New here and scared by lab results - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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New here and scared by lab results

LiverLover71
LiverLover71

Hi everyone. I've been on here reading for a few days and happy for this wealth of information. Quick background...47 year old female, hypothyroidism, obese, high cholesterol. No diabetes or high blood pressure. All my labs (CBC, liver, kidneys etc.) have always been square in the middle of their range every year. I've been a habitual drinker my entire adult life with periods of sobriety (for example, didn't drink for 2 years when I became pregnant and had my child at 38). Like many others I have a great husband, job, family. I've never been a sloppy drunk except on a few occasions. But I binged 4-5 evenings per week, approximately 6-8 beers. My peers are similar. We all like to have "fun" together...we hang out and we laugh...our kid are all friends. Well, earlier this year my father was killed and I've used alcohol a bit more as a crutch. I've drank every day since he was killed for 8 months now. That is until my physical a few weeks ago. My doctor said I really need to get my health in order at my age...she was referring to my weight. I was not forthcoming about my drinking...it never came up really. She called the day after my lab work and said my ALT was 52 and AST 36 and I needed to stop all alcohol and pain relievers and processed foods and come back to repeat the labs in 2 weeks. All other labs were normal. I was terrified. All that "fun" I'm having and you're living life and you don't realize that you're poisoning yourself, even if you know that you are if you stop to think about it. Except you don't...because you're so caught up in day to day life. So I stopped drinking right then and there (which wasn't too hard surprisingly...fear will do that to you!) Fast forward to yesterday when she called with results from my 2nd blood draw. ALT dropped to 43 and AST to 20. She said she is concerned by that ALT and to come for an u/s of my upper right quadrant. I go in about 3 weeks in October and I'm terrified. I have convinced myself my days are numbered and my child won't have her mother. It's hard enough to lose a parent at 46...I can't bear to leave her. I pray I don't have cirrhosis, but I fear that I do. I've had stomach issues and heartburn for years (I take Zantac) but otherwise I feel perfectly normal. Even though I'm obese I walk 3x per week at the gym and try to watch my diet because of my hypothyroidism. Anyhow, I had to tell someone how I'm feeling. My husband feels I'm being hypochondriacal but I'm really scared. He has gone on the wagon with me, which helps, but now I worry about him too. He hasn't been to a doctor in years and we've always partied together for the twenty years we've known each other. Ugh. Thanks for listening if you've gotten this far!

12 Replies

I'm relatively new to liver disease. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis in july this year. It came as a huge shock as my bloods were almost normal and I don't drink. From what I've read alcoholics or heavy drinkers seem to have a better prognosis as long as they give up drinking. It's good that your husband is on the wagon with you plus it won't do him any harm to stop drinking. Try not to panic...I know it's easier said than done but your gp seems to be on the ball and help is at hand. Good luck. Deb

Thank you for commenting Deb. I’m annoyed with myself I’ve had my head in the sand all these years. Just because you feel okay doesn’t mean you are okay I guess. One step at a time. Wishing you the best with your treatments and management of your disease. 💙

My liver disease is caused by autoimmune stuff but I agree with bridesmum. You generally have better chances of improving your liver health than some of us others. I was a pretty good drinker before diagnosis and almost somewhat relieved to find out I didn't cause ALL the liver disease by drinking. However I am pretty sure it didn't help. Anyway, I was a little sorry to give up my wine but I actually like it ...it's been about 1 year. I find I don't really need that buzz and no longer look forward to it. Look for some other fun you can have together with your husband. By giving up drinking yyou can get better! Good luck!

Pam

LiverLover71
LiverLover71 in reply to 4pjx__

Thank you Pam. I hadn’t thought to ask for a test for autoimmune liver disease. She just tested for the heps (neg) and re-ran liver panel. I have a couple of autoimmune diseases already...and they seem to travel in groups. 😢 wishing you well!

Hi

First of all the boring but essential bit. We're encouraged not to share test results because we aren't qualif8ed to interpret them properly. Plus a score for one person may not mean the same as for another.

Unlike many on here you have a massive bonus in a doctorwho is on the ball and checking things out early.

Before you get your results please try not to worry. Trust me I know how hard that is but it would do you no good and could scare your daughter for nothing.

It could be reversible with lifestyle changes, or it could be cirrhosis as with many if us. It's not a note to start digging your grave though because it's not necessarily the doom and gloom it used to be.

Sending you healing and a hope for reversible fatty liver.

Rita xx

Thank you so much Rita for your response. I’ve been staying off the boards trying not to obsess but here I am with my ultrasound coming up next week and I’m a wreck again. Ah well. We shall see what happens! 😳

Hidden
Hidden

Hi liverlover

Wow - im guessing a lot of us here have been in a similar boat to you. I too was scared witless when i first had to go to the hospital liver clinic. I was hospitalised loads of times for the problem where toxins get in your brain and send you dolally 😀. But on the plus side there were loads of halluinations, escape modes i think hehe. After 4 years of clinics the consultant said my liver was deteriorating. I was soooo lucky than to get transferred to the Birmingham liver clinic where no end of tests and psychology assessments etc etc were carried out.

But now the great bit - three months ago i was put on the transplant list and had a transplant one month ago. I can honestly say i am like a new person and can now walk further than i have done in about a year. I cant say it wasnt painful but im already thinking why was i worrying all those years when i have been given a completely new outlook on life!

So after all my ramblings (i have time now to ramble lol) try, if you can, and be positive and even if it comes down to what you think is worse scenario, it may actually be the best scenario.

Btw good job on laying off alcohol, i left that till too late but my wife joined me when I eventually stopped 4 years ago and its really ok now. I hpe both you and your husband get better. It would be nice if you could keep us informed, if you are up to it...

LiverLover71
LiverLover71 in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much for your reply! I’m sorry I didn’t see until now. I’ve been avoiding the internet trying not to obsess while I wait for my u/s. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am so happy you’ve been given a new lease on life! Your optimism has made me feel a bit more positive. 😊

Hidden
Hidden in reply to LiverLover71

Thx for reply. Btw why arent you asleep, i hope you’re not worrying too much! Good luck with your tests - actually you’ve already had good luck by having the tests. Everything good will now be done for you - they’ve got their claws in you 😀

Miles 🇧🇧

LiverLover71
LiverLover71 in reply to Hidden

I live in Atlanta, Georgia so it wasn’t all too late...maybe midnight. Trying not to lose sleep. The anticipation of the testing is the worst. Ugh.

Hi.

You're not being a hyperchondriac by any means. Your Dr has found cause for concern and it is obviously a worry for you too, but please try not to compound your worry with feelings of guilt. It's perfectly normal, and very adult, to worry as you try to come to terms with what could be a new reality for you.

Hopefully the reality might turn out to be fatty liver or mild alcoholic hepatitis - both reversable by simply following Dr's orders and making lifestyle changes.

Try to turn the worry and dread into powerful motivational tools to help you make and maintain those changes right now, this will help you feel like you are taking control of the issue to a huge degree.

At least you have a Dr that is on the ball with things, so that is one less worry.

My bloods once came back with a GGT of over 4000! But my Dr at the time didn't think to make me aware of the seriousness of things, nor send me for any further testing.

By the way, your story is very similar to mine, heavy drinking mixed with long periods of sobriety. Unfortunately when I lost my wife to cancer a few years ago I upped the ante and eventually ended up being hospitalised with severe alcoholic hepatitis (I was one of those yellow people that you sometimes see around hospitals!)

They also found cirrhosis.

It sounds like you are in a good position now to make sure your that at least your story doesn't end like mine.

Having said that, as bad as I was, and I was at deaths door, 9 months on and I'm a different person, fate, luck, and my own efforts in staying sober and following Dr's orders brought me back from the brink and right now if you saw me you really wouldn't know that there had ever been anything wrong with me ☺

What I am saying is please don't start planning your funeral, try not to think too far ahead or speculate about what ifs. And please stay off Dr Google!

I found it helps if you try to box things off, try to deal with, and adjust to, any new info as and when it comes but in the meantime just try to get on with life as normally as possible while also making those lifestyle changes.

G

LiverLover71
LiverLover71 in reply to Garyvh

Thank you so much for taking the form to respond to me. I’m sorry it’s tsken me so long to get back on the board and respond. I’ve been trying not to obsess but now it’s creeping back in the closer I get to my scan. Your story makes me feel like no matter just happens there is always usually hope. 😊

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