Dear all, I'm 42 and also an alcoholic with 5 weeks sobriety. I went into hospital 5 weeks ago with jaundice and ascites and was there for 2 weeks. Turns out I have Decompensated Liver Disease/Cirrhosis. I have an endoscopy examination this coming week and then presumably I will be hold where I stand, what stage I'm at etc. I just wanted to ask for some advice, I feel really in the dark as my doctor just says wait and see. And the dietician in the hospital just said eat more protein and carbohydrates at night. I don't add salt to anything and have changed things a lot, vegetables and protein especially and my weight has stabilized. I also suffer a lot with stomach pain especially after eating. Is there a good way of managing pain with an impaired Liver?
I just wanted to ask for advice really, has anyone been in the same situation. What is the ideal lifestyle I should be living. Reading the internet is depressing as I keep seeing mortality statistics and things like that which just sets of a panic attacks.
Many thanks, Matthew
I was in a similar position a year ago. I have cirrhosis and was very sick with a deep rooted infection, was admitted into hospital and was diagnosed there. I was malnourished, a shade of yellow that Homer Simpson would have been proud of and a tummy that looked much the same as his! The infection had caused my liver to go into decline and it was touch and go for a few days. Thankfully I pulled through and after a lot of careful attention to the advice my consultant and dietician gave me, I’m well and my bloods are normal. You’d have no idea how unwell I’d been if I walked passed you on the street. The first thing is to kick alcohol into touch. Accept you’ll never drink again and throw anything you have at home away. It’s great you’ve been abstinent for 5 weeks, well done. The next is to stop googling! The BLT website is fab and has really good information. The NHS web site is good too. Don’t read any other stuff. You’ll be booking your own funeral otherwise. Listen to what you’re clinical staff say this week about your condition and follow what they tell you. Essentially there are three golden rules; no alcohol, correct diet, exercise. In terms of diet, I find mine has changed a bit over time. At first it was high protein, high calories. Now I put on weight if I eat like that so it’s high protein lower calorie. I keep an eye on salt, fat and sugar. Make sure you get regular contact with a dietician at the moment, they will help you refine your diet to suit your condition and educate you on how to stay well. A high protein (70-90 g per day) Mediterranean diet suits me. I also try to walk or run every day. Exercise helped me build up my muscle mass and I’ve found it’s a good way to relax. I’m fitter than I have been in a long time. It is a change of lifestyle, but it is a better one too. Keep us posted on how you get on.
Many thanks for your reply. I'm really pleased that your feeling well after your experience in hospital, scarry stuff. Cheers for the advice, I have essentially tried to do the same sort of diet as yourself, low salt, low fat and plenty of vegetables and salad with high protein things like eggs, salmon and chicken and low salt and fat cheese. I shall try and get to see a dietician as well.
Also definitely agree with you about the googling of things, not again.
Thanks for the reply