Is this a symptom of liver disease?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/2/2010 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband is an alcoholic and his doc told him that he suspected he had fatty liver but it could be worse.  Only way to know for sure was to do a biopsy or stop drinking for one month and be retested.  That was six months ago and my husband is in total denial and hasn't stopped drinking or seen his doc again. 
Six weeks ago, he broke out in what only can be described as bloody ulcers or small open wounds all over his abdominal area, arms, and legs.  They scab over and then bleed chronically and never go away. He refuses to see a doc. (Never mind how much this is all making me crazy.)  They sometimes itch and are sometimes painful, he says.  It is not contagious as no one else in the family has anything like this.
Anyway..the other symptom is that he has a big, round stomach but looks fairly normal everywhere else.  He has been eating late at night, which can make one gain weight, but I cannot tell if this is related to possible liver disease or just regular weight gain.  How can you tell if it is fluid or just a fat belly from over-eating?
My main question here, however, is the skin symptom. I'm wondering if anyone has seen this symptom in relation to liver problems.
Thank you in advance.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/2/2010 10:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I would assume it's fluid if his stomach is hard (but I could be wrong). The only real way to find out is for him to see a doctor.

Also I know a lot of people with liver disease has very itchy skin, my mom had the itchiness issue she was prescribed over the counter benedryl for that.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 4/3/2010 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Martha, hello, and welcome to the forum.  Bee is correct in what she says.  A fatty liver IS liver disease.  For your husband to continue drinking means he's going to exacerbate the problem and develop cirrhosis (if he hasn't already.)  I agree that the swollen belly sounds like ascites.  If it were just weight gain, it would likely be all over.  Try your best to impress upon him the seriousness of the disease and that drinking is like throwing gasoline on a fire.  He will die from liver disease if he doesn't stop drinking and get medical care.  And it's a slow, gruesome death.  Read some of the posts here about alcoholism and liver disease and how the patients and caregivers are suffering because of the patients' insistence upon continuing to drink and denying the seriousness of liver disease.  It will bring you to tears.  Also, I suggest you read the info in the folder at the top of the page entitled Hepatitis Resources (it's not just about hepatitis.)  That will give you an idea of what to expect.



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

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/3/2010 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes please express the seriousness of this issue with him. He NEEDS to see a physician. My mother passed away just a few ago from complications of liver disease. As Connie stated it's a very gruesome thing to watch especially when it advances to the point where nothing can be done.

Please please for your husband's sake and your own sanity if God forbids the worse happens, get him to see a doctor! I wouldn't wish the hurt and pain my family and I have been experiencing on anyone else!

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 4/3/2010 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Martha and welcome to HealingWell. So sorry that you are going through this. Been there done that.

It is sad that so many alcoholics can't or won't stop drinking when first diagnosed. Alcohol is their best friend and they don't want to give it up. It's very common for them to continue drinking even though they have been told that if they do it is going to kill them.
When my husband was first diagnosed with cirrohsis he didn't realize the severity of the diagnosis. He should have .......I asked the doctor what's his prognosis was.. because I knew......He told us once diagnosed with cirrohsis the average life expectancy is 5 years. My husband continued to drink for about 2 years.....granted he cut it down a lot but he still drank. His drink of choice was beer. Thought that he could continue drinking beer because he believed that it was the hard stuff that was bad for the liver. He was only able to quit drinking after he experienced his first encephalopathy episode. That scared him straight. Unfortunately the damage was done.

about his stomach. If his stomach looks unproportionate to the rest of his body and it is very hard, it is very likely ascites. When you gain weight from over eating it normally effects all you body not just your stomach. So his arms and legs should bigger also. If he does have ascites ....check for edema in his lower extremities. His feet and hands maybe swollen as well.

Good luck with getting him back to the doctor.......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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 4/3/2010 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Martha. You might want to look up "petechiae" in google image search and see if that looks similar. They vary in size but are essentially surface capillaries that bleed onto the skin. Rashes of petechiae may or may not be related to the liver, but with the way you describe his stomach odds are probably. His condition sounds very serious and needs medical attention.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 4/6/2010 12:34 AM (GMT -7)   
checking to see how your husband is doing?  has he seen a doctor? I just lost my husband on March 7th from Chirosis and liver failure caused by drinking...
I stress the importance of seeing a doctor, the bloated belly could very well be the acites... Take Care and God bless
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