Fibrosis

Hi im new here . An icidental finding at an ultrasound showed me to have subtle fibrosis of the liver (the sonographer told me that). My doctor then called me with the results and said i have cirrhosis and what has my "drinking career" been like!. I have a hospital appointment this weds. I have no symptoms apart from feeling a bit tired sometimes and a slight ache in my right back tibs. Im hopibg its not too bad. I havent had alcohol since 1st jan. 😐

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  • Welcome to the page Alison, sorry you've had to join our 'merry band' but you'll hopefully find lots of support and advice on here as you begin your liver journey.

    You'll probably find that you will have to have a few more tests in coming weeks/months to establish how poorly your liver is. It is great that you've stopped drinking alcohol and hopefully once they establish what has led to your liver damage - restricting the cause or treating it can prevent you getting any worse. Alcohol is only one cause of cirrhosis, there are many others including ones where absolutely no alcohol has been involved.

    Keep in touch and any questions ask away, there are always folks who've been through what you are going through or in my case supported loved ones dealing with a liver illness diagnosis.

    All the best to you, Katie :)

  • Thank you Katie, its good to have this forum as support. Google scares me! I will keep you all posted on my results etc. X

  • Welcome Alison. It's scary isn't. I was same about 8 years ago, although mine wasn't alcohol related. Luckily my doctor caught it early enough and I'm on various meds and recent scans and blood tests show no further deterioration. The advice and support from people on this page is amazing so don't be afraid to ask anything but remember we're not doctors (although lots of knowledge here it is own experiences) so listen to your doctor and ensure you get tested regularly. Keeping off alcohol will obviously help and I'm sure your doctor will monitor you. X

  • hi alison, hmm I'm tempted to ask what was your drinking career like? also how old dare I ask? all these things are factors. On the plus side-a u/s scan indicating subtle fibrosis doesn't really chime with a cirrhosis diagnosis. As others have indicated u/s scans are are indicators rather than diagnostic. What's required probably is a fibroscan to give a clearer picture. You've been dry 2 months now which is a great start. Tiredness commonly reported with liver issues as are back aches but you can have this with fatty liver/hepaptitis as well.

    Stay off alcohol-maybe think about a multivitamin as the liver has nor been processing properly whilst under stress. Also, if the digestive system is working ok-that's a good sign. Get copies of blood tests and psot when available.

    best

  • Hi all thank you for your replies.

    I am 51 years old and have drank alcohol socially since i was around 20. As ive always worked full time and had two children in 1991 and 1995, i didnt drink much as i was so busy etc. Around 1998 i started having some wine in the evenings but not every night. Gallbladder removal in 2003. Around 2007 i had to sort out my dad who had dementia and i was also working ful time. Very stressful and sometimes id buy abottle of wine on my way home from his and drink it all. He died 2008, my marriage started to suffer due to my stress and im afraid i was out a lot at the weekends with the girls drinking. Marriage split in 2013. Now with new partner and we have few drinks at home and perhaps the pub once a month. So i think i probably have damaged my liver but only drank like the others and there were periods where i would not drink for weeks. But we are all different. Doctor told me my cholesterol and triglycerides were raised few years ago but just said to eat healthily and i had a follow up test which was ok. So i tend to think its alcohol. But will know more next week. I will get some multivitamins today. Oh and forgot to mention i was going through the menopause during the last 3 years so took HRT as well. Bit of a nightmare time really. ☺ sorry that was long!!

  • There are a few self help things you could try between doctors visits and blood tests to start improving your overall health and wellbeing.

    Stopping drinking and switching to a nutrition plan to lower your cholesterol would be quick to start. Some people research low glycemic foods, or Paleo diets, whatever you think will fit in with your lifestyle, lots of Information on the Internet.

    Also maybe take a moment to look at how you deal with stress. We all have stress, and things like parental illness and death, marriage problems, they rank quite high. We just deal with it differently and not all of us use wine at home or the pub.

    Some try meditation or yoga techniques for dealing with stress, again think about what might work for you and give it a go.

    I can't think of any health benefits to alcohol (all that sugar as well, yikes, plus the drain on finances) - and I don't think your liver gets any health benefits either. So have you damaged It? You've certainly stressed it, and probably inflamed it, but hopefully you haven't damaged it beyond repair, which is the "veiled" question most drinkers are in fact asking when they post on here.

    Good luck in turning things around.

  • Thank you Bolly for your advice which is a great help and i am going to carry on as teetotal as i do feel much better and more healthy. X 😊

  • Very good advice from bolly as always...your drinking history really doesn't indicate a serious issue but it maybe stressed as bolly says..and maybe fatty liver which normally mends itself with good nutrition and exercise

  • Another thing ...I'm getting increasingly concerned by GPS bandying around cirrhosis diagnosis based on somewhat flimsy evidence...have seen a few posts like this recently......

  • Thank you briccolone. I have to say the doctor was quite nasty really. Said i should be afraid as i have corrhosis. Tbh, if i find out its something different i may complain. Xx

  • look its always a possibility but based on your history and tests so far I would say the doc's being a bit previous...

    anyway-look forward to hearing test results-make sure you get copies of any blood tests..

    best

  • HI Alison

    Many drink a bottle of wine a night without issues for life. You may be just unlucky. there could be some else going on along side the drinking. More tests are needed to give a proper diagnosis.

    The ultrasound is not generally used to stage scarring, there still is a chance that it could be recovered, if the Liver is "Fibrotic" and not "Cirrhotic" I dont think the doctor has enough information to actually confirm Cirrhosis just yet, unless nodules were seen on the Ultrasound.

  • Welcome Alison

    I agree with the advice given here. Also, make sure you are tested for Hepatitis C as well as having full liver function tests done.

    I noticed you commented that you had your first child in 1991 which is before blood was tested for contamination for hepatitis C virus in UK. If you have had any medical procedure where blood is involved especially blood tranfusion before 1992 then there is a risk of being infected withHepatitis C. This is how I contracted Hepatitis C...not to worry you..but, it was not drinking but a blood tranfusion given to me after giving birth to my daughter that led to my developing cirrhosis due to being infected unknowingly with hepatitis C. You cannot drink at all if you have HCV.

    if your tests do not come back normal, make sure you are referred to a liver specialist...and, it has already mentioned here, an ultrasound scan test does not measure the fibrosis damage throughout the liver, or whether it is cirrhotic or not, but a Fibroscan does. This is a important test to help determine the health of your liver.

    Alcohol is a toxin, and like all toxins your liver (& kidneys) is designed to filter all toxins from the body. If your liver is not functioning well, the toxins can damage your liver further and have long term health effects...this may present as flu-like symptoms in many people, while others show no symptoms at all until they are cirrhotic. It's good you are not drinking. Diet and genetics are also factors in liver disease. Let's hope you are fine.

    Good luck.

  • Hi thank you for your advice. I will make sure i am tested for hep C etc. My appt on 9th march was cancelled due to junior doctors strike so it is now going to be 30th march. Ill post more when ive been there. X

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