Worried I’ve damaged my liver and anxi... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Worried I’ve damaged my liver and anxiety is taking over!

JMG24 profile image
16 Replies

I’m new here but so scared my anxiety is through the roof! I suffered with severe anxiety disorder. After a roughy couple of years I started to drink a lot, I realised I had a bad problem and decided with the help from me family to got through the withdrawals. It’s been nearly a month but this week I have really awful pain in the upper right side of my stomach it’s like it’s churning and radiates to my back I’m so scared & dr google just says I’m dying. I feel I don’t have yellow eyes or swollen legs, my stomachs feels uncomfortable. I also have a stabbing pain in my left side.

16 Replies

Hi, the only person that can help you is your doctor. Make an appointment and discuss your fears and ask for tests as googling isn’t going to help, doctors will.

If the pain is really bad call 111 and a doctor will advise you. Nobody here can diagnose.

Well done on stopping!, keep it up.

JMG24 profile image
JMG24 in reply to

Thank you for the reply I feel like I’m going insane. I’m only 29, I’m so scared to call the doctors (stupid I know) I’ve had my blood pressure checked and it’s 134/78 I’m not sure if that’s okay! I totally get dr google will always tell me I’m dying. I don’t no if half the time it’s my anxiety or I’m actually feeling it! Thank you it’s been a battle but I’ve eliminate the cause for my drinking and felt very positive but now I’m dreading the worse x

in reply to JMG24

No worries, I’m pretty sure you are fine and I’ve been in your shoes with the drinking and then worrying and I know how hard it is. I did it for decades.

Re your blood pressure many people get slightly higher blood pressure when being checked as you are anxious at the doctors. My partners always goes very high at the doctors and the doctors said it was called white coat syndrome... in other words anxiety! When we take it at home it’s much lower. At home mine is always 90/60, although it gets lower sometimes but at hospital it was 135/80 as I was so anxious. In fact my heart rate was 142 when I was in theatre and normally 50 - 60 bpm! Anxiety can have a huge effect on our system.

I don’t think you have anything to dread What’s so ever apart from alcohol...

hope this helps.

JMG24 profile image
JMG24 in reply to

Thank you so much 🙏 I really apologise if I sound like a crazy person! Tbh when your drinking to numb the pain you don’t think of the side affects until you stop I’ve had a few blips along the way I felt terrible but after a week or so I bounced back but this time I feel awful and I’m so worried. Every little thing I see points me towards cirrhosis. As I have had severe anxiety for a long time everyone just things it’s me panicking. I swear to god I will never ever drink again. I was wondering people with liver damage/ cirrhosis can they live a pref normal life? I’m only asking for reassurance I guess. I’ll definitely be booking a gp appointment. I’m honestly scared to say about my drinking xx

in reply to JMG24

There are some good anxiety forums on here. Also google the local MIND where you live... there is always someone to talk to. X

Dr Google tells everyone they are dying !

JMG24 profile image
JMG24 in reply to

Thank you I no, I have been looking on here and it’s so helpful! Could you tell me actually symptoms of liver damage instead of me asking google for a death sentence xx

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to JMG24

It is by far best to go and see your doctor for a check up, some simple bloods and a scan if necessary would highlight whether you have or haven't got something physical to be concerned about.

Looking up random 'symptoms' whether real or imagined on Dr Google will always convince you of the worst. We've had several posters here of late who have had perfect tests yet still go about googling minute issues they feel they have and they arn't then believing even the medical tests proving they have nothing at all wrong.

The British Liver Trust website has a page all about alcohol related liver disease with a list of possible symptoms but a word of caution - looking at that list whilst you have health anxiety may send you seeking out every one of them on your own body and you will go into a cycle of convincing yourself you have them, potentially have liver disease and you are still no further forward.


The ONLY way to know if you have any thing to be concerned about is to go and see your doctor, the sooner the better, explain your concerns and be honest about your drinking history and get the tests and at the end of those you should know one way or another what (if anything you are dealing with).

All the best,


JMG24 profile image
JMG24 in reply to AyrshireK

Hey Katie, thank you for your reply! This & the BLT are the only website I’m looking at now as I think I may hyperventilate. I only look for reassurance but instead i gives me a death sentence. I’m going to book a go appointment as living like this is awful! I no that everyone is different with symptoms hearing other peoples stories help. It’s very confusing because sometimes I even question myself on wether it’s in my head or I’m actually feeling it although I definitely know I have a nawing stomache pain xx

in reply to JMG24

They vary from person to person. No one here can make a diagnosis for you. You need to see your GP with your symptoms and bear in mind many of your symptoms could be caused by your anxiety. At your young age and the fact you have given up drinking ... for good l hope? It is highly unlikely there is any long term damage done to your liver. All it takes to stay healthy and look after your liver is by avoiding eating fatty, sugary and salty foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, fish and lean meat. Carbs for energy and protein for strength. Get plenty of excercise and drink water to flush toxins from your body. If you have weight to lose that will come off too. The worse thing you can do in stressful situations is to drink alcohol as it fuels anxiety and depression it does not cure it. So well done for what you have done so far. There is a lot you can do for yourself to calm your mind and body through certain breathing routines, yoga and pilates. Allow yourself time and a space at home maybe with candles, soft cushions and relaxing music each day for you to completely unwind and refresh yourself. Worry is a very negative emotion and gets us nowhere. Look for solutions rather than problems and think logically.

Have a good weekend.

Laura x

JMG24 profile image
JMG24 in reply to

Yes for good! I have no plans on ever touching it again, thankfully the sight of it makes me want to vomit with absolute regret. I have moved back in with my parents and taken time off work to sort myself out. Thank you for your advice, my anxiety is a major factor in everything it always has been. Im a 29 yr old female I’ve always been 10 stone, I actually eat really healthy, take supplements, I also smoke which is making me think otherwise with the thought of an awful disease. I’m going to book a gp appointment I just get so scared and dred the words I’m dying. Can people with liver problems live a normal life if they look after themselves? Thank you again 🙏 xx

in reply to JMG24

Absolutely you can live with liver disease there are many on here who are but are on long term medication and regulary checked and have many hospital visits. You must stop thinking the worst. You just look after yourself, your biggest problem to address is your state of mind not your liver, but smoking isnt helping your liver, lungs or your mind either. Any suppliments you are taking must only be what your doctor has prescribed as they can cause liver damage too. So please have a good honest chat with your doctor to get to the bottom of what started your anxiety ... what caused you drink and smoke in the first place which is now making you worry about your liver. There must have been a trigger way before that ?Doctors are not your enemy or to be scared of. Just be honest with them and they will help you. Good luck.

deanw41 profile image

According to Dr Google I popped my cloggs months ago so,so forget him!! I had terrible anxiety when I was drinking and worse when I first stopped so I empathise with you. To echo what other people have said you really must seek medical advice. The longer you leave it the more your anxiety will play games with you(I’m sure you know all this). And well done for stopping drinking,I know how hard that is. Stick around on here, there is a wealth of knowledge and support. All the best😊👍

Richard-Allen profile image

Hello JMG24, there is a strong link between liver disease and mental health. Many people who suffer form depression will try and lift the mood by self-medicating with alcohol. But I'm not sure that this will be of any benefit for someone who suffers from Anxiety as the two conditions are quite different.

It would appear that there is a link between Anxiety and Hypochondria. So, worrying about your health could be driving your worrying of your overall health: nhs.uk/mental-health/condit...

There is always a chance, that worrying about your body too much, may bring about feelings and sensations within your body. This is not to say that the conditions aren't always real, but the mind can certainly play tricks on the body. "I think, therefore I am".

I personally am always looking for answers, trying to makes sense and understand things. I would be wanting to try and understand what was driving my anxiety. There are so many conditions that could be driving your anxiety. Rather then just accept it, I'd be trying to understand the cause.

Food triggers could be a cause. Certain foods can provoke anxiety symptoms even if they don't directly affect your blood sugar. Some potential triggers include: cheese, cured meats, and other fermented foods that contain the neurotransmitter histamine. caffeine, which can disrupt sleep and worsen anxiety symptoms.

So, once you understand what could be driving your anxiety, then these things triggers can be avoided. Lowering your anxiety, will cause you to become less worried about your body, and so hopefully the cycle can start to be broken. I hope this makes sense, and is only my thoughts.

I wouldn't worry so much about your liver. It may have taken a bashing, but it's a pretty tough organ and will bounce back, and forgive you.

Good Luck to you.


JMG24 profile image
JMG24 in reply to Richard-Allen

That has been my problem for the past 10 years (the anxiety & depression) I feel like I can’t cope the way others do! Up until 3 years ago or so ago my relationship broke down & caused my head to go awhile again! I completely no what the causes are it just been so hard confusing your head with your heart! I plan to call a consellor but as my anxiety and stomache pains haven’t left I am so worried I can’t even explain it. I can’t figure out if I’m not eating because of my stomache pain or the anxiety. I am such a good person I just get in my head too much! I’m just so frightened something is wrong and the worst part is I won’t be able to call the drs till Tuesday! I don’t think I can wait that long. Thank you replying! X

JMG24 profile image
JMG24 in reply to JMG24

Could you possibly tell me your story x

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