12,4 kPa after drinking alcohol - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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12,4 kPa after drinking alcohol

Andi19723
Andi19723

Hello. My fibroscan score was 12,4 but I drink 6 beers one day before (and 8-9 beers 3 an 4 days before). Can the result be not real? Two years before my result was 7,1 kPa.

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Fibroscan can only be used as one part of a diagnosis tool, on it's own it can be misinterpreted.

It totally depends on what your bloods are saying at the same time since Fibroscan can not differentiate between actual fibrosis and ongoing liver inflammation. If your liver is inflamed at the time of your scan (which it might be if you have excess alcohol usage) then it is possible to have an elevated kPa which reflects the inflammation rather than fibrosis.

However, if bloods are normal then you can pretty much rely on fibroscan result, 12.4 kPa where alcohol is the underlying issue would indicate F3 fibrosis so it would be wise to reconsider your relationship with alcohol since 6 beers could equate up to 18 alcohol units. 8-9 beers (24-27 units) both in excess of 'safe' guideline limits.

If you have been drinking regularly since you 7.1 kPa result then it's possible that your then F1 result may now have risen / liver deteriorated.

Katie

Andi19723
Andi19723 in reply to AyrshireK

Thank you for quick answer. What really are interesting is that some mesuresments was 6 or 7 kpa and anther ones 16 or 18 kpa. Is it normal? On my first fibro, all mesurements was between 6 and 7,8 kpa. My doctor told me that I need 3 month of low fat diet, no alcohol.

AyrshireK
AyrshireK in reply to Andi19723

They take 10 readings across your liver with the median or average being the one reported. 12.4 kPa sits in the F3 bracket as an average of all those across your liver. You really need to heed this and address your drinking - if those numbers quoted are a regular consumption then you are drinking at a potentially dangerous level.

Andi19723
Andi19723 in reply to AyrshireK

Is it possible to decrease this number (12,4)?

AyrshireK
AyrshireK in reply to Andi19723

Potentially, but , you'll need to make some major lifestyle changes. Quit alcohol, eat healthily and follow a healthy lifestyle regime - watch your salt and sugar intake too.

Have a look at the BLT guidance on alcohol and the liver and take this as a warning before things get to a potential irreversible stage. britishlivertrust.org.uk/in...

Katie

Andi19723
Andi19723 in reply to AyrshireK

Thak you.

Andi19723
Andi19723 in reply to AyrshireK

Sorry.. Can you tell me the cutoff value for cirrhosis.

AyrshireK
AyrshireK in reply to Andi19723

If you type Fibroscan Score Chart into your search engine then click under images you'll get a full colour chart where the different cut off s for different liver conditions are listed as each underlying liver disease has different cut off points.

For non alcohol related fatty liver disease into F4 or cirrhosis at 12 kPa. For alcohol related liver disease the bar is a bit higher.

Katie

Andi19723
Andi19723 in reply to AyrshireK

If my IRQ/MED is 33%, can I hope that my real stiffness be a little bit lower because the rib echo?

AyrshireK
AyrshireK in reply to Andi19723

Rather than looking at ways to disprove the result just heed it, as I said fibroscan should be only part of the diagnostic process. Take heed of the result but don't sweat figures too much just make changes to hopefully improve your liver from wherever it sits just now. As you've said, you have an 11 year old who no doubt wants her Daddy to walk her down the aisle eventually - are a few pints worth it?

Katie

Andi19723
Andi19723 in reply to AyrshireK

I hope to not go to cirrhosis. My doctor tell me F3 too. I am sure to not drinking alcohol for all my life. A long one, I hope. I'm 48 years old.

The units KPa are normally used for pressure, but a fibroscan uses these units to measure liver stiffness. Your readings will change gradually over time, not fluctuate or go up and down depending on what you’ve drunk in the days or weeks before.

You will have had a consultation after your scan. The normal is below 7KPa so your figures are high. Your doctor will have told you that and hopefully a plan going forward.

The quantities of alcohol you’ve mentioned are worryingly high, and anyone drinking to that extent has a problem. No way to sugar coat this, but you need to stop drinking forever. Once you drink that amount on a regular basis, you’re dependent. How do I know? Because I was/am dependent and found the only and easiest option was to stop drinking forever.

No alcohol forever. Thank you. Because a have a daughter of 11 and I hope to see her with husband and kids...

It took me a while to come to terms with it too, but I was surprised how easy it was to quit once the never again concept was in my head. What is much harder, impossible in fact, is for the likes of us to try and moderate or cut down our drinking. It just doesn’t work. We’ll be drinking 5+ beers a day within a week or two. I can’t promise the first few weeks and months of not drinking are pleasant, but if you do something else to take your mind off the inevitable cravings, they do start to fade. Just don’t feed them! Good luck going forward. So many things are possible without alcohol.

JJgut
JJgut in reply to CocoChannel

I don't think it has to be black and white. It doesn't have to be no alcohol forever for everyone who drinks a lot. For some people, it may have to be like that, but not for everyone. You told me that my drinking in my previous years (15 pints per wee) pointed to problem drinking and that I needed to quit forever, because moderating it would be impossible. That's not true. I was able to moderate it, and successfully so. And my consumption hasn't crept back up - it's been declining little by little.

CocoChannel
CocoChannel in reply to JJgut

To be honest then, you are the only person I’ve come across who’s genuinely moderated. Everyone else I’ve spoken to has eventually started drinking heavily again.

I know one guy who’s clearly alcohol dependent. He buys his 14 units at the start of the week, consumes them in 2 to 3 days and quite literally sits on his hands every evening until the next week comes around. His liver will be just fine, but that’s no life. It’s also unsustainable, and he’s odds on to increase his drinking eventually. He’d be better off just quitting 100% and getting his life back.

As I say, if you can moderate, take or leave alcohol and maybe go two or three weeks without alcohol and not be missing it, great. However, I’d become a heavy drinker within days if I started again (quit end of 2018) as would 99.9% of all ex-drinkers. You’ve posted a lot asking how much you can drink, etc. You have your reasons for doing so, but wouldn’t it be easier to just not drink at all?

I still go to pubs for a coffee or even an alcohol free drink on occasions. I’m over 50 now and in very good shape. All I see in pubs are dull men with massive bellies. I usually can’t wait to get out and do something more interesting.

JJgut
JJgut in reply to CocoChannel

Glad to hear you are in great shape. And yes, I see a lot of people in bars who have very large bellies - but I live in the USA, so I think nothing of that.

I actually do know a lot of people who used to drink a lot in their 20s - like 20-25+ US units per week (which is more like 35 UK units, I believe), but now that we are in our late 30s, they drink more like 5-8, adn they do so consistently without revertng to their old habits. It wasn't the alcohol they were dependent on - it was a part of the way they used to socialize vs. the way they socialize now. Maybe things are different in the USA vs. UK in terms of socialization habits.

As for asking whether it would be easier to quit 100% or not - I don't know. I can see why it would make it easier (and cheaper!)....but is it 100% necessary for good health? I don't think so - not since I've successfully reduced, with no cravings or desire to increase back to my old habits.

CocoChannel
CocoChannel in reply to JJgut

Fair play to you.

I didn’t see you were in the US. The U.K. unit system is not only confusing, but the rationale for it isn’t well known and takes a lot of reading to be understood.

A pint (20 oz) of regular beer is around 2 to 3 units of alcohol. The guidelines are to keep below that and have at least 2 days off alcohol every week

The reason why the number 14 was chosen is to do with the rise in cancer cases of people regularly exceeding that weekly amount. The very wordy UK government document linked to below goes into detail.

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At the risk of sounding even more boring, I wouldn’t be too light-hearted about big bellies. Heart disease is a big problem here and in the USA, and even a 14-unit a week drinker would be taking an extra 2000 or so calories a week. That’s a whole extra days worth of calories. I’d rather have a massive steak than those beers 🙂

The original poster on this thread has been told they have F3 Fibrosis so the only option to prevent a worsening and progression to F4/cirrhosis is a cessation of the causal factor i.e. alcohol.

Whilst a liver can recover, it hasn't got an infinite capacity to do so - once it has been damaged once and recovered the next time it gets assaulted the damage occurs more quickly and often more severely.

So I don't think we should at all advocate any sort of return to even moderate drinking.

I am puzzled by JJgut's stance on this as for the last fortnight or so you've been on here somewhat panicking the possibility of liver damage , at a young age and with a so called moderate alcohol intake. Elevated liver enzymes arn't a sign of a healthy liver - have you had your fibroscan yet? It is very early days in your own journey to start advocating that others can drink even moderately.

Katie

To be honest, I’ve advised JJ not to drink. He’s going to drink whatever you or I tell him. Feel free to keep on advising him not to drink. I’ve said that’s the best and easiest option in terms of overall health, and I gave specific examples of cancers and heart disease. All those extra empty calories are a recipe for putting on weight, and I gave examples of the overweight boring men in pubs. I’ll add diabetes to the list. I’ve even said I don’t believe moderation is possible in his case and the studies all back me up.

The opening poster, Andi, mustn’t drink ever again.

This forum isn’t a school classroom where we can control what people do. Telling JJ to moderate his drinking is the best we can hope for,

JJgut
JJgut in reply to AyrshireK

I have not had my scan yet, but I was responding to the comment that all excessive drinkers need to quit permanently. Some may need to - maybe even the majority need to. But do ALL need to do so? No. It may be easiest, but it may not always be necessary.

CocoChannel
CocoChannel in reply to JJgut

To be fair, I read a lot of studies about this, big scientific studies which I’ll happily link to. There were no success stories to be found with heavy drinkers trying to moderate. That was enough for me. It’s about as scary as you can get. People give up for 10+ years, think they’re OK and start drinking again in so-called moderation only to drink heavily again within weeks.

You could say some people survive when their parachute fails to open. There’ll always be exceptions to anything, but our brains are all made of the same chemicals which get altered in the same way by heavy drinking. That’s why the studies about relapses aren’t such a surprise.

If you are a successful moderate drinker, you’re in a very very small group.

JJgut
JJgut in reply to CocoChannel

I guess it depends on how heavily these drinkers were drinking, and whether or not they were dependent.

In the USA, binge drinking is ubiquitous on college campuses and among 20-somethings. It’s very common for people to drink heavily in their 20s, but taper down as they get older and as other responsibilities take hold, and as they mature.

That’s not to say that reducing and moderating is possible for everyone, and it’s definitely not to say that it’s advisable even for those who are able. I’ll trust your advice specifically to the original poster assuming he has F3.

CocoChannel
CocoChannel in reply to JJgut

I’ll also add I’m very wary now of what others do.

In mainland Europe, office canteens often offer wine at lunchtimes. In southern Germany, some eat a white sausage with beer for breakfast. Spanish people enjoy a sherry at sunset whilst watching flamenco dancers. I like Spain and Germany, but they have serious alcohol problems. Spain is apparently a world leader on the number of liver transplants. That’s the reality beyond the brochures.

You’ve mentioned big bellied folk being the norm. That doesn’t make it right. Look at the heart disease rates there. I saw a relative deteriorate and then die after a heart bypass - and what a grim operation that is, your rib cage is sawn into two to get access to the heart - it was a miserable two years, and a lot of people have that op in their 40s or 50s.

I can’t really preach about drinking as I drank excessively for years, but by nothing short of a miracle I did no damage. I did, however, waste over a decade of my life by being drunk, hungover or generally not much use by drinking every evening. If I had my time again, I probably wouldn’t have drunk at all.

Be very careful of others appearing to be doing well. A lot of heavy drinkers will have life or health problems ahead of them.

JJgut
JJgut in reply to CocoChannel

You're right. "Commonly done" and "healthy" are not the same. That's a great point, and great parallel with being obese.

NinaNon
NinaNon in reply to CocoChannel

First of all: I don't drink alcohol anymore, I'm very happy with my decision and I just feel great - mentally and physically.

But I'm open to research. Regarding addiction, I find this an interesting read: Gene Heyman - A disorder of choice.

Oh and by the way: even in Bavaria, something like beer for breakfast is probably more a tourist attraction during the Oktoberfest than a everyday habit.

Although in general, Germans still consume too much alcohol. But see, German doctors always point to the infamous British pub traditions. I guess in general whole Europe is far too much focused on alcohol. 😐

I no longer drink, however I'm not anti-alcohol. My daughter is at university and drinks, I will even buy her alcohol. Right now she probably drinks a little excessively, but I think her relationship with alcohol overall is a good one. But, (and as far as I am concerned, this is the key thing) she had no reason to think she has a compromised liver.

The fact is that any alcohol damages the liver. A healthy liver can deal with this and repair itself. As a liver becomes more damaged then it's less able to repair itself. At what point does this happen? It depends. Is my liver beyond that point? Who knows.

My personal opinion is that for anyone with a measurably compromised liver (whatever the cause) any alcohol is a bad idea, and I will continue to suggest complete abstinence in that case.

Now, it's possible that someone might be able to drink moderately and the liver still has enough capacity to repair the damage being done by that drinking. If that's the case then great, but no one can be 100% sure ... you roll the dice.

You are correct, it's not always necessary to give up alcohol completely, but who knows if it is necessary for any particular individual. For me, it's not worth the risk. Alcohol really isn't so important to me that I'm willing to take the chance. Perhaps the odds are in my favour, perhaps not, but the stakes are really quite high.

Laura009
Laura009 in reply to JJgut

It is much easier to give up drinking before becoming an excessive drinker. May l refer you to rainbowbridge post. If you read through you will see the results of excessive drinking and just how difficult it really is to quit and what the consequences are.

Trust1
Trust1Administrator in reply to JJgut

It is an individual’s decision to drink alcohol or not.

However, alcohol dependent drinkers can seldom self regulate and carry on drinking at a lower level, and we would not advocate any advice suggesting so on our forum.

Laura009
Laura009 in reply to JJgut

I am sorry but you can not come on a forum specifically for people, in many cases, with advanced liver disease and question whether moderate drinking is acceptable or unhealthy. For the people here, whatever the cause of their liver disease there is no question for them..... they CAN NOT and MUST NOT drink in order to just stay alive. I think your 'debate' would be better placed on a "drink or not to drink? That is the question" forum, rather than insulting people here who are struggling with the most debilitating of illnesses.

Laura009
Laura009 in reply to Andi19723

Hi Andi. If ever in any doubt about giving up for good, my daughter was the same age when we lost her Father to alcoholic liver disease .... it's not pretty. Good luck with a new, fresh healthy lifestyle and many happy years with your family.

Laura

Andi19723
Andi19723 in reply to Laura009

Thank you.

I've heard the test is very accurate and they do a few scans to get the result. Mine was 75kpa and is now 30kpa. If you stop drinking you can reverse it.

Trust1
Trust1Administrator

Andi- You have had a lot of comments on this post. We would suggest you speak with your GP and see if you can get referred to a liver specialist.

You may also need some ongoing support to manage your alcohol and abstinence going forward.

Keep us posted.

Trust1
Trust1Administrator

Closing this post now as there has been enough debate.

Andi- Keep us all informed how you get on and ‘love your liver!’ 👍🏼

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