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British Liver Trust
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New liver disease patient I think and frightened

I have had abdominal discomfort symptoms for some time which have escalated recently so I summoned up the courage to see a GP today. She has ordered a liver function test, a poo test and an ultrasound scan. I have never touched alcohol and I am 65 years old. How can I get liver disease and is early death from it inevitable?

2 Replies

First off, welcome to our merry band - hopefully you will find a great amount of support here to help you on your journey.

Secondly, you may not yet have a liver issue, a set of liver function tests should be any doctors first port of call when you have someone presenting to them with any issue so that is a very routine first set of blood tests which will high light if indeed there is a liver or indeed a gall bladder issue.

Doctor is obviously also investigating the bowel with your stool test and an abdominal ultrasound will also look at all your abdominal organs.

Alcohol induced liver illness is only one way of having liver damage and there are many, many folks on here who find themselves with liver disease having either only drank at normal levels or indeed like yourself who have never drank at all.

If doctor does find abnormalities with your liver function tests he/she should then start identifying a cause or should refer you to a specialist to try and identify what is going on - this process can involve further blood tests, scans and if needed a liver biopsy (but we are jumping the gun as we don't know yet that your liver is the issue).

Liver disease/damage can occur from a variety of things from genetic issues, viral infection, auto-immune illnesses or just from general lifestyle factors - Non Alcohol Related Fatty Liver Disease is on the rise purely due to our poor diet which in general tends to have too much sugar, too much fat, too much salt and too much processing.

Hopefully doctors will get to the bottom of your pain issues very soon and you can take steps towards treatment. Until you know what is going on just look after yourself. There are people on here and indeed my hubbies consultant has patients on his books who are still going strong 20+ years on from a diagnosis of cirrhosis so no you are far from shuffling off this mortal coil.

The main British Liver Trust website has a lot more guidance and advice and is a great resource for finding advice on looking after your liver and more. If you haven't already been there it is at:- britishlivertrust.org.uk/

Best wishes to you.

Katie x


Hi Ayrshirek. What a wonderful sensible reply.

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