Worried about liver damage

Hi,

I have been on a month long alcohol binge at least 10 pints of beer a day, and have a past history of alcohol binges. I had a fibroscan done about two years ago which was fine. My question is could I have developed cirrhosis after a month of drinking this heavily? I am very worried and tapering off the alcohol to avoid withdrawals. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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12 Replies

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  • I guess anything is possible; but more likely the build up of the last 2 years + maybe....im not sure. I expect you are panicking now as you are tapering off and your anxiety is bound to be very high. Do you have any cirrhosis type symptoms? Whether you do, or don't...focus first on coming off. If you have had bad withdrawal before, it may be a good idea to go to your GP ; request urgent appointment; and request some diazepam to help you. Some will give it. Once you have detoxed, get some new blood tests done maybe, see if you need vitamins and spend your sober time thinking about what you want to do from here on. Maybe its time to rethink things. Cirrhosis is a nasty disease to have. Good luck.

  • Thanks for your kind reply. No obvious signs of cirrhosis, but I'm not sure what they all are. I forgot to mention I had an ultrasound done about 5 months ago which showed liver of normal size but mildly fatty.

  • Ahh, i see; well could be oedema in various areas, jaundice maybe, acites (fluid in tummy); other signs too. So, it seems things were not too bad before, but mildy fatty liver can develope into fatty liver, which can develop into fibrosis, which can develope into cirrhosis. I would certainly suggest a long period of abstinence for yourself. See how your results this time go; Of course, its up to you; not easy to stop or even abstain sometimes, but try to think of your health, your future and your family. Do some research, you will find plenty of information on here about liver disease. That way, you will be alot more informed and be more aware of the risks/damage/consequences . Let me know how you get on, take care.

  • I'll start by saying I'm not a medical professional and only speak from experience, and a knowledge about liver disease. But if you had the US done and it showed a mild fatty liver then you already have liver disease, however to have progressed to cirrhosis I think would be highly unlikely in that time. It's also unlikely to have got any better as you've continued drinking, however I suspect you're way off having any irreversible damage.

    As susienna says alcohol causes anxiety. Focus on giving up the booze first and foremost and your anxiety about cirrhosis may subside.

  • Thanks for the kind reply, I'm not showing any overt signs of cirrhosis, but I haved put on a fair bit of weight around the tummy and backside, but I guess 10 plus pints of Guiness a day and fast food will do that to you. Also a little more of my drinking history. I drank heavily at university, then about 12 years or so ago I gave up for a year, then I would only have drank about thirty days in a year and these would be binges of say two or three days or seven if on holiday then months off the drink. This has been the longest binge in 12 years. I hadn't drank for about three months prior to it. Does fatty liver always progress to cirrhosis? Thanks again.

  • Definitely not. Fatty liver is completely reversible with life style. Eat healthy, stay off the booze or drink moderately, exercise. You know all the stuff that sounds easy but is in fact difficult.

  • Thanks again RodeoJoe, I know what you mean. I just read that all heavy drinkers usually get fatty liver. Yeah the difficult part is the willpower to get the monkey off your back.

  • Hi. Had a liver scan 14 months ago and all good. This week I was diagnosed with fibrosis and am having another more in depth one to check for cirrohis.

    Am so scared.

    Was first diagnosed with fatty liver and then hepc and b tests. Was shocked to find I had both. Pinpointed it to about 40 years ago.

    Don't drink.

    Will know next week. 40 years ago when I had a tattoo done, I took my younger brother and girlfriend. All got small tattoos. My brother died 10 years ago and girlfriend just before that.

    I think not being a drinker helped keep symptoms etc at bay but it's suddenly hit full speed.

    I wish you all the very best

  • Sorry to hear about the fibrosis, I hope the indepth tests show no further progression. Thanks for you're kind reply and I wish you all the best.

  • Thanks Marcoh, I think your being very positive and honest with yourself. It's only by being totally honest with yourself can you sort this out. There are two sides to this, there's obviously the physical side, but there's also the mental side to be considered. Something was telling you to go on this binge. Ask yourself what happened or what was different to last month as apposed to other months. Sometimes there's a logical reason, It could be grief, a trauma, Losing your job or money worries. I personal (unbeknown to me at the time) had a cycle to my drinking, I could go three weeks without a drink. Then drink solidly for three days, then spend three days getting over it, and then start all over again three weeks later. Once I realised there was a pattern, I could look for a reason for why.

    As for the health side, the liver is a wonderful organ and can be very forgiving. However, the amount of alcohol you've consumed, may have caused damage to the liver. A liver function test would be the first course of action. This is a blood test that will give some indication as to what state the liver is in. Further tests may then be required like a CT Scan or a liver biopsy.

    Good Luck, and please make sure your doctor orders up that liver function test. Above all, stay positive like you have been and be totally honest with your GP, they can after all only respond based upon what you tell them.

    Regards

  • Thanks for your kind reply Richard, yes the reason that sent me into this binge was the loss of my job and a split with my long term girlfriend, so at the start it seemed the best way to numb the pain, but now I'm dealing with them both and the drinking, trying to taper, I've always had a high tolerance to alcohol. I plan on seeing my GP next week hopefully and take it from there. Thanks again for the kind reply, it is much appreciated.

  • I don't see you getting cirrhosis from one months worth of drinking even with hepatic steatosis. Listen a broken relationship is not a reason to go back to drinking. I used excuses for why I needed to take pain killers. It almost killed me after a while, liver damage wont discriminate based off of the extenuating circumstances that caused you to insult your liver. If you had a fibroscan 2 years ago and it was good, 1 month of drinking wouldn't cause cirrhosis. It could cause your liver to be unhappy though, if you were uneasy two years ago to get a fibroscan and an ultrasound 5 months ago. Why go back to drinking? I ended up in the hospital from liver damage, still dealing with a split abdomen from when I was sick, no girl is worth that Marcoh. Get some lab work done and take it form there, if your labs look good, you are fine. Your ultrasound showed fatty liver and if you haven't drank in two years it would seem that you are genetically predisposed to hepatic steatosis. This can turn into cirrhosis down the road, drinking is just not for you mate. It will speed up the fatty liver process, since alcohol causes fatty infiltration of the hepatocytes. Then the hepatocytes become damaged from this and causes fibrosis, with end-result being cirrhosis down the road. Stop drinking, exercise and eat right, you should be feeling better within six months. Another ultrasound would be good to see if the fatty liver subsided if you stick to that regiment in six month time frame. A fibroscan may also be in order to get a KPA and CAP score. Nothing is going to change the overall prognosis besides exercise, diet and not insulting your liver with alcohol, Tylenol and OTCs. Just saw this post was 5 months ago, but will leave this up because it is good information for others facing the same issue. Hope things are going better for you Marcoh, have you had a follow up ultrasound or fibroscan?

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