Liver recovery - any experiences?

Hello folks,

Liver noob here. I've been drinking for twenty years (long story, will tell some other day) but something really trivial occurred this weekend that prompted me to stop.

I'm now curious to know what chances my liver has to make a recovery. I intend to go to the doctor to find out what my bloods suggest about liver function but I thought I'd ask in here as well. I'm 46, somewhat overweight but consistently losing weight on a diet that I'm mostly sticking to.

A hundred or so units a week wouldn't be wide of the mark.

Interested in any experience (age when quitting, how it went).

All teh ebst


16 Replies

  • well first of all well done for not picking up that drink ! 100 units is one hell of a lot of alcohol plus depending on you were drinking and it's volume .you have not said of you have any symptoms As yet ? well I have cirrhosis.diagnosed 2008. I had awful ascites looked like I was pregnant with triplets .I was not eating so I was malnourished too .was given 6 months to live if I did not stop drinking .I was dependant on alcohol for a reason I won't go.ik to .I have to see a hepetologis on 28 Feb to see how my liver is .was discharged from normal hospital in 2015 .I hope whatever it was that made you stop will keep you off it .hope all goes well .

  • Hello Millie

    Thank you so much for your response.

    If I am experiencing symptoms then thay are still quite vague. I sometimes have dark urine and loose motions. I don't have any signs of jaundice or fatigue but six months ago I suddenly gained a stone and grew out of my pants, more or less overnight.

    Because of that I started weightwatchers but kinda' ignored the drink calories.

    That went well until last week when suddenly I gained two pounds instead of losing it.

    That's the seemingly trivial upset that - after disulfarim treatment and CBT - has caused me to simply stop. Who knew!

  • your welcome ! I was never jaundice just full of fluid .I think with total abstinence and a good low sodium diet and healthy eating I have a good feeling you will be OK .I was diagnosed with just 6 months to live and get its been 9 years ! I too was only 46 yrs old at the time .so yes your still young and have a long life ahead .keep being positive ! let us know how things go for you ..all the best linda

  • Well done on giving up. At those levels of drinking you will almost certainly have some fatty level although you may not have symptoms. 46 is reasonably young so I would say your chances are pretty good at getting that liver back into shape-good luck.

  • This was most valuable information - your message has made me all the more determined.

    Nice being called young btw :)

  • you're more than welcome

  • Hi I am trying very hard to give up alcohol too as I am concerned about my liver and have been drinking quite heavily for over 25 years I'm cutting down and hope to stop completely as I have been frightened by some of the facts I have seen lately.

  • Hi Pammie

    I've tried and failed so many times.

    I wasn't drinking to get away from any horrors in life - I started in my twenties and I enjoyed it.

    I've never felt like an "alcoholic" which is odd really, rather I've always thought of myself as a hedonist and somehow immune from the effects of chronic alcohol abuse.

    What always undid my efforts to stay sober was the following conversation I would have with myself: "I could decide to not drink tonight but whatever I choose to do, it will feel so much more fun if I'm drunk - so why wouldn't I drink?"

    If it is of any use - and I don't imagine it will be to many - what has stopped me in my tracks is a combination of dieting with a regular weekly weigh in (which means the calories i.e. Alcohol abuse can't be hidden for long, even if all you do is drink and don't eat) and having a friend who is on the same diet programme.

    I hope you find a small switch that, when it clicks, makes you as angry at alcohol as I feel now.

  • Thanks for your reply Oestnway I really want to try and stop drinking as it has caused me so many problems in my life. Bond of which I am happy about. I did quit for almost 3 months about 5 years ago but gradually started again I recently bought a book called Alcohol Explained by William Porter and it made so much sense to me. I am also trying to eat healthily although I'm not overweight. What frightens me is the fact that I drank so much for so long. I want to get a liver test but I thought I would go for around 3 or 4 months and then get one to see what the state of my liver is like. All alcohol has done is cause me problems so it's not my friend anymore. Thanks again for your reply I really do want to get healthy and feel good again. Like you I failed many times so hopefully I can finally do it this time

  • Hi,Its good that you have stopped keep it up, I have been a heavy drinker for last 11 years and moderate before that 25 years being ex an navy man brought up on free Rum and was diagnosed with a fatty liver last year.

    also was having trouble with indegestion and with checks found my Gallbladder was Full of stones (no doubt caused by drinking and what you eat) and ended up with yellow jaundice as some stones got stuck in my Bile duct which can be dangerous.

    result was i had my Gallbladder removed an operation in my case took 4 half hours instead of the usual 90 minutes.(which has now caused other problems)

    In answer to your question of yout Liver IF you stop for a few months your Liver should regenerate itself then just drink sensibly,I know its not easy but in last 14 months i have hardly touched a drop,i don't really miss it but when you go out for a meal its difficult with everyone around you me and my missus drink water(ugh i know)

    we don't drink fruit juices as they are full of sugar which is another story.I also tried drinking non alcoholic beer and wine but i am told thats not good for you either,Let us know how you get escence we NEED to look after our bodies more everything in moderation,

    Trouble is most people don't hence other problems occur as a result of lifestyle.

    My mother told me IF you put your mind to it you can do anything and i think its very true.

  • Navyboy

    Thank you for the age info - it really helps put my situation into context. I would say I have been a heavy drinker for around the same period as you so your experience puts my situation into perspective.

    Did your fatty liver recover yet or that still work in progress?

  • Hi,I think my Liver should have recovered by now,altho i have not had any tests.I am eating well and am putting on weight again having lost nearly a stone before my operation.Due no doubt to me giving up alcohol(reluctantly) and strictly going on a low fat diet.My weight dropped off just doing that.I must admit i did not enjoy a lot of my food but it worked.Now i can eat what i want.

    A few months after my op my joints/bones started cracking or popping which annoying to say the least.It has not stopped me doing anything but i am wary of doing too much at the moment.

    I see a consultant next week so might know more by then.

    I am currently taking Glucosomine tablets 2000mg a day for my joints after recommendations.also Vitamin D tablets.

    My hope is to get to the bottom of this cracking.

    Hope you are ok,thanks for replying.

    As i said you can do anything IF you put your mind to it.Have faith.Barry.x

  • Thanks Navyboy it's kind of you to go into so much detail and thanks for your story. I hope I can do it this time. I hope you have fully recovered from your gallbladder operation. I will let you know how I get on

  • See above Pammie28.

  • Hi, I have cirrhosis and so my liver will never completely recover. However, I was given six months or less to live while I was in hospital, and this is my third year not dying. Sadly I began drinking again thanks to that lovely Ian Duncan Smith (losing my DLA and being refused PIP sent me back down into that spiral of depression) and I'm still trying to stop (being epileptic, my consultant went into outright panic mode when I suggested I went cold turkey, and told me I'll die from a seizure before I die from cirrhosis that way - so that's not an option). All the same, I have no ascites, no scarring and no varices - but I must stress that I am VERY lucky; I'm supposed to be dead, after all.

    There are various organisations that can help you with your drinking (please see your GP for information and contact numbers), and I would strongly suggest that you get the ball rolling on support and counselling before any of your fears are realised. Good luck! xx

  • I am sorry to hear of these problems that people have had. I dont think the politicians have any idea about the consequences of their actions and in my mind its all about money with no consideration to human suffering whats so ever especially as they all probably have nice private medical care that pays for everything and do not need to rely on the NHS.

    Anyway that aside I drank heavily while in the RAF back in the 80's and thought nothing about the consequences although I did cut down because quite frankly I went off drinking. Up untill last November I was classed as tee total even though I drank about 2 glasses of wine a month. I thought it would be easy to go completely tee total which it was before untill I was told no you can not drink anymore. It is hard. I still do like to enjoy the odd glass of wine but I can no longer do that.

    Please do try and stop drinking if you can. Ask your friends and family to help as well. As for fruit juices yes I fell foul of that one too. I am diabetic so sugar is obviously bad. I was drinking far too much juice which was sending my glucose levels through the roof. If you check the cartons you will see that most fruit juice is high in sugar however in moderation pure squeezed orange juice is lower in the sugar count. Check out the traffic light warning messages on the sides of containers. Stay clear of red and use in moderation anything that is amber. Green should be ok.

    Stay healthy

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