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Alcohol support

Worried I've damaged my liver irreparably - please read.

21 replies

itsmeisnti · 23/04/2023 13:33

Hi, I've NC'd for this because I don't want it under my username.

I have 2 DC that I love more than the world. I was stuck in an abusive marriage for 6 years and I used alcohol as a crutch far too much. I think for those 6 years, I drank on average a bottle of wine a day (in the evening). (I had a few nights out during that time where I drank a lot more than that but probably only 10 times over the 6 years.) That became normal for me, I then continued to use it to help with the trauma. I have just kind of had a wake up call that I need to be here for my DC, we have a great life now but I'm worried that I've caused liver disease to myself. The doctor won't take me seriously, they checked my bloods and my liver results were a bit high but 'nothing to get excited about' is what my gp said. I actually spoke to another GP at the same practice on a different day about the results and they weren't worried either. That should calm me, BUT I've got physical symptoms that they aren't listening to. I have scabs on my scalp, my skin is itchy everywhere (they prescribed shampoo and a skin cream for both of these issues but didn't say it could be related), my liver sometimes feels swollen to me but it's hard to say because I'm overweight. I'm tired all of the time, like proper fatigue, I can really struggle to do basic things. My skin goes bright red on my face if I have a drink now. I'm really worried I've given myself my own death sentence but no one seems to listen. I need to be here for my children, they don't have anyone else and I'm a good mum but I'm worried that I will be taken away for them. I do have anxiety massively, but I know that the scabs and itchiness are real, the GP has seen them. My blood pressure was fine if that makes any difference. Can you please, please tell me what you think from what I've said, as I don't know if I'm going crazy or if the doctors just won't listen to me Sad please tell me what you think. Thank you.

OP posts:
itsmeisnti · 23/04/2023 13:36

Sorry for tmi, but I forgot to had that I've had persistent loose stools for about 8 months too. I haven't had one regular bowel movement.

OP posts:
Hotfootgoose · 23/04/2023 13:39

I think milk thistle helps with liver repair

Steakandquinoa · 23/04/2023 13:39

Oh sweets, sounds like you need some counselling/CBT. Have you spoken to Dr about the loose stools and how anxious you are?

Luckydip1 · 23/04/2023 13:42

I'm not a doctor but it sounds like your body is telling you it's time to quit drinking for good, and you have had a lucky escape.

Namechange224422 · 23/04/2023 13:49

I hear how anxious you're feeling, and I totally get the feeling of having to be well for the kids when you're a single parent.

No one on the internet can diagnose you. But I wondered did the doctor explain to you then your liver can repair itself after damage, even from alcohol? They've told you that your results were a bit high but "nothing to get excited about" which means that there isn't permanent damage.

Are you drinking at the moment or have you managed to cut down or stop?

I think that the aftermath of the abusive marriage, single parenting and a difficult time have left you with some anxiety. I wonder if speaking to the doctor about how worried you are would feel possible for you?

In your position I would try for six months of healthy eating, low stress, focus on mental wellness, time to relax etc and see whether some of the symptoms clear.

Sweetladyjane · 23/04/2023 13:51

If it helps I had mild liver damage when I stopped drinking and it repaired itself. I didn’t have any physical symptoms and it was only picked up because I went to the GP for help with my drinking and did a blood test. Have you stopped drinking now?

BranchGold · 23/04/2023 13:56

Use the anxiety to fuel positive changes to your health, rather than spiralling in a vacuum of worry. Cut the drink out, eat healthy, up your movement. Drink 2/3litres of water every day.

All things that are in your control to improve your health. Be consistent and stick to it for 6 months. Use the treatments you’ve been prescribed by your doctor for your skin conditions consistently.

You can’t expect different opinions from the medical practitioners to what you’ve already been given. You have the power to improve your health, if it’s your priority.

itsmeisnti · 23/04/2023 21:40

I'm just wondering if 2 months ago my liver reading was okay- tiny bit on high side, and I've not had any huge drinking sessions, I can't be dying, can I?

OP posts:
Haggisfish3 · 23/04/2023 21:56

Caloriecount24042023 · 23/04/2023 14:00

Go to one of these and get a free liver check up.

I went to one of these and it was really helpful.

DaveDave · 23/04/2023 22:08

I get the bright red face, itchy skin and scabby scalp now after just one glass of wine. It's a histamine response apparently and is more common as we get older. Normal though and nothing liver related. I'm just giving up on alcohol, it sends me into a red itchy mess now!

alco · 24/04/2023 10:05

Book a private scan. Put your mind at ease. I had one I had fatty liver, thankfully very minor and it has reversed. I was drinking as much as you but not for as long.

If your bloods are fine that is a really good sign that all is well but for the cost of 1 weeks drinking why not check.

Are you still drinking? I think you should stop for a while anyway. I get itchy now from drinking alcohol even if I only drink for 1 night.

Big breaths you don't need that crutch. Because unfortunately it can end up turning into a chain

Tramma · 24/04/2023 10:10

I agree - get an ultrasound and just pay for it if you can or can’t get to a liver trust thing. £150 ish in London if you can get there. They can tell you if your liver is stiff or not - peace of mind one way or another. I take bloods etc with a pinch of salt as so many stories of people only getting results confirming they have liver damage once it’s irreversible cirrhosis. What’s the effing point of that.

Nicknamesforviolet · 24/04/2023 10:48

I've had the red face when drinking since I had my LO. Same for my SIL and neither of us are big drinkers. Guess it's something to do with the hormones.

I also get itchy/scabs on scalp when I am very stressed - it sounds like you are.

Summerhouse2013 · 24/04/2023 11:19

How old are you OP?

Could it be perimenopause or menopause?

Itchy skin and severe fatigue are symptoms of this. Some days I feel I am literally itching all over my body and constantly scratching. And the absolute fatigue is like I've never experienced before.

itsmeisnti · 24/04/2023 11:33

@Summerhouse2013 26

OP posts:
itsmeisnti · 24/04/2023 11:35

Sorry, 27, blooming fat fingers!

OP posts:
Badbudgeter · 24/04/2023 11:51

Have you had your iron levels checked? Honestly you should use this scare to put energy into getting healthy, eat right, drink lots of water, no booze, take a good multivitamin.

Being overweight and stressed can massively impact your health. Also doctors will routinely put things down to “lifestyle” so if you go back in six months you’ll telling them that you’ve made all the recommended changes, lost weight etc. but are still feeling fatigued / loose stools they are by more likely to investigate.

ChristineCricket · 24/04/2023 12:14

Well although the amount you were drinking is above recommended levels, I don’t feel it is at the level or for the length of time to cause enough damage to kill you.
As others have said, you are hopefully now not drinking. This may make you feel fatigued initially as your addicted brain tries to persuade you to start drinking again. Your other symptoms sound like you are generally run down, to be expected after all you have been through.
I would go back to the gp, make sure they understand how anxious you are about your health, what you have been through and that you have prolonged loose stools. I would be hoping for referral to a councillor and an annual health check.

Ohdearnamechange · 24/04/2023 12:22

Hi OP,

If it gives you any comfort I have actual cirrhosis and nothing of what you've said suggests that you have anything beyond some minor (reversible) damage. I assume you've been reading symptoms etc to worry about the itching? That is quite a late stage symptom and you would be showing a lot more symptoms (and have a much higher blood test result) if you'd reached that stage.

To me, it sounds like you're stressed, run down and yes, drinking too much. A lot of good advice on lifestyle changes are given above.

One thing I would caution re stopping drinking is do it slowly. The amount you're drinking and the fact it's so regular means that your body may be physically reliant. If you go cold turkey you could have a seizure due to the withdrawals (this happened to me when I stopped dead and was drinking about the same as you and I ended up in hospial with a head injury). Ideally speak to a GP first.

Good luck OP. If you have any other questions feel free to ask, either on here or PM.

Redebs · 24/04/2023 12:23

Cutting out alcohol is going to be good for you, whatever health challenges you're going through.
Livers are amazing at recovering from minor damage, but only if given a chance.
Alcohol is really bad for your mental health too and can make life harder and more miserable than it needs to be. It predisposes you to all sorts of negative thoughts without you realising.

Wishing you good health x

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