Any Guesses on How bad my Liver is?

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MrErythema
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 6/11/2010 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi - im 41 and have drunk heavily since my 20's.  The last 8 years has been 3 to 4 days a week (sometimes 5) and about 9 pints of 4.1% alcohol each of these days.
 
Ive got pink palms - and blotchy - Im am certain its Palmer Erythema after extensive reading.  Thumb and little finger main prominences are pink to my wrists along with finger tips and prominences at base of each finger.
 
Slight pain on and off on the right side where my liver is (or most of whats left of it!!)
 
The whites of my eyes are slightly yellow - but only beneath my eyelids.  If my eyes are open normally - ie not wide open and not just half open, the white which shows there is white - not yellow.
 
My face skin seems a bit discolored like jaundiced - but it is sooooo slight that in all honesty I simply cannot say whether its discolored or if its just the light or my normal skin color - I dont / didnt check that often.
 
I have a "beer belly" - its been around for about 3 or 4 years now - not sure if that counts as ascites? No swelling in legs.
 
No "all over" itchyness.
 
Strangely - heres a good one - im not addicted to booze - I drank all that because I enjoyed it - I liked being drunk and shutting things out (sometimes) - now im asking where the hell did the last 10 years go?  How so fast to come to this?
 
I cannot see any spider nevi - although there are a few spots here and there on my upper chest/lower neck - I think I would need a magnifying glass to see any "legs" if they are there at all.
 
I have some joint pain in knees and elbows - this comes and goes and is quite bad of a morning but ok during the day - almost totally dissapearing.
 
I am very tired a lot and find waking up hard to do.  It takes around 2 hours to come round totally in the morning.  Not sure if this is normal for me as most mornings as far as I can remember were almost always like this but caused by being hung over.
 
I can bend back my wrist and splay my fingers with my arm outright and there is no trembling or flapping.
 
I have a good strong appetite and am eating well.  No problems on that front.
 
Stools are normal - not light or dark - sometimes a bit on the greasy side - yuck what a thing to say.
 
I do slurr the odd word here and there - but again - I am 41 and not 21 eh?
 
I dont like saying "I" so much but its a handy way of trying to be factual in explaining the situation.
 
I have stopped drinking totally.  I havent had a drink for a month now.  It is easy for me - no widthdrawal or anything - absolutely nothing.  (I do admit that I didnt enjoy the kebab as much without a beer - so those have stopped too!!).  I know what addiction is to me - I was hooked on ciggs for 20 years and that was VERY VERY hard to stop.  Booze though - no problem stopping at all (thankfully - I realise I have been very lucky there).
 
Given the above - do you folk think that I will be ok for a number of years now - or will my liver pack up in a few years or months?  I think due to my history of abusing the amber nectar we can safely assum its been badly affected - and the palmar erythema would be a good proof of that alone (almost) from what I read.
 
I dont want to see a doctor until ive done 6 months off the booze to see how / if I progress as I know that the doctors main course of treatment will be to stop drinking and ive done that already.
 
Any advice will be read in earnest.
 
Best Regards
Mr Erythema
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 6/11/2010 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Mr Erythema and welcome to HealingWell. First I'd like to congratulate you on your sobriety. That in it self is the first big hurdle to jump.
I understand your reasoning for not wanting to see a doctor right now but I have to disagree with you on not going sooner than later.

The sooner you go, the faster you learn just how much damage you have done to your liver. You have to know what you are fighting before you can conquer the beast. And believe me you'll want an early start if you have to battle liver disease. Your symptoms don't seem to indicate end stage liver disease though. But liver disease is nothing to play the "Let's wait and see game." with. The earlier the diagnosis, the better you can take steps to stop it's progression or at least hold it at bay.

Have you read our liver disease educational thread in the Hepatitis Resource folder yet? If not , it has a lot of good information about liver disease that everyday Joe's can understand.

Again welcome to our cyber family.....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.


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/11/2010 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Just wanting to say hi n welcome
as well congrats on your sobriety
i hv been sober since 1979.....
tk care n keep posting
lyn
          CO MOD @ANXIETY/PANIC CD AND ALZHEIMERS 
              
         HV Crohns..pyoderma gangrenosum..anxiety..neuropathy...fibro
                      seizures ..totally deaf within last yr                                   
        
  meds...lyrica..valproic acid..pentasa..b 12 shots ..ativan..diazepam..dilatin  
 
       WE CAN BEAT THIS TOGETHER.......SUPPORT IS RIGHT HERE 

                                                 LYN 
                                                         
                                  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                      


**David**
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3708
   Posted 6/11/2010 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
MrE, Get to a doctor, preferably a Hepatologist and have tests, immediately. It sounds as though you know you're ailing. Find out how much damage has occurred. I have a feeling, you'll be back for more tests after the initial ones. Don't wait, if things are really bad, you need to act quickly. If not, you'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Be well. **David**
"No good deed goes unpunished."


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/11/2010 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Mr. E, I just wanted to welcome you to the forum and reiterate what others have said.  It's great that you have stopped drinking, and that might be all that is necessary in order for your liver to regenerate, but you won't know what sort of damage you've done until you have a physical exam and blood work, for starters.  Be honest with your doctor about your drinking and voice your concerns.  After that, please come back and let us know what the results were.

Hugs,

Connie (a sober alcoholic)


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


arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 6/11/2010 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Run don't walk to the nearest liver specialist.. just my lowly opinion
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


MrErythema
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 6/12/2010 1:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Im not sure im ready to be told just yet that im on my way out. I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old son.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/12/2010 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Or maybe you're not ready to be told not to drink again, despite your vehement assertions that you had no trouble stopping?

Just because you MIGHT have liver damage does NOT mean you are "on your way out."  That takes an enormous amount of bodily abuse and/or years to happen, generally.  Even then, it's not a death sentence.  I was diagnosed with chronic active hep C in '93.  I couldn't handle treatment, so it progressed to liver cancer and cirrhosis in 2005.  Thanks to great treatment at Mayo, I am still here.  I was not only alcoholic (sober now since 1986) but also an IV drug user in the 60s.  Again, I am still here.

So stop being an ostrich and go find out what is going on.   If you are free from liver damage at this time, please do not use that as a green light to go on with your drinking.  I guarantee you it will catch up with you.  You don't bounce back in your 40s or 50s like you did in your teens and 20s.


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


MrErythema
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 6/12/2010 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hep93 -

I can assure you - drinking booze never again isnt an issue. Ive had my fun and the damage is done it would seem.

No - the issue is the "finality" of "finding out the truth" about my health and what this means long term. Thats what scares me. I am/was hoping to skirt round the doctors and take advice on how to avoid certain things from the net and cross my fingers im doing the right thing.

I suspect that I have what is known as a "Compensated" form of liver failure / cirrhosis my logic being that I have palmar erythema, my stupid drinking history, and - today - I have found my first pinhead sized spider nevi under my bottom lip just above my chin. This kind of confirms everything ive feared.

My hope on here and what I selfishly hope to gain? (selfish because its all my own fault)
I was hoping for
"Hi there - quit the booze - drink loads of water daily - dont take counter meds - give it six months and see how it goes."

In reality I feel the following is true.
Worse case - I need to be on the waiting list NOW - and I may be dead before I get the transplant.
Best case - I suspect that in later years now if I do the above in quotes - i will need a transplant anyway. Based on what ive been reading and my symptoms.

Is spider nevi and palmar erythema cause for staging my liver in the "Decompensated Stage"

Im not sure.

Im rambling - and worried now more than yesterday before I came!!!!

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/12/2010 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Mr. E, those symptoms you described are minor and may not even be associated with serious liver disease.  (Even I, with serious liver disease, do not have palmer erythema or many spider nevi.) However, it is dangerous to self-diagnose.  You could be missing something else entirely.  I suspect, given your age and drinking history, that if you don't drink alcohol again and eat a healthful diet, exercise, get proper rest, and in general just treat your body well...you will be fine.  But to put your mind at ease, you really should have liver function tests (blood work.)

Connie


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


MrErythema
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 6/12/2010 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Connie - I love to hate that phrase!!! "put your mind at ease" - my wife says the same - but ease will be the last thing my mind would be at if the results were bad news.

Its only been a month since I stopped drinking - and as I read - it is that which is the most essential part of the treatment. I get the feeling that after so much abuse for so long - 1 month wont heal me much and I need to wait longer before seeing the doctor for blood work.

This seems logical - and also fits in quite nicely with my cowardly reluctance to get the facts :)
Im not sure which is stopping me going to the doc now - either the logic bit about waiting or my whimsical cowardice - probably the latter!!!

Im trying to be upbeat and stay in fair humor - but the above sentence stands true I suppose.

I also have the honest understanding that it is not your job to get me to pull my head out of the sand - I am certain youve more pressing things going on!!!!!

hmmmmmmm - long sigh and having a think.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/12/2010 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I think you've found a rationalization that accommodates your cowardice nicely.  I'm the type of person who absolutely wants to know what is going on, good or bad.  It's the not knowing that drives me up the wall.  But have it your way.  It's your body and your life.



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


KathleenW
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 6/12/2010 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey go in and get tested. The initial tests are nothing more than having your blood taken. You can do it when you have other preventive screenings done for your HDL, LDL etc. Which, by the way are also good tests for understanding if you are at risk for fatty liver disease along with a host of other things. I am almost 50, gave up drinking over two years ago and found right after quit, I likely had fatty liver. Now that I don't smoke, don't drink, lost 40 pounds and I work out, my liver tests come back great and the rest of my body thanks me as well. Since you are making a change, think about what the next change is you want to make - it all starts with knowing where you stand in your health status - liver and otherwise.... You are at an age when you can make a real difference in the quality and length of your life by making good health choices. What you do that is good for you today, will pay you back in spades over the years to come. Good luck to you!
Kathleen
Life is painful, suffering is optional

Post Edited (KathleenW) : 6/12/2010 9:29:54 PM (GMT-6)


shadowsghost
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 6/12/2010 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Mr E, You came to this web site for either advice or questions answered, to my knowledge no one here is a DR. Most of us just pass along life and medical experiances hoping it may help another person on their journey, sometimes that journey is to better health and sometimes it is to help in a final journey. You seem to have a fear of knowing what is going on with your own health, sadly if you get your answers from a DR not your own self diagnosis you may be able to make the right choices to have a long life. Remember the liver is the only forgiving organ but only if YOU give it the time to forgive. The six months you may think you should wait may be the six months it needs to start forgiving yet without proper medical advice this could all change. There are many things you shouldnt do with an unhealthy liver that you couldnt even begin to guess at, is guessing the best way to go. You should never play Dr thats what we have med students for.
Purple Sue
Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.


arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 6/12/2010 11:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Get ur head out of whatever crevice it is in... quit feeling sorry for u... think of those beautiful kids and that wonderful wife... get the testing done... and listen to these people... if you truly value your life... your family... get moving.. and quit thinking about things that you don't have definitive answers to at this point.. you may have other problems unrelated to the liver.... get moving.. time is wasting.. meanwhile I'll go put another batch of fresh flowers on my partner's grave who waited too long to be sober and too long to be tested... sorry so graphic... but just coming away from his death... hard to emphathize with one who has an opportunity to lengthen life possibly and won't... my thoughts and prayers are with you.. and your situation may be entirely different.. but then we may never know that until it's too late as it is... right??  Sandi

There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


mathman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 6/13/2010 2:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Listen to me.

I did the same thing you did... I have anxiety disorders PLUS an actual history of fatty liver PLUS a binge drinking history. I was convinced that I had cirrhosis too. The reality is that I might to some degree, who knows, but the tests and examination that they ran came back normal. I go back a couple times a year anyway.

If you worry about your health, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT google anything health related. Get on the phone and set up an appt with a doctor. Voice your concerns and be honest.

What you describe sounds very minor but get checked out NOW. Don't stare in the mirror. Don't look on the web.

I understand your anxiety, though.

**David**
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3708
   Posted 6/13/2010 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
This is the wrong place to look for sympathy, given the path that's led you here. I feel for your wife and kids. You were loaded 3 to 4 times a week and they had to watch your self destructive behavior. If you'd like to make it up to them, see a doctor and if there's a health problem(s), do what they tell you to. **David**
"No good deed goes unpunished."


arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 6/13/2010 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
We care but we're a wise ole crowd here... and you'll get the straight up talk ... straight across here.. never think that you're not cared for here... plz get checked up for you.. Sandi
 
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


**David**
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3708
   Posted 6/13/2010 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
What she said.
"No good deed goes unpunished."


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 6/13/2010 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello MrErythema, All of us have lived or are currently living the life of liver disease.........We don't want you or your family to have to live it too.
Why we are coming on so strong is because we care. We care.....care enough to make you upset with us. If it will get you to the doctor sooner then later....we can deal with you being upset with us.

My husband died......because he was like you.....didn't want to take all the tests and have to follow the doctors orders. He was afraid. If he didn't know.......he could pretend that everything was okay. I understand the fear of possibly finding out some things that you really don't to. But the worrying about it for months until you decide it's time to get the testing done is probably a whole lot worse. I know that it would be for me. No body likes to hear bad news. But like I said. It's better to find out sooner than later. What if your liver is okay........Do you really want to spend the next few months worrying that it's not, only to find out it's fine. That would be a lot of wasted energy for nothing.

If something is wrong with your liver........we are here to help you through.

But it's your call to make......take care.........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.


arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 6/15/2010 1:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Rick... sometimes have to hear the horse... telling the truth... thanks... not that you're any particular kinda horsie... but you know what they say about the horse's mouth.. course then there's the stories about the horse's.... oops...
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


MrErythema
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 6/15/2010 4:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I know what would be really good knowing - when you guys quit the booze - did you feel tired a lot? I seem to be tired all the time now ive stopped.

MrErythema
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 6/15/2010 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Timeless

Ive been thinking

Option 1 Going with the flow and hoping for the best is the easy option.
Regrets can come later as a result if things are bad.

Option 2 Going to the docs and being told I have 2 years left if im lucky and put on a waiting list is the hard option.
Not making a transplant and dying (knowingly) is just as bad as having the regrets in option 1

Making the transplant and then dying if it fails are just as bad as option 1s regrets

Making the transplant and living is then as good as option 1 if all goes well and hoping for the best turns out ok.

So at the moment all things seem equal (as something is wrong - i just dont know "how wrong")- plus my current state of mind tells me that if this is to be my last few years I really want to just get on and have fun with the kids. I would mope around and get totally depressed if I knew something was seriously wrong.

All this is indeed just my thought processes - I am simply not the type of person to go to the doc for anything without considering the paths. Never have been. Just cant do it (and there are various reasons).

You cant offend me either - maybe thats not a good thing for me given I need a kick up the backside.

:)

DGinSD
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 839
   Posted 6/15/2010 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Mr E.

As everyone else has said...just go to the doctor. If we all only went by what we find on the internet, then we all should have died years ago. Guessing isn't helping, it's causing you more stress which isn't good for the healthiest of people. I don't have cirrhosis yet I do have a spider nevi on my nose. I have AIH (autoimmune hepatitis) and had a severe onset of it which is likely why the nevi came to be. So assuming you are in a cirrhotic state because of your hands, possible nevi and fatigue is just that, an assumption...and you know what they say about assuming things.
Since you already think you have done damage and thankfully have quit the sauce, get thee to a doc! They will either confirm that there is some kind of damage and get you on a course for treatment and repair, or they will tell you that you stopped in time and to continue a life of sobriety.
Dany
 
Diagnosed with AIH January 2007,
CMV (cytomegalovirus) June 2008
Raynaud's February 2010
meds: Azathioprine 100mg, Ursodiol 250mg BID
 
 


**David**
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3708
   Posted 6/15/2010 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Option 1: Go with the flow, see how long you live, perhaps dying before your time, because you wouldn't go see a doctor.

Option 2: Go with the flow, get a gun, put it to your head and pull the trigger. That way, you'll know exactly how long you will live and the only doctor to examine you will be the ME. They'll probably find liver damage, but then you won't have to deal with it.

Option 3: Get your A#* in gear and go see a doctor.

I've heard a lot of whining in here, but you're either playing games, are incredibly needy, or brain dead. . I'm no longer reading any posts from you. I'm alive, because I did the right things and reading your drivel has really ticked me off.

Post Edited By Moderator (Pink Grandma) : 6/15/2010 9:58:27 PM (GMT-6)

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