Hi new member seeks opinions

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fatha
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/29/2008 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi - Im 47 male living England; I saw my GP /doctor  15 mths ago when i was very depressed and had shocking anxiety symptoms;at the time i had also noticed a slight pulsing sensation in the liver area which after a week spread to the left side;I saw the doctor and he ran blood tests for liver profile and ordered an ultrasound; the 'sensation disappeared a couple of days later; the blood tests were fine nothing significant and the ultrasound showed fatty liver; the doctor asked what I was drinking; It was a norm of 30/35 units per week- couple of bottles of wine and 6 to 8 small bottles of lager per week; doctor didnt seem concerned and said fatty liver was common- he didnt advise to stop drinking; I advised That is what i drank now and that I drank more when in my 20s and 30s(probs 40/45 units) but he still seemed unconcerned; needless to say I carried on drinking;late november this year the pulsing sensation returned. It disappeared within 2 days but I saw the nurse at the surgery and she ordered blood tests; i saw the same GP for the results- he said they were fine apart from a slightly raised alcohol level; I hadnt drank for 5 days before I saw him and havent drank since. Before I saw him I googled cirrhosis- symptoms! I showed the doctor red palms-(they are white when I wake and become redder as the day goes on);my thumbs and the nearest finger to them have a red band above the moon and then an offwhite/yellowy band followed by a thin red band at the tip;the moons on the little fingers have disappeared and their nails are very pale pink/off white with a red tip; I also have a very prominent blue vein appear on the right side of my chest which runs from near the nipple and then wraps around my arm ; the doctor said the vein was an age thing; that many people have red palms and he he didnt look at the nails; he said the fatty liver ultrasound off 15mth previous showed only a slightly fatty liver; I told him I had stopped drinking and at been out socially drinking juice; He still didnt advise to stop off drink; I asked to be tested again and he agreed to follow up with a blood test in march;I have been off drink for 4 weeks now and The blue vein is less prominent (but I have lost 8lbs in weight); I feel healthy not nauseous /tired etc(I never have felt nausea etc);- I feel the doctor thinks I am hypocondriac as he gave me a chat about 'how people of 'his and my age' start to worry about illness.he advised not to look on the internet..Oh and I saw his colleague about an itch under my chin about 6 mths ago which wouldnt go away..I was prescribed cream which was useless..Now this itch is negligble since I stopped drinking;I have no spiders etc...What are your thoughts; I dont want to be feeling like I am telling my doctor his job by bringing up things like blood tests dont always reflect the illness.he is supposed to know that.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 12/29/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Fatha, welcome to the forum.  If you have fatty liver disease, it is best that you not drink alcohol at all.  It could progress to cirrhosis.  It sounds as though your liver is not metabolizing alcohol well.  Other than that, the symptoms you describe are really not typical.  Usually, aside from extreme fatigue that doesn't go away with rest and sleep, plus elevated liver enzymes, there aren't any symptoms until liver disease gets really bad or turns into cancer or end-stage liver disease.  The weight loss is to be expected when you stop drinking.  There are a lot of calories in beer/ale and wine, and also a lot of sugar.  If you have significant liver disease, you should have above-normal liver enzymes.  Even with liver cancer, mine were not outrageously high, but they were twice high-normal.  Sometimes, blood work and MELD scores do not reflect how sick a person is, but there will definitely be abnormalities.

I think if you have blood work every 6 mos. and an ultrasound once a year, you can keep reasonable track of what is going on.  The thing with your hands sounds like a circulatory disorder.  If you feel you want to check everything out further, I suggest you see a hepatologist (specialist in liver disease) who may order a CT scan or MRI to set your mind at ease.

Good luck to you!

Connie


Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 12/29/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Fatha, and welcome to the forum. I am really surprised that your doctor didn't advise you to stop drinking if you have fatty liver. Like Connie said, alcohol can cause the disease to progress. A doctor told my brother-in-law when he was younger that he had fatty liver and if he stopped drinking the fatty liver would probably resolve itself. I have heard of changes in the finger nails associated with cirrhosis. The only true way to tell if a person has cirrhosis is by biopsy. I suggest you see a hepatologist also. GP's usually don't have enough knowledge when it comes to dealing with liver disease. It is really great that you quit drinking. I know that can be easier said than done at times.

Take care!
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


fatha
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/30/2008 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks Hep93 and butterflythree for your input; much appreciated; silly thing is I havent missed alcohol at all not even socially; sad to think I have been drinking out of habit all these years; I am just as happy sitting here now with a fresh orange juice..anyway I will update after my next blood test.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 12/30/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Fatha, that's a blessing that you don't have a drinking problem.  During the holidays and sometimes on special occasions, I will have non-alcoholic champagne or wine.  When eating out for a special dinner, I sometimes have O'Doul's.  So if you like the taste and don't want to be feel excluded at gatherings, there are options to alcohol and plain juice.  There are also all kinds of sparkling, flavored waters these days.
 
Do keep us posted on your blood work and how you are doing.
Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

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