Help : I'm new on here I'm 40 years old... - British Liver Trust

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Vernon1945 profile image

I'm new on here I'm 40 years old been drinking for 18 years but the last 10 years have great out of hand . I've had months off then start again . 20 to 30 cans of strongbow in a 24 hr period Is easy done . had relationship break downs I've got 5 kids 2 are still babies . lost my dad to cancer 16 years ago and I'm worried I've got cirrhosis of the liver . my finger nails some of them are starting to go a lot lighter at bottom . I had lft abt 10 weeks ago and all was fine but I had been off the drink for a few weeks . I'm really worried I'm sat having a drink right now and crying thinking about dying .I suffer with anxiety with everything as it is . I've always been an 8 can a night person since I was 22 . it's this fingernail colour change at the bottom . been docs said not to worry booked in for blood tests in a few weeks . I've been thru delirium tremors , hallucinations everything apart from seizure .

43 Replies

Hi Vernon1945, welcome to the forum. I guess the first thing to say is well done on actually acknowledging you have a problematic drinking habit - realising you have an issue is the first step in improving things going forward.

The quantity you have been drinking could definitely have impacted on your liver and the first step is obviously to tackle your consumption and establish the current state of your liver. You need to fess up to your doctor telling him/her how much you have been drinking and request further tests to check the health of your liver.

Finger nails can go pale with a condition called 'Terry's Nail's' however liver doctors no longer use these as a diagnostic tool. You probably need an ultrasound scan or fibroscan of your liver. Normal Liver Function Tests can happen even with cirrhosis (my hubby has auto-immune related cirrhosis and next to normal LFT's). Having repeat blood tests in a few weeks following a period of sobriety might help too.

Your alcohol intake has already caused you some issues with the symptoms you have described. Details on how alcohol can affect your liver is detailed on the British Liver Trust website at :-

With a young family you definitely to change your life around to make sure you are around for their future. Seek the help you need and hopefully you can reverse any damage to your liver going forward.

All the best, Katie

Vernon1945 profile image
Vernon1945 in reply to AyrshireK

I've not got ascites or anything no jorndus. or anything . I've stopped for over 6 months on a few occasions . if it was full blown cirrhosis I'm quite sure I would know abt it is just hoping it's not too late . I've been battling with this addiction for years . and admitted to my GP and family I've got a problem . i never get drunk drunk because of my tolerance to it .

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to Vernon1945

This is what you need to establish, what state is your liver in?

I have no expertise in alcohol induced liver illness, my hubby has cirrhosis despite being t-total (due to auto-immune hepatitis). He doesn't have jaundice or ascites but does suffer from disrupted sleep pattern, hepatic encephalopathy symptoms of confusion etc. & previously suffered a major upper GI bleed and 42 varices in his oesophagus. Many people have damaged livers without realising it and sadly it is becoming more common due to fatty liver disease due to the poor western diet.

Establish where your liver is at and adapt the necessary lifestyle changes needed to look after your liver going forward.

Wishing you all the best.

Ah yes, you are getting very drunk. If you blood alcohol level was measured, you would be determined extremely drunk. You are young enough to create an entirely new life. What are your children doing while you drink so extremely much? I got sober at age 53. I went on treatment for hep c. The treatment was such hard drugs for a year I never wanted another drink afterwards. I am 64 now and dying from liver cancer in my liver and now its filling up my lungs. I drank tremendous amounts of booze. I longed to be like everyone else, free from that compulsion. Now I am and have been more than a decade, I have my self respect back. My children who are your age will not have to see me die drunk. I love being sober. I hope you tell them more than you realize you have a problem, I hope you can decide whatever it takes you want soberity. I hated myself as a drunk. Almost no one knew I drank so much. Alcoholics can be intelligent, successful, normal human beings then we hide and drink and bare the remorse of it all while our health fails and we privately feel the biggest loser around. Self respect is the dearest thing we work for in life, its work done for everybody not just ourselves. I wish you luck and a truck load of strength to tackle your burden. Its very rare fir anyone to get free of such a huge addiction. Your body is used to running on sugar now, it may help to pass on booze and eat tremendous amounts of fruit and fruit juice to fuel your brain so it stops with the craving of booze.

My children never seen me drunk . my partner or x partner because she was violent towards me . I can stop drinking quite easily which I have in the past I've got a high tolerance to drink I could have 10 pints and go to work and nobody would know I had been drinking . yes I know what your saying and it's something I've been dealing with over the last 10 years . I will sort this it'seems been a bad year for me .

Children know everything even without seeing it. Good luck.

I read and re-read your post and what resonated with me was your words "I'm really worried I'm sat having a drink now and crying thinking about dying". It brought back the horrible memories of where my drinking took hell. I shed more tears than I care to remember.

There was nothing glamorous or enjoyable about my drinking at the end. It was the loneliest existence, behind closed doors, thinking I was hiding it from my family, afraid of everything, filled with anxiety, sadness, hatred for myself, pure hell on earth.

To the outside world I had the perfect life, my own business, a lovely husband, 3 beautiful children, yet on the inside I felt like I was dying, sinking with this dreadful addiction and couldn't see a way out. I drank on my feelings, especially anxiety, and little did I know that my solution, alcohol, was, in the end, the cause of the anxiety. A lot of our drinking is fear based, an attempt to control anxiety yet it just fuels these feelings and intesifies them.

Acknowledging you have a problem is a move in the right direction, the next step is to take control of this problem by seeking help. And there is so much help out there, via your GP, Alcohol and Addiction Services and my lifesaver AA.

You may need help physically to cease drinking by means of a detox programme to prevent seizures etc. AA is a wonderful organisation for emotional support and encouragement, which is vital in learning to cope with life without the need for alcohol to change the way you feel.

Please do it for yourself to improve your quality of life, you will reap the rewards, as will your children.

Wishing you luck, I hope you find the solution, then you will know peace.


I've got my detox tablets here I don't need them because I'm not drinking . but once I start I can't stop due to things that have happened this year . I feel so alone and I'm fighting it the best I can . it's a wake up call just hope it's not too late

Believe me it's never too late to stop.

All your feelings are normal, I know that feeling of loneliness, but remember one thing, a drink won't change anything.

Stopping is hard, staying stopped is even harder but with the right help you can turn this around and you will be amazed at how you find the strength to face life without ever needing to drink again.

Life's problems don't just go away when you stop drinking, they're still there, you just learn different ways of coping with them. I've faced many traumatic times in sobriety but having worked the 12 steps of AA I was taught how to deal with life on life's terms without having to use alcohol to get me through these dreadful times.

One day at a time I know I can get through anything without drinking because it doesn't help, it doesn't change the outcome and it doesn't make my problems disappear.

Sending you strength and hope.


I know that so much . the evils of drink . I hate it but once it gets you it gets you . I've gone over 6 months without a drop but once you have that first one it's back to square one . basically I can't ever drink again . alcohol that is . I've not got an off button when I start .I'm driving tea at the moment and just had loads of veg potatoes and some fruit . I've also invested in some milk thistle tablets if they work lol they are supposed to cleanse your liver

They say each time you go back to the demon drink it takes you further down.

I know all about that button...keeping my finger well away from it lol thank you! I hope I never press it again!

Well done on the great effort, long may it continue 😊

I'm so determined this time but I've said it before but I know now if I don't adress it now I'm not going to be here much longer

Life is precious, you can do it. Just remember one day at a time 😊

Willing you on!

Hi Vernon you've worked this out for yourself. You know what the answer is you just need help. Drinking is not doing you any favours. You're still young and have a fighting chance so do it for your kids if not yourself. My fellow posters have shown you the right road to go you just need to take it. It won't be easy but it can be done.all the best

Your words are so true, this is exactly how my friend has been through her worst times, the bottle her best friend, and now her worst enemy, the consequences now horrible, and also terminal. We have learned to take control of the medics input or lack of, as only we know our body and its changes in response to medicine/chemicals etc . Great advice Jacqui

My heart really goes out to your friend sooze and to you also, devasting to witness. Sadly, I speak from experience of this dreadful disease and when reading posts such as this the memories come flooding back as if it was yesterday, always a good reminder of where I don't ever want to go again. So cunning, convinces you it's your best friend, your solution, when, in fact, it's the worst enemy you could come across in this life, it robs you of everything. I was lucky to escape it's clutches, many don't. When it comes to medics, sometimes you have to fight to be heard, as you say only we know our own bodies. Both you and your friend are in my thoughts and prayers. Jacqui xx

I numbness in the feet etc but it goes after I've stopped drinking . I get the itches like something under my skin when I stop but apparently that's your central nervous system getting confused with no alcohol I've got librium for withdrawal symptoms . but I'm OK no delirium tremors , just need to know I'm OK . hope your doing well

Vernon, listen to me. Take Jacquis advice, get help now. Any help, grab it with both hands wherever it is offered, A.A have on line support groups if you can.t manage meetings. (through the night also) If you don,t like A.A there are other support options. Go back to your Doctor, be honest. If they see people are sincere they (including hospitals) will help. If you are still drinking all the health care folk do is patch people up and send them out the door. You need a full liver blood panel. You need an ultra sound and fibrosis test to see how your liver is now as blood tests do not give the whole picture. The itching you are describing is your liver not being able to process toxins (one of 500 jobs it does) and so the body tries to excrete them through the skin. Check out pruritus and liver disease on the web if your interested in more. If you have fluid retention you may need diuretics ( wee tablets). Your diet is very important. I bought a really good pro.biotic to help get my digestive system back on track. The liver does not like salt which is hidden in most processed foods, so eat fresh as much as possible. Little changes everyday mount up, exercise also helps. I was interested in the bio chemistry of addiction/cravings and found by cutting out sugar after about 6 weeks my cravings for alcohol stopped. Of course I,m not a doctor and everyone is different, but doing the things I,ve told you about worked for me, although by the time I stopped I has already damaged my liver, I aim to stop it getting worse. Make that appointment with your Doctor, if you don,t get the support you deserve than change to a more helpful one. If I can turn things around then so can you. You have so much to live for. The alcohol is a depressant in itself, and hard to see beyond. But you can do it. Best wishes, anne.

I've rang 111 and they've told me to get to a&e as soon as I can because I feel shocking . spoke to a doctor and he's told me to phone an ambulance if I manage to get there on my own but I don't know what to say to them . well I do but I don't like bothering them

You,re not bothering them love, phone for an ambulance and tell them you,ve been told to by the Doctor. Please. x

Ambulance on way

O.k sweet. Remember to stress how seriously you want help, to get things sorted out. I,ll be thinking of you, let me know please. anne. x better let you go.

Bless you, I hope when you get to read this you're feeling a little better. I'm so glad you've sought medical help.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. X

Good post tilly

Really annoyed with the hospital the doctor turned rnd and said this is a&e . I said no shit sherlock lol . did my bloods explained everything to them all my results for blood are fine she said . I said no I want an ultra sound etc because bloods don't read into everything . so she said if you had cirrhosis it would come up abnormal on your blood results .I'm so annoyed abt all this that's the NHS for you so what do I do now I know in myself that something is wrong .

My advice, make an emergency appointment with your GP surgery tomorrow and request an urgent referral to a hepatologist, and don't take no for an answer! You read what Katie wrote, blood tests don't always show the full picture.

In the meantime, if you feel poorly again before you get to see your GP then call that ambulance again. That's what I did many times for a friend of mine and she was admitted, had tests/scans and had treatment. Don't be fobbed off, only you know how you're feeling so make yourself heard.

Keep us updated and Good Luck, you sound like you really want this, so fight.

Thinking of you.


I am going to believe me

Good, that's the spirit! Keep it up 😊

Hi there. I was sober..completely for over three years when I got truly sick. The Hep C I had did not help. My last set of liver tests were fine, 13 months prior to getting ill. All my functions were fine.

Then I ended up in hospital twice for overnight stays in one week. I had put on a lot of weight, was having chest and side pain. The ascites fluid we starting to go around my lungs. They had to start draining me.

You said you quit drinking for a few weeks. But your drinking now?

Only alcoholics have delirium tremors. I used too. I did have a seizure also.

Every day you drink you are lessening the chance for transplant. Should you need one.

You must have at least six months sober to even get on the list. And then know. They can tell. The doctors, I mran. There is no fooling them.

Are you going to AA? That's what I do. Stopping drinking is's staying stopped that's hard. So, lifestyle changes, getting support from others in recovery, working the steps to truly change on the inside..not only will YOU be a happier person..your kids won't have to live with worry, or fear. And they do, trust me.

We're just being selfish, focused on us, we don't see what it's doing to loved ones around us.

I'm sorry for the loss of your father. But you need to focus on not drinking. Hopefully you won't get sick like the rest of us.

I got my first liver last October.but I have to get re assessed again next month, right before Christmas. Because my new liver is failing. I am very sick again. Praying I can get another organ.

I don't mean to sound harsh or depressing..but please don't drink, and don't not drink for a couple of weeks prior to blood tests. Then you don't get true results. They maybe the same, or maybe different.

And, I really don't mean to sound cruel..but there are too many people on the list waiting, dyeing, literally, to get a donors organ. People who cannot stay sober should not get organs. It's like throwing them away.

Right now your worried..take that worry and do good, healthy things for you..AND your babies.

I used to sit and worry and feel sorry for myself..all the while making myself sicker. I would write things or call people, looking for answers, help & sympathy.

But I'll tell you what I was told.

Call me when your sober. Because until you are..none of this matters anyway.

Sobriety is not for those who need it, it's for those who want it.

There is great support and help on this site. There is also a ton of well written information that explains, the diseases that go hand in hand with cirrhosis, proceedures, surgeries etc.

But there is really nothing anyone can do for you until you are sober. And that is your one can do it for you.

Good luck.

And only have to stay sober one day at a time..soon you could have a bunch of 24 hour days strung together. You already quit so you could do those blood you can. And many of us suffer from anxiety, depression, ptsd, etc. we still manage to not drink.


Like an idiot in panic I had a few drinks yesterday not loads abt 4 pints . first one in a week I can stop like you say it's staying stopped I've just had my bloods done . I hope they do a scan that will tell the truth but in a way I'm frightened of knowing if you know what I mean

I can understand your fear but it's best you know NOW, forewarned is forearmed and you can work from here to make the much needed changes starting with getting some support to help you 'stay stopped'. As has been said, that's the hardest part but not impossible with the right help.

Good luck


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Hi vernon.

I am sorry to hear what you are going through.

Your 40 and have been drinking for 18 years..and all you have suffered with is tremors, hall, and everything apart from seizures? sorry that i say all because i know they arent nice , but if you dont give up all together its going to get worse, My hubby is 49 next week ( we didnt think he would last to see that), he has been drinking everyday for the past 31 years) he did take a break many years before i met him for 6 mnths, then a few years later 2 weeks, and then a few years later a week,,The longer he drinks the less time he is able to stay off the booze i met my husband 4 and half years ago.( he told me he didnt drink everyday first of all it was only when we moved into gether i saw how much he really did drink.

And when i first met him , he was ill now and again but i put it down to a bug. But the last 14 months he has gone down hill rapidly, i want you to know what he is going through which might help you to want to stop alltogether,, bare in mind it was only abut 3 months ago that his bloods were showing signs that his liver is damaged, up until then his bloods have all come back ok.He now has decompensated liver.

In the last 14 months, Hubby has lost control of his bladder and bowls on many occations, he is sick most days and in agony with his stomach, he has gone from 14 stone down to 7 and half stone, he looks like a 80 year old man, his legs and feet are swollen and very painful to walk on to which he has fallen many a time, he now has an infection in them,, he has nerve damage in both legs, and muscle waistage in his legs and arms. He cant remember things, he will ask me the same question 5 times during the day, hes forgotton how to use the toasting machine,and other things, he cant tolerate food anymore,even an oxo drink which he loves, he has bad tremors, his sleep pattern is all over the place, his personality changes from one day to the next(he is never violent thank goodness but there are some that are), He is very self centered (if im ill he turns it into a competition ) he was never like that when i met him, but drink makes you selfish.Hes been admitted on a few occtions because of being sick for weeks on end and eventually giving into going into the hospital , also brought up blood a few times, It really isnt easy for him or me.

You say you have 5 children? Think of them , how did you feel when you lost your dad? do you want your kids to feel that same heartache? A good friend of mine died last week from cancer at the age of 53 and his wife and children are so numb they are beside themselves.

Im not saying its easy to give up , i know from hubby that its not easy but get all the help you can because i believe you want to stop and admiting you need help is the first step wanting to get off it is the second step.

We are all here for you to help you but you will need some where to go to talk face to face with someone, Are you in the uk or the states?

Take care.

Vernon1945 profile image
Vernon1945 in reply to Hidden


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There is a site in the uk called adfam... on there is a part that asked for your post code and they wil show all the places that can help near you....

Vernon1945 your post is both sad and promising. Well done for knowing you have a problem!

I know it's tough when sh1t happens and you have an addicton, but you are stronger than you think and you can beat this!

Carry on focusing on life not death, what do you want to do?

Take your meds when you need to stay off strongbow - you can get alcohol free cider if it's the taste you miss - and eat well - Google what you should eat, ask to see a dietician.

Someone on here said caffeine (in moderation) is helpful and lemon juice and hot water is something most people with liver probs drink.

The liver as you know can regenerate, hopefully you don't have scaring, which doesn't heal, but even if you do, you can live many many years with this.

Take care xxx

I looked at my blood results and they were fine but there is still an underlying problem as far as I'm concerned . I was stone cold sober when I went as well . and doc said don't bother having your bloods done in 3 weeks with your gp lol she's writing to my doctor but I'm going to ring my doc in morning and explain everything .

Hi Vernon, I just lost my dad to cirrhosis in October and I see you are 40 and have kids. If you truly want to get sober than you can do it. Everyone is right who posted, YOU have to want it for YOU. My dad never seemed to want it bad enough (he would quit and then go back) until he was starting to show symptoms of a decline that could not be reversed this time. He quit 6-1-16 and wanted to live. He wanted so bad to live. It was the saddest most awful decline both physically and emotionally for him, for me, and his loved ones. What everyone said is true, it is an awful disease with so many terrible things that happen at the end. Things I could never imagine until I witnessed it for myself. Ascites, swelling in legs/feet and seeping, no appetite, confusion, irritability, insomnia, weakness, bouts of anger/frustration, muscle deterioration, no energy, diarrhea/can't control bowels, can barely walk to not being able to walk, can't bath without assistance, dependent on others for everything, loss of fine motor skills, kidney decline & eventually failure, bleeding-your blood can no longer clot like it should. I hope you get the help and support you need to stay sober and healthy. You have so much to live for. My dad was 63 when he passed and had a lot of regrets and it was so sad in the end. Then it makes me so sad to think of all the chances he could've got sober and all the near death experiences he had but always went back to drinking. Some people say addicts do this to themselves which I don't disagree that my dad could have tried harder but it doesn't change the fact that I LOVED him and I miss him so much. I just want to talk to him so bad. I am 32, my sister is 31, and my other sister is 24. None of us have kids yet and my dad would've made the best grandfather ever! Sorry this is so long I just wanted to give you another perspective as many people on here have a different story to tell. Keep us updated and best of luck to you.

Vernon1945 profile image
Vernon1945 in reply to Lperica10

I'm not a drunk I've just got a high tolerance to drink and I'm sorting it and my heart goes out to you and your sisters for the loss of your dad . I will be OK I've got to be x

Hi Vernon, I was exactly where you are now just 2 months ago. My only thought of escaping with any dignity was to get a terminal illness unrelated to alcohol! Like you I had tried quitting many times before, once lasting for over 6 months but each time it felt like I was holding my breath and I just had to take a gulp of air (alcohol) to cope so I thought. Then I was worse than before. Each time more desperate and convinced that it was impossible to stop.

This time feels different and I'm confident I can do it because although I'm not drinking, I'm not holding my breath either, I found AA and can breathe there through listening and talking. I never thought I'd go to AA, it seemed like admitting defeat (well, I was defeated) and I felt it would be shameful. The opposite has proved true to me and I feel proud of myself for the first time since I was a child, I'm 54 now. My 2 boys aged 13 and 15 are also so happy and proud of me, it's an amazing feeling I thought I'd never have or deserve. You can do it this time, I know you can if I and countless others can. You are not alone!

Well said and Well Done Richard 😊

My journey in a nutshell!

Thank god for AA, that's what was missing in all my other failed attempts.

Congratulations on 2 months.


Great post mate

Well had one drink in 2 weeks I'm having an op on my shoulder in 2 hrs . I feel a lot better . I've done with drink now forever . I've stopped before but this is it now for good .it's not worth losing your life over .

Richard02 profile image
Richard02 in reply to Vernon1945

How are you doing Vernon? Hope the op went well and you've managed to keep off the booze. Not easy I know, booze is cunning and will try and convince you that you need just one more drink before you stop or tell you that it's impossible to stop, or even tell you that it's easy to stop, so you'll do just that - tomorrow!

If you've managed to stay booze free (or not), do get some support from others just like yourself in AA. They won't give you sympathy but everyone will give you empathy, understanding and support.

Hope you have a happy Christmas


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