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British Liver Trust
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Scared newbie


I'm new here. I have been heavily drinking regularly for over 15 years. I'm 35 year old female. I need to get a full blood screen done tomorrow because I've been having a throbbing sensation in my left leg and I'm going on a long haul flight at the end of the month.

This includes a liver function test. I am absolutely terrified that it's going to show damage. I do get an uncomfortable feeling in my right upper abdomen and occasional itchy skin.

Has anybody been in this situation before? What happened? I'm so frightened.

Many Thanks.

9 Replies

Hello there, I too have had a sore leg for the past 2 weeks, although I woke up this morning and it is gone. I also then started to notice over the weekend a whole heap of signs of a liver problem - my eyes are a little yellow around the edges, my nails have that pale moon look, discomfort in area around my liver and through to my back, my stools are a light tan colour, I have a terrible thirst, sleep problems, tiredness. Even just writing these things down make me feel sick with fear. Anyhow, I went to the GP yesterday and he did a blood test (actually waiting on his call now) and I have booked for an ultrasound tonight. I'm 48 and have 2 little girls so this is just terrible. But of course, I don't know anything yet and neither do you. In fact my GP was rather skeptical and tried to say I was just being anxious. As you can see my list of signs is very long and yours isn't so i I am very hopeful for you.

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Hi, thanks for your reply. How much did/do you drink? I have children too, it's so frightening.

I hope we will be ok. I know now I need to stop though.


I was a binge drinker in my 30s, you know probably most weekends and few glasses of wine during the week. Had my children late at 40 and 42 so I guess those 2 years were drink free, but I had settled into drinking every night for the past 5 years, 3 of those - 2-3 beers/wine a night and for 2 of them (my father was dying with liver cancer - oh the irony!) I probably drank half a bottle of wine a night maybe more to self medicate. What about you? I stopped drinking 5 weeks ago, cold turkey because I was getting heart palpitations. I had my heart checked all seems to be fine except they found I have Mitral Valve Prolapse which is quite common and normally doesn't cause any problems. I know something is not right but I am hoping I am wrong.


PS I am going also going on a long haul flight at the end of the month and will be away for 6 weeks, so that is added pressure to find out what this is asap


Hello epskie,

Firstly, don't panic !

You haven't had the tests done yet, so everything, at the moment is all in the mind.

You are fortunate that you are having the opportunity to see how your liver has been coping with your drinking. Hopefully, it will show non or very little damage.

Whatever the result, it has got you thinking about your liver health, so that's a plus already. Now that you have begun to worry about your alcohol intake, this is the time to either stop drinking altogether or follow the guidelines for sensible drinking. You will find all of this on the British Liver Trust website.

You probably already know that the liver is a very tough and forgiving organ. Unlike other organs it has the ability to repair itself, to a limit. Go beyond this limit and you have serious problems. However, you now have everything in place to make positive changes to your life, which will ensure that you properly care for your health, especially your liver health.

That means, a very low or no alcohol intake, a good varied diet and exercise. All of this is there on the website if you're not sure what is a good diet or exercise. Clearly, if you are worried about your alcohol, that's a sign that perhaps you need to do something about your intake. That means, not tomorrow but today.

So you know that I understand where you are coming from, I'll tell you briefly what happened to me. Like you, I had a feeling that maybe I was drinking too much. Within a 14 month period I went from a diagnosis to transplant. I'm not typical, so do not worry too much.

If your liver tests come back ok, do not relax too much. You need to address your drinking, and now, delay will not help. Do not be embarrassed, the majority of people drink so it could be any one of us. Get the support of your GP, family and friends.

As for the throbbing leg. On the flight make sure you take anti embolism stockings with you, drink plenty of water and NO alcohol.

Hope all goes well for you and you have a wonderful trip.



That's such a great response Jim, and the advice is spot on. Seems my liver is fine despite me having a multitude of what I thought were danger signs. My LFT came back within normal limits and I had an ultrasound yesterday - where the sonographer said all my abdomen looked in great shape, my liver wasn't even fatty. I couldn't believe my ears I had so convinced myself of the opposite. But it has been the wake up call that I needed. My drinking had got too regular, and I haven't been looking after myself. Today I feel like a new woman and will never put myself in that situation again. PS this site is such a good one, people are so supportive. Good luck epskie, I am sure you will be fine too, but time now to take care of you.



Welcome to the forum.

It may be a good idea to have a discussion about your drinking with your own GP.

If you are, or have ever been, alcohol dependent or an alcoholic, discuss

this with your doctor. In these circumstances it is important to get medical

help to give up drinking, as stopping suddenly can, in some cases, lead to

severe withdrawal symptoms, including hallucinations and seizures. There

are many sources of support and help they can give you or direct you to.

Your GP will also be able to invesigate your symptoms and order the tests that you may need.

You are not alone, there are many followers on the forum who have overcome their alcohol problems to lead happy and healthy lives. Hopefully your GP can offer you the guidance and support that you need.

Warm wishes,



Hi Epskie

Sorry to hear you are feeling so much fear at the moment. It's an awful feeling and I have huge sympathy for you. Other replies have offered good advice and guidance about what the liver function tests may or may not mean or reveal. I sincerely hope that the tests are all normal.

However, it sounds from your post like you are unhappy with the amount you are drinking. And if you're not happy with the amount you're drinking then it's probably too much and you may be struggling to keep control. If I am reading the situation wrongly I apologise and ignore the reat of this message

Earlier replies have wisely advised talking to your GP or other professionals about drinking, which is excellent advice.

However, if you want to privately explore other people's experiences of cutting down, abstaining, liver damage and more, there's a really great forum called 'bright eye' (Google bright eye and alcohol and it'll come up). When I was wrestling with the decision to cut down/cut out/continue drinking I found it really helpful to read other people's experiences. Subsequently I posted about my own experiences on the forum and got a lot of support. I abstain completely now, but others choose to cut down and drink moderately (though you probably know this is a hard path).

I hope that your blood test is fine and your flight goes well, but if it IS all fine, beware thinking of a clear blood test as tacit permission to keep doing what you're doing (I've been there - celebrating a clear blood screen with a skin full).

Sending you best wishes and strength.



Thanks for the responses guys. This is certainly making me address my drinking and I am Making some serious changes.

I've received a letter to say my blood results are back and I have to make a NON URGENT TELEPHONE APPOINTMENT. Now, should I be reassured that it's non urgent? Does anybody have any experience of this?

Many thanks

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