Liver disease?

HI,

I'm a 50 yo caucasian male. A few months ago I started getting muscle twitches in my arms and legs when resting. Of course, scouring the internet always seems to make one think the worst. Of course, Parkinson's comes to mind...these twitches are more of an annoyance than anything.. fast forward to 2 months ago.. I felt "general malaise" for a few days and wondered what was going on. No real "symptoms" other than fatigue and malaise. I had felt twitches in my liver area once... then over time I could feel a slight discomfort there and in my lower abdomen on both sides. None of it was painful, just mild. Anyway.. another scouring of the internet and I have learned a ton about liver disease.

I have been a moderate drinker for years, mostly drinking 3-4 whiskeys in the evening. I never drank during the day. I did notice that I couldn't drink as much and that it was easier to have a small hangover in the morning. But I figured that was because I am getting older.

I'm going to get a full blood test and MRI to evaluate. However, I have scaled back my drinking to a couple of beers with a friend and no hard alcohol. I haven't had anything for the past 3 days and actually do feel better.

Do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone?

6 Replies

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  • Hi there Hydrakt. I can only speak from my experience, but I do have cirrhosis due to alcohol.

    I used to have muscle twitches and spasms, but these were due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Alcohol every day stops you taking on these elements and also stops the conversion of food into some vital ones.

    Try taking a good quality multi vitamin / mineral and see if it improves. Vitamin D worked well for me.

    But I'd also cut out the whisky for a while. Everyday drinking is what caught me out. Only strong beer. But the effect has been quite severe.

    All the best

    Matt

  • Thanks for the reply, Matt. That's some good information. I actually have been taking multi vitamins and supplements for some time, including magnesium. But maybe, as you said, the every day whiskey has prevented absorption into the body.

    When I began to suspect liver issues a couple of weeks ago, I stopped drinking whiskey and haven't drank anything for a few days now. I actually do feel better physically and am sleeping better, and it's only been a few days. The muscle twitches have also mostly gone, though I do have little ones occasionally.

    I'm going to get blood tests done soon. Does anyone know if blood tests can be false negative for liver disease?

    Also, you said something about beer. I don't understand. Do you still drink beer occasionally?

    Thanks for the input.

  • Hi,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Based on the information you have provided it may be worth seeing your GP and discussing your symptoms and alcohol intake with them.

    You could also ask for a liver fuction blood test to see how your liver is functioning.

    You may find some of The British Liver Trust publications useful to look at, especially 'Alcohol and Liver disease, Living with liver disease, Liver disease tests explained and diet and liver disease.

    Here is the link to all of our publications;

    britishlivertrust.org.uk/pu...

    We hope that is helpful,

    Warm wishes,

    Rebecca

  • Thanks Rebecca,

    Bloods are ordered. Do you know if there are blood tests that are false negatives for liver disease?

  • Hi hydrakt, liver function blood tests are ones which can indicate if the liver is inflamed, or not functioning well. Some are specific and some could be raised or lowered for other reasons not just liver causes. They will give a snap shot of what is going on at that moment. When trying to diagnosis causes of liver illness they can look at antibodies, and screen for viruses ( hep b/ c). You can occasionally have false positives in these tests. However they are able to do additional tests to check that if they find a positive result, I'm not sure about false negatives??

    In relation to alcohol related damage its surprising how much the liver can compensate, and therefore show normal or near normal results and then suddenly not be able to maintain the biochemistry. My sister had relatively normal liver function tests in the December, and she died in July with a totally cirrhotic liver, varacies, ascites. She was extremely unlucky as many people on this site have had big bleeds and recovered, my sister wasn't that fortunate.

    That being said I think its very unusual to have normal blood tests if the liver is struggling and if you also have an MRI you will have additional corroborating information.

    I hope you have managed to catch this at an early stage, stay off the alcohol and your liver can recover quite amazingly from even significant inflammatory states.

    Good luck and best wishes

  • Thanks Rebecca. I'll be getting the bloods soon. I have abstained from alcohol for a few days and will continue until I find out what's happening. Thanx for the info

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