Alcoholic Cirrhosis : Hello! My fiancé... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Alcoholic Cirrhosis


Hello! My fiancé was diagnosed with Cirrhosis caused from alcohol on December 27th in the emergency room. He was as yellow as a highlighter, belly was huge from ascites, pee was dark brown, enlarged inflamed liver, was having random nosebleeds that took forever to stop, extremely fatigued, couldn’t eat much, stayed in bed most of the time because of the ascites and being tired. I’m happy to say that he is now 54 days sober! He is on fluid pills and the ascites has went down tremendously, his appetite is back with a vengeance (he eats low sodium, clean, lean protein, fruit and veg) his energy is coming back like crazy, no nosebleeds, the jaundice is almost gone, and he says he feels better than he has in years. He’s still not 100% but the difference is night and day. My question is, can he continue to get better? Is it “normal” to bounce back so quickly with cirrhosis? He couldn’t even stand long enough in the shower before, now he’s in there for 20-30 minutes haha I know it’s early on in his sobriety and I’m so so happy that he’s feeling better, I’m also always worried that something bad is going to happen at any moment. They told him that if he didn’t stop drinking he would be dead in 30 days. I can’t get that out of my head so now we are coming up on 60 days, my anxiety is basically at its breaking point, strangely enough. I have a lot of questions for the doctor when we go next week, I’m just curious if any of you have had a similar story? Thank you!

16 Replies

If his sobriety continues then he gives himself the best chance. Whilst he was in hospital you would say his liver was in a decompenstated state - removing the booze will help the liver heal - it will never return to normal but it can go into a compensated state where it will continue to do most of its important functions. I sounds like he's taken the warning shot and is doing his best to turn this around for which he deserves lots of credit and encouragement. Fingers crossed he will regain some health, however, even though he has stopped he will remain very poorly and there may come a point where transplant might become an option or become necessary and sobriety and commitment to life long sobriety will be needed.

Only 2 days ago on the forum we had the following post from kyia with a very similar story and a positive story of recovery from the edge.

Have a read up about cirrhosis on the British Liver Trust site to educate yourself about hte condition and in that way you can play a role in monitoring your partners condition going forward.

Very best wishes to you both for a long and happy future together.


Mywildlove in reply to AyrshireK

Hi Katie, thank you for your reply. Yes, they told him that he’s decompensated and the goal was try to get him compensated. It definitely scared him enough to stop drinking, he’s always ate fairly healthy so the diet change hasn’t been too rough so far. The doctor said that the liver can get better but only if it hasn’t reached a certain point. We are waiting to see if it has went beyond that or not and it’s so hard. Thank you so much for your well wishes!

AyrshireK in reply to Mywildlove

I would imagine once it has reached the state of decompensation then it can never really heal. Early stage fibrosis can be reversed but cirrhosis can improve to a compensated state but can't recover to full health. My hubby had decompensated cirrhosis (diagnosed April 2012) his being due to auto-immune liver disease. It gradually recompensated but he still has cirrhosis just slightly less severe symptoms.

kyia in reply to AyrshireK

Thanks, Katie, for including the link to my post. I was just wondering how to make the link myself!

Mywildlove in reply to kyia

Kyia, I read your post yesterday and I am so happy for you both!! Stories like yours definitely give the rest of us hope and that is an amazing thing in times like these. I wish you both the best health and happiness!!

kyia in reply to Mywildlove

Thank you - I'm glad it's helped!

Hi There

I too considering am feeling pretty good most of the time with liver chirrosis.

I spent 6 weeks in hospital 2 weeks in ICU in a coma with little chance of survival after triple organ failure.

Every day I tell myself how lucky I am I am 15 months sober and returning to work soon.

Take every day as it comes miracles do and have happened.

My partner feels exactly like u do he still checks if I'm still breathing bit dramatic I know. 😁

I wish you and your husband all the very best .

Keep in touch.

Hayley x

Hi Hayley, thank you for your reply. I’m glad you’re feeling better! I hope it continues for many many years! I ask my fiancé how he’s feeling at least 25 times a day and it is driving him crazy haha I can’t help it, I want him to be alright. If you don’t mind my asking, what issues do you deal with on a daily basis due to cirrhosis? I’ve been reading a lot, a LOT, to better educate myself on it but personal stories are the best I find.


It sounds like he is doing really well!

Was there any mention of Alcoholic Hepatitis? This can cause a lot of the same symptoms as decompensation.


Mywildlove in reply to Garyvh

Hi Gary,

They didn’t really mention much of anything really. They did an ultrasound and took some blood and said he has cirrhosis and gave us some statistics. I know that alcoholic hepatitis is very dangerous but I am hoping that’s what it is and not cirrhosis. I have read that alcoholic hepatitis can present as decompensated cirrhosis, though I don’t know how likely or common this is. He’s not 100% but I really can’t believe how fast he went from barely able to walk or eat much to doing groceries (he does get tired from it though) and singing (he loves to sing and does an online radio show as a hobby). The waiting game is brutal, I can’t wait to see his doctor next week. Fingers crossed!

Garyvh in reply to Mywildlove

I'd ask about Alcoholic Hepatitis, with them saying enlarged, inflamed liver etc.

That's what's happened to me, more or less exactly what your fiance experienced.

In my case they found I have cirrhosis too, usually, but not always, the two go hand in hand.

As the inflammation goes down hopefully he'll see continued improvements and thing's will become clearer regarding his outlook.

If his ascites is responsive to diuretics that is brilliant.

Mine was very responsive and I've only had ascites once shortly after I was hospitalised. But the diuretics shifted it very quickly, I could see a difference after just 5 days on them and came off them after a month.

That was about a year ago and I haven't had it again since.

All he can do really is to continue to follow Dr's orders like he is now and allow his body to heal as much as possible.

He should be very proud of himself.

Very best to you both,


Mywildlove in reply to Garyvh

I know that a stage 4 liver can go back to compensated with proper diet, abstinence from alcohol, and meds if needed. And alcoholic hepatitis can present as stage 4 cirrhosis, then later down the line find out there is little to no scarring. I just wonder how common this is? And could a heavily scarred liver, end stage, “bounce back” in less than 2 months after quitting drinking and eating right? I have a lot of questions to ask the doctor, I just don’t know yet if he’s the right doctor for us. He told me the first time that there are no stages in cirrhosis, but I thought there was? I also asked if the inflammation could skew the ultrasound results and he didn’t think so. Ugh, this disease and the wait and see is maddening. I hope you continue to be better and feel better! I’m so glad the diuretics worked so well for you!!

Can any of you wonderful people tell me how long it generally takes for a liver to heal after quitting drinking if the cause is alcohol? I have tried googling it but all it tells you is all the bad scary stuff.

I know that cirrhosis won’t heal, but what about if the liver was very enlarged and inflamed?

The link to my similar post is in AyreshireK's reply. My partner didn't recover quite as quickly initially - it was about 5 months until he was really himself again (only to go downhill again for a few weeks due to an emergency hernia op!). There has never been a question of the cirrhosis diagnosis, but I'm not sure in all honesty how it was made. We've just accepted that diagnosis and moved on. I can understand you wanting it to be "only" alcoholic hepatitis, as it seems likely to be something you can recover from. I hope you get all the answers you need next week.

Hi Mywildlove,

I will make this short.

Hubby admitted to hospital in liver & kidney failure Nov., 2015, most of the same as your fiance. He quit while in the hospital after his team told him he would die fairly soon if he didn't. He is still sober and while his liver is still badly damaged he continues to improve a bit at each 6 month follow up. He did not bounce back the way you say yours did, but hubby is now 71 and today shoveled 7 inches of snow off our upper & lower back decks.

So yes, things could still happen but good things can also continue to happen.

Best wishes,


Have a look at my posts, very similar story, its not all flowers but it can and does get a lot better.

If i can be of any help pop me a massage, i was very much like your fiancé, admitted suddenly, stage 4 decomponsated, child Pugh c etc. ... in hospital for around 6 weeks, bright yellow, couldn't eat or sleep, walk.or often talk. Lost 7 stone'ish and was told wouldn't make it a couple of rimes. Now fast forward 15 months and I'm here, working (although would like not to be) eating and walking talking and joking., basically a thinner version of the old me, my bilirubin level was in the 400"s when admitted, now 40 and although still high i compare it to my previous level not the average joe, I'm surprised what the body and mind can do as i had pretty much given up and was waiting for the reaper to knock, never thought would be here and being told all being well i can "live as long as the next man" take care and hope things continue to get better

Chris x

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