Recently diagnosed with Alcoholic Fatt... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
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Recently diagnosed with Alcoholic Fatty Liver, sharing my story.

Hello All,

Just thought as I have just joined up, I would introduce myself. I have just been diagnosed with Fatty Liver from alcohol use. To be honest, I knew what was coming after feeling unwell back in November, the scan confirmed fatty liver plus fat damage evident in the pancreas.

Whilst I didn't class myself as alcoholic, I reckon I was alcohol dependant drinking 6 days a week. I have always drunk too much from 18 upwards so I suppose this was going to happen.

I gave up drinking from the last week in November until just before Christmas and then had a few drinks over Christmas but have started with non alcoholic beers such as Becks Blue and Bavaria and really am getting quite accustomed to the taste. I am realising I don't need alcohol.

The doctor (whom I trust) says I should drink no more than 7 units of alcohol a week, I am probably going to stay off booze for a while if not forever. Interested to know other peoples experiences and advice particularly from the Doctor regarding continuing drinking. also, what can I expect now in terms of follow up from the Docs?

Thanks

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Congratulations on giving up alcohol. I gave up on 2nd January 2011 for my habitual, annual booze free month and decided I quite liked waking up feeling fresh and ready to go. This extended into a second and then a third month, during which I went to work in Mexico for a month - despite the attractions, I managed to stay dry. On my return I found that a routine scan (related to haemachromatosis)showed a small tumour on my liver. To cut a long story short, I had a successful liver transplant in Dec 2011. The moral of the story - and I hope an encouragement to you - is that life can be good without alcohol. The fact that I was dry at the point of diagnosis meant that I could go on the transplant list; weight loss as a consequence of lower calorie intake meant that I was fitter and more able to deal with the operation; and your realisation - that you don't need alcohol - is a source of considerable satisfaction. Yes, it is difficult to work out what you are going to drink at social gatherings and in pubs. I settled for sparkling water or good coffee if it was available.

I can't help with the rest of your enquiry other than to say make sure you are checked regularly to ensure no further damage. Best of luck.

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Hi Kleam. Well done, and keep it up! My GP warned me years ago to at least leave 1, then 2 days of the week completely alcohol free, so your liver gets a wee chance to repair itself. I didn't listen, god knows I wish I had. Now I have Cirrhosis, and can't touch a drop now. I was an alcoholic, and I'd be lying if I said I don't think about it every single day. But, the bottom line, for me anyway, is life or death, -so No more of the old sauce for me. Yes, as you say, its difficult, esp when your used to it all the time, -the old 'habitual ritual' I call it.

I also drink becks blue, with lime, and bavaria sometimes. I prefer, though, the spritzers and 'presse's' I get in Asda, as I wasn't actually a beer drinker before. You Do, actually get accustomed to the taste, don't you! As for going out, there are so many places, pubs, hotels, functions I've been at, that just havn't caught up yet, and so don't sell non-alcoholic drinks as such. I toasted my Brother and his new wife with an orange juice. Have you let your friends and family know?, as I'm sure they will offer you all the support and encouragement, they can, as I'm lucky mine have.

Yes, its difficult, in fact I've never had to be so strong in my own willpower and determination, but Mike's right, -the difference you feel everyday is just amazing, No more being sick and ill every single day, and I, like you am slowly realising that life can be just as brilliant without alcohol, and now, for me, having been completely sober since Sept '11, the days just are not long enough!, -and, it may sound funny, but I definately get a sense of satisfaction when I say 'no thanks, I don't drink anymore'.! I lived 13 years in a bottle, and, well, lets just say I so wish I had taken the good advice my Gp gave me long before I was diagnosed. And, yes, all you can do is keep all your appointments, get checked regularly, -your bloods once a month perhaps? And stay strong Kleam, there is so much more to life. I hope you can stay strong, and you will see the benefits. All the luck in the world to you.

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Well done for all the things you have said, how true it is. It's very hard, I was drinking for 22yrs, now I have this horrible decease. I was told I had cirrhosis in 2011. In Nov 2012 I was told I had 6mths as I went back on the drink for 5 days ( heavy) as my 29yr son just died, I just wanted to give up, but he said, promise you will never drink again, Not a drop since. if I feel like a drink I keep away from pubs. I am with someone who drinks 7 days a wk, I now know what I looked like, and the silly things I said. I must have board so many people.No one said it was easy, say no to yourself first, then no to others. After all its our health. Q, I can not seem to find out why my doc has told me no more salt !! Do you know why. good luck to you.

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Thanks Ruby. I'm so sorry to hear of your son, and can't imagine how painful it is for you. I can understand why you 'fell by the wayside', I'd defy Anybody to go through losing a child and Not turn to drink. Amazing that you've managed to survive, its obvious how much he loved you and truly inspiring that you've managed to stop again.

Yes, oh, the scrapes I got myself into though the demon drink.. I cringe at the embarassment I feel sometimes at how incredibily Stupid I've been over the years..!

Oh dear, thats not so good. I completely understand how you will be feeling, its hard enough not to succumb, it can be bloody annoying when friends come in, drunk, for a visit.., never mind someone with you drinking 24/7?!, I'm sure you've probably said you don't mind, but nonetheless that Can't be easy for you!? All the more incredible that you are managing to stay sober Ruby, well done, I mean that. As for the salt, you've -mabye? had ascities?, (build-up of fluid in your abdomen), reducing your salt intake should go some way towards preventing too much build-up. I know, its a nightmare, I love(d!) salt. You should also avoid red meat, bacon, sausages, crisps..chocolate, cake....-deep breath..-!...processed foods, ready meals etc are a no-no for Us. Its a veritable minefield.!, we should, ideally, be eating Everything from fresh. I'm assuming, like myself, you didn't get any diet advice either?..I've just read up -lots- of stuff since diagnosis. Good Luck to you. Keep in touch ok, and stay strong. All the best. Pen x

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I have now gone mad, just wrote to you, but sent the reply to myself lol it is the one above this x

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Well salt is out, fats, meat, me chips (loads of salt on them) take away, no alcohol, & not had sex for yrs, Change my name from Ruby52 to No hope lol

Yes I am blown up with water, on tabs but give it a rest for 2 days a week, as to save on loo roll. Have been told by others that they can affect your kidneys, my friend died 3 weeks ago, same thing as me, had her kidneys on her death cert, so did my son. Who knows what is good for one thing, gives you another.

As far as loosing my boy, if you saw what I did as he went you would never drink ever again. They should show that on a film to people before it go's to far.

Talk soon

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I have just sent this to myself Ahhhhhhhh

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Am laughing!, thats just the kind of thing I do!, I think your the same, your brain has already went through the motions, its just -catching up with the body thats the problem, haha. Oh, I know, nightmare huh, I really struggle to be 'good', I mean we're not allowed to touch a drop of alcohol and I'm only now really realising how important what we eat is too. Its really difficult to stick to a really healthy balanced diet, but then, if I can live without alcohol I Should be able to cut out all the 'naughty' foods like chocolate, cakes etc..you'd think..

Well, I can only imagine what it was like for your son, I still think its amazing, Your amazing for getting through your Unimaginable loss and getting off the booze. My true inspiration is my Brother. He had Spina Bifida, struggled (cheerfully!) all his life, then died, 3 years ago now, of a heart-attack. He was only 46.

Anyhow, take care. -"Later!" x

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Thanks for the comments and words of encouragement. Its amazing how good you feel not drinking, sleep better, all in all better lifestyle. I am confident I can keep off the drink now but I would like to be in a situation where I can have the odd glass of wine with a meal or a couple of beers now and again. I have a skiing holiday in a couple of weeks and intend to stay off the booze until then and through it and see where I am after that. In honesty, the odds are stacked in favour of no drink again but lets see....

Thanks again for all the advice...

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Hi,

Have a look at my blogs for the complete story. I too was diagnosed with fatty liver a couple of years ago, there was no follow up and I carried on with life, ignoring the diagnosis. In July 2012 I became ill, tired, red, blotchy hands and feet.i was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes also in July. I had a liver biopsy in Sep 2012 which confirmed fatty liver and fibrosis caused by alcohol. My lft's were off the scale.I am overweight and was drinking alcohol daily. I managed to change my lifestyle, exercise more, mainly walking, and eat well.

I returned to the consultant early Dec 2012, he was impressed with my weight loss and was pleased I wasn't having any alcohol at all. He told me that all this is reversible, he wants to see me in May when I hope to have lost more weight.

Unfortunately, I have had a relapse over Christmas,I had the flu and was quite ill. I have found it hard since then to get back on track.I returned to drinking alcohol daily. I have managed this week to stay off alcohol. At the moment it seems that when I drink alcohol I now get symptoms that show me my liver is in trouble. My hands and feet become very red and blotchy.

It seems that I need to stay off alcohol completely, something which was completely alien to me this time last year.

I have 2 children who hate me when I drink and say what a lovely person I am sober. As the others say, there is life without alcohol.

Good Luck with your journey.

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sounds a very similar place to where I am-haven't been diagnosed with anything yet but have a real intolerance to alcohol-even meat sauces with wine in it...however may be on the mend-I would like to be able o have a glass of champers in august at a wedding...I'll savour it....

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Hi and thanks for the comments, hope you find the blog useful, I certainly have. Also, there is a number on the BLT site which you can call for advice, I rang last week and Sarah the lady I spoke to is very knowledgeable and answers any questions you may have in the right way.

Have you been to see your doctor? I think its important to know what (if any) is going on with your body, bear in mind it may not be your liver. Have you previously been a heavy drinker?

Important thing is to keep going, one thing I have learnt is that the non alcoholic beers are so much better now than a few years ago when all you had was kaliber, Not found any non alcoholic wine yet that is palatable..

Cheers (probably wrong word)...Keith

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thanks for the info keith-well yes I have been to doctor but not since the ultrasound results-my GP seems happy about them-he may be right but I get the impression from various posts on this site that a lot of GPs have relatively little knowledge on liver/drink issues-I'm generalising I know and in my case no knowlege of PAWS. I have drunk heavily in the past but moderated in the last year or so with frequent "dry" periods-currently 3 months. I'm curious about the reverse tolerance that seems to have happened. It happened a couple of times before but cured itself relatively quickly but not this time-could be cumulative effect or something more sinister-hence my original post. I'm thinking on getting a full liver panel done privately as there seems to be a new blood test which is a good indicator of fibrosis.

In all other respects the liver seems to be functioning just fiine-cholesterol coming down triglcerides spot on etc..can't complain really

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Hi,

I think you are right about the GP's, to be honest, they probably just quote the government sponsored figures on units per week. I also suspect that budgets come into it now and the docs will only commission further tests if they have a really good pointer that something serious is wrong.

Again, I am not a doctor or have any real health knowledge but if you are feeling good, full of energy and the only issue is intolerance to Alcohol, it may be that there is nothing seriously wrong. Everyone's tolerance to booze differs and I am not sure if it is something that can change over the years.

I am told that once any liver issues become serious you know about it, so if you feel good it may be nothing much to concern yourself about.

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Hi,

Thanks for your comments.

I have read your blogs with interest.

To be honest, I knew there was something wrong with me in November, had always drunk too much, I always reckoned I knew what I was doing and that it would be ok. I suppose the near 30 years of abuse has taken its toll.

I had 4 weeks off drink totally up until Christmas and then cut out drink and limited it to Friday saturday and Sunday evenings, even then, I took it easy and reckoned I totalled 15 units. Since being told the results of the scan I have not touched a drop, which will be 14 days on Monday. I am not proud of where I am, I just feel that there is life ahead that I want to enjoy.

I have a holiday booked which is in two weeks skiing which is normally an excuse to drink loads, I will be dry for this and when I get back, I will see where I am at.

One thing I have found is sharing my problems with my wife and kids, it helps that they understand. I think its important to have someone close to be able to talk to, I also am on the eat well route and am trying Carrot juice and Milk Thistle capsules.

I am at the stage now where I don't feel I need the booze, I would like to be in a situation where I can have a beer or two, a glass of wine with dinner and that's it but the big one for me is can I leave it there? answer is I don't know.

I hope you can manage to stay off the drink, it feels easy for me but I do know how hard it can be for many, I just keep thinking I have things to look forward to, I don't mind dying but not when its self inflicted and reversible.

I hope you can find the reasons to keep going and kick the bottle for good, as I have read somewhere on the internet, its never too late whatever stage you are at, good luck and stay well..

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