Hi, Lynnman and welcome to the forum! Congrats on not drinking for 7 days! Both you and Mathman should be congratulated for the concern you are showing for your bodies BEFORE major damage occurs. So many people (as you know if you've read many of the posts here) stop drinking too late or not at all--even though it is literally killing them.
When doing blood work, if you ask the doctor for a liver panel to be done, then you should find out if there is any present damage. If there is, most likely some or all of the liver enzymes will be elevated. Cirrhosis is determined by liver biopsy.
Lynnman, the itching you are having is likely dry skin or an allergy. In liver disease, it generally doesn't occur until end-stage. It is a result of the liver not being able to process bile salts.
When you see your doctor in Feb., be honest about your drinking. Get a physical exam and ask for a liver panel in addition to the usual CBC and urinalysis. If you think you will have a problem staying stopped from drinking alcohol, look into AA. I drank heavily for over 20 yrs. What happened in my case is that it caused a bone condition known as osteonecrosis, where the large joints literally die and disintegrate. I've had to have bilateral hip replacements and 3 revisions. So alcohol abuse can cause problems to the body other than to the liver.
Good luck and please let us know the outcome of your doctor visit!
I'm sorry about your mom, and I will read your post on her. It's wonderful that you are using your experience to help others. Thanks for that. I have already taken steps to take better care of myself. I have stopped drinking, and I have been eating more fruits veggies, and I started taking vitamines. Its funny, I never considered myself an Alcoholic, just enjoyed drinking 4 or 5 beers every other night. I have since learned through all of my research that I am definetly one. I guess, I have a dear childhood friend to thank for even questioning my drinking, because I learned that she died of cirrhosis of the liver. I had moved away and had not seen her in about 10 yrs. We just lost contact. I did not find out that she had died until she had been gone for 1 year. It really it me hard and I started researching cirrhosis and what I have learned has scared me to death. I was ignorant as to what Alcohol can do to your body. I never even considered what I could be doing to my liver. I did always worry about becoming an Alcoholic though. It's funny how you can convince yourself that you don't have a problem. Thanks for the encouragement it's greatly appreciated.
I truly appreciate your reply, I did think the same thing about the gallbladder surgery myself and the fact that you mentioned also gives me some hope. I totally agree with you about taking care of yourself. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and very wise for your young age. I'm 47 and it's just now that I am beginning realize how presious life is. I have a wonderful husband and two wonderful grown children. It would be so sad not to be here for them. My son got married last year, and who knows one day I may become a grandma and I want to be here for it.
I am going to see my doctor and I will be honest with him about how much I drink. It's funny because there have been times that I even confided in my husband about my drinking and ask him if he thought I was an Alcoholic and he would always say no. This is a man who rarely drinks. It just help me to continue in my ways (although I don't think he was aware of how much I was drinking for I did alot drinking when he was not home) Anyway things are changing. Thanks again for your reply it was truly appreciated.
Thank you for the information. It does give me a little relief of anxiety. I will be completely honest with my doctor. I really have dertermined that I am not going to drink anymore. Life is to precious to just throw it away. I really want you to know how much you are helping people with all of your counsel. I have read so many of the threads and it is heart warming to me to see that there is a place for people who are dealing with such a horrible illiness like hepititus. I pray that my situation turns out ok, but if not I know that I have a place to come and to be comforted and hopefully give comfort. I will let you know how things turn out. Thanks again
Lynn, you are very welcome. I hope that your exam and tests turn out just fine. You may be stopping in time. There is a very fine line between heavy drinking and alcoholism. You may not have crossed it yet. It has more to do with the way alcohol affects you and your personality than with how much you drink. Also if you get very antsy or irritable without it; if you obsess about it; if you hide how much you are drinking from others or make excuses for how much you are drinking; if you find you are drinking in the morning; if you tell yourself you will only drink one but it's always more; if you can't predict what will happen when you drink, etc. Alcohol affects women differently than men. It takes less of it to do damage, mainly because we are smaller with less muscle mass.
Alcohol also affects the brain. As Worried Girl and others here can tell you, it's not a pleasant thing to be around. Brain cells do not regenerate. Here is some information on "wet brain:"
If you think you were drinking too much, then you probably were.
Best of luck to you and keep us posted!
Post Edited (hep93) : 1/29/2010 10:34:31 PM (GMT-7)