Bricking it : Hi all, Looking for a bit... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Bricking it


Hi all,

Looking for a bit of advice. I’ve been a heavy drinker for over 20 years. Perversely enough also a manic exerciser so may have some masked health issues in top of what I already suspect.

Recently displayed signs of Ascites but LFT are normal. Due for a scan but the waiting list is over a month. Is it normal to have ascites but a normal lft?

And given what google says I’m anything from a year to live to raging Ebola.

9 Replies


I’m no expert I’m afraid but wanted to reply to support you. I was told to stay off the Internet by a member on here in my first post as I got in a right state. I am sure someone will be along on here soon with more expert knowledge to help, in the meantime what I would say is stop drinking. Exercise is good as is eating healthily, alcohol isn’t.

I know it’s difficult but try not to worry my lft results are abnormal and ultrasound shows enlarged liver and I was told my liver didn’t look good but no ascites. I don’t drink but am overweight and didn’t exercise and ate poorly. I have to wait 5-6 months for a specialist to see me.

Please be positive and let us know how you get on and feel free to whinge on here if necessary.

Best wishes


PS Ebola can be cured and the liver can regenerate in certain circumstances!


Hi. Firstly have you now made a lifelong commitment to giving up drinking for good? That's a necessity. Secondly don't do any more googling of symptoms, diagnoses and remedies. The views are very conflicting confusing and contradictory. If you do Google use the NHS site for the best information. I, like the majority of this forum members are not qualified to answer your question and can only give you their experiences. Best to ask your GP or specialist for the answer.

All the best



PS .... keep up the exercise 🏊‍♀️⛹️‍♂️⛹️‍♀️🏋️‍♂️🏃‍♂️💪😄


Ascites is a symptom of decompensated cirrhosis and a person with decompensated cirrhosis couldn't have had a normal LFT. This suggests that you didn't have ascites and can probably breathe easier. It doesn't mean though that your liver isn't damaged (or even cirrhotic) after 20 years of heavy drinking . I wouldn't wait for your scan results before quitting drinking.

I don't comment on here much but a friend of mine was in a similar spot. Evening pub guy for decades.Didn't exercise but his job was labour intensive. Had what he thought was Ascites symptoms (was aware as someone he knew went through ALD). Turned out to be the beginnings of a hernia. He also had normal LFT's. I would say it's unusual to have normal LFT's with signs of advanced disease.

Thanks very much guys. I’m aware my drinking is abnormal and am taking steps to address it.

Your comments are very much appreciated and I’ll take all advice willingly.

Ps, I think my Ebola has gone.

My husband had ascites but when he had the normal LFTs - just the usual ones, not the more comprehensive liver blood tests, his came back normal. When we queried this we were told that those tests just show if the liver is being damaged at the moment, they don't show if it has already been damaged. He has stopped drinking now. When he used to go for what he called his annual MOT, liver, prostrate etc. like a lot of drinkers he would stop drinking for a few weeks before the tests. When they came back more or less okay he thought he was fine. He wasn't! Had he continued drinking until the test they would have presumably showed how much he was damaging his liver on a day to day basis.


Cut down on salt ASAP and you should also be on diuretics too. It is possible to have ascites for other reasons, it's not just a liver thing.


Actually it is totally quite possible to have normal LFTs in cirrhosis and in alcoholic hepatitis. There is a plethora of literature on it. Also keep in mind severe alcoholic hepatitis can present clinically with the symptoms such as ascites and esophageal varices.

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