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British Liver Trust
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Saw doc

Hi every one saw my liver specialist yesterday I have drank for years am 31and was very ill in August have not touched a drop since I have cirrhosis he said but not drinking looking after myself and if there is no underline problem it should not get any worse unless I get anything else wrong with it, I think that's what he ment was a lot to talk about?

11 Replies

Hi Khud31, if you have a definite cirrhosis diagnosis then yes keep off the drink and in that way drink will not make your cirrhosis worse BUT cirrhosis in itself is a serious condition and is generally seen as progressive.

It now means your liver is severely scarred and damaged and over time it can still deteriorate since it is now likely that some of its functions are reduced (the liver does 500 different jobs so having some of it damaged means it won't now do all these jobs).

You will need to be continuously monitored from now on, your cirrhotic liver can be in a state called 'compensated' where it will continue to do some (but possibly not all of its jobs). With a compensated liver you might notice some differences to life but the liver is hanging on in there and ticking along. It can go on like this for years.

If it begins to struggle though it will reduce even further the jobs it is doing and can fall into a state called decompensated and this is when the serious and often life threatening symptoms kick in. This decompensation can happen gradually or sometimes very suddenly so you need to be getting regular monitoring of your blood and looking out for any other symptoms.

You need to take care of your diet, a lot of cirrhotic patients loose weight and muscle mass as the liver can no longer metabolise and store glycogen to give you energy for daily activity and instead uses muscle for fuel.

All patients with cirrhosis should have 6 monthly ultrasound scans to check for signs of liver cancer because sadly cirrhotic tissue can be a breeding ground for cancerous tumours so you need to be monitored in case of the appearance of these - early detection can lead to early and successful treatment.

Whilst it is brilliant that you are off the booze (keep that up and well done) it doesn't mean that everything is great and you won't get worse. You might tick along for years but your liver is now damaged and will possibly struggle at times.

The main British Liver Trust website has excellent pages on living with a liver condition, on cirrhosis, diet for liver disease etc. etc. etc. Do take the chance to have a read up and educate yourself because you will need to keep an eye on things to make sure you are doing the best things to maintain your remaining liver function and watch out for signs of other developing issues.

The cirrhosis page is at:- britishlivertrust.org.uk/li... and from there you'll find the other pages I mentioned. I found them all invaluable when my husband was first diagnosed with cirrhosis back in April 2012.

Wishing you all the best, Katie :)


Thanks a lot you have just confirmed what I thought I heard him say but when I got home was wondering if I heard him right thanks. So really it is good news for me was expecting worse after how ill I was in August I no there is a chance things could change but am going to carry on looking after myself and that's the best I can do he said he will keep an eye on me every six months and maybe send me to kings in about a year or two to put things in place in case something did happen if that is something I am willing to do, so at this point am happy with the way I've been treated he said he will no a lot more on how much damage in August after more bloods and another ultrasound thanks for you reply kev

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31 is very young for Cirrhosis, how much alcohol per day are we talking about here? Sometimes there are other things going on that the Alcohol brings to light.

AyrshireK has given a very accurate picture and has been through alot of the terrible things Cirrhosis can manifest with her partner. Every Cirrhosis case is different, I know of a woman who was diagnosed in 2001 and her bloods are normal 15 years later! But it also sometimes goes the other way, I know of another guy who bloated up one day in his late 40s and died in hospital 3 days later, he was a heavy drinker and diabetic too.

There are also grades of Cirrhosis, quite commonly used is the Child-Pugh score, A,B and C with C being the worst. What you should look to do next is get your score which can be worked out from your blood tests results. Also get copies of all your blood tests and scans and "manage" your condition. You get the best results out of your doctors if you know what you are talking about, it wont take long to know what all the numbers mean. If you post them there are some here who have a good idea of what they mean.

If you show that you wont drink again, at some point you might be able to get on the transplant list if you need to. As already explained Cirrhosis is a progressive disease, the Liver can no longer repair itself properly and when it tries it causes further damage. So you need to stay away from any chemicals, paint, fumes, smoke , mouth wash etc. A healthy diet, some light exercise will also help.


Hiya thanks have read loads about it just yesterday when I came out was just double checking what I thought I heard. Am having more bloods next week and another scan before I see him next time then he will have a better idea of how bad it is. I know is young for cirrhosis was drinking every day for 10 years always held down a full time job head chef ect but at least 2 bottles of wine in evening plus pints after work never one for sprits some times think it's some thing to do with being premature was ill as a baby was born at 5 months I no people who drink a lot more that I did and are still going now after 20 years suppose we are all different thanks for your reply

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I used to do 2 bottles of wine a couple of times a week, luckily I used to get bad hang overs so I couldn't drink everyday, the thought of more booze would make me puke! I know plenty who have drank everyday for life and are still around 60,70 years old.

I know of another guy who drank 105 pints of beer a week for 25 years, he did get Cirrhosis, stopped drinking and is stable now.

So yes it is a lottery really


Unfortunately younger drinkers are more frequently presenting with advanced liver disease - there was a recent tv series focussing on the issue and it featured folks in their young 20's who had already gone through transplant due to alcohol.

The following is an excerpt from a Scottish Newspaper when the debate was going on about enforcing a minimum pricing per unit for alcohol up here. It includes statements from Andrew from the BLT.

"It is feared many of the young people suffering from booze-related liver disease are "everyday drinkers" rather than alcoholics.

Over time, drinking alcohol every day leads to the liver becoming fatty, inflamed and, in the most serious cases, incurably scarred.

In the 1970s, cirrhosis claimed about 1200 lives a year in the UK.

However, by 2010 the toll was 5000 - and rising.

Andrew Langford, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, a national charity, said: "What we know is that 30 years ago it was very unusual to see someone in their twenties with liver cirrhosis.

"Now it is quite common for liver units to have young people in their twenties dying of liver disease because they started drinking so early.

"That has really affected the average age of death from any liver disease. It is now 57 years, when it used to be in the high 60s. "

The full article is at :- eveningtimes.co.uk/news/132...

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Yeh, I have been study Liver Disease for about 20 months now. Still average age of 57 is high.

Luckily I never got into the daily drinking, but I probably would have if my hang overs werent so bad. I dont have any signs of serious Liver disease, they did find a tiny amount of fat above normal. Im 40 and was generally a weekend drinker.


Hi...I just replied to you're question about 0.5% beers & checked your background & just noticed you saying you were born prem, did you have any blood treaments ie transfusion or mini transfusion? the only reason I ask is that is was happened to me when I was born and I discovered just over a year ago that I have hep c and consiquently liver cirrhosis, the virus possibly could of come from the blood treatent I had at birth (as theres no other risk factors in my past) ....I'm assuming they have checked you for hep c, if they haven't then get a test (very treatable these days thanks to new meds)...sorry if this has already been mentioned

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This is no help to you Khud, just questions for those who know a lot more than me. Can anyone explain the numbers and letters systems the med profession use to me. I'm useless. The stages of things like cirrhosis, liver disease I can't even pronounce ascetites Even I understand what end stage means but things like fibrosis etc. not only do I not understand half of the abbreviations you lot use but I've no idea what numbers or letters are 'normal'. I have to keep looking them up, and I'm not particularly computer minded so by the time I've messed around finding what I'm looking for, I've lost where I was, and my mind is muddled enough as it is with this fxxxxxxg disease.

If anyone can help I'd be much obliged - basically I need to know a website that has a list for every part of liver disease and things associated with it, unless someone can list them off the top of their bonce which wouldn't suprise me with some of you lot! I know there are tonnes of linked diseases, but just the most commomn would be brilliant.


Jill (Big Spuds)


as my fellow posters have stated the key thing is to stay off alcohol which will give you the best chance of liver stability and possibly improvement. Alcohol on a cirrhotic liver will result only in a downhill spiral on a regular basis. Look at diet as well if you have issues with salt/fats and vitamin deficiency.

all the best



Do you mind me asking if you have symptoms and what they are?



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