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British Liver Trust
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Concerns over liver health

Hi. I'm hoping to find some peace of mind/support here. I've been consuming alcohol over the past 6 years. A few months ago I started experiencing abdominal pains (after our summer holiday where alcohol consumption was elevated) and so i started taking liver supplements plus milk thistle. The pain is on/off and hasn't been every day. Lately I have been cutting down, drinking healthy smoothies and exercising. I'm driving my husband insane because I have fears that I'll end up with liver disease or liver cancer. Lately it's become a bit obsessive. I managed to abstain 2 years ago for a period of 3 months then something triggered it and I haven't been longer than a week without. My latest concern is development of what seems to be terrys nails. I do eat healthily and drink water. Use crystals and practice other healing therapies. I just need some advice/help/ so that I don't lose my mind over this. I feel too embarrassed to go to the Dr's. I took a home liver test about 2 months ago and it was normal. Any comments/support welcome. Thank you.

6 Replies

You could have a blood test to see what your liver enzymes levels are. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and why you want this done. I have read on this forum that these tests are not always conclusive; however, if your liver enzymes were high then that would certainly give you a better idea. I'm in my 60s, have been living a very holistic life for years, hardly ever had a drink, and the strongest drug I ever took was ibuprofen on very rare occasions. Now, almost a year ago, I was diagnosed with AIH, autoimmune hepatitis, so drinking alcohol doesn't automatically mean you will get a liver disease just as living healthy all your life doesn't mean you won't get a liver disease. However, I think it is good for you to eat nutritious foods, drink the milk thistle tea, and continue using whatever other healing practices you are. But to set your mind at ease, please go to the doctor, explain your concerns and have whatever tests he/she feels is appropriate. Good luck. I wish you well.


You should get yourself to the doc.

If it actually is a problem with your liver then you need to get it seen to asap. With the best will in the world crystals and tea aren't going to fix anything by themselves if there's a real problem.

If you go to the doc, have the tests and it turns out there's no problem then just imagine how reassured you'll be!

Either way, well worth a few moments of embarrassment at the doc (not that I think you SHOULD be embarrassed, of course, for seeking medical advice about what is clearly a genuine medical concern).

Book an appointment. Do it today.



Welcome to the forum.

Based on the information that you have shared, it may be a good idea to make an appointment at your GP's and discuss your alcohol intake and worries about your liver. The GP will not judge you and will be very used to talking about these concerns.

The Gp can order a liver function blood test which looks at enzymes in your liver and can give an indication of liver function. They can also refer you for a scan to get a comprehensive overall view of your liver. They can also examine your nails and you can discuss any other symptoms that are concerning you.

The British Liver Trust have a number of publications that you may find useful to read prior to seeing your GP. Here are the links to Alcohol and liver disease and liver disease tests explained;



I note that you mentioned you have been taking milk thistle, The British Liver Trust does not recommend the use of any homeopathic or herbal remedies for those with any liver problems as these have to be processed by the liver and can actually damage the liver and lead to severe illness.

More research needs to be done on the use and safety of such remedies and therapies.

Homeopathic remedies are unregulated in the UK and concentrations of active ingredients vary by brand purchased. If you are considering using complementary or alternative remedies &/or therapies please always discuss this with your liver doctor or GP first. Here is the link to our page on Complementary & Alternative Medicines;


We hope that is helpful, should you wish to talk the helpline is open 10-3pm Monday to Friday on 0800 652 7330

We hope you find the forum a supportive place to visit,

Warm wishes,



You need to give up alcohol for good. Don't let it get to bad. Good blood results doesn't necessarily mean a healthy liver.


completely giving up alcohol was the only way for me but then everyone is different but at least you would then be able to rule alcohol out completely as any sort of cause x


I don't want to pour cold water on anything you are doing, whatever works eh? but you are still clearly worried, go to the gp, praps they can offer some peace of mind. I was anxious and embarrassed and frankly scared of knowing the truth but now I have the diagnosis of cirrhosis and have finally accepted it I can see a way forward of dealing with it, with professional support. On my own, I would have buried myself under a mountain of boxes of wine, I was mainly trying to hide facts from myself and my family as frankly I felt worthless and that I had brought this upon myself from years of drinking heavily. I am not an alcoholic just a now ex-heavy drinker, but I have adapted and will carry on with my new lifestyle, being hugely bloated, jaundiced was not a good look for me and that was just on my good days when I had an attack. I see now that the choice to seek help was always there I just didn't realise I needed it for a long time.

This site has proved a great support for me, as I hope it will for you, although I sincerely hope that you won't need it !!

All the best, positive thoughts going out to you .........

Lottie x


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