Can cirrhosis be reversed after 1 mont... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
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Can cirrhosis be reversed after 1 month of not drinking?

Debbie633
Debbie633

My husband was diagnosed with cirrhosis in Nov 18. He did not give up drinking, if anything he drank more. He was drinking just lager but stepped it up to vodka and lager. In Feb 2020 I went with him to see the liver consultant who said my husband was stage 4 liver disease and gave an approximation of 2 years life expectancy if he didn’t give up.

My husband checked himself into The Priory for 6 days and I am told by him that he stopped drinking. The Priory told him his liver would repair after 1 month. He had a scan on Friday (4 weeks after leaving The Priory) and was told his liver has a bit of scarring but nothing bad, no mention of cirrhosis . He has now started drinking again but only lager (the strong stuff).

Can this be true? I know the liver is an amazing organ

He is 61 and has been drinking heavily and smoking heavily for 40 Years

40 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi debbie. I really am not surprised 6 days is not long enough after 40 years of drinking to become sober. The liver is amazing but I really dont know the answer sorry. But I would say he needs months in rehab for even the cravings to pass. I hope they are right and that your husband sees sense. Take care nic x

Cirrhosis does not go away after only 4 weeks sobriety. Alcohol related hepatitis (which has similar symptoms) might ease. If he has scarring still showing on his scan then he still has cirrhosis (F4 fibrosis), continuing to drink is going to lead to increasing levels of liver damage.

Katie

Im sorry to say if he has been told he will be dead in 2 years if he doesn't stop drinking that's exactly what will happen !

The only thing that stopped my husband drinking was to take the bull by the horns and literally throw him out. He went to his Mother's. I told him if he gave up drinking he could come back or he would lose his home, me and our 2 children. Once he finally admitted he was an alcoholic 1 to 1 councelling was set up. Once a week a councellor visited him at his Mother's where questions were asked of him such as what triggered the urge to drink. At home he would always have a reason or excuse... an extreme high or extreme low. Without doubt by the time such addiction and major illness have set in, it is very much a mental illness. The councelling got him dry for 3 months. But it was too late and died a horrible death in intensive care soon afterwards. I now understand an awful lot more about the tortured soul he was and what effect his actions and this poison had on him, myself and our children as they grew up without their Father.

Lladro
Lladro
in reply to Laura009

Hi Laura009, yours is such a sad story I am so sorry. I’m at a loss as to what to say, but thank you for sharing.

Take care

Caz x

Laura009
Laura009
in reply to Lladro

Thankyou for your kind words

L x

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to Laura009

That is so sad.

I can see that my husband now has a mental illness.

He is a bully and a lot of the time he hates me. He wants a divorce and he is taking as much as he can from me. I run 3 companies and he has not worked for years.

I just want out of this toxic relationship so I can live in peace.

I don’t believe what he tells me but I can’t understand why he would lie about his liver, what he says to me sounds so believable. He gave me a detailed account of what he was told when he had the scan. Things don’t add up. I can’t ask anyone as no one will speak to me about his condition and in this current climate the medical profession have more important issues.

Are things better for you now you don’t have an alcoholic in your life?

Stay safe and stay positive 😊

I appreciate you responding to my message. 💕

Laura009
Laura009
in reply to Debbie633

It sounds like you have come to the end of the road . My situation was similar in that l am self emplyed. He became to ill to work so he had no income. I had to have all bank accounts either closed or joint accounts put in my name only to make sure l would be financially secure and to stop him stealing money to feed his habit. Guess you need to decide whether you want to support him through it or get rid. No one can tell you what's right or wrong as every situation is different.

I have a wonderful new life with a wonderful husband. Drink doesn't feature in our lives at all. My children have grown into wonderful mature adults of whom their Father would have been incredibly proud. Life was very tough on us all. Alcohol stripped him of everything l had fallen in love with but 10 years on we have kept a special place for him in our hearts ❤

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to Laura009

Wow - you have been so strong.

I just want to get away from him and his nasty behaviour. I have made the decision and I will get away no matter what the financial cost. I am looking forward to being free.

I feel the The Priory just took his (or my) money and after 6 days - nothing! Now after 1 month he is drinking again. Will they offer him another 6 days ? I guess they will.

So happy to know you have come out of this and that you are happy - It can be done. Thank you

Laura009
Laura009
in reply to Debbie633

6 days is nowhere near long enough. Most are there for up to 12 weeks.

All the best for your future.

And thankyou

Laura009
Laura009
in reply to Debbie633

It's absolutely true... an alcoholic will lie to you and to doctors. I went with him to every doctors and hospital appointment so l could fill in the gaps that he wouldnt mention. That way l was kept informed and supported incredibly well by the whole medical team caring for him throughout his "alcoholic life" and susequent death in ICU. I don't know what l would have done without them💙

Lladro
Lladro
in reply to Debbie633

Hi Debbie my heart goes out to you and I hope this terrible time you are experiencing soon passes xx

marelle34
marelle34
in reply to Debbie633

Hi Debbie, my situation almost the same I have tried for almost 6years to get my husband to stop. The alcohol has changed him completely the lying and the nastiness had become unbearable, and thinking he would change, it seems the alcohol means more to him so I up and left and I can only say I'm now the happiest I've been for a long time. I only regret I didn't do it sooner.

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to marelle34

That has given me so much hope. More than you know.

It’s tough, it’s really tough and I don’t understand it. But I’m going for it this time.

I guess you know yourself that it is easier to put up with the abuse than to break away. But this time I’m clinging on to my dream of being free.

I have decided to keep the 2m rule in my life for ever 😊😊😊. No one is ever ever going to control or bully me again.

Your support is truly truly appreciated 💕

marelle34
marelle34
in reply to Debbie633

You go girl I'm 61 and starting over but it's much much better than living in the misery 💕💕

Uplight99
Uplight99
in reply to Debbie633

My Dad has been an alcoholic for over 20 years and hasn’t run into any liver issues yet. There are some lucky people who can drink heavy their whole lives and not run into any issues, so don’t write off the fact that he could be telling the truth.

My Dad is probably like your husband, gets drunk and becomes very violent and abusive. He has been abusive to my Mum on a couple occasions and I’ve had no issues putting him in his place (with my fist) and throwing him out for the night. Where did he go? Not sure, wasn’t my concern.

We have recently moved into a new flat and he has been put in a hotel by the council. For the first time in my life, my Dad isn’t here every night getting drunk and screaming his mourn off, getting abusive etc and it’s great. I’m not sure what the position is with your husband, but if you want him gone, then get rid of him. Your mental health and well-being should be your first priority, don’t let him drag you down with him.

Uplight99
Uplight99
in reply to Uplight99

Sorry I didn’t read your post properly. I thought you said that he said there was no issues with his liver but I completely misread, so ignore the first paragraph of my post.

There’s no chance his liver will recover in such a short space of time, despite what he says of what anyone says.

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to Uplight99

I used to be so ashamed to tell people.

Your comments really do help me.

Uplight99
Uplight99
in reply to Debbie633

Don’t be ashamed, you’d be surprised at what goes on on people’s lives behind closed doors, we all have our own issues.

Most people aren’t going to tell you if they’re alcoholic/live with someone alcoholic but I can assure you, a lot more people than you probably think have to deal with this on a daily basis. It’s not hard to put on a happy face, I’ve become a master at it.

Your mental health and well-being should be your priority. I saw what my Dad was doing to my Mum and I hated it which is the reason I took it into my own hands to make sure he doesn’t live with us. I didn’t want to make my Dad homeless but I also didn’t want him living with us, so I went through a lot of trouble (and hours on the phone) to my council to try and sort out shelter for him. Turns out with the currently situation, the council have a duty to make sure absolutely no one is living on the streets so I managed to sort him out somewhere to stay. The council have been paying for a hotel room for him for over 2 months now and they have said he can stay there permanently if he applies for universal credit and housing benefit so I need to sort that out for him.

Long story short, I can see my Mum is A LOT happier with him not being here every night, as are we all. He is still welcome to visit us everyday which he does. I don’t mind him having a couple of drinks, but when he gets to the stage where I can see he’s going to be an issue I have no issues in telling him to get out.

If your husband is making your life a misery, get rid of him. If he has no where to stay and you don’t want to see him homeless, get in contact with your council because they have a duty of care to make sure no one is homeless, especially if they’re vulnerable (alcoholics are classed as vulnerable)

All the best

Laura009
Laura009
in reply to Uplight99

What better reason could YOU have for now giving up the booze for good? You do not want to end up following in your Father's footsteps and putting your Mother through it all again with her son.

Good lad !

Uplight99
Uplight99
in reply to Laura009

I think seeing what alcohol done to my Dad is my main motivation for quitting. He said to me that when he was younger he said he would never follow in his Dads footsteps but long and behold, he did.

I’ve been saying to myself lately “I hate the fact that I have health anxiety” but when I think about it, it’s only going to do me good in the long run. If I didn’t have health anxiety then I’d probably carry on drinking until it’s too late...

Laura009
Laura009
in reply to Uplight99

Drinking wont do anxiety any good at all it makes it worse

Uplight99
Uplight99
in reply to Laura009

I know. I’ve been clean for a couple weeks however and my health anxiety is still present so maybe there’s another underlying cause for it, who knows.

Looks like the Priory gave him false hope. and he’s taken the attitude I’m ok. The liver can take up to 2 years to recover. At least he’s been given the warning and he should really try to stop or greatly reduce his alcohol intake. I too was drinking and running my business, but unfortunately got to the stage where I was near death as I hadn’t had any symptoms. Fortunately I was very, very lucky and was saved at the last moment by a transplant. Otherwise I would now be dead. Try to help him cut down drastically

Trust1
Trust1Administrator

Hi Debbie,

As Katie has already said, you may be able to reduce symptoms of alcohol related hepatitis if the liver is inflamed by alcohol, but you cannot reverse a cirrhotic liver by just stopping drinking for a month.

If you are in the UK why don't you consider calling myself or Kirsty today on the nurse-led helpline 0800 652 7330 10am to 3pm and we can have a chat?

Best wishes

Trust1

Ask to see the test results and a report from the doctor. It is extremely unlikely that his liver has repaired itself in 4 weeks after 40 years of smoking and drinking.

If he is lying to you, be careful. Such a request may provoke some aggressive behaviour.

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to swmartin

I’ll never see the results. Apparently he had never been given results it was the nurse who did the scan that told him his liver is normal.

I’m focused on my escape plan now. No looking back. He’s on his own now.

It’s a shame as I have such a wonderful future and I thought he could enjoy the journey with me. But he would rather be with his best mate - alcohol

I can’t and won’t compete. I’m done!

swmartin
swmartin
in reply to Debbie633

Make sure you have copies of all paperwork including bank statements, credit card statements, expenses, payments, etc. Keep detailed notes of exactly what happens. Write an account of past happenings. Corroborate it with family and friends. Use events and places as reference points. Get organised!

You have 3 businesses and he has no income? If he has contributed to the building and running of these businesses, then fair do's. If not, in the event of a divorce, he might be awarded what is not his and you might be expected to support him for the remainder of his life.

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to swmartin

Thank You

I have a great network of people around me.

You are right I have to gather so much paperwork and evidence. It’s taking me a long time. But I can see my freedom now and I’m not going back. I’m flying 😊😊

Hi Debbie

It sounds to me like your husband is still in denial with his drinking. I am not medically qualified but have been in his situation! I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis stage 4 in December 2020 and there is no way that you can ever drink alcohol again and get/stay well! When you are in the grip of this addiction you will lie and try and convince yourself that you are in control, but really you are not! I am sure the Priory helped, but once you leave there you need ongoing help and support!

Everyone is different and the liver is an amazing organ which can repair, but mine didn’t and I worked hard to stay alcohol free, get well and I was assessed and listed for a transplant which I had in December! I really hope he will not get to the stage where he needs a transplant, however if he does he will not be considered if he is still drinking!

He really needs to stop drinking, get more help psychologically and medically! He needs to have someone with him for medical appointments, to ensure he gets the right information and it doesn’t translate to something different in his head!

I hope I have not been to harsh, but it is a tough hard road!

I sincerely hope he had turned things round and life gets better!

Lesley

Simple answer.

He is telling you a lie so he can carry on drinking!

Us crafty alcoholics in denial are good at that!

Priory will happily take your £££ for another 6 days " treatment " but it wont work unless he wants it to and without an extended long follow up its next to useless.

It's the very start of recovery not the "cure".

I thought a while if i'd respond here or not but see you've had a load of advice so far.

Usual caveats apply that I'm not a doctor etc. but I have never heard the words cirrhosis and reversible in the same positive sentence.

I have cirrhosis and have categorically been told that it's going nowhere and the damage is done. What my consultant did say though is that liver function can improve, and this has been the case in my blood work, but as far as the physical damage being there then it's done and done and you're into the realms of damage control.

Hope your hubby got some use out of the Priory but it sounds like they have maybe given some wayward advice or the feedback might have been misheard. I hope he is feeling better and dealt with things.

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to Xenom0rph

I really do appreciate your comments. I know so little about the condition that I am unable to make a judgement either way. I need this forum to help me untangle the truth. From my research I thought that once cirrhosis is diagnosed then there is no going back but he is so convincing. How long can you abuse your liver? He is quite amazing as his diet is full of sugar, he smokes 30+ a day, he does not exercise, he is always moody and miserable, he drinks loads, yet he is still functioning.

I think The Priory just wanted his money - there has been no follow up support.

I think the word 'improve' can be taken in different context.

Improve = totally recovered or Improve = gets a little bit better

It's open to interpretation.

Good to hear how others are coping, and it is highlighting that he does not tell the complete truth.

Xenom0rph
Xenom0rph
in reply to Debbie633

Hmm. The thing about this is that it will creep up slow and by the time you've clocked the damage it could be too late. Feel free to message if you need any info, my situation is similar

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to Xenom0rph

Thank you.

How are you now?

Are you ok?

Xenom0rph
Xenom0rph
in reply to Debbie633

Yeah, well as OK as I can be but I stopped drinking immediately, I had to. Still manage it day by day and there's rarely s moment where I don't think about all the madness but I'm here, still kicking. At least for a while. And for that I'm grateful.

Debbie633
Debbie633
in reply to Xenom0rph

Do you have people to help you? People just to chat to or who message you?

Do you have support?

Laura009
Laura009
in reply to Debbie633

Unless he went into the priory admitting he is alcohol dependant and wants and needs help to recover, they can't help him. The 1st major step on the road to sobriety is him acknowledging his problem. From what you've said about him l think it highly unlikely he will have done so. Hence, he's out within 6 days with no follow up.

I have a great family and circle of friends that understand and are always available to chat. I'm fiercly private though so a lot of the time I find support within forums like this, REddit and just some time with my own thoughts and a journal helps. I have regular appointments with my consultant where they check my bloods, blood pressure and an ultrasound every 6 months. My biggest fear is cancer. And the thought of knowing I've did all this damage myself coupled with knowing there isn't a damn thing I can do to stop it keeps me awake at night. But by not drinking and *trying* to take care of myself I'm hoping i've slowed things to a crawl.

Hi Debbie, I was an alcoholic and drug abuser(light) until March 2019. I was rushed to hospital. My liver had failed, my kidneys followed and encephalitis just to add to the problems. An emergency aesthetic drain was carried out and my wife was told the next 72 hours were critical. I would say , please tell your husband that I had untold amounts of ultrasounds, fibroscans and the old tube down the throat...but...the only real way is to have a biopsy but if your livers in a bad way it can kill you.

Your husband has become addicted. It’s probably not what he planned in life but over the years without him even realising it, drinking selfishly has taken over and he cannot bear to face the future with the prospect of never touching another drop. Apart from ballooning up I showed no symptoms anything was wrong. The liver has no nerve ending so it cannot warn you it’s dying....it’s a gannet and will only let you know by destroying other organs or affecting the blood.

Some how your husband should sit down with someone and learn in a loving but forthright way what waits in store. I would be glad to talk to him at my mail address of cammeag at hot mail dot com. Only if he wants to.

I am fourteen months drink free, and fairly healthy at the moment. But I will need a transplant sometime, and no matter whether I take good care of myself or not I stand a 60% chance of not surviving the operation.. But for now life is good, spiritual, my choice and my family are so delighted. Time is of the essence here.. Every waking minute he ponders his next drink, whether he admits this or not. You are due his love and affection for whatever time is left. I hope he gets in touch, take care,

David

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