Alcoholic liver disease : I drink about... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Alcoholic liver disease

Corwen64 profile image

I drink about 8 cans of 5% lager every night. But I need it to sleep. I've been diagnosed with end stage liver disease but I carry on. I went into hospital they put me on a drug called equilibrium sent me nuts. I function fine get up. Go to work but I'm moody tired don't know who to turn too and need help

14 Replies

Hello Corwen I can relate to the drinking to help with sleep I'm a shift worker who works 3 days than 3 nights so i'm always swinging back and forth. Years ago I got into the habit of drinking to help me sleep this lead to many years of over drinking as I became reliant on the booze to sleep. I have been sober now for almost 5 months and can say I'm finally starting to feel and sleep better, I'm not going to lie it's been a struggle I didn't sleep at all for weeks I still have trouble sleeping after midnights but the sleep I get is much better than when I was drinking. I too never had problems making it to work but now I'm in a much better place for me and my family. Good luck and hang in there you can stop drinking there is a lot of support here to help you

Take care


denbighshire64 profile image
denbighshire64 in reply to

thankyou boone84

I am similar with the sleep, I used drink "to relax" and now don't have that to help. Have you spoke to the docs about sleeping tablets? I know not ideal to take when you have liver disease but they will be a lot less harmful than 8 cans. I've not had a drink for a couple of months now and it is very hard, especially when I don't feel any better but I'm hoping that I start to improve soon. End stage doesn't mean the end, try and do what everyone tells me to do and fight, easier said than done I know.

O13B profile image
O13B in reply to Chris-harris

Your doing so well and yes with support and a good diet you can cope and improve your health and well-being. I don’t eat anything with over 1%salt (I cook everything from scratch and fresh, eg a big pot of stew - then I can microwave or freeze the rest) my bloods have normalised. I can walk much further (3 miles!). It’s taken me 7months but so worth the effort. Good luck remember I foot in front of the other makes a step, start with baby steps!

Corwen, I've been drinking most of my life. I've mentioned in a number of posts that people drink alcohol for a reason, but I've not heard of people using it just to help them get to sleep. I would have thought, that by abusing alcohol, especially beer and at night, you'd be wanting to keep getting up in the night for a pee. This could prevent REM sleep and might answer why your not waking up refreshed, and feel irritable and short tempered.

If your staying up late drinking because your not able to sleep, then there is a chance that your liver (which isn't working very well in the first place) is still trying to rid all the alcohol and toxins from your body. So it could be possible that your leaving for work each morning still having alcohol in your system.

There are a number of dangers here. When I used to go on a bender, I would drink until I fell asleep, and then wake up thirsty and start drinking again. What I hadn't realised, at the time was that I wasn't actually sleeping, but passing out unconscious. There is a difference between the two.

I would imagine now that your body has become use to this routine. So, you may have to break this routine slowly as your body is going to have to get use to the change. I personally would be looking at the cause of the insomnia. It could be that your internal body clock isn't working right, or maybe your life style. The internet and PC game playing can be a cause of staying up late and messing with the body clock. Certain medicines can cause insomnia, and surprise surprise, so can alcohol.

Do you have any other symptoms Corwen?

Finally I would say, that if you've been doing this for sometime and you now have end stage liver disease then the alcohol's going to have to be stopped anyway. I think in your case this should be done under the guidance of a medical professional. Stopping this habit needs to be dealt with urgently as your life clock is ticking away.

Please speak to a medical professional soon Corwen, and if need be ask (no insist) that you be referred to a specialist.

Good luck my friend and please keep us up to date with your progress.


O13B profile image
O13B in reply to

I agree “drinking too sleep is probably masking an hidden reason.

denbighshire64 profile image
denbighshire64 in reply to

thanks richard.iam in a rut and on my own.i dont need beer at all in the day or if i go away but i do need a bar if im iam reluctant to tell the doc.when i went into hospital they put me on a drug that sent me in a word mental voices ect very scared to do that again.its late now and drinking too feel sleepy

in reply to denbighshire64

Hello Sam,

I've been thinking about your situation and think a fresh approach on what might be going on here is needed.

What I'm about to say is merely a theory. As I'm not a scientist, healthcare professional or medically trained. This is therefore just an idea.

From what your saying, the way I see it, is that here you are, a person who has some mental health issues, and who is suffering with insomnia. You are self-medicating with alcohol in order to get to sleep, and are ultimately damaging your health and liver in the process.

I've had a look online (have to be careful as a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing sometimes). There is a strong link between suffering with mental health and insomnia. The Mental health charity "MIND" has a link about this on their website which might be a good starting point for you:

The lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on the body's immune system, which in turn can affect other conditions. There is some really exciting research going on into the workings of the bodies immune system by our Australian friends. I have mentioned before of an interesting article, which talks about the link between Immune System in Brain tied to Alcohol Impulses. This research is being conducted by the University of Adelaide so I feel it has some merit:

The other research that's presently on going, is the link between depression and the immune system, I've used a BBC video on my website which talks about this and this can be viewed at:

So to try and summarise, we could have a number of thing going on here all contributing to your present condition. It's well known that the use of alcohol has a detrimental effect on the bodies immune system, and in it's self can cause poor sleep patterns. So in theory, we could have a vicious cycle of events going on here.

So, where do you go from here? In the first place I'd go and speak to your GP again about your condition. Ask if he or she can make a referral to MIND. Sadly, due to the state of mental health in our country, MIND is really struggling to cope and in some places and there can be up to a four month waiting list. By having a GP's urgent referral, you may be treated as an priority case and be seen a lot earlier. Your GP will also be able to refer you to a local drug and alcohol support group in your area, And also the GP will also be able to support and monitor your weening off alcohol.

The last thing I'd recommend is that you go to the citizens advice bureau (with a friend) and re-apply for PIP Allowance and see if there are any other benefits you might be entitled to. There has been a tremendous amount of bad press lately about PIP and benefits and a lot of people who had their original claims denied are now having their claims re-examined.

I hope some of this information helps you Sam. Breaking this alcohol cycle is so important. It's only February, so it's still an early year. Just try to learn how to love your liver, and treat it with respect. If you look after it, it'll look after you.

Good Luck Sam.


Trust6 profile image

Welcome to the forum,

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.

Best wishes,

BLT Admin

Hi corwen

You might not like this but here goes..

You know I know and everyone else on here knows that if you don’t stop drinking it will kill you!! There said it.

Please please go back to your GP or liver consultant if you’ve got that far and am guessing you have due to diagnosis and ask for help with this, there are many groups that will help you it’s never to late you won’t be telling them anything they’ve not heard before,please don’t try on your own as you might need proper medical help to ease you off the drink and these people really know there stuff.well done for continuing to hold down a job but you might need some time out so your GP will help with that.

Best of luck my friend and a lot of people on hear will give you plenty of support so please let everyone know how your journey goes



thankyou.i wish could turn back time.still corwen but called denbighshire now

Dear Corwen,

I seriously hear your cry for help. Around three years ago I was hospitalised, jaundiced and diagnosed with early-stage cirrhosis. Finally, after not engaging with the local drug and alcohol services for many years, I thought that hospital was going to be my final destiny. It wasn't and three years on and of course without drinking, my liver has improved dramatically. Okay, bully for me I hear some say. But please hear me out. If I had engaged with those local services, in London there is one called CGL and another called Blenheim and I'd gone through a few of their irritating hoops in order to get a detox and then the bit that I really refused to do but dearly recommend you consider, a residential rehab, then things would have been different. This help is available with public funding but you do have to engage with the services. Love it or loathe it (and I admit I loathed going to those places) it seems to be the only way to get that kind of acute expert help and support that it sounds like you are desperately crying out for. If I'd have listened to my own advice I wouldn't have been hospitalised. Corwen, the old cliché says it's never too late. But it doesn't sound like you're going to stop drinking on your own. Get in touch with those services ASAP please. By the sounds of things, you need to get selfish and just think about yourself and your health, at least for a few months and it's gonna be bloody difficult to do alone.

All the best pal,


Dont let alcohol control you. You control the alcohol ! Looking back at the days i used to drink almost daily, thinking: "i need it ! Cant be without it" , is simply wrong and not true ! I just proved myself I don't need it, its all in my head. I prefer to be here for my loved ones and not destroy my liver while financing the alcohol industry on the way... Alcohol is a drug, and like any other drug I believe we creating the addiction in our head.

Be well and be happy !

Hi all, I am a care taker of my brother who was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis stage 3 in Feb 2017 with all symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy, ascites, nose bleeds, chest pain and highly fatigued. He was in ICU for 3months but soon after the discharge he started his drinking all day. He is on medication to control the symptoms and he is relieved too but still drinking alcohol day and night. I have no idea where we stand and what is going to happen next. I would really appreciate if any of you can suggest what needs to be done next. He was in rehad as well but started drinking again. He experiences severe withdrawal symptoms.

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