A little concerned, a little confused (long)

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mathman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/26/2010 11:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I'm a forum lurker that is very impressed about the compassion and support on this board. I want to give you my story and see what you guys think of my situation, and if I am overreacting. Sorry if this is long.

I am a 21-year-old male now. When I was 18 (May 2007) I had routine bloodwork and my liver enzymes were elevated. I weighed 303 pounds and had an awful diet of fast food and sweets. My doctor sent me for ultrasound and revealed fatty liver. He told me that if I did not lose weight it could get more severe and it would turn into cirrhosis. He said he would recheck my bloodwork in six months (I believe it was) and if they did not return to normal he'd order a biopsy. I never drank back then. Hep negative.

That scared the bejesus out of me. I grew up watching my mom suffer from kidney failure and transplant and the misery she went through. (She's still here thanks to dialysis thank God.) I felt guilty. Reading about cirrhosis online scared me into panic. I cleaned up my ways and lost weight. Later that year that bloodwork came back normal. I continued eating right and exercising.

In December 2008 I decided to enjoy my last semester of college and allow myself to drink, only on friday nights. I'd start at 10pm and depending on the week get a little to pretty drunk, but never to the point of needing assistance. Just a fun, with friends thing. That lasted until August 09 (so about 7 months) when I left school, and only once-a-month or so since.

I decided to give it up all together recently but I'm scared and ashamed that I drank so much despite former liver abnormality. Recently my mom (being an astute kidney patient) noticed my morning urine is very dark (bold, dark yellow sometimes burnt orange) - I thought it was dehydration since it gets a bit better with fluids but she said it was too dark for that. After googling around (I shouldn't do it) I noticed I matched another symptom - white nails. Some of my nails are quite pale with dark bands on top. The smaller ones don't have moons. Both have been like that for quite a while. Two weeks ago I had a urinalysis and complete metabolic panel done - I was told both (even kidney) were normal. My doc doesn't seem concerned and my family doesn't have the money for more testing. I'm on celexa 10mg for anxiety too.

I stopped all booze and started b-vitamins (they turn my urine slight green) and milk thistle 1g/day just in case. The worry hits me pretty hard in so many ways. What to do? I'm so sorry for people with the full-blown disease and I pray for you. I'm just scared to even think I may be going down that road, I guess.

allie2631
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 313
   Posted 1/27/2010 1:58 AM (GMT -7)   

First of all , well done for losing the weight that might have been causing the fatty liver.Your doctors gave you good advice and you acted on it, he made you realise that being overweight can affect the insides of your body as well as your appearance. Speak to your doctor over your worries, ask him to be realistic.

It is natural that you worry because it sounds as if you have been watching your mum go through a lot, she only wants you to look after yourself. But please don't be frightenend to live your life. at your age you should not be worrying too much over your lifestyle. You have made changes to your diet, lost weight, get some regular exercise and have a drink at the weekend (unless doctor says otherwise), try not binge but please stop worrying. I have a 20 year old at home, we have a history of alcoholism both sides in the family and i try not to worry about his lifestyle. His urine is very concentrated in the morning (he never flushes the loo), but he goes out drinking most weekends he is the opposite of you never worries over his health, so somewhere in the middle would be good. Don't be too hard on yourself it can make you too anxious and other problems may arise from that.


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/27/2010 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   

Mathman, welcome to the forum.  It's good that you are taking your health seriously.  What we do or don't do when young, and over the years, can affect our later health.  If you want to be absolutely sure there is nothing going on with your kidneys or liver, see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) and/or a hepatologist (liver specialist) for more specific testing.  I know you said you cannot afford more testing, but you can try the clinics at a teaching hospital.  They charge on a sliding scale, according to income, and their services are often free.  Otherwise, just continue with your lifestyle changes and be as good to your body as possible.  I would advise against drinking on a regular basis, also, if at all.

All the best to you!

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


mathman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/28/2010 8:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies, and thanks for taking me seriously. I know I shouldn't worry. My doc did a darn fine job scaring me into weight loss, and to be honest without the "liver talk" it never would have happened. Maybe my liver was trying to save me after all :D

As for the present, I'm assuming it would be odd for my liver to have alcohol damage and not show up in blood/urine work. But either way I'll continue with my lifestyle changes and take better care of myself. The kindness shown on this board has really inspired me to offer my "expertise" over on the weight loss page.

Thanks
mathman

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/28/2010 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   

You're welcome, mathman.  I wish more people would take their health seriously, particularly at such a young age.  They could save themselves lots of grief.

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 1/28/2010 11:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi mathman I just wanted to  welcome to HealingWell.  Connie and Allie has already given you some great advice.     
 
I myself was a lurker before I joined.  Normally I am very shy and would have not posted but I got desperate for someone to communicate with that really understood what I was going through and could give me ideas on what steps to take in dealing with the hospitals and doctors for my husband.   The forum saved my sanity.
 
Anyways I am glad you found us........thoughts and prayers.......
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.

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