Worried about alcohol abuse & spider naevi marks?

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Hi, does anyone have any experience of spider naevi marks? I've posed in liver problems forum but think it was the wrong place.

I'm concerned that at age 32 I could have have already damaged my liver so bad I hsve cirrhosis. The reason I think this is because I have about 10 spider naevi marks over my body now mostly on my upper arms and hands and some hsve been there years but in the last 6 months I've noticed a few new ones on my hands. 

I also have tender pain under my right rib area, it feels bruised to touch and just achy I found for a few days after a drink.

Although I don't drink that often now I'm still the type to open a bottle of wine and drink the lot, and whilst I know I hsve a dependency on alcohol in some ways Im too scared to go to doctors but I've convinced myself there could be no other cause for my symptoms given my history.

Thanks 

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, this is not a good sign to a heavy drinker, no good being scared, its too late for that now, you need medical assistance and you need to get your liver back into shape, good news at 32 you should be saved, but you must never drink again, daughting I know, but you have allot of years ahead of you if you kick it, go see your doctor, please.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the response. Although it's scary to hear I think it's what I needed to know to scare me off drinking for good. It's so sad to think at only 32 I live in constant fear that I have caused a terminal illness by damaging myself. I honestly hoped I could go on to drink responsibly and its a shame it's too late for me now.

    I feel so let down that during my pregnancy not once was anything flagged in any of my blood tests and when I raised the spider naevi to the doctor I was assured they were not liver related and told not to worry, that was only earlier in the year! I didn't touch a drop for the year while I was pregnant and its really only been the last 5 months I've started drinking a few times a week again, with the odd binge at weekends when out so how could I have gone downhill so fast? 

    Should I just demand to be taken seriously at the doctors?

    I really don't want to die I have so much to live for I just realise I hadn't been so stupid for so many years.

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  • Posted

    You are unlikely to have liver cirrhosis (end stage liver disease) unless your skin and the whites of your eyes are bright yellow. You are clearly concerned about the condition of your liver, so you need to see your doctor and ask for a Liver Function Test. This is a blood test. You should expect some abnormalities on the results but the good news is that the liver has amazing powers of recovery as long as you don't let it go too far before you do something.

    Don't delay it through fear. You need to find out how your liver is and then do something (an alcohol detox, initially) to get off alcohol to give your liver chance to heal. Alcohol detox is not a 'cure' for alcohol depenedency but is the crucial first step to get you to stop drinking safely and is very easy with the right medication and support. THEN the work starts to stay off alcohol which is more difficult. I don't want to go into all the different methods available but people here will share with you the methods they have found helpful.

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  • Posted

    The Liver Function test is what the doctor will do, it will probable show a fatty liver, this is nit so bad,I knowI had the same, but in three years my liver is normal and I just dont drink much atall any more, in fact I enjoy getting up in the morning and feeling normal, so will you. Drink is not a friend, but we fear losing it, thats just in your head, you say you have kids, so there is your other goal, go for it and good luck.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies guys, I'm looking to book an appointment with the doctor next week as I feel I need to know one way or another what the damage is.

    I've only had one glasd of wine in 2 weeks and although that isn't unusual for me I am making a more conscious effort to not drink at all, or as i would say only when I have to which is silly really but I have a works christmas party coming up and that's the kind of event where I would definitely Indulge in quite a few drinks but depending on what the doctors say I might even drive. I am commited to living a long and healthy life and I just hope I have control of the situation before it's too late. Amazingly I already feel brighter and more positive and my rib tenderness appears to have subsided.

    Thanks 

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  • Posted

    Ok I've finally booked an appointment with docs later today. I'm really nervous about what they might say or worse they will dismiss me again and tell me not to worry.

    My only symptoms are the spider naevi and pain under right rib when I drink. Hardly drinking at all at moment, maybe once a week. 

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  • Posted

    Ok I've finally booked an appointment with docs later today. I'm really nervous about what they might say or worse they will dismiss me again and tell me not to worry.

    My only symptoms are the spider naevi and pain under right rib when I drink. Hardly drinking at all at moment, maybe once a week. 

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  • Posted

    Thanks for all the advice... I finally plucked up the courage and wend to doctors today. Apparently the doc I saw was a skin specialist too and he wasn't concerned about the red marks and didn't think they were spider naevi despite me being convinced for years that's what they are....

    He did a physical examination of the area and wasn't bothered by anything either, said he couldn't feel my liver and was satisfied by that. 

    With regard to the pain he said that's also not related to the liver but my ribs but didn't actually give me any idea what it could be? 

    He said my liver was tested via a blood test in 2008 and results normal but if it puts my mind at rest he's booked me in for another blood test to check liver next week.

    He actually said he was convinced results would come back normal and it was near on impossible I would have a damaged liver like I believe as I would have had to have drunk so much for many many years. Do you think that's right he can say that? Obviously I know I have a 15 year history of excess and binge drinking, never spirits or more than a bottle of wine and a few beers in one go and although over last 18 months I barely touched a drop im still worried he could be wrong. 

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    • Posted

      In the last 18 months, any damage done to your liver previous to that will have healed itself.

      The new Liver Function Test will give you the proof you need, but I am pretty sure your doctor is correct smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul I'll sleep easier tonight knowing maybe this horrid shadow of worry over my life might be over soon and it's given me the kick up the backside I needed not to abuse alcohol and I can hopefully enjoy a long ang heathy life! 
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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul just to update I called the docs today and my blood tests were normal smile no further action needed.... I literally can't explain the relief! And shock!! I guess I have to believe now that if that's the liver function tests all ok then there isn't a problem! As for the red marks, well they def have characteristics of spider naevi but I guess not....

      Thanks so much for taking the time out to provide valuable and trustworthy advice during a difficult time.

      Merry christmas to you!!! 

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