Worried about liver damage

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi,I have been on a month long alcohol binge at least 10 pints of beer a day, and have a past history of alcohol binges. I had a fibroscan done about two years ago which was fine. My question is could I have developed cirrhosis after a month of drinking this heavily? I am very worried and tapering off the alcohol to avoid withdrawals.  I drank heavily at university, then about 12 years or so ago I gave up for a year, then I would only have drank about thirty days in a year and these would be binges of say two or three days or seven if on holiday then months off the drink. This has been the longest binge in 12 years. I hadn't drank for about three months prior to it. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Mark, from what you said in your post, I think it's unlikely that you would have developed cirrhosis. What I will say is that if you continue to binge drink for long stints, you could eventually cause some damage. You're obviously worried about your binge drinking, so maybe you need help to see why you binge drink. Moderation doesn't work for everyone, that's for you to decide. I was a weekend binge drinker, a couple of bottles Friday/Sat and sometimes more. Decided to stop a couple of years ago for health reasons and my age and don't miss it at all now. I've never had a fibroscan so don't actually know if my liver is damaged. The main thing is to get help and support for your binge drinking and you won't have to worry about liver damage. The best to you.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your kind reply Addie, this binge started over the loss of my job and split with my long term partner.  At first it was to numb my pain, now I'm worried about my drinking also and any damage this binge may have done.  As I say I am tapering down as I am worried about withdrawals.  Thanks for your help it is much appreciated.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mark, can definitely relate to drinking to numb the pain. Losing your job and partner is pretty emotional stuff. Don't beat yourself up, we can't change the past but we can control the future re drinking. If your really worried see your GP, and explain your concerns. Most GPs are helpful and supportive. Addiex

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  • Posted

    "My question is could I have developed cirrhosis after a month of drinking this heavily?"

    No.

    From someone that does have cirrhosis and spent nearly two months in hospital with it.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your kind reply.  I've just got myself into a vicious cycle of drinking to numb the pain and now that I'm trying to taper my anxiety is playing all kinds of tricks with my mind.  I am jus worried trhat after my sporadic binges in the past that one this long will have pushed me over the edge.

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    • Posted

      Also I've read that fatty liver develops in all drinkers that drink heavily for this period, so I suspect ikt's likely that I have developed this.

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    • Posted

      That would depend on all of your previous binges. A month long binge on its own, would not cause it.

      Fatty liver is not that uncommon in adults in Western countries where alcohol consumption is normal.

      Russia for example, in 2012, 30% of all deaths were attributable to alcohol. And between those that die in the 15 - 54 group, alcohol accounts for 52%, plus a quarter of all Russian men die before the age of 55.

      Fatty liver is the first stage, then Fibrosis is the second stage and then comes cirrhosis and that has three grades of seriousness.

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    • Posted

      Thanks again for the info, I just read that all heavy drinkers develop fatty liver even after a couple of weeks binge.  Does fatty liver always develop into cirrhosis? Thanks again for the helpful replies.
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    • Posted

      No, you don't get one and then keep moving along all the stages. It requires years of heavy daily drinking to get cirrhosis. Also it depends what you drink. Stick to regular beer and it is hard to do, go on to the strong stuff and spirits and you'll get there a lot quicker. Fatty liver can be reversed, once it gets to fibrosis, it cannot. That doesn't mean if you get fibrosis, you automatically get cirrhosis, it means you can lose fatty liver, but not any stages after that.

      People who went to the pub after work everyday, for their whole life, but just having a couple (2) of regular beers, would be unlikely to develop anything.

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    • Posted

      Thanks again for the info, it is very much appreciated.  I only really drink beer or cider, strongbow, rarely touch the hard stuff, never developed a taste for spirits.  I have put on quite a bit of weight over the last five weeks though, but I suppose the Guiness and fast food will do that to you!!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for interesting info RHGB. God only know what my liver is like! What's scary as well is that you can have normal LFTs and still have liver disease and know nothing about it until you eventually develop symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Well, I developed, jaundice,  subconjunctival heamorrhage (red eye), a brain haemorrhage (bleed on the brain) and loss of usage of limbs in about 24-36 hours and a load of other symptoms. Three years later, I am still up and about and leading a normal life, although I do take a lot of daily medication.
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    • Posted

      My GP won't refer anyone to the liver clinic unless they have irregular blood tests, even with a history of heavy drinking, which seems crazy as Addie says you can have regular bloods and still have liver damage.

       

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    • Posted

      That must have been so frightening and scary for you. I'm presuming that you had no symptoms prior to this, or maybe on reflection there were little things health wise you ignored, thinking it's nothing. Great how you've recovered and are  leading a normal life, that's wonderful. Has your liver recovered from the cirrhosis? I have read cases where cirrhosis has reversed when the cause is removed, although specialists seem to have different opinions on this. Hope your good health continues on. I suffer from health anxiety and it affects my everyday life, a constant battle! Addie.

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    • Posted

      Mark, you're right in that GPs don't want to refer you if your LFTs are normal. Unfortunately it's all about saving money with NHS, and I don't think it's going to get any better. You could try another GP if you're really concerned. I do think your liver is ok from what you've told us re your drinking. Everyone's metabolism is different, some people can drink to excess and don't develop liver disease, my Mother is one of them. She's 90, still has a vodka & tonic now and again, a heavy social drinker in her younger years. Not everyone is that lucky though!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Addie, I'm trying to get to see another GP next week, fingers crossed, on the last day of my taper so hopefully I can get the willpower to kick this monkey off my back.  Thanks again for your kind reply.

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