Need liver scan- quite worried - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Need liver scan- quite worried

ellegriff87 profile image

Hi there- I'm 31 year old female and I drink far too much. Have done for over a decade. I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm an alcoholic but I'm definitely have a problem with drinking. Sometimes I can go a couple, maybe 3 days tops without a drink but I drink most nights- and at weekends a couple of bottles of wine a night, easily. I went for some routine blood tests the other week as I'd recently come off the pill and it had played havoc with my hormones. While getting the test results I was surprised to hear my GP say something about my liver results being "high" and that I needed more blood tests and a ultrasound. I'm quite the hypocondriac- so this has freaked me out no end. I didn't ask for the exact readings as it was all a bit confusing and a shock but I know I'm going to end up freaking myself out in the meantime now, imagining the worst case scenario. How serious is this likely to be? Any help or reassurance appreciated

13 Replies

Hiya obviously it's worrying and I hope you have stopped drinking now. I was same as you with drinking and same age when I first started having problems but I didn't take the warning serious.

The liver is an amazing organ and if you have any damage then it can totally be reversed. I am sorry I can't give you any answers as obviously I not a doctor and I don't know what your bloods are and I won't be able to see your scan, but fingers crossed it's just a little bit poorly and if you look after it, you will turn it all around ... Be aware of your diet, less salt and fresh food and exercise and no alcohol and you can reverse any damage done x

Thank you! I will definitely take it as a much needed wake up call. My GP didn't seem overly concerned but I am wary of their nonchalance and always think the worst. x

I always think it's the worst now but then I better prepared lol and majority of time it's easily solved and I am sure it will be fine for you, just think about your future consumption that's all we are all over indulgent we just don't realise the damage what can happen x

Mondy122 profile image
Mondy122 in reply to ellegriff87

I feel just like you,went to doctors years ago with pain where liver is and after a few prods was told change your diet and after blood tests about 5 months ago told my liver is abnormal (not the first time theyve told me)i had health tests last year and about 2 years ago and was told same only this time they arranged ultrasound scan which showed enlarged and fatty liver so more bloods and a test needed for scarring,another month passes and nothing and im expecting a call in next two days from a doctor cos im sick of the lapse in attitude towards it and i want my tests so far explaining to me from a doctor and not a receptionist,yes I like a drink and have done every day for years and yes thats my fault but all i want is a doctor to talk to me and i want to know how much ive f@&ked up,google is the worst haha bah eck im panicking it sounds like your doctors is same as mine

Some relevant information from hepatologist Dr. Melissa Palmer's book 'Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease':

"Women are much more susceptible to the toxicity of alcohol than are men. It has been estimated that it takes as little as 20 grams of daily alcohol ingestion over an extended period of time for women to develop alcoholic liver disease. The amount of time that it takes for cirrhosis to develop is unknown. However, it appears that an average person must drink the above-mentioned amounts of alcohol daily for at least five years in order for cirrhosis to develop. That's right. A mere five years of excessive drinking puts a person at significant risk for developing cirrhosis!"

Half a bottle of wine contains around 35 grams of alcohol so according to hepatologist Dr. Melissa Palmer a female with a susceptibility to liver damage only has to drink less than half a bottle of wine per day for 5 years to have a significant risk of developing alcohol related liver damage or cirrhosis.

When I checked online the 'couple of bottles of wine at night easily' that you drink on weekends contain 140 grams of alcohol. That means that on weekends you are taking in seven times the 20 grams per day that Melissa Palmer says can put you at significant risk of cirrhosis. By my estimate you are taking in at least 385 grams of alcohol per week (and possibly much more). According to hepatologist Dr. Melissa Palmer it only takes 140 grams of alcohol per week drunk for 5 years to put you at risk of cirrhosis and you are ingesting almost three times that amount per week. There's no way to sugar coat it-you are drinking at dangerously high levels.

You are addicted to something if you keep doing it, despite the fact that it’s bad for you.

Don't worry too much over what I've written. Dr. Melissa Palmer's figures are a worst case scenario. Stop drinking alcohol now and the chances are good that any damage to your liver will repair itself.

at 31 you are one the can reverse the liver damage if you start loving your liver now.

loads of info out there here. the BLT.

if not cirrhosis can and often dose comes with other problems none pleasant

Hi as the others say if you start making changes now everything should come right. Bite the bullet and stop drinking and test again in 6 weeks and we’ll see what’s what. I’d been drinking for 30 plus years before I developed fatty liver- I’m 62 now but have reduced my drinking to hi days and holidays—suggest you do the same. Treat drinking as a treat and not an everyday thing might’ be one way of tackling it. It’s not just your liver you need to worry about anyway. Alcohol affects lots of things. This forum is the right place to be. Best k

You are drinking far too much and have probably caused damage to your liver but if you stop drinking your liver can start to recover. If you continue to drink your liver will get progessively

worse. Other organs such as the kidneys will also suffer. When you say you can go for 3 days without a drink, what makes you have 1 on the 4th day? Do you want a drink or do you need it? Answer yourself honestly.

If you can't stop drinking using your own willpower, see your GP about councelling be it group sessions or 1 to 1.

I personally don't agree with having the odd drink as a treat.... if you're putting something in your body which is basically a toxin, damaging to your liver and can potentially kill you, how can it possibly a treat?

My sisters "treat" themselves all week, and weekend, don't know how they do it?

in reply to patrick00032001


Hi,I'm, was an alcoholic the drinking path you are on is a mirror of myself there is a good chance you have a fatty liver,stop drinking now and any potential damage can be reversed, I have not had a drink for 5 years,yes I have cirrhosis but can honestly say not drinking makes me feel of luck.

I was very much like you but also had HepC which turned out to be a bad deal for me. Have you ever thought carefully as to why you drink? I was relieved to get away from it after waking up so many days, sick with hangovers and guilt of what i might have done or said the night before. I also had panic attacks and constant anxiety. The alcohol made me a social butterfly with no shyness or worries about what others thought, until the next day.

It's wonderful that you are recognizing this now before you make some bad mistakes and are wanting to take care of your body. Very proud of you !

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