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British Liver Trust
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Signs of compensating?

Hello, my first time posting here. My fiancé (48 male) was diagnosed in the ER with cirrhosis caused by alcohol about 3 weeks ago. They said his liver was enlarged so they did an ultrasound, we went to a GI doctor a few days later and gave him a meld of 28 and put him on 2 fluid meds for ascites. He quit drinking immediately, his belly has gone down a lot, he’s not as jaundiced as he was, he’s eating a very low sodium and organic diet (fruit, veggies, a little lean meat, protein smoothies). He feels and looks so much better. Are these positive signs that his liver is compensating? Do people get diagnosed with cirrhosis and later find out its alcoholic hepatitis? I understand you’re not doctors, I’m just looking for some hope. Thank you!

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Sounds like he is moving toward doing quite well. As far as your question about alcoholic hepatitis. Most people who present with alcoholic hepatitis already have underlying cirrhosis. While yes it is possible you can have alc. Hep without cirrhosis it's almost a 70 percent chance that cirrhosis is already present. The way to find this out is time. Sounds like he did have a bout of alcoholic hepatits but further testing will find out of it truly has cirrhosis underlying.

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Thank you so much, that’s what I was thinking but wasn’t sure. Hopefully with no drinking and a healthy lifestyle he will be able to live a long life with his liver as it is now. Thanks again!!

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I am in the exact same scenario as your fiance. If alcohol is the only culprit than staying abstinent will halt the progression. I would recommend getting some tests done just to make sure that there isnt any other underlying causes for the liver disease. Keep in touch though and always check in if you have any questions. It's a bummer to not drink anymore but it's not the worse thing in life.

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As far as we know alcohol is the cause. The GI doctor said they will test for other things to be sure. I hope you’re doing well, given the circumstances!

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I am doing quite well now. Hopefully that gives him some hope to the future 😊

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Sounds like me from a few years ago in many ways. I was lucky to be diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis from a 3 month later biopsy, even after presenting with ascites too. The good news is that it may be alcoholic hepatitis which is reversible but abstention from alcohol will have to be a life/death decision going forward. What i/many of us, on here have also been told. Probably a biopsy/fibroscan will produce a definite diagnosis. But a healthy diet - low salt/low sugar/low protein is so important and hepatologists say exercise/weight control too. Increasing coffee consumption is recommended too. So healthier living which tends to happen anyway with sobriety. After a year or so, with any luck, like me, the diuretics can be ditched from the meds as the liver gets healthier. And it will do every day. Some like me find AA very helpful and really, there are so many other social options for non drinkers. Walking/cycling/theatres/museums/coffee shops/new hobbies/yoga/meditation etc. Over time, alcohol cravings really do disappear more and more with each passing day. A bit like our mind reconditioning itself. The kids these days ...1 in 5, 18 to 25 year olds don't drink, could teach us a thing or two on that front with their new more responsible (probably), safer, more diverse, more interesting lifestyle, without the need for excess drinking. Sounds like you've both got a chance to turn the situation around which is a real blessing, Or dodged a bullet in truth, if that's the case. Best of luck !!

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So does that mean you don't have cirrhosis Warrior? I agree with your sentiments on young people - having young kids it's encouraging & will be the way I steer my kids as they grow up. They already learn about the potential dangers of alcohol at primary school.

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Hi, my husband went into a &e vomiting blood at the beginning of Oct last year. It was discovered he had varices and he also had moderate ascites. He was in hospital for 5 days during which he lost weight (muscle mass) and became jaundice. It was caused by alcohol, as soon as he found out he stopped drinking. Was a no brainer really, he is 44 and has 2 young kids. He bounced back pretty quickly, was back at work after a few months and looks and feels a lot better. He had diuretics to get rid of the ascites and, touch wood, it hasn't come back yet. His varices were banded and also have gone for now. He's on a low salt diet and ate a lot of protein & carbs every 2/3 hours to build up his muscle loss. His consultant says his prognosis is good. Hopefully with abstinence from alcohol your fiance will have a similar outlook.

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Hi Mywildlove

Welcome to our forum.

You may find our website useful to look at as we have a publication on Cirrhosis of the liver.

britishlivertrust.org.uk/li...

Hopefully your fiancée's consultant can order the next set of tests and investigations needed to clarify diagnosis and offer further specific support and guidance.

Best wishes

Trust1

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I got diagnosed with cihrossis and later found out that I had fatty liver, ask for a fibroscan and a second opinion. Good luck!

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If you don’t mind me asking, did you have ascites or were you jaundiced? And was yours caused from drinking?

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Yes caused feom drinking, but no ascities or jaundice.

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