Stressed at what seem to be symptoms o... - British Liver Trust

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Stressed at what seem to be symptoms of cirrhosis

Vladimirberkov profile image
Vladimirberkov

I’m 37, and had a drinking problem that got out of control the past two years. Eventually I ended up in the hospital where they treated me for hyponatremia and some malnutrition and withdrawal. With my history and elevated liver blood work they also did an ultrasound and told me I had a fatty liver and if I kept drinking like I was I’d end up with cirrhosis.

After that overnight hospital stay January 5 I’ve not had a drink since and instantly felt better. No more throwing up, nausea, constant hangovers/drunkenness. I started eating well again and thought I was on the way to recovery.

However after a week or so, after looking online researching more about fatty liver I noticed some scary symptoms that I was having seemed to indicate cirrhosis. Things like red hands and feet, retaining water, hair loss, lack of libedo, dark circles under the eyes, rapid heartbeat/shortness of breath, Terry’s nails, skin pigmentation, blue veins visible, and maybe more I’ve forgotten.

I brought my concerns to my doctor who examined me but seems to think it’s mostly anxiety, he ran the bloodwork again and says there’s just no way someone with all those symptoms of end stage cirrhosis could have my blood numbers. My liver enzymes dropped to normal fast after quitting alcohol, my bilirubin is normal as is PT and PTT and I have a platelet count of 310k with no signs of bleeding. He says because of this whatever is wrong is not end stage cirrhosis. He seems reluctantly open to having me see a specialist just for peace of mind but that might take weeks.

I’m feeling like I’m losing my mind. I alternate between knowing I’m sick and going to die and thinking maybe my doctor is right and it’s no big deal.

Does anyone have any advice?

15 Replies

I doubt you have cirrhosis with a platelet that high, I don't think i know anyone with platelets that high and have cirrhosis. Maybe, there is some out there but I don't know of any. I am sure some might come alone and say they have high platelets and cirrhosis but that isn't the norm. You have gotten a wake-up call, all those symptoms are due to your years of drinking, it takes many people almost 2 yrs. to get their body back to normal. Many with liver disease due to alcohol have fast weight loss (muscle wasting), itching and feel very cold. Take this as wake-up call. My liver disease not from alcohol but I have become friends with many of the people at the clinic that has ALD, and they all say, they wished, they had a wake-up call, or they did get one but kept drinking.

Our situations are v. similar (age, period overdoing it). I quit drinking last Christmas.

One weird thing is that I felt worse the week or two after stopping. Upper quartile aches and that kind of thing. I feel much better now but still a bit sore from time to time. I suspect your issues will improve with abstinence too.

If you can get doc to prescribe an ultrasound (ideally fibroscan) that may give you some indication of any damage that may exist. Blood tests are of limited use as a liver which is very damaged can still operate effectively enough to give a normal test reading.

Christi762 profile image
Christi762 in reply to Jatropha

Hi, this is VladimirBerkov, I don't know why the name changed by switching comptuers. It's weird, they did an ultrasound while I was in the hospital, that's where I was diagnosed as having only a fatty liver. The doctors said it wasn't even massively fatty and with cutting out alcohol and weight loss I could reverse it in time. I don't have any of the more intense symptoms of cirrhosis such as constant itching, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite. It seems all to be mostly skin related and external in some way or other. Maybe if I get the appointment with the hepatologist they can do additional scans that might be even more helpful. Until then I'm pretty much convinced I'm done for based on just having so many symptoms, even though the blood work and original US seem to say I'm ok.

Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Christi762

Stop googling , then stop worrying..... if you had cirrhosis you would know about it and so would your docs. It's fatty liver, lay off the booze for good, eat healthily and excercise. Give it time and your liver will fully recover.

All the best

Laura

Christi762 profile image
Christi762 in reply to Laura009

I'll try. Hopefully my appointment comes through with the specialist to make sure. It's just the weird symptoms like hair thinning, body hair thinning, the red hands and feet etc that have me totally freaked out. It's making me doubt my primary doctor/GP since it seems as if they don't find them important or indicative of anything because of the blood tests/US results.

Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Christi762

I know don't worry is easier said than done, but anxiety can also cause hair thinning and loss of appetite. Do your best to stay calm, live healthily and in time you will feel so much better

L x

confused71 profile image
confused71 in reply to Laura009

I agree with Laura eat a healthy diet and exercise and take the words fatty liver seriously I was told i had fatty liver several times over 10 years but no info on anything so i didnt think fatty liver was anything to worry about and ate the same stuff I always had eaten then i was told i had high enzymes and needed a biopsy which confirmed stage 3 Nash which is a serious form of fatty liver and can lead to cirrhosis .I changed my diet to a mediterranean one and lost weight so far I havent progressed in 18 months . I just wish i had been warned about the dangers of fatty liver

I agree, stop googling, if you don't, you will have itching, nausea and all the other symptoms of liver disease

Ok I will. I'll just try to put the physical things out of my mind for now the best I can, like the body hair loss, red hands and feet etc. Until I see the specialist there's nothing more I can do or know anyway I suppose. I appreciate the support of you all here.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Christi762

Hi

Take all the advice which has been given to you. I'm sorry I can't think of anything else but I'm thinking of you. Take care Lynne

Artemis61 profile image
Artemis61 in reply to Christi762

I doubt you have cirrhosis too, please try not to stress as it achieves nothing. Don't ever drink alcohol and make sure you have a healthy diet, low salt. The liver can regenerate, but it takes time it can only take so much abuse, be it from food or alcohol, or both. Look after yourself 👍

Worriesalot profile image
Worriesalot in reply to Jatropha

Referring to last comment, would liver still be compensated then?

hi and welcome-well done on going dry but remember if you've been drinking for a long time it can take months to start feeling normal again not just a few weeks

Hi Vlad,

Well done on what you've achieved so far. You've done a grand job.

From what you describe, and from my experience of cirrhosis, your GP's view seems pretty much spot on. The tests he is referring to are those that give a true indication of how well the liver is working. With late stage cirrhosis you would expect those to be deranged. The fact that they aren't is a very good sign.

Keep up your good work.

I just want to hug you because I know exactly how you feel. This very second I am waiting for a telephone appointment with my gp and my palms and soles are getting redder by the day and my pain has returned. My bloodwork is normal and a clear ultrasound last year. It's frustrating. I'm not the expert here but I don't think you have cirrhosis either.

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