Terrified and awaiting blood test results - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
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Terrified and awaiting blood test results


I know this is an impossible question to answer but could anyone answer whether they think I have severe liver damage?

I am 31, female, and for the past 6 months I have been drinking at least a bottle of wine a day, often 1 1/2-2.

Prior to that I didn't drink for 18 months.

Before that, I would regularly heavily binge at weekends and could never tolerate alcohol always drinking too excess.

I started drinking around 17, so that's almost 15 years of this pattern.

I went to the doctors last week as I have been having some very worrying symptoms - pins and needles on hands and feet, sweating, itchy, broken sleep, weight gain.

She did blood test to check liver function.

Since Friday I have also had pale stools, and my eyes look very slightly tinged yellow.

I am petrified. I have a young child and cannot function due to worry awaiting results which I was told I will receive on Friday.

Is there any way to determine the chances that I have severe liver disease?

I have stopped drinking and just cannot believe I might have done this to myself when I have such important responsibilities. I'm totally beside myself with worry.

10 Replies

Sorry the only way to tell if the symptoms you are having are related to the liver are the results of the blood tests you are awaiting and perhaps a scan after that if your tests are found to be elevated. You certainly have symptoms that could be suggestive of potential issues. Glad you've knocked the booze on the head, please try and maintain that as it's the only way your liver will have a chance of recovery.

Let us know how your results turn out on Friday.


LCSJ in reply to AyrshireK

Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it. I know no one other than a doctor can't provide answers, guess I'm just clutching at straws.

Will keep you posted.

Hi, I would ring the surgery before Fri if you're so worried its making you feel ill. I know all surgeries are different but mine has the results the next day if bloods were done in the morning, and the day after for afternoon ones.

The fact that no one has called you could mean the results aren't alarming. Please remember even if results are off that does not mean you've damaged your liver beyond repair. The symptoms you have could be related to gall stones or any number of other less serious things.

Please try not to worry before you know the facts. Its good you have recognised this behavior as destructive, and are now addressing that by stopping alcohol. Although women do tend to suffer from the bad affects of alcohol earlier than men I'd be very surprised if you have caused severe damage. The liver is a very clever organ, and can take quite a bit of abuse, the fact you have had periods of not drinking stands in your favour.

Whatever happens drinking is not without risk, even at low levels, so definitely best if this spurs you on to be alcohol free.

Good luck, and best wishes

E x

LCSJ in reply to Wass71

Thanks for your reply. I called yesterday but nothing had come in to the surgery yet as Monday was a bank holiday. Will try again today. I'm also on Citalopram but it doesn't seem to be helping with the anxiety. Apologies for seeming pathetic before I even have a diagnosis, I just feel totally lost.

Thanks again for your reply x

LCSJ in reply to LCSJ

Called GP and still no results in from Friday which is worrying me more...if they were in and they hadn't been in touch I could at least hope that everything was OK but no idea why they are taking so long.

Oh that's very frustrating. You didn't sound pathetic at all, so please don't think that. Health worries are a cause of great anxiety to a number of people.

I forgot about the bank holiday, that could have caused quite a back log of non urgent stuff. I don't know how things work in your surgery, but the reception staff may say results not there if not been seen by Dr to make comment. So if they haven't been put on your notes, they may say they are not there, when in reality they are available for the Dr to see. Could you ask for a telephone appt with your doctor later today. At my surgery they have access to the hospital system, so can see if tests have been done etc. As most things are done electronically they are usually fairly quick.

Try to think of the old saying, ' no news is good news'. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Take care

E x

I don't comment here very often but can tell you are worried and I was in similar spot so. With all the caveats that I'm not a Dr etc etc. The symptoms you mentioned are quite common and likely have to do with some vitamin issues. B12 etc as they can cause some pins and needles, sleep disruption and so on. When drinking a lot- vitamins do get out of whack as you aren't getting them properly. My wife had similar symptoms and he she was deficient in a few areas. As with the pale stools, I found it often helped to clarify what people search out online here. Pale stools, as in the bad signal type, means "pale". As in white. Grey, heading to white. Not pale brown. Brown is brown and brown is good. Levels of fat and digestion time can affect the shade of brown- but it's still brown. I went through similar angst over this until I got it cleared up. As for the yellow eyes. When you are sick with worry, I found that I could stare at my perfectly white eyes- and they would turn yellow. Light was playing tricks on me- where I was convinced they were yellow. Until I asked my wife and she said I was nuts. Have you asked anyone?

I'm sure you are fine, so try and relax.

Hiya, did you get the results? Thinking about you. Really hope you're OK x

The GP said they all look normal except Billirubin which is high at 23. She dismissed my tingling hands and feet saying it would do away if I continued to not drink. All my other symptoms too. I don’t know what this means really...I feel like something is definitely not right but don’t think I really have any more avenues as she doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about. I guess I’ll just need to wait and see if the symptoms persist. Any advice on the bilirubin lebek would be helpful.

Thanks X

Wass71 in reply to LCSJ

Visual signs of jaundice ( the yellowing of skin and eyes as a result of high levels of billirubin), don't tend to start until the levels go over 40. People with cholestasis( bile blockages), and other more advanced liver disease may have levels into the high hundreds. So a level of 23 isn't too concerning.

There are many non serious things that can cause elevated levels. Gilbert's is a condition where people have intermittent high billirubin and it causes no I'll effects and needs no treatment.

I think your gp is right to say leave it a while, re check in a month or three and see what happens then.

I really hope you are feeling less stressed and feeling well at the moment.

I'll keep thinking of you and wish you well.

E x

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