Aches and back pain: I have cirrhosis of... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Aches and back pain

wilmawemyss profile image

I have cirrhosis of the liver. Been a heavy drinker for past 30 years and finding my recovery harder and harder. I have lots of aches and pains, constant back pain which is restricting my mobility. Quality of life not great, can't seem to plan anything between the extreme fatigue and all the aches and pains. Wonder if anyone else has this problem and how they deal with it

15 Replies

im too just diagnosed with decompensated liver disease last august. im only 34 yrs old, afraid and scared to die.. but it was all my fault because of alcohol. i have ascites before and i too cannot move easily. but now its just that i lost so much weight and easily tired.

but being in this forum and listening and reading all the stories and comments of everyone else gives me hope..

How much were u drinking and for how long? You seem so young

i dont know how much, all i know is that when i wake up im already drinking, take a nap then drink again. i never listened to my wife. now i regret everything. promise not to drink anymore

Was it for many years?

15 yrs i guess.. but 10 yrs was the most, almost whole day i was drunk

Please stop thinkng its your own fault, this illness can be awful and on top of that to think you deserve it and its your fault makes you feel even worse, i know as did it myself for a long time. Now i just think to myself that a lot of illnesses are peoples "own fault", you rarely hear attack victim who did no exercise say "i deserve it" or the millions of diabetes say "i ate to much sugar so i deserve it", anyone who drinks over the 14 unit guideline is drinking to much, and thats probably most adults that drink. Anyway, got that out of my chest so just some words that i hope will encourage you. I was diagnosed with stage 4 decomponsated cirrhosis with a prognosis of a few days left, this was back in 2017, like you i lost so much weight and was to tired to do anything, spent the first couple months in bed not eating very sick etc. Over the years i got stronger, went back to work and have returned to near normal, the odd ache and pain but i can live with that. So today you feel terrible but if you stay off the drink, exercise, eat well, (although for now you probably just need to eat as much as you can to build strength back). Then you will get there, stronger and a better person altogether :)

There is life after cirrhosis!

Take care,


thank you chris. it was such a relief that yeah, theres a life after cihhrosis. i think i'll put that in my head so i can go on with my life.. yes im still really weak right now, but hopefully i can somehow regain my lost strenght one day at a so happy for you survived this terrible disease.. i hope we all can

You WILL regain your strength and you will start to feel better, its a bit of a long process but stick with it and stay off the booze.If i can be of any support along the way feel free to message me


thank you chris.😊i hope i will.. im not going to touch any alcohol anymore, i know its too late but i hope it will help at least.

Hello! I'm sorry you are suffering like this....I'm wondering how long you have been abstinent?? It seems to take much longer than expected for the body to start feeling better, not worse from abstinence. Hope you start to improve soon


wilmawemyss profile image
wilmawemyss in reply to Ewife

I have been abstinent for 8 weeks now. Thank you for your support

Ewife profile image
Ewife in reply to wilmawemyss

Excellent, congratulations! When you think of the 30 years of drinking history, it will take a while for your Liver and body to realise you're not going to throw toxins at it any longer. Keep strong, and give it time. Be kind to yourself too.


You will start to feel better it just takes sometime. You have done the hardest part which is stopping the drinking and your body will now need to adjust but it will adjust and you will reap the benefits for sure . I went from decompensated liver to compensated in 6 months . I had every weird thing wrong with me in that 6 months , itching , numb legs , bad skin , nosebleeds, week legs as I had lost so much muscle that just going upstairs was painful and much more , But after that I just got better and healthier everyday and it felt fantastic. Please just stick to doing what your doing and you will get there .

I agree with Lillie. Things do get better. 6 months, then 1 year mark and then at two years you may feel great. Really. It does happen!

Look at this way, wake up every day and say to yourself, today is one more day added on to yesterday, and because I did not drink yesterday I am a tiny bit better than I was yesterday. And then do it again the next day and the next. After a week, remind yourself, hey, still better, now a bit more - 7 days. On and on, getting a bit better each day. It CAN be done, just read these forums!

People don't become doctors in a day. People don't become professional athletes in a day, Or opera singers. Or learn how to something silly like juggle. Everything takes time, so does this.

Finally, spend at least 8 hours a day when you commit to thing of anything at all but liver issues. Don't feel guilty, you are doing this to get mentally healthy. Watch a movie, walk around somewhere, see a friend, read a newspaper, but NO thinking about the liver. You will be amazed how in time you start worrying about the tiny things less and less. When you think too much about anything, little hiccups can seem to be big mountains - because that is all you think about.

Keep at it! Good luck! Chin up!

Trust1 profile image

Well done on stopping drinking. Are you under the care of the alcohol services for support?

Any new pain should really be discussed with your GP and/or liver specialist for assessment. If you are in the Uk and would like a supportive chat, our helpline is open Mon to Fri 10am to 3pm on 0800 652 7330

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