Can anyone talk to me about LIVER damage?

(19 Posts)
seriouscase Mon 25-May-09 17:45:25

TMI alert - Sorry, I know it is teatime but...

DH has been having diarrhoea for 2 days. I know this could be a bug or food poisoning but I have suspected for over a year that he is an alcoholic. The power of google informs me that diarrhoea is a symptom of liver failure. I know I am jumping the gun a bit here but he has other symptoms too - tiredness, loss of appetite, swollen stomach (present for 6 months or more).
He has access to alcohol every day through his work (don't out me if you know me in RL!) He keeps stupid hours so I don't know what he is up to half the time. I am sick with worry about him in general.

So tell me to not be melodramatic or please help in any way. TIA.

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3littlefrogs Mon 25-May-09 17:46:50

You know he needs to see a doctor urgently. You are not being melodramatic - but you need his cooperation. Presumably he is in denial?

seriouscase Mon 25-May-09 17:49:11

Oh yes denial is his middle name. I would have to call an ambulance to get him near a doctor and even them he would probably refuse to get in it.

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Plonketyplonk Mon 25-May-09 18:03:32

diarrhoea can be symtomatic of colon problems - not all liver things. He should get himself to the doc. It's the weight loss and swollen stomach which I think are quite worrying. The tiredness often goes along with a tummy that doesn't work properly. It may be nothing to do with alcohol. Our guts don't like being pickled very much though.

seriouscase Mon 25-May-09 20:01:50


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hester Mon 25-May-09 20:06:25

He needs to see a doctor. But you know that. Presumably you've suggested it? Any luck at all? Have you thought about talking to the GP yourself - I know he won't discuss dp's confidential stuff with you, but maybe he could suggest what you could say to dp to try to get him along?

I wish I could be of more help. You must be worried sick sad

MIFLAW Tue 26-May-09 02:13:50

Don't know if this is reassuring or not but lots of alcoholics suffer from diarrhoea a lot of the time without it being anything to do with liver damage but quite simply because heavy drinking (especially if accomapnied by not eating, as it so often is) gives you the shits.


seriouscase Tue 26-May-09 14:05:38

Thank you for your replies.
Miflaw - that makes sense but he usually has a cast iron stomach so this seems usual.

I phoned him at work a while ago and he said he was fine but I could tell it was a lie. (Don't ask me how I am so sure, it was something in his voice. Plus I said last night that he should go to the doctor today if not better) He said he has not eaten anything yet - by my reckoning he has not eaten since Saturday shock sad. And yes he is at bloody work, there is no helping him sometimes.

I am so frustrated with him, he won't help himself, and I can't shake off the feeling that there is something really wrong. I have had a lot of bereavement stuff going on in the last while so perhaps that has something to do with it. Sorry, needed to get all that off my chest.

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MIFLAW Tue 26-May-09 14:29:23

Fair enough if he normally has a cast iron stomach - but if he hasn't eaten anything since Saturday and has been consuming fluid (especially containing alcohol) - well, not to put too fine a point of it, what can you expect to come out at the other end?

His health is probably atrocious - I know mine was - but please don't jump the gun and start convincing yourself it's anything irreversible. If and when he stops drinking, most of his complaints will probably sort themselves out. If you're really worried, get him to go to the doctor (lie or emotionally blackmail him if necessary, the gloves are off when you're dealing with practising alcoholics) but don't upset yourself until you know what's what.

howtotellmum Tue 26-May-09 14:30:18

if your liver is damaged, your poo is white (er) and you r urine goes very dark brown. This would be a sign of fairly serious liver inflammation. Alcoholism can also cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines as well as other things.

seriouscase Tue 26-May-09 14:51:34

Okay I know I must not overreact.
Last summer he did have what I thought to be a GI bleed (coffee grains vomit) but it only happened once as far as I know. (although this could be happening late at night at his work possibly sad )
I just don't know how I am going to get him to a doctor. He is very stubborn.

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FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 26-May-09 14:52:49

Is he jaundiced? Pale stools? Dark wee?

MIFLAW Tue 26-May-09 15:01:11

What does he drink and how much of it?

In terms of getting him to the doctor's, have you told him how you feel? I mean, not nagging, but the fear and worry? I would never have gone to the doctor's in a million years if someone had a go at me, but I just might to "set a partner's mind at rest" (deep down I was worried myself, but needed to feel like I was going to please someone else as a favour/formaility to keep the dread at bay.)

seriouscase Tue 26-May-09 15:58:31

Sorry had to pop out, and will have to go again in a minute.
He drinks wine in the house, I'm not sure what he drinks at work although I once caught him drinking vodka at 2.45 in the afternoon sad. On Sunday I found an empty wine bottle hidden in the garden shed - an ongoing argument we have when I find hidden empties.

I will try to plead with him to go for my sake.
Thanks for listening, it does help.

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seriouscase Tue 26-May-09 16:24:11

Okay he is back and he has had a drink. I am SO angry at him. He doesn't see the problem. He has still not eaten. He is blanking the doctor idea. I could sob, I don't know what to do to resolve this.
angry sad angry

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MIFLAW Tue 26-May-09 16:43:19

All of what you say is consistent with alcoholism.

However, not all alcoholics get liver disease and even for the ones that do, when they get it will depend on a range of factors - quantity, length of drinking career, other lifestyle choices, genetics .... It certainly would not be an assumption I would jump to.

Long term, this problem (alcoholism) will not go away and it will get worse. Those are givens, and you should prepare yourself for that. Has your husband ever sought help for his drinking?

But short term, try to keep a sense of perspective and to fear the most likely instead of the worst.

ihatethecold Tue 26-May-09 16:47:02

try al anon, they could give you some support and maybe help you to help him, talking to him when he is drinking wont work though..sorry i cant do links but if you google them im sure you will get the number for their helpline

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 26-May-09 17:54:28

My dad was an alcoholic for many years (14-64), his liver, shockingly, was fine. It was the cigarettes that did it for him. Some people can get away with it, others can't. It's worth a check up but you know th saying, 'you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink'. You have a stubourn(sp?) mule there.

Missarad Mon 13-Jan-20 14:19:51

Wondered what happened? Same issues with my husband but I've gone past caring. He went to gp and lft very high over 180 self inflicted no empathy but I am concerned as we have kids

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