change my eating habits and reverse my liver disease. I'm trying to stay positive but few other more serious liver conditions should be ruled out by my doctor as well. I'm 30 and I have 2 small children and want to be around them for a while)

You are very young and it's time to stop drinking. You don't need that! You need a healthy liver) right thing to go to the GP, it's better to be checked. Good luck!


Ok here's a plan. Stay off the sauce for a week or so and your digestive issues should clear up. Buy a Chrissie present for someone you like with all the money you save.

Celebrate xmas with a couple of glasses of wine and congratulate yourself you dont have a drink problem-yet! Highly unlikely if youve done any kind of serious damage liver at 23. maybe make new years resolution to change your drinking habits-btw your liver's responsible for a whole host of functions not just digestive so expect improvement across the board.

enjoy the festive season and dont get blatted


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Two days and counting and it is worth keeping going for as long as you can. You will get support here and there are other sites out there that encourage sobriety - Soberistas is a good one and seems to be very successful in supporting people.

Counting the days was good for me. I only stopped when I got to the end of the first year but I still know the date and look forward to (dry) celebrating 5 years on 2nd Jan next year. Try it! You have already started.

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No you're not thinking too hard but the really important question is whether you're thinking clearly...

A few things you need to consider..

1) For a number of reasons women sustain liver damage much faster than men so the alcohol will have hit you harder.

2) If you've been drinking to help you cope with things then as you've correctly identified you have to deal with your relationship with alcohol the way an alcoholic would - which is not to say you are one - but that you use it in a similar way - so you you should get support to help you to stay off it or avoid abusing it in future.

3) The symptoms you are having could well be from inflammation of the liver from using alcohol. You MUST stay off and see if they improve. If they don't your doctor will want to investigate if the inflammation over time has caused damage in the form of liver scarring. Inflammation and damage are not the same thing.

4) This one is important - Liver disease is really horrible. It's NOT simple, it's NOT quick, it IS painful and because in essence the chemical reactions your body depends upon are deranged all sorts of weird things happen. Almost the last thing you ever want to happen to you is to get liver disease from drinking. The horror stories you read are not exaggerations.

5) Depending on how long and how much you've been drinking it may be that you've gotten away with it up to now - and we should all hope so - but the symptoms are a massive red warning flag - so you're correct to be concerned but you shouldn't panic. The key thing is to stop drinking NOW and COMPLETELY - no excuses. You do not want to cross any points of no-return liverwise. A lot of alcohol induced liver damage will reverse if alcohol is taken away unless the damage is too far advanced.

6) In summary, you need to STOP drinking, eat a healthy diet and get some exercise.

7) BE CLEAR that there is NO TREATMENT TO REPAIR damage to your liver other than what your body can do naturally. The doctors will tell you to stop drinking if they suspect damage to allow whatever recovery is possible but the liver's ability to recover (or work with significant damage) is completely amazing.

7) Juicing - as it's mentioned I'll give you my 2p's worth. I don't think it's particularly good for you. You should increase your consumption of fruit and veg but you should eat them, firstly because you get the benefit of the soluble fibre and secondly because if you juice fruit for example you're just consuming a load of sugar (fructose) or vegetables (a load of other carbohydrates) - both of which hit your bloodstream as glucose. It's like drinking coke with added vitamins.

Finally - any problems you have will NEVER be improved by drinking and getting liver disease will put everything else into the shade. As you've identified you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol - go and get help for that regardless of what happens with the doctor. If you can, find a substitute - get into something else. If you have any friends who will still encourage you to drink they're either not your friends or they're idiots.

As for the doctor, don't panic. The chances are at your age that this is a timely warning.

Best of luck. Do come back here for advice if you need it. Sorry for going on - I never mean to but it seems to be what I do :)

Cheers. Keep your chin up.


I found juicing was less stressful on my liver because it didn't need much digesting also you can eat the veg while you're juicing. I don't think its helpful that a glass of fresh juiced broccoli should be compared to a glass of coke with a vitamin pill. if you cant eat enough drink it, that's just my personal opinion.

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I shouldn't think you have done serious damage at this point, providing you dont have any other contributing factors. There are some unlucky people that get Liver problems very easily through alcohol though.

Many drink a bottle of wine a day for decades without any issues. its good that you have come to your senses at a young age. I would advise that you go to your doctor and "let it all out" tell the doctor you feel you have been drinking too much and get some Liver Function tests. It is possible you have some fat building up in your Liver and some inflammation, but luckily the Liver is king of recovery.

Alcohol and stool issues are common, it irritates the whole digestive track. After 20 years of binge drinking I ended up with a bad case of Gastritis, luckily I wasn't a daily drinker or I would have had more damage im sure.

Daily drinking is worse than getting wasted at the weekend because the Liver doesnt get a breather to recover.


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