21 year old worried about potential li... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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21 year old worried about potential liver damage help

Tomb1 profile image

Hey guys

So I’m 21 years old and I’m now panicking about liver problems from drinking, I’ve been drinking on and off since I was 16/17 but really started hammering it at university. The last year I will cycle from maybe having three months to three weeks off then having a few days binging, I’ve been diagnosed with an Inflamed liver before with super high alt but they assured me if I stopped it would go down, but I haven’t managed to despite trying so hard, I just managed a month and fell into a two day binge which I’m now recovering from, do you think I may have cirrhosis?

39 Replies

Hi Tomb. This is your wake up call. You obviously have liver damage caused by alcohol abuse and you have already been told to stop drinking in order to give your liver every opportunity to recover. You are struggling to stop on your own which proves you are already showing signs of being adicted so you will need help to quit successfully and for good before your liver becomes so badly damaged, it won't recover. See your GP ask to be referred for councelling be it group sessions or l to l. You are still very young and stand a very good chance of getting your liver back to normal if you take all the advice and guidance you are offered. Universities are renowned for their booze culture with effects which are very dangerous to the young and impressionable. Maybe you could talk to your friends about all of you finding better activities to fill your spare time which will serve you better for your future than booze will. Sure, uni is stressful and booze will only add to stress and anxiety so it needs to go. Exercise and fresh air will be a far better alternative. Please make the changes now while you are young. The longer you leave it, the more your health will suffer and the harder the habit and addiction will be to break.

Good luck


Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to Laura009

Thanks for the fast reply Laura

The thing is once I stop I can do really well just not drinking at all but it’s the university atmosphere that just constantly sprouts these drinks and my issue is once I start it’s really hard to stop for a few days, I’ve for sure realised it’s time to stop for good and plan not to go out anymore, do you think there’s a good chance of recovery if I stop now for good?

TT-2018 profile image
TT-2018 in reply to Tomb1

The liver is a remarkable organ and the only one that is capable of repairing itself. You have already been advised that if you stop drinking alcohol, the inflammation will go down.

Eat healthily with a balanced diet, exercise and drink plenty of water, avoiding sugary drinks.

Talk honestly to your GP and they should signpost you in the right direction.

Good luck with everything.


Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to TT-2018

Thanks for the advice I’ll be sure to stay off it for good now just panicking, do you think it might be worth asking for a fibroscan?

TT-2018 profile image
TT-2018 in reply to Tomb1

If you make a GP appointment and make notes about the points that you are concerned about, they should be able to advise the best approach.

If you are anywhere near the Liver Trust events, it is possible that they can do a fibroscan.


Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to TT-2018

Thank you for your help!

in reply to Tomb1

Hi. I note you've been in the background since March. Have you had time to study our posts. Did you have a break from uni & company over the summer. Nobody will tell you to carry on regardless if you're liver markers are raised.

The one solution to bring it back to normal is total abstainance. As Laura has pointed out your GP can give you a referal to an addiction service and / or medication to help with craving.

It's doubtful at your age that you have hit the final stage of cirrhosis unless you have any underlying conditions which I'm sure would have been red flagged by your Doc.

Go back to the GP and be honest, then take it from there. Give yourself a break. 🤕

Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to

So over summer I was fairly isolated as my family moved away and the house was empty so didn’t really socialise to much, do you think I’m at a stage of cirrhosis already?? I had an ultrasound a year ago and blood tests regularly ish but the only thing that’s fluctuated so far is the alt which has gone quite high in the past but when that happens I always give my self three months to repair but haven’t been able to the past half a year or so, my plan is to stay off indefinitely so fingers crossed 😰

in reply to Tomb1

Replying merely on the information to hand & guessing unless you had anything underlying, I said Its doubtful. The main being Alcohol out the equation it will recover.

There are many conditions that can affect your liver. I'm discounting that, though needed to mention it. As I said your GP would have informed you otherwise.

We are not experts but post from experience.

Good luck, now chill.👍

The Liver Detective. I'm not.😜

Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Tomb1

Without a doubt, give up the booze and your liver will recover. You have age on your side. Please don't become another statistic to this poison. Many on here who didn't or couldnt give up soon enough have become seriously ill and have had to have liver transplants. Many others like my husband was killed at just 54 by this stuff. Please live your life to the full, keep fit, active and only put good healthy foods into your body. I promise you will look back and be thankful you did

Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to Laura009

Thanks for your kind words Laura it’s really nice to see so much support, I hope I’ve realised all this early enough and I’m going to set some different things to do, going to the gym and and try my best to stay healthy from now!

Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Tomb1

Well done. I wish you all the best. Xx

Alcohol is not your friend. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. A lot of us know that now. At your age, we may not have understood that either.

I agree with the great responses you have already received.

Also, many people with anxiety and depression, etc., self medicate with alcohol and other things to deal in the moment with pain of various types . Many that abuse alcohol suffer with social anxiety or low self esteem, etc., for example.

It might be / IS , in my opinion, worth a health check up to see if there is something that the professionals might offer you should there be an underlying reason you drink to excess at times.

I'm with those that suggest that age is on your side and make necessary changes sooner than later. There is no time like the present. Your youth will serve you well if you take advantage of it!

Take good care. It's easier to do the wrong thing but .....that is a bad idea.

Keep reading here.

Alcohol is Not your friend!

Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to

You know your spot on with a lot of that and I do indeed suffer with a lot of those issues, it acts as a very good crutch but you come out the other side feeling worse, Going to make an appointment and see what different options there are, thank you for taking the time to message

Good Morning Tomb

Firstly I must begin with saying I'm extremly proud of you taking this step to improve your health and well being by giving up the alcohol, plus you receive a huge hug from me (a mum of 2 grown ups who also went to university, so I truely understand how tough it's been for you with university pressures, social uni events plus you've been coping with your parents moving away which I think I read above somewhere). In my book you deserve one of these 🏆for your achievements so far and for sourcing help by contacting this wonderful forum of great loving caring people who truly understand your concerns and want to help and be there for you!

Secondly do take that step and visit your GP and lay your cards firmly down on the table , this means, be open and most of all be honest and explain your true health concerns especially being a university student who got into bad drinking habits who now requires help and advice to stop for good!

Your definately taking the right step by starting a healthy life style and exercising is a great way to start, plus being young could open up many other new doors to meeting new friends with similar sporting interests! Cycling and martial art clubs might be of interest as they to can contribute to getting your mind focused on something different. If my suggestions doesn't rock your boat then find another hobbie that does!

Remember Tomb, this is an amazing forum and we're here to listen, help and advise if we can !

Just remember your never alone whennyour having a tough day as we all have those!

Now get that wee young butt of your to the doctors! Try and see if it's possible to book a double appointment as this will give you more time to explain everything to your GP . Make a list of your concerns and take this with you as it may help !

Now steppy mum is signing off 🤣that's a joke by the way! I'm just another concerned friend who'd like to see you succeed in life and be happy!

Take care and keep in touch ! Loads of love

Shropshire Lass ! Time 4.34am .....

Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to

Wow thank you for such a great message, as you must be aware it’s incredibly hard to try avoid these situations when your consistently thrown into them both by choice and by accident, but it’s nice to see people get the difficulty! I was actually looking at a mixed martial arts studio which have classes twice a week and think structure like that could be really beneficial your very right, thank you so much for your kind support it really means the world to me and has done nothing but make me want to show you and everyone I can do it 😂

Kind regards


Well, I think everyone has said it but I just wanted to say you are in my , thoughts and prayers. 'm sure you can do it. Please take care of yourself Lynne

ThreeSmiles profile image
ThreeSmiles in reply to

In your thoughts Lynne.....

in reply to ThreeSmiles

Thank you. Just done now, Trish mentioned it too!!

ThreeSmiles profile image
ThreeSmiles in reply to

👍 Ahh Trish was much more politic than me - Sorry, Lynne!

Hi honey. I absolutely understand your difficulties. I am far, far away from Uni days, but the pressures to drink stay for us all.

Take great pride in thinking about your future self and focus on enjoying yourself without alcohol. It is tough, but think how much more you'll get from staying sober.

I hope you keep using the forum, but do contact a health professional.


Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to mattymoo33

Yeah honestly it’s tough when every single social activity involves going out getting drunk or doing something and then drinking 😂 but your right there’s so much to do and see, I didn’t realise how much this forum would make me realise that so thank you and I will do

Hi, and welcome to our wonderful group.

The advice you have been given is spot on. You are very astute in realising that you have a problem. Many people of your age just aren't aware of the dangers of alcohol, but fortunately you are. If you stop drinking alcohol, you will have dodged the bullet of alcoholism and chronic liver disease. At your age, your liver should make a full recovery, so you are a lot luckier than some of us on here.

I know the pressures Uni can bring.......My Granddaughter was at Manchester Uni, and suffered a breakdown because of all the socialising that goes on. She just wanted to make friends.....but not the constant partying, but she sought help and recovered, and came away with her English Literature degree.

Please, go and see your GP and be honest with him, in telling him of your concerns, and he will be able to help you.

If you have any more questions or just need support, we are always here for you.

Take Care,


Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to davianne

The advise on here has been amazing to be honest and quite honestly eye opening, so many people with amazing story’s and advice to give! I’ve heard Manchester uni is a massive party district as well so I’m not supprised but I’m glad she got her degree! I think it’s finding a good balance with work and drinking but when you know you have a problem you just need to stay clear and focus!

Thank you for your support David

davianne profile image
davianne in reply to Tomb1

Yes, she's working as a teacher now.....thank God 🙏🙏🙏


You’re only 21 and will be going to places where there are lots of drinks, when you’ve got some strength against alcohol google lots of non or low alcoholic drinks and cocktails that you can have and buy in pubs because sometimes it’s just having something to hold like everyone else. Who knows you may set a trend amongst your friends. Good luck

Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to Julie8

I think a good start would be taking a solid year off then seeing if alcohol free stuff will allow me to fit into those situations slightly better, though I doubt my freinds will stop the seshing any time soon I’m kind of happy focusing on my health for now

Thanks for your support

davianne profile image
davianne in reply to Tomb1

You don't have to worry about fitting in........soda and lime is really good, and you can watch the drinkers getting squiffy, and making fools of themselves

Great Fun🤣🤣🤣

Morning Tomb1.

I have been reading all the replies with really good advice from all these amazing people on this forum. You really do need to resist the uni lifestyle there is no shame in drinking soft drinks. I had started drinking at 14 but not heavily until my 30's and believe me if I knew then what I know now, what I have put my body through and the hurt and pain it has caused my mum I would never have touched alcohol. That said hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I had amazing support from a alcohol and drug addiction service by referral from my doctor but still couldn't stop until I was hospitalized for detox. I will always remember the words a consultant said to me when I was rushed into hospital by ambulance after having blackouts every few minutes. He said "one more drop will kill you" I wrote it at the bottom of my diary on every page and looked at it every day and never touched another drop. All that said it didn't mean that the damage hadn't already been done and a transplant was needed.

You are young you have time on your side don't waste your life just for the sake of getting drunk to be in with the crowd, just think you can watch them making fools of themselves when drunk and know you're ok.

Take the advice offered and ask for counselling.

Good luck and stay strong you have a good life ahead of you.

All the best.


Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to joeburger

I’m really sorry to hear alcohol has affected you in such a bad way I can’t imagine the grief and pain it caused when Family have to start finding out but I hope your okay now?? I guess the shock factor of these events made you rethink everything, but your right I don’t see the point in doing things just to fit in anymore, freinds can either stay or go and hopefully I could meet some new people from not drinking

Thank you for your kind words and glad your okay

joeburger profile image
joeburger in reply to Tomb1

Thank you for you kind reply.

I like that attitude, if they are really truly your friends they will support you. My friends didn't and I lost a lot of friends through drink there is always that stigma of being an alcoholic. I don't go out much but when I do it really doesen't bother me if I have a diet coke and others have alcohol, I don't need it now.

My new liver is working great my LFT's are better than my surgeons lol.

Stay strong and stay healthy



You are almost there, tomb 1, well done recognising alcohol is in charge of you rather than vice versa. I have been in your shoes, and never thought I would be able to give up. I did but only when alcohol had nearly killed my partner - who has been indescribably ill for the last 18 months and is on the liver transplant waiting list.

The biggest difference was letting all our friends and family know that we had had a serious problem with alcohol and weren’t drinking any more. Their support once they understood has been incredible.

The AA has also been helpful and we tried a few different groups until we got one we felt comfortable with.

It’s really nice being sober, new hobbies and friends for me, and fingers crossed for my partner.

I found the first month hard and kicked the fridge door a bit, and made myself remember that I had a fab childhood and never had alcohol. After 3 months it was much easier.

Good luck, Sophie

Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to Sophieatkinson

I’m really sorry to hear your partner is suffering and I hope your doing okay with everything but I’m glad you’ve kicked the alcohol! the idea of family and everyone else having to find out haunts me which I guess is good incentive to just stop. I’ve tried one aa group but wasn’t quite my crowd but there is another I’m going to try next week. being sober should bring a new light to a load of new things to try and do hopefully fingers crossed. I’m determined and thank you Sophie

Hi Sophie,

Thank you for your very sad, but encouraging story. It will give hope to all who are trying to kick the drink,👍👍👍


Trust9 profile image

Good afternoon Tomb1,

I am sure you will get lots of support from our lovely forum members.

I would just reiterate the need to look at , and minimise, your alcohol consumption if it is enough to cause you concern.

Also, may I suggest you make an appointment with your GP to voice your concerns and to have a clinical assessment.

Best wishes ,


Tomb1 profile image
Tomb1 in reply to Trust9

The support here has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced online and I really can’t thank everyone enough, Going to take each day at a time then each week then each month, that’s it this time

Thanks for your message!

Trust9 profile image
Trust9Administrator in reply to Tomb1

Good morning Tomb1,

So glad to hear you are getting valuable support !

Take care,


Hiya. I'm sure there will be student counselling available at Uni. Please use all resources available. My son is 21 and at Uni, so I do know a bit of the pressures.

Reach out to all those you know will support you.

Stay strong honey. 🤗🤗

Hi Tomb, I have nothing to add health wise, but I will say I went to uni a couple of decades ago and drank my fair share. Looking back, I could’ve done far better things with my time than go on pub crawls and such boring stuff. It was still a unique experience when not drinking, but if I had my time again I’d drink very occasionally if at all.

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