husband has cirrhosis - long term prog... - British Liver Trust

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husband has cirrhosis - long term prognosis?



My husband has recently been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol consumption (hes only 31 and had a drinking problem but dont get me started on how unfair it is!)

He has been in hospital for almost 4 weeks and his billirubin levels are decreasing but very slowly. Docs are saying take things a day at a time and wont say when he may be allowed to come home or what happens next.

Any one been in a similar situation?

6 Replies


This is not an easy thing to answer!! My jouney with this has been over 3 years so far!!

The main thing that is a must is absolutly no alcohol, no one will want to help if you even have a single drink, this is a life time commitment .

After three years I still suffer fatigue and iching and I would say I am back to about 60% of being well, on the way lets say it has a times been a close run thing and I have lost weeks at a time due to confusion, the whole thing has changed my view on life

See northamptonshireliversuppor... and my story on 'about' us.

If you feel i can help and fill in a few of the questions feel free to contact me in private

Either way I hope all goes well, my thoughts are with you


Was the cirrhosis diagnosed by a liver biopsy, or something else? I'm assuming he is in hospital with jaundice, as high bilirubin often goes with jaundice. Hospital is the best place for him until the jaundice clears up - and also presumably he's not drinking while in hospital,which is good for his liver.

It's said that once you have cirrhosis then it's difficult to return the liver to a pre-cirrhotic state, but with care and education and a healthy lifestyle it should be possible to slow the progression. Remove the cause of the liver damage, and you give the liver a chance to heal. If he continues to drink then his cirrhosis will get worse and his liver disease will get worse. He may need your help to get help coming off the drink, and as david5354 says, it means no alcohol ever again.


Thank you for your replies. Yes he had a liver bioposy along with a stomach endoscopy.

My husband has now been home for 1week. His billirubin was still over 200 when discharged and he is on a several different medications.

He has an outpatients appointment next week which I'm hoping he will allow me to sit in on but until then I just want some idea of what happens now? Transplant has been mentioned. How do we live with this until then?! Obviously he will never touch alcohol again but is there anything else that can aid recovery? No mention of support groups were given to my husband by the hospital (i found this website myself) and obviously he has questions that I cannot answer!

Papicare in reply to TJ2012

How is your husband

Sites like this are great as we all have something in common, but if you need answers to questions, I would write them down and ask your Doctor or Consultant. Good luck to ya.

My mum was diagnosed March 12 we were all in shock and felt like the hospital was drip feeding us information but looking back there was no need to speculate as liver disease effects people in different ways. We were told that they would give my mums liver time to try and heal by itself but if not then transplant was the only option. With cirrhosis being caused by alcohol there is a 6 month waiting period before even being assessed for transplant to prove that you will not drink again which in the grand scheme is fair enough. Whilst waiting tho I would advise a ver low salt diet as the liver is struggling/decompensating and the body will bloat quickly with fluid. Your husband may be offered water tablets which help but these effect the kidneys and you need kidneys to be in tip top condition if transplant is needed.

In a nutshell mum had a transplant jan 13 and is going on a well deserved holiday next week. Liver disease effects everyone differently, try not to google as it will only bring up horror stories. I wish you all the best xxx

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