I have been having some strange symptoms for the last 7 months and I've been a heavy drinker for a long time - I've always been afraid of this catching up on me and I feel now it has - I'm waiting to have some tests but I realise now how naive I've been about the amounts I was drinking and that I would be ok. I am waiting to have an ultrasound scan and the waiting is agony as I feel now my life is on hold. I have stopped drinking for about 5 weeks now (I have had 3 drinks in that time) - I never want to have another drink - I've also stopped smoking this year so I guess it's a big year - I just want this agonising waiting to be over - it's torture...

22 Replies

  • You've done three great things:

    1) given up drinking

    2) given up smoking

    3) had tests

    That's fantastic! The waiting is awful but remember that the changes you have already made are positive ones and after the tests are done, you will hopefully know what you are facing.

    Good luck and keep going. What's done is done but you can control your future decisions. That's valuable.

  • what kind of symptoms? how much were you drinking? keep us posted-once you get teh results-we'll take it from there-meantime-you've done the difficult bit by giving up the booze

  • Pain and swollen feeling in URQ / rash on my face - I went to the doctor a few times in the recent past and mentioned my drinking - I'm even under the gastro people and had a few general blood tests but nobody mentioned anything and I didn't push asking anything - I also had a period of unexplained vomiting at the beginning of this year (I vomited about 4 times over 3 weeks or so for no apparent reason - no blood or anything) - I was a binge drinker bottle of wine - not every day - or weekend binges, it scares me now thinking about it so I find it hard to talk about it right now - I tried going to AA in the past but it just didn't do anything for me and in the end I felt like I had my drinking under control and I tried to stay within the limits most of the time - I come from a family of alcoholics.

  • ok, you sound quite young-may I ask how old? It matters. I was drinking the best part of a bottle of wine a day for about 30 years +. When I stopped I had all kinds of issues which slowly subsided-took about 3 months by which time I was completely asymptomatic. Ended up getting fatty liver undurprisingly but its not the end of the world. You may be surprised how quickly the liver recovers-two weeks is a good starter with abstinence-take it from there.

    Loads of experience on this site btw

  • actually-reading again-sounds a bit like moderate alcoholic hepatitis which is certainly reversable in my experience.

  • hI there. well done on giving up the booze, it,s a long old fight. I resonated with your post. I also found AA to be not my cup of tea. Went to rehab 14yrs ago and left day 2. ( found it like Christmas a place I didn.t want to be doing things didn.t want to do with people cauldn,t stand ) Tried NA same gang. Tried A A ditto.I ,d never knock it if it works for folk that's fantastic, but it does seem like it,s that or nothing, Prob our backgrounds stiff upper and all that. I gave up drugs 12yrs ago on my own. and booze 9mths ago, ( with 2 slips ) Never give up on giving up. As you said, you are afraid of , it has caught up with me and I,m paying the piper, but I drank loads more than you (even allowing for you under estimating the amounts ) so try not to worry until you have all the facts. If you get tempted, post. The guys here are great. ( even the aa ones! ) If they start on just do what I do and take the advice of uncle rhemus to brier rabbit lay low and say nuffink. Not sure of spellings there, but you know what I mean, Take care and stay in touch. Yours anne.

  • I'm grateful for all your replies and really appreciate the connection on this site - perhaps the waiting is more agony than anything else but I do know there is something going on with my body and at the moment it seems all my previous drunks and stupid decisions to have one more are flashing in front of me and then you think - why did I do that? But at the time for a long time it seemed such a compulsion - and I never really got any help for it - yes they suggest going to AA and I did for a short while but I didn't want to sit in a 'disease' model for the rest of my life - I believed that I could nail the drinking and in truth my problem drinking became 'acceptable' drinking but now I'm realising that acceptable drinking does you as much damage than problem drinking and this is what is terrifying me. My compulsion was definitely leaving me slowly and surely and I could even very recently see a future without the stuff - I was really ready for it; but then this illness hit me and now I don't know what I'm facing - hopefully nothing too serious but I am very scared. My so called partner is the most unsupportive person on the planet and I've also been breaking up with him and I'm finding going to work very taxing as I'm feeling not the best - and the NHS is so slow. My ultrasound is on Tuesday but I'm wondering if this is sufficient to see anything - at the moment they are looking for gallstones - I'm not convinced this is what is wrong with me...

  • what you'll find is when you stop drinking you become aware of loads of other things the body's telling you as alcohol is a depressant. The u/s will show serious issues and even fatty liver. Some people get upper quadrant pain just with fatty liver. Not sure about the rash on the face-red wine can cause this but usually abates with abstinence

  • The ultrasound will show everything that is enlarged from your liver to your spleen all longterm drinking causes cirrosis sorry to tell you hun and women it damages us more ive been off the grogg for nearly 3 years but when the damage is done it cant be reversed all you can do is stay sober to stop it becoming worse, it will be a long road but you will get there as long as you stay sober.

  • Hi Laney day you have done so well not drinking smoking and you are now beginning to look after your health in your own mind not the alchohoic mentality wait for your tests and I wish you lots of luck. Annette

  • There is hope in hell actually, get help with your drinking, stop smoking , eat low fat, low salt diet relax and enjoy life for now .

  • Hi

    Firstly, most people that come on these type of sites scared out of their minds about Liver Disease from ALcohol are rarely as bad as they think.

    Most of the time binge drinking too much will give you some nasty health issues before your Liver fails, Gastritis, stomach ulcer, inflamed colon etc. Whilst its true some dont notice much wrong until they are in hospital with a serious health problem, it rare this would be their first hospital/doctor appointment/warning.

    Overall its pretty difficult to get Cirrhosis from alcohol and even more so in someone young like I think you might be. Its usually heavy daily drinking of 2 bottles of wine for a decade or 120 units a week for a decade, you dont get serious lever damage overnight from booze.

    If you could tell us exactly how long your were drinking for and how many units a week we can give you an idea

  • I think I drank pretty much from age 20 to 46 solidly in a kind of binging way - 30 units per week prob sometimes more or less - I had once a test coming back with elevated liver signs in about 2008/9; I did go through a period of alcoholic drinking where it really spiralled out of control around 1998. But it remained an issue throughout - in recent years I had become the more 'respectable' drinking a bottle of wine while cooking and my drinking was mainly done at home but not every day and I would have breaks but still...I appreciate your post and it is alleviating my worry somewhat and it would be nice if this is my wake up call; my kids are still young and I want to be as healthy as possible so I would say NOW is the time then to face up to my past and then move on into the future...

  • 30 units probably wont cause Cirrhosis. Its the amount of time you spent out of control.

    Having raised enzymes isnt where you want to be, but its difficult to say what your outcome could be if you have had raised numbers since 2008, its not a good idea to leave raised enzymes investigated for so long.

  • Hi

    Just carry on making your changes, try and watch what you are eating , maybe try AA again but best of luck to you 😊

  • agreed!

    I've found, in my own experience, that for most people AA was not right for them because they were not ready to get truly sober, and to change certain behaviors and life styles in order to stay sober.

    This DOES not mean that AA is the only thing that can help someone. Not at all. But, to be honest, it has the best proven track record for sobriety since 1935.

    But, again, to each their own. Whatever works for you and whatever keeps you sober. Because alcohol will surely kill you.

    I think until you have more testing done and actual results I really don't have any advice. Except to stay stopped drinking. Don't drink, don't smoke, and as mentioned above, normally a low sodium/ salt diet is recommended to those of us with liver disease.

    Fresh foods are really the best..for any body! :)

    Good luck!

    Try not to let your fear of test results rule your life and steal your joy.

    Oh, and try and be open, to any kind of help. Therapy, or maybe even religion might work for you. Only you can know that.

    I myself am nearly 8 years sober, one day at a time, through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have had one transplant already that is going to fail, and I've also had the new Hep C treatment (which worked, thankfully!)

    Cheering you on!


  • Thank you Kimberley - who knows, maybe I will give AA another try - at the moment I'm pretty motivated to stay sober by how I'm feeling right now but this could change - I'm still friends with a lot of them from the East End chapters on Facebook and I did love my local meeting. I'm glad you have been 8 years sober - I think I will seek out stuff as time goes on as I'm very determined this time that I want to quit and stay quit no matter what - had a Sunday roast last night without the lashings of wine and it's so much better...thanks for the support.

  • I have to say...great advice from dckimberly 😊

    I drank alcoholicly for some time, 3 bottles of wine a day. Under duress from my family, I eventually agreed to go to an AA meeting at the beginning of December 2006. I hated it...thought it was a cult, the God word was everywhere and I did exactly the opposite to what was recommended ie I listened to the differences and not the similarities. So, as I hadn't reached the 3 bottles of vodka a day, never been arrested bla bla I returned home and told my unsuspecting family that the people at AA said I wasn't alcoholic because of all the differences! Truth is, I wasn't ready to stop, it was coming up Christmas and AA wasn't going to spoil my celebrations. And so I continued to drink until the beginning of March 2007, at which point that wine had succeeded in taking me to my knees. I decided to give AA another try and, for me, it was the best thing I have ever done 😊

    I had my last bottle of wine on 8 March and arrived sober and scared to the meeting on 9 March 2007. I haven't drank since and I can't take all the credit for that. I was shown so much love and support and it amazes me still today that I found spirituality in those rooms. I was spiritually bankrupt when I arrived! Yes, there's always going to be people who irritate you, especially the preachers! But I've learned to just walk away from those I don't particularly like 😉

    It's a difficult journey alone, whilst I feel we all tend to be quite strong willed (I know I am!) sometimes it's just nice to know the support is there. Maybe it would be worth another try...remember you take from it what you want.

    Wishing you luck on your journey from one very grateful and proud member of AA 😊

    Jacqui x

  • I went for my ultrasound today and ended up in a state but the guy who did the scan divulged to me that he couldn't see anything untoward - no gallstones or anything no nasty looking bumps and everything seemed normal - this was during the examination...I guess I should be happy but I just feel numb because my symptoms are making me feel so poorly - I had just about gotten to grips with my IBS (which caused me over the years so many symptoms - but NONE like the ones I have been experiencing since October 2015 AND which have been getting increasingly worse) - so I don't know what to do now...I still think I need to work on my lifestyle anyway and I'm definitely now feel I have got a licence to start drinking like I was...too many things I have read on this forum have put me off...however I still feel absolutely awful with very bad flu feelings - pain in the left abdomen which radiates out towards the kidneys - the pain is very bad and pretty constant...what do I do now? Is there any other tests I could pursue? Does an ultrasound always give a definitive answer to these kind of problems? I honestly feel so poorly...this is crazy.....

  • I'm meant to say definitely NOT feeling I have a licence to start drinking again

  • good news on the U/s to be honest I'm not surprised. Did you do a full blood panel before the U/s-I'm assuming yes because they normally dont send to the u/s without some blood indicators. AS someone else has stated the u/s picks up abnormalities/swelling etc it may nor pick up all liver disorders. If it was something more sinister the bloods should pick it up. You may have a kidney issue who knows?

  • LaneyDay, I have quite a bit of experience with fatty liver, gallbladder disease and pancreatitis. I'm diabetic and so fatty liver and gallbladder disease go along with that, been dealing with both for a few years now, not fun. And my mom has chronic pancreatitis so I know all of her symptoms and have done extensive reading on the disease. Because she has pancreatitis and I have diabetes, off-and-on fatty liver and gallbladder disease I'm at a much higher risk for pancreatitis as well.

    BTW, I have had a gazillion ultrasounds and only 2 of them ever showed any gallstones and were seen by the same technician both times. He knows how to find gallstones and he spends alot more time with a patient than a normal technician. So you could have a gallbladder problem, it just doesn't show up on ultrasound.

    You said you have pain in your upper left abdomen, or is it in your upper right quadrant? And also chronic diarrhea? Does the pain bore through to your back at all?