Alcohol Intake

Edited , 6 users are following.


I am looking for either opinions, or professional advice. I don't appreciate any guilt induced comments, or anyone telling me how stupid I'm being, delusional, in denial, an actual alcoholic. I've been through all of those thoughts myself and have accepted them myself.

Anyway, I went from the ages of 19 to 31 without ever drinking more than 1 day a week, and most of the time it was none. However from summer 2017 I had a bad spell and began drinking 30 units per week, 4 days off. Then from summer 2018 It increased to 5 days, with two days where I drank 1 bottle of beer. The units were around 60 until end of 2019 where I decided you need to be careful. Flash forward to now and I'm drinking only 30 to 40 units a week with 3 days off in a row. This has never felt hard, it was breaking the habit, as I knew there was no addiction.

Now I feel confident by making that change and can control my life better, however I don't think going tee total is right for me, as I suffer from anxiety and if I can keep it controlled then why shouldn't I be allowed to enjoy a drink to relax?

I noticed I had to make a change and I said to my wife, if I can't cut down I'll need help. I've had no issues cutting down and that has made me feel confident.

I have a max number in my plan of 35 units, and some weeks I'll be less, maybe 20 to 30 but I will not exceed that number again.

I don't know why this has happened, but I have been reading up on liver disease and have got myself into a panic over the dangers and I'm scared. That's why I've changed, plus I wanted too, I didn't want to feel like alcohol could one day change who I am.

I am now seriously concerned I've ruined my liver. Like that along with a bad diet I've silently killed myself without knowing and that Is giving me horrendous guilt.

I just want advice or opinions on how bad my liver could be? Or if I'm doomed?

I only feel the guidelines say the weekly units are safe, but don't give information on the risks as you increase. It's very black and white.

P. S I'm 33 years old 6 foot 2 and overweight but still fairly active. I've also been eating better. I don't know what's happened. Fear of death I think is the reason or fear of being ill.

Thanks. Sorry for the rambling. Be honest, but don't be a douche about it.

I just read all the stuff on the Internet nowadays, can't do this or that without risk of death, and I feel most of the time it's just scaremongering. I know if they were to say yes you can do that l, then they'd be held responsible for it. Its all very overwhelming. I'm even scared to eat a takeaway at the moment but that's fine, it actually saves money.

2 likes, 14 replies

Report / Delete

14 Replies

  • Edited

    you sound like my son. he struggled with alcohol til the day he died at 42 years . he started as a teen. many health problems began to cause one problem after another. alcohol disease is a progressive disease like another disease left untreated it will take a life. this disease takes a toll on the entire family . its like a tsunami that sweeps in and wipes out everything in its path. his life was miserable full of pain, depression , addiction, and eventually from alcohol mental illness. i loved him so very much tried everything to help encourage him. but in the end alcohol took a young life and left a lifetime of pain behind. i would have given my own life if i could have saved him and given him freedom from the life of homelessness, jail, and worse. alcohol poisoning takes a toll on the body and it slowly took his health. then as death came too soon so unexpected .

    he was so talented , bright and funny. i always held out hope til the end that he would survive this disease and have a normal life and family and live a alcohol free life.

    i feel so guilty that i could not stop the tsunami . as a mother a loss of a child you never get over. its daily suffering. i know my son suffered so much worse every day . he lost his battle , death came without warning, to fast and he was alone. it was 2 days before he was found. in death he is finally at peace . so sad it breaks my heart.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      I'm sorry to hear that story. You sound like yeah did all you could. That's all a mother can be.

      I never started drinking at all really, until I was 31 so now I've decided to male a change, for me. Hopefully that's enough to keep me here for a long time. I'll never go back to those 2 years I drank too much, it feels a distant memory now. I. Lucky I didn't go too far and develop an addiction. The next test will be when I have another difficult spell, and I'll have to be strong and stick to my plan and never exceed it. I don't believe 21 units is a life I want to live. If there's a small risk then that's OK. There are risks all around us.

      Anyway, as a son to another mother I Hope you find peace when ever it comes. Heartbreaking and I wish you and your family all the best.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Edited

    The only way to really answer this is to suggest that you get your liver tested Gary.

    Since you struggle with anxiety, this is going to only get worse in terms of how it might be affecting your mental health. The chances are your liver is going to be okay because it is a very resilient organ and, even if a little under strain now, it may well repair itself if you keep the alcohol intake down. Much better to know now than wait and wait until it does get difficult for it to recover. If you liver is currently under strain, then continuing at 20-35 units a week is too much, so it really is a good idea to find out now rather than later.

    If you are in the UK, you could either as your doctor to do the blood test on the NHS, or you could chose to buy a home test kit. You take a pinprick of blood from your finger, send it back to the lab for their doctors to analyse it, and then they results posted securely online for you.

    If you want to deal with a reputable company to buy this, then send my a personal message and I will send you back the name and website lab of the company that did mine. It costs about £30.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I don't believe 20 to 30 units is too much. The risk is increased of course but when the government eventually says 0 units is the only safe option will everyone abstain? I've read online that 30 units a week is Highly unlikely to cause liver damage in the future. So for now I'll stick with that. Like many others in my circle do. Don't know anyone who doesn't drink 20 to 30 units per week. Mind only a few years ago it was 28 units. I don't believe anyone truly knows whats safe. Not trying to justify it, but 30 units I think is fine for me, that's my choice and I feel less scared with that than a few years ago when it was more.

      Thanks for your advice. I'm not going to my doctors, they end up sending you to AA. When really you just want to check your liver. I told my doctor back in 2017 I was drinking 30 units and he said just ensure it doesn't get more and all will likely be fine.


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      Could you explain what you mean that my anxiety will make it worse? Make the drinking worse or the worry of having liver problems? Or it will mean I'll drink more cause of anxiety. I have cut down easily and pretty proud of myself. I have my anxiety under control most of the time have suffered from it for 10 years and only delved into drinking around 2018 more it less. Before then didn't do it ever really. I was more concerned about if that amount of units long term would send me to my death bed in 5 years. It would be very unlucky but I'd be miserable drinking 14 units a week. When it was 60 or 70 unitd thats just too much, I've acknowledged that but 30 units I always thought of course the risk may increase but the chances are I'll still love a full life.

      I dunno, if only the data the government gave us included low risk zones, medium risk zones and high risk zones and likely to happen zones. It seems really unfair to just say 21 units for a man jeeps you safe, one unit over and you're dead. I thank you for your answer and I will take a liver test now anyway but I'll do it through the Internet. If the result is normal then I'll still be cutting down I will never increase again. I'm done with that, there was no bed for me to drink 60 units a week. But we make mistakes. If its not normal then I don't know, I'd have to ask my doctor what to do. God the thought of that just scares me. Living in fear for having a drink is not a way to live. I remember when it was 35 units, not that long ago. I think they don't know how much damage is done when you exceed their limits and thats the worrying part. They only know what is safe. That makes it difficult for anyone to truly judge without going to a doctor and asking for a scan. You only get a scan it you're showing signs of liver disease which is either too late or fine if the person abstains. I think we should have more widely available testing done at any age without the consequences of being forced to go to AA when you're not an alcoholic. I've had 4 days no drink there and don't have any issues, no problem but id be classed as an alcoholic by society for exceeding the recommended units.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I mean your anxiety may not allow you to forget the guilt associated with not knowing if you have harmed your liver or not. In your original post, you seem very concerned about it indeed.

      But honestly, you seem quite sure of the facts that you have read and learned, so good on you.

      I am confused by what you have written a couple of times about if you go to your GP they will tell you to go to AA... Have you considered going to your GP and asking for the blood tests with a little white lie, such as that you are considering taking out private medical insurance and in order to give you an accurate price quote, they need bloods doing to check the current state of your health?

      If you remain worried about whether you have damaged your liver or not, then the test is the only way to find out.

      Drinking is not as black and white as drinking or abstinence. No, you wouldn't necessarily have to be abstinent if you find that you have damaged your liver. But how much you could drink in the future with a strained liver is not as simple as you think. You may have to temporarily stop drinking for a few weeks whilst it recovers (a damaged liver will not repair itself whilst someone is throwing what is a poison into it on a regular basis) or you may need to drink at no more than a couple of drinks each session for a little while. There are many options inbetween that.

      Rather than just continuing with this figure you have read is safe when you don't know what your liver situation is makes no sense to me. Sorry. How can you tell it is safe when you don't have a clue how your much strain, if any, your liver is under right now?

      With anxiety, how many weeks can you drink at that level without waking with the fear of your liver being damaged? My guess, based on your original post, is not many. Just get the liver function test done and be done with it. It almost seems to me that by focusing so much on the numbers of drinks so fiercely, you are unconsiously seeking permission from someone on here to agree with you that it is a sensible thing to do.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      And don't forget, you can easily get a liver function test home kit privately for about £30. They simply analyse the bit of blood you send to them, and give you access to the results online. No one is going to contact you about it, or tell you to go to AA or anything like that.

      So, now you know that you don't HAVE to go to your GP and face any questions, what is stopping you getting the test done privately and putting your mind at rest?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I don't want someone to agree with me really. More so that someone can share a similar story or what not. I know many people who drink similar even my wife before she got pregnant but she isn't concerned where I am, due to my recent years of over doing it. I am not having issues with stopping, completely seems pointless as there's nothing internally wrong with enjoying a drink but there's a lot of social stigma out there nowadays about alcohol and its judged fairly poorly. I wasn't concerned about drinking 35 units a week although it's slightly higher but Its the previous few years that worry me. GPS are fine but I don't think walking in and saying I need a liver test at 33 years old without being looked at funny is a good idea. Either way my answer is because I'm paranoid. I'm going to do one of those buy a test and send away and then see what happens at least then I'll know and can Continue with my life, or if its abnormal make changes. I just don't want to die but I don't want to live in fear either.

      I'm more likely to have non alcoholic fatty liver as I have had a pretty shut diet for like 10 years... Its not quite as bad but being overweight never helps

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      In my opinion (as someone who had a drink problem and also now as an alcohol abuse counsellor) is that you are doing the right thing by getting the test. Well done!

      The chances are that your liver is not badly damaged and may not even be damaged at all, in which case that is awesome.

      But if it turns out that it is slightly damaged, it can repair itself, given the chance. That doesn't necessarily mean not drinking at all, but maybe a short period of a week or two with no alcohol to allow it to do that, and then some sensible drinking afterwards. I do agree that for someone your age, a life without alcohol at all is not a particularly nice thought. But if the thought of just a week or two without alcohol seems completely unbearable and intollerable (as opposed to just not very nice), then that is a sign that you are somewhere on the spectrum of alcohol use disorder.

      Only those with very serious issues face a life with abstinence, and you most likely are not in that category. However, you also don't want to blindly carry on without knowing what the situation truly is with your liver, because if you do, then in 5 or 10 years from now, you may well end up in that category and be faced with (hopefully) another 40 years of life with abstinence as the only alternative to dying from disease of the liver.

      The test is the sensible way to go 😃

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yeah I'll do a test. I'll also continue to keep cutting down and stick to my plan as a minimum... This week I've had 3 units and it's Saturday night. That wasn't out of choice it just happened I just couldn't be bothered some nights, however I need to be careful I noticed it was problematic for a few years and I tried to justify it and I am guilt ridden for it.

      I have a 6 week old daughter so that's likely why I'm worried about death. I don't want to be this perfect does no good person, but I don't want to be silly any more. That includes junk food, smoking too much. I'm a light smoker anyway, medicines, overall just be note aware of my health long term and make small changes. Going from drinking too nothing would be worse for me. I'm capable of controlling it as its not all or nothing for me. I just need to accept things the way they are and know I'm actively making changes. I can't do much more. It may take me months to get to a level where I feel like it's all just normal but im never going back to those old ways, just not doing it. For some reason I only realise now how stupid it was. I understand it wasn't like severe alcoholic drinking but it wasn't good and to be honest was way too much. 30 units is totally OK. But you're right it might not be. Maybe my liver is damaged from a fatty diet and to be honest thats possible. I'm not exactly skinny.

      I did a cholestoral test last July and it came back normal, it was pretty good to be honest but one year on I think yeah you need to calm the hell down. I used to take paracetamol but now I'm done with that. I didn't realise how bad they were either, not until maybe the start of 2020. I only ever take 4 or 5 in 24 hours. So it's come down to this. Continue and don't think much of your health or make changes across the board. I need to really push myself. I think the alcohol I've got a solid grip of it now but the food and other areas maybe not so much... Yet. I'm exercising way more now as I'm walking to work and walking the dog as my wife is with our little daughter. I don't want to be better got anyone either, I just went to be more in control of my s**t.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      Also I cut out sugar drastically. Huge achievement I was like 7 or cans of Pepsi a day. Before sugar tax now I just drink diet and mainly fruit juice with low sugar. I actually go to the shops and normally would grab coke full fat but now I look at it and don't even care I just look for the other sugar free stuff. So sugar tax has helped me to be fair. I can even enjoy a bottle of lucosade as it's way less sugar.

      I don't drink coffee either never have.

      My dad drinks a bottle of wine a night and a few beers and has done since I was born. He's 63 and has nothing wrong with his liver after sh*tting blood and a doctor suggesting he had pancreatic cancer. Hasn't stopped him from continuing at that level but maybe he just got lucky. He's a great dad can't fault him at all. However I tell my mum and family look im cutting down I feel the last few years I was going over board and I need to change and I have changed but I'm worried about my health and that's why I'm changing. They say I'm fine and I'm not like my dad and he hasn't had liver disease. He lost loads of weight and the doctors said it was just colic. After loads of test. I couldn't believe it. He's not full on like drinks through the day but he's maybe 70 to 80 units a week if my mum is telling the truth about his alcohol. I don't think he was as bad when I was younger but how would I notice? He was able to come and pick me up a few nights when I'd be out with friends and 3 am so either he was still drunk or only was 3 or 4 cans a night.

      I think my drinking over the last two years wasn't much better. I'd say similar to 3 or 4 cans a night however I had days off he never. I've never seen my dad without a drink in his hand. Never seen him drink juice. Well red bull in the mornings but he doesn't drink coffee either.

      Plus he didn't go from the ages of 19 to 30 without touching a drop. I was a big time golfer, at national level. Played off plus 1. Then decided at 31 to say good bye to the game as I was getting too stressed from it. Then I had nothing to do at the weekends. So it was OK to drink. Now I'm doing more at the weekends and have taken up fishing so will be concentrating on doing that some weekends. When I have stuff to do on a Saturday or Sunday I'd have maybe 7 units the night before or none really.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      What a gift to have a new born daughter of 6 six weeks. You are lucky for certain. I was also concerned about my health since i had twin daughters and was unemployed and the House Dad. My drinking was very heavy and for many years and much much more than you. I stopped when they were 16 months old in December 2011. Stone cold and now sober for nearly 9 years. No medication but just stopped since i had too much to live for. The twins will be 10 in August. A great life and i wish you all the best. You can do it.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      I'm lucky for sure and that's why I'm changing. As long as I'm 30 or do units a week I'd be happy, and I have been, but if If it gets out of hand at any point I'll be stopping. I don't want to die, I want to see her grow up. I know it's unlikely for me to die soon but I want to be better. I'll stick to the plan for a few months then maybe I'll realise its pretty easy. As I say it's Sunday and I've had 10 units all week and never felt an urge at all. The urge comes when I can't control my anxiety so I'm focusing on just accepting it when I feel crap, no matter how bad it feels, never over do it. My daughter doesnt give me any stress, my anxiety is irrational obsessive stuff. She makes me happy and I wasn't wanting kids because I thought my anxiety is too bad. I'm glad I trusted myself and went for it because she's great. Just worried I'll die before sues 2 or 3 or 4 or 5. It scares me so much

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up