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I'm starting a new thread because the last one was getting out-of-date and bogged-down with my anxiety issues.
I know I suffer from anxiety (and depression and insomnia), which is partly what drove me to drink, am on treatment for same and will review things with my GP asap, but I want to concentrate on my physical health concerns. Please ignore this thread if you ONLY want to talk about anxiety.
Briefly: I was a social drinker for 25 years, occasionally drinking more than I should have (but at things like celebrations and functions).
Two years ago, I began to develop mental health problems, but didn't start drinking more heavily (self-medicating) until about one year ago, when I also started to binge drink occasionally, including twice last October. After a gap, I then restarted drinking heavily in March this year, and this became very heavy at times in the summer (80+ units per week), with occasional even heavier binges, the most recent being last Thursday / Friday (50+ units each day).
I finally ended-up in hospital last weekend with tachycardia, low blood pressure and probably alcohol poisoning. While there, I first developed a painful red/purple rash on my chest. I was put on anti-biotics for this, and it seems to be clearing-up.
However, then, I quickly developed various other strange and unpleasant physical symptoms:
- numerous bruises;
- numerous pimples and red/purple dots under the skin;
- some hair loss and extensive hair-thinning;
- a spider naevus;
- red palms;
- itchy skin- skin darkening affecting the backs of my hands and genitals;
- regular, profuse sweating;
- whites of eyes turned lemon;
- brain "fog".
Some of these symptoms have reduced or resolved (eg. red palms and itchy skin), but the others have persisted.
I am eating OK, but making an effort to do so. In spite of this, I have lost about a stone in weight in the past 3 weeks. I'm also lacking in energy.
Since June, I have had regular liver function tests and other blood tests, too.
These have shown elevated enzymes, more or less in line with the extent of my drinking. In early August, after a serious binge, the AST was 96 and GGT was 121. In mid-August, AST had reduced to 25 and GGT 72. But they were higher again (though both under 100) on my admission to hospital last weekend, but had started to fall again after I was there for a few days. I have been advised that, in all of the tests, the values for other important measures were consistently normal. The junior doctor in hospital said the LFTs indicated no cirrohsis or hepatitis.
I also had a physical exam (just manual) from a GP in mid-August, and she said my liver / abdomen felt soft and suple with no sign of inflammation, enlargement or hardness.
However, given the strange and unpleasant physical symptoms that quickly developed in hospital last weekend, I fear that my last serious binge a week ago finally tipped me over the edge and into serious liver disease. Too many of the symptoms are those of cirrohsis for me to think anything else. (I've checked on the NHS website.)
I am absolutely terrified that, despite good advice and warnings, I did not take heed and my body, especially the liver, has finally been permanently damaged by the alcohol.
My main question is: can I turn things around? I have not had anything to drink since last Friday, and have no inclination to do so. I am drinking a lot of water, fruit and vegtable juices, and eating healthily. I will try to get some exercise, though I don't have much energy.
I'll see my regular GP next week, but could do with some advice and, if it's appropriate, some reassurance before then.
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