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Alcohol support

Long term drinkers and health

44 replies

Spongebobsmartypants · 19/02/2022 09:58

My brother has been a drinker for years. Between 1 and 2 bottles of wine everynight, more at the weekend. He holds down a high powered job, has a family. Hes fast approaching 60. He recently had a health check and is completely healthy, i am so relieved but also so confused. He has literally Drank everyday for years and years

OP posts:

Wolfiefan · 19/02/2022 18:46

As you tagged me.
It doesn’t just damage the liver.
He must not drive.


A580Hojas · 19/02/2022 18:48

I have to add, 1 to 2 bottles of wine a night, every night, for years does seem a HUGE amount. The Govt guidelines work out at about 2 bottles of wine per week for a man. I think the truth is somewhere above that but not at the amount your brother is drinking.


Polyanthus2 · 19/02/2022 18:52

I'm nearly 70 and ime illnesses seem to start around mid 60s. Obviously not for everyone but I would guess it's a matter of time for him.


Spongebobsmartypants · 19/02/2022 18:57

@dontblamemee i am so sorry to hear that.

I really hope his luck continues, theres no chance he will stop as he has never questioned his drinking. He sees it as a lifestyle choice he can afford.

OP posts:

Einszwei · 19/02/2022 18:59

My grandmother drinks multiple bottles of spirits each week. Complete alcoholic.

She is coming up to 90 with no major health problems apart from the injuries from falls.

Some people will drink much less and die feom liver failure. Very random.


Spongebobsmartypants · 19/02/2022 18:59

I do believe it will catch up on him which is why i was so shocked he got a clean bill of health

OP posts:

Spongebobsmartypants · 19/02/2022 19:00

I wonder if the choice of drink has any impact

OP posts:

pointythings · 19/02/2022 19:07

The thing with the liver is that it can go on and on, throwing up perfectly healthy tests, looking absolutely fine - but when it craps out, it craps out fast and that isn't fixable. That's the risk with excessive drinking.

The heart disease risk is also very real - that's what killed my late husband at age 58. No signs, no symptoms - then one day he keeled over and died. We were in the process of divorcing at the time, so he was alone in his little flat and wasn't found for days.

It's all academic though, because it isn't in your power to make him stop.


cptartapp · 19/02/2022 19:12

Liver function can change quite quickly.
He's also at significantly increased risk of mouth, tongue, oesophageal, stomach, bladder cancers, plus stroke and heart attack (combined with other risk factors).
Basic bloods, an ECG, BP check etc wouldn't pick up on most of that.


Featuredcreature · 19/02/2022 19:12

I think it must be genetics, my niece's partner had a liver transplant at 21! Due to drinking, it seems unfeasible that you could trash your liver that much so young, it's a thing though.


Coyoacan · 19/02/2022 19:21

I smoked very heavily for 45 years and am also healthy. There are always exceptions.


MeridasMum · 19/02/2022 19:23

My DF was an alcoholic. I knew it but he denied it completely so there's not really much you can say or do to help.

Anyway, all his doctor check ups were great - he was, apparently, the picture of health. Until he died suddenly and his post-mortem report told a very different story.

He had, of course, been lying through his teeth; his liver and kidneys were shot, he was clearly, according to the PM, a chronic alcoholic.

I don't believe your DB can be healthy with that intake of alcohol but he can only be helped if he wants it.


Wizzbangfizz · 19/02/2022 19:25

It is a bizarre lottery - my grandad is a heavy drinker and smoker, fried breakfast every day, I don't think the man has ever eaten a piece of fruit. Luckily he no longer drives as that was an issue - BUT he is in rude good health. He has always been fairly active so I think that has worked in his favour.


Wizzbangfizz · 19/02/2022 19:26

Forgot to add his age - 87.


JaneyJimplin · 19/02/2022 19:33

Fil was an alcoholic. Most of adult life to an extent, but kept it functional while holding down a job.

Then mil died and he went in to full on alcoholic mode for the last 9 years of his life. At his best, drank 3 bottles of wine a day (that we know about), at worst probably a bottle of brandy plus a bottle or 2 of wine.

Never, ever, seemed drunk.

Died peacefully in his sleep last summer. We were surprised to hear it wasn't the alcohol, at least not directly. It was a blood clot in his heart, secondary cause listed as obesity. Of course the alcohol played a part, but it wasn't what killed him. His liver wasn't abnormal, according to the post mortem.

Really bizarre. His mother is still alive at 96 and also has always been a heavy drinker. Maybe genetics plays a role in how your body can cope with it.


Newuser82 · 19/02/2022 19:36


Luck. And things can change very suddenly.

Exactly! My dad recently passed away from liver failure. He drank very heavily for years. He had an operation a few months before he died and as far as I know everything was fine. My friend is a nurse and she told me that liver tests can be fine right up until they aren't, if that makes sense. It will catch up with him eventually unfortunately.

Alonelonelylonersbadidea · 20/02/2022 11:59

It's an odd thing.
I've a 'relationship ' with alcohol insofar as I'm either on the wagon or drinking what your brother drinks.

I do NOT drive. I add that for the angry PP, just so they know.

It is like a lottery. I'm from a long line of alcoholics on both my mother's and father's side and my son is alcoholic.
All have held down respectable jobs, never seem drunk - although with my son it's problematic.

None DRIVE!!

I am in a high-stress job though and am well aware now how it affects my mental acuity. I also worry a lot about dementia and cancer. Though I do know cancer gets most of us, I can't help but feel that alcohol makes it more likely to kill me.
I am never drunk, and I do know how to stop and when to stop. I do not consider myself an alcoholic but I do know that it's a fine line and I'm close to crossing it.

It is absolutely a lottery. Alcohol is a poison we are all better off without. But it's owning up to it that's key.


Spongebobsmartypants · 20/02/2022 12:26

@Alonelonelylonersbadidea what a very brave post, thank you for your honesty.

I think its like every other gamble and when you see people who are dependent live long lives it makes you wonder. But i suppose its also quality of that life.

OP posts:

BeautyGoesToBenidorm · 20/02/2022 12:52


I think it must be genetics, my niece's partner had a liver transplant at 21! Due to drinking, it seems unfeasible that you could trash your liver that much so young, it's a thing though.

There's very often a significant genetic component with cirrhosis. A 33yo woman I know was borderline cirrhotic at 31, her mum was end-stage, and her aunt (mum's sister) died of it a few years previously. All three were/are alcoholics.

It really is the luck of the draw. There are people developing cirrhosis younger and younger these days, the youngest I know of personally was THIRTEEN 😳 An immature liver simply can't cope with heavy alcohol use.
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