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I’ve just read an article in Closer and now I want a liver function test.

(72 Posts)
DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 14:43:06

I don’t usually buy these magazines but I’ve got an essay to do and wanted to use something that was ‘easy reading’ to break up the time.

There’s an article in there a mother 42 has liver cirrhoses, after just a few years of drinking, a short time (weeks) of drinking two bottles of wine per night during a nasty break up but just a couple of glasses of wine a night before and after that, over a space of just 6 years. And now she won’t live past 60

I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol since I was 17! I was in the pub with friends every night.

I’ve never got as bad as two bottles on wine in a night but I drink most nights and when shit hits the fan, I tend to drown my sorrows.

I’m 35 now and recently experienced a bereavement and I turned to wine. It got bad briefly so I sought different things to help instead, counselling etc and cut down.

However, after reading that article I’m shit scared that all my years of drinking have done irreversible damage! Especially since I seem to have done significantly more than the woman in the article.

I stupidly thought cirrhosis was caused by people who drank spirits straight and from they wake up until they go to bed.

I had NO idea it was so serious.

I want to call my GP tomorrow and ask for a liver function test. They already know about me turning to alcohol during my bereavement and have been very helpful in changing that for me so they know my history.
Would that test be a good idea? If I’ve done damage then better that I know now?

Just last night I had two mugs of mulled wine and I was going to have a glass of wine with tapas tonight and now I’m feeling terrible and guilty and ashamed.

Has anyone had a test after years of drinking?

OstentatiousWanking Tue 14-Nov-17 14:48:25

Yes my reading was off the scale when I was drinking. Then once I stopped (alcoholic in recovery) readings fell to normal really quickly.
The liver is amazing at self repairs. I drank extremely heavily for about 10 years and almost died twice. I'm 3 years sober now and my liver is doing fine. So don't panic yet!

DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 14:52:21

OstentatiousWanking, did your high readings lead them to a scan to see if it had got as bad a cirrhosis?

I’m glad to hear that certain damage can be reversed.

I’m still utterly agahast about what I have learned.

DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 14:52:53

And nice one for being sober for 3 years.

I bet you feel amazing. Did you do this through the AA?

Ttbb Tue 14-Nov-17 14:53:21

You will likely be able to tell if your liver is not well. Do you have a yellow tinge to your skin/eyes?

DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 15:02:07

No but from what I’ve read that only happens when it’s irreversable damage....?

exWifebeginsat40 Tue 14-Nov-17 15:04:01

your liver usually lets you know if it’s really struggling. mine used to provide me with a horrible tugging pain on my right side, just under my ribs.

i started drinking at 8 and got sober at 44. my liver is happy again.

just please think about this: people without drink problems don’t worry about their drinking, or their livers.

i got sober 3 and a half years ago with AA. ask your gp for liver function test. if you face this now you will hopefully escape rock bottom. i lost my job, my child, my husband and my home. and nearly lost my life on more than one occasion.

start with the blood tests. take control. life is so much sweeter without the smeared lens of drunk or hung-over.

be well.

exWifebeginsat40 Tue 14-Nov-17 15:05:18

wait no i got sober at 41!

i’m 44 NOW. and clearly still missing a few of my faculties!

SisyphusHadItEasy Tue 14-Nov-17 15:07:07

I was about to be dismissive when I read the title, but once I read your post, you are very reasonable.

Schedule an appointment with your GP, but I will be frank here - it is going to be tough. You are going to have to be very honest, and there is absolutely no sense in checking your liver unless you are willing to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol and your coping strategies.

I say this as someone who is in recovery, with addictions to both alcohol and co-codamol.

My biggest struggle now is working on not replacing one addiction with another.

DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 15:08:38

Oh I do worry about my drinking and my health.

I know I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. But it is something I’m addressing and not ignoring.

DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 15:11:13

Sisyphus to be honest they already know the most part. I’ve been honest with how bad my drinking got when I lost a baby in the summer. They helped me with that and I see a counsellor.

Do you know what I wish I could take a pill that meant I would be ill if I drank.

I had an infection after I lost the baby and the antibiotic I took was the one that made you hurl if you even so much as looked at booze. And during those two weeks alcohol didn’t cross my mind.

I want to take a pill like that and it would be problem solved!

I realise that it isn’t this easy though...

CommunistLegoBloc Tue 14-Nov-17 15:13:37

So she drank a couple of glasses a wine every night before the period of binge drinking? I would imagine she'd been damaging her liver for a long time.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 14-Nov-17 15:15:33

You can take tablets called Antabuse (sp?) which make you violently ill if you drink, but of course they don't solve the underlying issues. My friends DH took them, basically to shut her up and show he wasn't an alcoholic, he's back to (occasional and sneaky) drinking now because he didn't fix the underlying problem that made him drink sad

Gladys123 Tue 14-Nov-17 15:15:43

There is a pill that makes you feel I'll if you drink disulofram (I think that's what it's called) needs to be prescribed.

Bluetrews25 Tue 14-Nov-17 15:16:08

I think there is a pill you can take, isn't there? (Or did I dream it?) Ask your GP! Or someone wiser can answer on here.

PerfectlyDone Tue 14-Nov-17 15:18:12

It's good that you are recognising that you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol - that's a really important first step.

Get your liver function checked.
When it comes back normal (as it very likely will), DO NOT take this as carte blanch to carry on drinking as you are.

The liver is very forgiving - right up until its capabilities fall off a cliff.

Hospitals and liver transplant units are filling up with relatively young women with liver failure.
Do not wait until you go jaundiced or your blood tests are affected - reduce your alcohol intake now.

Look at other methods of stress management - really think about what you are going to do the next time you are sad or stressed or upset or angry and make a plan that does not involved alcohol.

The vast majority of people who come to harm from their use of alcohol are not physically dependent but their drinking is affecting the work, their relationships, their ability to function to the best of their capabilities.

See your GP, ask for blood screening and find out what support there is out there in your area for problem drinkers. You may not be an addicted alcoholic, but you do have an issue - which you have recognised, so now act on that new knowledge.
thanks

SisyphusHadItEasy Tue 14-Nov-17 15:23:33

There is such a pill, Dingle. It is called Antabuse (disulfiram).

It isn't the perfect solution, but it will make you violently ill if you drink while taking it. However, once the medication is not in your system, unless you have had support with your triggers etc, the drink will find you again.

The reality is that low-level chronic drink can be as likely as binge drinking to do liver damage, and cirrhosis is only one of the long term health complications possible.

If you are concerned both about your liver and your drinking, abstinence needs to be your goal health-wise. This is not because one drink occasionally will damage your liver, but because of the fact that one can easily become many again, and it sneaks up on you.

Addiction is a sneaky bedfellow.

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 15:23:35

Please, try not to panic. There's no reason to worry unduly at this point, or to think you've done irreversible damage. People react very differently to alcohol!! Closer magazine is not the BMJ either. wink

I think you're right to go to the GP and get this checked out - it will put your mind at rest. And well done on getting problem drinking under control - it's not an easy thing to do.

scaryteacher Tue 14-Nov-17 15:24:35

Can I also point out that as non drinker (well, one beer a fortnight, have an auto immune disease which is not alcohol friendly), other things can cause liver damage? My liver function is checked every 6 months as part of the monitoring of the autoimmune disease) and I have a fatty liver, probably down to my sweet tooth.

SheRasBra Tue 14-Nov-17 15:26:24

Good luck OP. There is plenty of good advice on here. I found a book called 'Control Alcohol' really helpful. It's not just informative, it's designed to help you challenge all the myths about drinking when you feel tempted.

ptumbi Tue 14-Nov-17 15:32:37

You have pushed a button with me OP - I've been living alone for 5 weeks and have had a drink every single day of that!

My drink of choice is vodka, and I worked out that I buy a 70cl bottle every week - that's about 100ml per day = 3 or 4units (twice the recommended intake). I do get a bit of the liver 'tugging' feeling. sad I excuse myself by saying that I make it a long drink, so I have over 1L of fizzy water with it per day.

But i do need to myself a break at least 3 days a week.

DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 15:33:23

Yes, abstinence is exactly what I need.

Just one, I can actually do. But I don’t see the point.
I can even cut down during the week. I can even go two weeks without drinking.

But I’m constantly having to reign it in. It’s like a constant battle of ‘not letting it get too out of control.’

Or asking myself “I’ve drank XYZ in a week/month does that make me an alcoholic yet?”

I’ve learned that just because I’m not physically dependant (as in, I have no withdrawal symptoms) and just because I don’t drink spirits or before 7pm or in the mornings doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not an alcoholic.

It’s such a bloody grey area.

I don’t like the idea of AA because of its philosophy.
I liked the Allen Carr books and counselling and hynotherapy are great (so because of this I have cut down).

But to stop altogether?

I don’t know how to do that.

SisyphusHadItEasy Tue 14-Nov-17 15:38:03

First step... Stop bringing it into the house. If you refuse to seeing in your home, you will be amazed how much less you drink.

SisyphusHadItEasy Tue 14-Nov-17 15:38:46

* refuse to have it

Stupid autocarrot!

DingleBerries Tue 14-Nov-17 15:40:19

Ok.

I have a bottle of mulled wine and a bottle of Irish whiskey (I fancied it in a chai latte one night) in the cupboard.
Im going to chuck them out right now.

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