Very fatty liver and stopping drinking... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Very fatty liver and stopping drinking, but want tips on returning safely to alcohol when I have reversed

xcg23
xcg23

Had a fibroscan today and CAP was 274 dB/m. 5.4 kp.

Alt 248 and AST 125.

Given up alcohol for last month and lost 1.5 stone but was caning the booze hard before and especially during lockdown.

Relieved that no apparent fibrosis but way fatty liver so looks like I need to crack on with abstaining. I can give up alcohol for 6 months and longer but permanently not doing so fills me with a dread but I would like to change my relationship with alcohol when I go back to it.

I know that won't drink for a good 6 months, or however long it takes to reverse current damage but do you have any tips on returning to alcohol and setting up a relationship with it that doesn't then become something you do nearly every night......

Thanks for your thoughts,

40 Replies
oldestnewest

You can't continue drinking alcohol or at least not in the same manner as you have before. Even if you reverse your current level of fatty liver, resuming alcohol consumption again will in all probability lead to it returning to a fatty & probably much more severely and probably thereon to a damaged liver. You can't batter your liver, let it heal then batter it again. Although a liver can be fairly resilient it hasn't got an endless capacity for healing. Your liver inflammation markers at 248/125 remain really quite high.

There is a future without alcohol, you really don't need it and your liver certainly doesn't.

britishlivertrust.org.uk/in...

Katie

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to AyrshireK

I do understand your perspective and am very grateful that you shared it with me.

Thanks and understood and thank goodness those markers were when I was caning it from a few months ago. Thank you for the resource and information. Agreed that resumption of the same behaviours would lead to the same and or worse results.

I am looking fora new relationship with alcohol.

One of the modalities of reacting to Alcoholic fatty liver is complete abstinence - its problem is that many don't and fail and then resume. Those that succeed are standard bearers and have my respect but this is real world. AA and other groups have this covered.

I am interested in a half-way house. A new and less unhealthy relationship with alcohol that contains risk, as all things do, but manageable risk. I wondered if there are support groups and or strategies for rebalancing alcohol usage which does not create unmanageable risks.

AyrshireK
AyrshireK in reply to xcg23

I support a t-total hubby who has never drank in his life but still has cirrhosis and if there were anything he could do to reverse/prevent his condition he'd have grabbed that opportunity with both hands rather than have the half life he has now with no light at the end of the tunnel.

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to AyrshireK

I am sorry. That must be very difficult.

You must read posts from someone like me and think me selfish. I am sorry that your husband has cirrhosis. I wish both you and him every good wish for his treatment. He is lucky to have your support.

I do respect your position but what I want to do is to manage risk as I do in other aspects of my life. If, clinically, it can't be managed then I shall let the science lead me to abstinence. If it can, and if I view the risks as acceptable once I have fully understood the risks and the advice then I think it is a reasonable decision to take.

My best wishes to your family.

Bazhuk
Bazhuk in reply to AyrshireK

I have decided that the only drink I will allow is a glass of champagne at my daughter's wedding and she probably won't even let me have that! If you can 60 days, you can make 660

Trust1
Trust1Administrator

Welcome to our forum.

Its very positive that you want to address your lifestyle and relationship with alcohol before your liver disease progresses to stage where there will be more damage.

You may find our publication 'Alcohol and liver disease' useful to read:

britishlivertrust.org.uk/in...

You may want to look for some support with your relationship with alcohol and investigate why you feel the need to drink. Most people will need some degree of help or a long-term plan to stay in control or completely alcohol free. Here is the NHS page:

nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-su...

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to Trust1

Thanks very much for those. I read with interest your pieces on ALD and the three resources that you link through to.

Whilst I understand and respect the Trusts' stance on complete lifelong abstinence and understanding that no alcohol usage comes with no risk I am interested in looking at a balanced relationship with alcohol where the aim isn't drunkenness or oblivion but an occasional beer or two at the pub and a glass of white with fish or glass of red with steak.

I know that I have to change and am abstaining for at least six months. I shall weigh up the risks at the end of my period of abstinence, and it may be longer than 6 months and decide. I am interested as there are many abstinent support groups but not many or any reduce the risk of alcohol use groups. Maybe that is anathemaic to what you do and I respect that.

Let me start out saying that the only truly safe way of dealing with alcohol it to avoid it completely, and that is what I have done for over two years now. It gets easier and I hardly ever think about it these days.

However, for many years before that, I carefully moderated my intake with three strategies ...

Firstly I bought more expensive wine and savoured it.

Secondly on the days I drank (3 days a week) I only drank after 9pm. This meant I wasn't denying myself something that I wanted, but limited my drinking 'window'.

Thirdly (and probably most importantly) I bought myself a set of measures so I was only pouring 125ml glasses of wine. I would have 2 or at most 3 of these (3 is half a bottle). This limited me to at most 14 units a week with 4 days not drinking at all.

I should say, that despite my 'moderate' and 'within government guidelines' drinking, I still developed a liver disease, albeit a pretty unusual one. So going back to my initial point, any alcohol will damage the liver, everyone needs to make their own personal decision and mine was complete abstinence. I am very happy with my choice.

I hope that in 6 months time you decide that you don't need alcohol in your life at all.

Best

Paul.

That’s really helpful and knowledgeable with great strategies and tips. Thank you.

Pamziepam
Pamziepam in reply to xcg23

I drank I from 16-45. I now live T total and truly don’t miss the hangovers! If you had asked me if I could abstain a few years back I’d have said no way but a liver scare, balance problems which I’ve still got and vertigo was enough for me. So was the thousands of heart PVCS I was getting daily which have now gone. I’ve been very ill over the last year and it’s just not worth getting to this state for the sake of a drink. Best to look after your liver like it looks after you X

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to Pamziepam

Congratulations for giving up. That’s great!

I quit just under two years ago because I was drinking too much and had become dependent. If I stopped for a day or two, I didn’t get any physical symptoms, but I did get cravings. If I’d continued to drink even if only once a month, the cravings would never go away. I had two choices to either quit forever or try to moderate my drinking. The latter isn’t possible for anyone who’s ever been dependent. Old habits will creep back. No exceptions whatever anyone says.

I could be wrong, but I’m afraid to say I think you’ve crossed the line into alcohol dependency, and moderating might not be an option.

I never thought I’d give up 100%, but now it’s the obvious and best way. My life’s way better without alcohol. Don’t you think giving up will enrich your life anyway? I’m not anti-alcohol, but I find a lot of “social drinkers” quite dull.

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to CocoChannel

That’s great to read. Well done and fab!

CocoChannel
CocoChannel in reply to xcg23

Well done to you too on giving up and the weight loss. Hope it all works out 👍

Hi there, I dont really know much about this drink thing, but I do know I am terminal, no matter what you want to do such as drink responsibly moderately once a wk or once a month, it really depends what your Liver wants to do, mine has given me a 5-year battle and lessons on how to stay alive , that is enough for me to make sure I dont give my Liver the oppertunity to get worse or more poorley than it is. I don't judge anyone or anything but it really isn't up to your mind anymore its up to your liver and the state it is in. I wish you all the very best.

Paderico

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to Paderico

Thank you for your reply. I am so sorry to read of your diagnosis. That must be very tough for you. Thank you for sharing your experience which will make me thing. Good thoughts for you.

Paderico
Paderico in reply to xcg23

Good Morning to you sorry if I sounded a little harsh we all have our own opinions, I really dont think what you are looking for exists, you see once you have had an episode such as you have there is no return to safety, whilst having a drink or non Liver friendly foods, it's one of the organs that will dictate to us what we can do and what we cant as it is lots of people will listen to their Liver do everything that is possible but, if it wants 2 it can go from fatty Liver to Cirrhosis from compensated to decompensated and then just shut down in a trice, it is a matter of : it will now dictate to you....so please do the best you can to help not hinder it. again all my very best wishes O and BTW I think it is great that you can talk and reach out to others about this subject and well done with your weight loss..

Paderico.

Hello 🙂

Ok...in my opinion, I feel you must think really hard about the moderate drinking. If losing weight has not encouraged you enough, try watching people that are 🤔 ..let's call it jolly on alcohol...just observe for a while. Sometimes it is far too easy to slip back into the cycle.

I also drank from the age 15-46yrs. A LOT towards the 46yrs! I too have now been abstinent for nearly 2 years (it was either that or t'other)..Woo hoo!

However, Please please stay away for as long as possible if not completely....I ignorantly thought "Oh it's ok, just have a break for a while." How wrong I was! I never had the break, instead I got full blown, in your face, no returns, Cirrhosis and all its lovely little physical relatives too! I won't go into how it all, affected me, it's too long, I sincerely hope YOU never have a long story to tell for yourself!

I know its not what you want to hear. 🙄 If you are considering going back to it ..("IT"= Alcohol ) now, when you have still not had your six months without, then IF you decide to try again, (which it sounds like you already have decided - but you don't have to) try the suggested ideas from the experienced replies above. Drink water, a lot! Think of "IT" as a treat.

I'm not sure you will get the answers you are looking for as there are a lot of people including myself that wish that's all they had, ie fatty liver from "IT". (I do not mean that flippantly as fatty liver isn't a brilliant game either.)

If you are lucky enough for your bloods to establish themselves again, look after them.

I wish you all the best and sorry not to be more encouraging about drinking "IT".

Stay on here though and more encouragement will crop up I'm sure. In one way or another.

Take good care. 😊 (((👋)))

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to Kji378

Thank you for your reply. It’s really valuable for me to read your lives in experience. It does make me stop and think. I’m sorry you’ve got cirrhosis. You must think that my approach is selfish and uninformed - trying to walk a tightrope.

Tell you the truth is that not drinking day in and day out doesn’t bother me, not drinking forever does. However, reading and opening my mind to experiences like yours do help me form my views. Thanks and good luck.

Kji378
Kji378 in reply to xcg23

Hi 🙂

You are more than welcome. 😊

I had an Ultrasound prior to the diagnosed Cirrhosis. - a warning if you like. But I thought ok, so that's good I haven't got it, I'm fine. Sheer ignorance on my part. I had no idea, apart from being told, once you have Cirrhosis theres no going back. I wish I was more informed and been able to understand, but I just compared it to something like (this a very silly example) a bad tooth, if you don't look after them, they will fall out or be extracted and they'll never grow back. I HAD NO IDEA!, Once again... trust me, you do not want this! Read more about it, read more of peoples experiences on here. I WISH I HAD.

I feel very selfish to have not listened to the warning - as some poor people have Cirrhosis through no fault of their own.

Just heed any advice. I DO understand how you feel. I am not waving fingers or Raging Arghhs 😡 at you at all. At the end of the day, it is your choice. No one is pouring it down your neck, but if this has shown already, I seriously would start to do research and keep asking questions.

All I can say, is the same as I previously did. If you CAN control the volume and amount of the alcohol, DO! But please be very careful. 😬 one minute you could be like this 😁 then the next...BOOM, like this 💀 🤕 🤒 😨

Look after your liver, it will thank you!

Take good care. xXx 🤗

My husband was a habitual drinker and ended up in a&e vomiting blood (where he was diagnosed with cirrhosis). He drank every day in the end & although I would ask him not to buy a bottle of wine on his way home, he always would. He had become dependent but didn't realise until it was too late.

I, in the other hand, can have a glass of wine now and again, drink it and then fancy a coffee. He would have had to finish the bottle. I know, and he would say too, that he would never have been able to change that. He stopped drinking the minute he went to a&e.

I don't know you or how dependent you are on alcohol obviously. You might find that you struggle to moderate your drinking and abstinence might be a better option for you. Believe me, if my husband could go back in time, he would have stopped drinking a long time ago.

I saw an interesting article in The Times weekend supplement last Saturday about the dangers of every day drinking with recommendations of how to cut down. I can't add a screenshot but you could look it up.

Thanks for the reply. I’ve given up for a month and I don’t find it hard particularly at these times of social distancing - it’s giving up forever that’s tricky. I agree that I may struggle with moderate drinking. Depending on where I get to then I shall follow the right option for me. I really appreciate you views and good thoughts to you snd your family.

Find some really nice non-alch beers... I loved the taste of an IPA and I found one called "partake IPA"; it is outstanding.

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to No1234679

Thanks for the tips. There are some good ones out there but I think it’s the energised buzz that I miss. Day in day out not drinking is fun, it’s forever I struggle with.

No1234679
No1234679 in reply to xcg23

I tried medical Marijuana and CBD for anxiety after I had to stop drinking and I prefer it. Maybe find a strain you like?!

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to No1234679

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated.

CocoChannel
CocoChannel in reply to xcg23

Any ex-drinker misses alcohol on the odd occasion. If I’m eating a strong flavoured pasta dish, for example, a glass of red wine would be ideal. The buzz you mentioned goes away in time, but urges pop up from time to time.

But as I said above, I realised about two years ago that I can’t drink moderately. If I had a glass of red tonight, I’d want another tomorrow and so on. It’s no longer about willpower with someone who’s been dependent. The brain has been altered forever, and drinking again will reset all urges to day one levels. I’d be drinking a bottle of wine a night within two weeks. No thanks.

Laura009
Laura009 in reply to xcg23

Just remember alcohol is poison. As someone said here the other day, it's real name is ethanol. Do you really want to go back to drinking a killer ?

Ooo...Ps.

Also try something new, challenge yourself, find something else, if it is the social side of drinking, perhaps learn or do something differently 6 days a week.

I felt like I had been dropped by my drinking friends, but actually. It's really good not to hear them moaning about being skint, hangovers, how ill they've been, the situations they have got themselves into, being humiliated or losing important things, and do you know what? I think one out of that circle asked how I was. That in itself tells me something.

I have met far more interesting and what I would call "Real" people since the stopping and being abstinent,being in hospitals, learning about Nutrition, medications etc.

If it is because of any particular mental health issue, look for help there, there is a lot around. Know that you are not alone in your boat, others have and sail on that sea too.

I better go, before I bore myself! But you get my drift..(no pun intended!).

🤗

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to Kji378

Thanks very much for the good tips.

I have autoimmune liver and I drink alcohol occasionally. Nothing like weekly, more like a couple of glasses of wine on special occasions. So maybe 3 or 4 times a year. The treatment (various medications) has got my numbers down, they are checked monthly and if they did start creeping up again I’d stop the occasional tipples at once and not miss the alcohol. I don’t know if that’s the kind of new relationship with alcohol you’re thinking of. I can go out with friends, see them drinking alcohol and not bother if I’m not joining them. I think you should discuss future drinking with your doctor- they know your condition and the specifics of it best.

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to witchiegirl

Much appreciated the tips and the good advice to speak with my doctor

I’m in a similar situation to you. I’ve been a heavy drinker for about 10 years and now I’m suffering from fatty liver and scared to absolute death it’s cirrhosis as I have not had a fibroscan yet due to my bloods always being perfect besides mildly elevated bilirubin. I’m praying that when I do get the scan I’ll be ok but sadly I have way more symptoms of potential cirrhosis than fatty liver since my entire right side is in 24/7 throbbing pain starting with the liver area. I too was not ok with the thought of quitting forever and after a few months of abstinence and healthy diet I thought I could try a couple drinks every now and then but that only brought on the pain. I’m glad you post is getting way more positive than mine did when I asked similar questions because I would like to believe I could have a couple from time to time. I’ll admit in my abstinence I’ve become completely boring lol all I do is work eat crappy food (healthy bland food) and attempts to sleep through my pains and anxiety but I keep telling myself that I’m at least slice and not in the hospital yet. That and looking forward to coffee during the day is what’s keeping me going right now. If I do end with cirrhosis I’d feel horrible for my dad having to live through losing my mom and now me to the same disease though hers was not alcoholic related only poor health related. Trust me, so everything you can to go another day without drinking. I have found that my social gatherings with my friends aren’t too bad sober while they are drinking and still going to some bars with them that offer things like trivia and karaoke are fun to keep my mind off needing a drink in my hand while hanging out. I do absolutely love the taste of beer so I’m hoping if my liver isn’t too beat up then maybe I can find some non alcoholic ones to enjoy while socializing. I think another thing that now keeps me from reaching for a drink is knowing tat if I do have or get cirrhosis then I’ll never be able to eat my favorite foods again and I’m a foodie so that will be as big of a blow as life long abstinence from alcohol. Just look at this as you got a chance to still live a long and happy life wit a few changes rather than cutting straight to cirrhosis and a I g to completely change your life. The monitoring advice others have is great and might be a great way to keep things under control and if you choose to drink again I hope they do keep it all under control. I wish you the best with everything and quick recovery on the fatty liver part :)

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to Amethyst91

I’m sure you’ll be fine. There are private providers who’ll scan you if you can afford it I think? The right side pain can be anything from ibs to muscle strain. If in doubt the see your Doctor and report your symptoms. Good luck and thanks for the advice.

Thank you. Trust me I’ve seen almost every dr imaginable since May and the symptoms just got worse. I am lucky that I have PPO insurance so I’m finally moving my case up to a major hospital in LA. I’m worried sick so badly that concentrating on my life if difficult. I can live with the diagnosis if I get it as it’s completely my fault but being on this diet since May has got me missing food so bad. It sucks being on a diet and not feeling any healthier. Now I just feel frozen until Thursday comes to declare my fate.

Stay strong on your path and if you pick up drinking again just make sure not to go hard again. I know that’s something I struggled with before my fatty liver diagnosis and still have to fight the urge everyday even though I’m in this mess because of it.

xcg23
xcg23 in reply to Amethyst91

It’ll all be good. Well done for changing your life.

Hi xcg23 🙂

How are you getting on? Any new ideas, or are you still thinking things over?

Thanks very much - I am not drinking for 6 months or a year and then working it out from there. Not making any plans from here. See how I feel in few months, review the numbers with my doctor and take a look. The perspective of this site is good and helpful although it is an abstinent bias, obviously due to the conditions that people have, rather than a moderation one.

That view is a really important and valuable one and I heed it carefully as one viewpoint but maybe not the only viewpoint.

How you doing?

Laura009
Laura009 in reply to xcg23

Everyone's condition started as a " moderate one"

Right you are. Well that's great.

Yes, I understand the feeling. But as you said it IS only because peeps have had so much and different medical and personal reasons. 😊 It's called caring 😊 ( I mean that exactly how it is, not sarcasm, as sometimes texts can be taken the wrong way).

It's great you are aware of it and I think for you to ask the question in general, shows that you are genuinely concerned and being sensible. I sincerely wish you all the best.

Keep reading the other posts though.👍

I'm ok as can be, thank you for asking, but it's not about me at the moment. This is your time! So may the force be with you! I say that a lot actually~ I'm not even a huge Starwars Trekkie.... oh cripes, now I've gone really wrong!

Keep smiling & Take care. 😁

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