British Liver Trust
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Ascites due to liver damage

Hi my name is Michael. When I was 17 I had drug induced liver failure due to tsking a diet supplement hydroxycut. The doctors compared my liver to the twin towers and hydroxycut being the planes that crashed into them, it was bad. I was young and ended up recovering, 5 years later while taking another supplement it happened again. Second time around was scarier being older and taking it more seriously and not knowing whether you're going to recover or not without a transplant is scary too. The doctors have no idea what causes my liver failure but believe it's the green tea extract in the supplements. I'm now 26. My liver has been damaged, and I still drink alcohol from time to time. This past month things were really slow at work( i work construction)I was drinking heavily, 6 beers a day maybe 4 times a week for 2 to 3 weeks. I have started to feel so much pressure in the liver area and in the abdomen. I haven't touched alcohol in a week and the pressure has started to relieve itself and my belly has gone down a lot, even my wife noticed. However I notice if I push my belly out it feels so much better. Due to my last experiences, the thought of a hospital or doctor gives me crazy anxiety and depression. I'm not sure if my liver is enlarged causing me to feel bloated or if I have ascites and am already at the end stage of cirrhosis. I have no swelling in my ankles, just my abdomen is really uncomfortable. I don't know if I should take it day by day and avoid alcohol or if it's serious enough to go to the hospital. Am I freaking out or should I go get help

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I think given your history you really need to watch out how much alcohol you consume. I'm in the same boat, I was put on painkillers because I was injured in the U.S Army. The Tylenol in the medication gave me a bad drug induced liver injury, my linea alba tore because of it. I hardly every drank, once in the last 4 years. One here or there, probably not too bad, but the amount you said you were drinking i'd say too much. Once your liver was damaged, it recovers, but much easier to cause damaged again. At least that's what some top heps have told me. Also, green tea can be toxic in large amounts, I'd stay away from all herbal supplements with your history. When I got sick, I think supplements played a part too because I found out one I was taking had Chinese death cap roots, highly toxic to he liver. Just never know what's in them, they come with tons of fillers.

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Hi Mike. Firstly why were you on diet supplements? Secondly you MUST give up drinking completely. You damaged your liver initially and now you're chucking alcohol at it too ? If you can't quit on your own get councelling be it in group sessions or 1 to 1 which I believe to be more successful. See your doctor they will point you in the right direction.

My husband died in 2010 at just 54 years old from cirrhosis, kidney failure and bronco pneumonia all caused by alcohol abuse and whether you think you drink a lot or not, your organs can cope with less than you think. However if you quit now and for good, adopt a healthy eating plan and get plenty of exercise the liver can regenerate itself. See your GP now.

Good luck

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Hi Michael, it is easier said than done when someone gives advise to seek help to stop drinking. I am a recovered by force, due to my cirrosis, alcoholic. Meetings did not help me at all. I thought my problem was not that severe.

I drank because I liked the taste, and the many other feeling good effects that come with it. I am now dealing with some serious complications of early stages of cirrosis and THAT has been my motivator for never drinking again- the fact is I want to live a lot longer.

I have friends and siblings who drink a lot, yet don’t conceder themselves to have an addiction, while being unable to quit. My honest advice to anyone with the addiction is: don’t learn the hard way, family members who witness the severe bleeds from varices or other changes of behavior, don’t deserve the pain.

Listen to your body and make the sacrifice. Stop drinking, with help or on your own- you can do it!

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Hi Michael. Interesting you should mention green tea extract. I was drinking too much and ended up with jaundice and later confirmed fibrosis stage 3. I quit drinking and haven't touched alcohol since. But I while back I drank an enegy drink which contained green tea extract. It caused some serious itching and dark urine for a couple of days. The doctor don't believe that this energy drink caused the symptoms, but I am quiet sure it did. So I think if your liver is stressed or injured, you should stay away from green tea.

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As others have said, first thing you have to do is stop drinking. Get help if need be but for your own sake do it sooner rather than later. Don't wait for classic liver disease symptoms to appear. Once that happens, often the damage is done and there's no going back.

I was diagnosed with cirrhosis, 11 months later I had to get a transplant. Never had any symptoms until 5 months before transplant.

You should probably stay away from supplements but definitely need to stop drinking.

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I went in for a physical with my primary doctor. He said my liver is swollen a bit but he was more worried about my spleen? According to him my liver is 1 cm bigger than normal. He drew blood for my liver panel, tumor markers, and to check for diabetes, next step wo uld be my ultrasound. He also prescribed me .5 mg of Xanax to deal with my anxiety as I'm giving myself panic attacks every day. I'm working myself up at night about how I'm not feeling myself, and start freaking out thinking my liver is failing, then I go back to calming myself down telling myself it's anxiety to xalm down and it's a vicious cycle. It's very draining, I'm very tired of this, and anxious to know the results.

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Yes mike, my hepa doctor said spleen enlargement comes with cirrosis, now I will recommend to request to see a GI doctor to make sure you have not developed gastric varices.

About the panic, and exiety, I gues it comes with the unknown. It will, too, pass.

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Hi Mike if you can get some daily exercise into your life it will help with the anxiety. A good walk in the fresh air will do you the world of good.

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After your experience with hydroxycut damaging your liver I'm surprised that you took supplements again. Looking up hydroxycut on the web it has resulted in liver damage for some people & the makers responded by removing the ingredients that they determined were doing the damage. In your case with a proven susceptibility to liver damage from supplements I would never take another after twice suffering liver damage from taking them. I'd also stay away from alcohol.

Green tea by the way isn’t known for causing liver damage. It’s promoted by some alternate medicine practitioners as helping the liver in the same way as milk thistle but with neither proven as actually being beneficial.

In my case I've lived clean of painkillers for 8 months after suffering acute inflammation (hepatitis) of my liver as a result of long term use of painkillers. I gave up alcohol 2 ½ years ago after realising that even the small amount of alcohol I was drinking was damaging me. I feel a lot better now. My next blood test in a month will confirm whether I’ve made a full recovery. Once I’ve recovered I'm not going back to my old ways again despite being tempted because a seriously damaged liver isn't something I'd wish on my worst enemy.

Ignorance isn't bliss when it comes to the liver. If I was you I'd get an ultrasound & FibroScan done to determine what sort of condition my liver was in. I’d also live clean of supplements & alcohol for the rest of my life given the experiences you’ve had.

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There have actually been quite a few recorded incidences of green tea being linked to herbal hepatotoxity and causing liver damage (if it is over used!)

Here is just one article from the web on the issue:-

shape.com/healthy-eating/he...

Patients with liver disease need to be very careful of herbal remedies and potions claiming liver cleansing properties etc. as they haven't gone through rigorous testing and anecdotal evidence as postive effects are just that sadly. Even milk thistle has been advised against by many hepatologists as it can alter liver function numbers and even cause some liver harm.

Katie

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Well, you shouldn't neglect the possible hepatoxity of green tea. You are right it's promoted by some alt medicine practitioners, but so what?

In concentrated forms which is very common in all sorts of energy drinks these days, it can be dangerous. I quote the NIH in the US: "Green tea is a popular and commonly consumed drink and its extract is found in many herbal and dietary supplements (HDS). Green tea extract and concentrated infusions of green tea have been implicated in many cases of clinically apparent acute liver injury, including instances of acute liver failure and death."

On top of this I have my own experience with Green tea extract, I got seriously ill after consuming an energy drink on empty stomach. Now, healthy people will probably not have any problems with it, but neither will healthy people have any problems getting shitfaced drunk either. See what I'm saying here, if you have any liver problems, be careful with green tea extract.

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Mike beat me to the livertox website. When in doubt, livertox is your go to!

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