Can I damage my liver in 6 months?

I am 43, always been healthy. I had my blood work done on March 29, 2017 and my liver functions were perfect along with everything else.

I drink two or three drinks per night. Either wine or vodka and seltzer water. Only at night while watching TV. During the day I drink just water.

I have had some burning sensation under my right rib cage for about a week or two and I am trying to figure out of I damaged my liver or just exercised too much.

Is it possible to damage a liver in six months from what I've said I drink?

Thoughts please? I really should quit drinking for a while, but it's become such a habit I don't know how....

Thank you

Mama G Bear

9 Replies

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  • I don't really know the answers, but I think you should go to your GP and tell them everything and ask for more tests. But it may help if you ring or email the people at the 'British Liver Trust' first. They host this site on 'Health Unlocked': ask their advice. There will be details on the site, of phone or email contacts to talk to one of their trained advisors.

    If you have been drinking this amount for a while, it may have done damage, but that doesn't always show in the liver straight away. Also the pain could be something unrelated, that needs treating, so I really think you should have it checked.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful.

  • Just to say that there are many ways to damage the liver, alcohol is just one of them. I was perfectly healthy, went to the gym, hardly drank and was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, the result of which is damage to the liver. Not wishing to alarm you, but be aware there are ways of damaging the liver that may not have occurred to you or your GP. Best to get your concerns checked out and put your mind at rest. All the best :)

  • Not necessarily in six months but you're slightly mistaking what the Liver Function Tests are telling you. The LFTs tell you your liver is mostly doing it's job, NOT that it is intact. You can sustain 90% damage to your liver and still have normal LFTs as the remaining 10% struggles to do the job.

    Go and see your doctor. The liver doesn't have pain receptors (although its surrounding capsule does and could be the source of pain if swollen and pressing) so the first thing they'll look for will be gallstones/digestive issues.

    In short, liver damage from drinking mostly takes longer than 6 months, but drinking every day doesn't give the liver time to recover so it is the best way to damage your liver. Stop drinking for a bit, see your doctor and if you get the all clear and resume drinking, give yourself regular breaks of a few days - ie not drinking every day for weeks on end.

    There are other causes of liver inflammation and damage which your doctor will check for if he/she suspects liver damage, but given what you've said it won't be the starting point for investigation and I wouldn't panic just yet.

    Best wishes.

    PS - Liver can recover from quite significant damage as long as it's not past the point of no return (ie after early cirrhosis - which is stage 4 fibrosis) so take it easy on the drinking regardless.

  • Thank you so much! I actually didn't have a drop of anything but green tea last night. I have to be smarter and stronger... I will definitely keep an eye on my situation and take breaks from drinking from now on. Not worth having major health issues..... Thank you

  • I do not drink but got cirrhosis from diabetes check into all the ways you can get liver problems. I was very surprised how many other ways there are besides alcohol.

  • Did not know this could happen! Interesting!

  • No I went to hospital for food poisoning they wanted to do c.t scan of my liver as a precaution. My blood work I have done every 4 months for my diabetes did not show any problem with my liver or anything else. I could not believe what dr told me. I said I don't drink specialist said you don't have to. Then I found out it came from my diabetes. There are no symptoms and I don't know how many yrs I had cirrhosis and did not know it. It is slowly getting worse. When I had first endoscopy they found variances veins in my stomach now I have varices veins in my esophagus. I take a beta blocker. to try and keep veins from rupturing. I have read whatever I could find about I it on internet. I have learned a lot I didn't know.

  • Hiya Mel when I was in hospital in Jan there was a lady opposite who was elderly and had cirrhosis from over 30 years of not following a diabetic lifestyle.. she was a lovely lady and I was surprised to hear that but her daughter told me and as she lived a fair way away I kept an eye on her and used to text her daughter to let her know how she was..

    so I guess I'm saying it took years and years to reach a crucial point for this lady but it shows indeed that many things can cause it.

    You take care eh x

  • "I really should quit drinking for a while, but it's become such a habit I don't know how"

    Get help to stop drinking, if you truly dont know how to stop you have a drinking problem.

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