Hi LDT and welcome to the forum.
We are not a medical team, rather a group of patients and caregivers of folks with liver diseases of all kinds.
There are some interesting posts at the top of this forum with information and url's you might like to read.
I'll also recommend you read back through the posts because there are so many that apply to your situation.
There is also a SEARCH button at the top where you can put in a key word on a particular topic or medication and find out specifics on a single theme.
Your situation should be more clear once you have been to the doctor. The most important thing for you to understand is that drinking alcohol can be a death sentence for you.
Yes, you did make a mistake in not following through with your sobriety and doctors appointments some time ago. Your new diagnosis will likely be alcoholic cirrhosis. I can't image that you have jaundice and dark urine that you don't have scaring in the liver.
I am hoping that you are going to see a hepatologist at a major medical center. The local GIs are nice enough and they often have large liver disease practices, but the BIG guns at at major medical centers. Cut and past this into your browser:
What you can do now? You are doing part of it -- committment to sobriety and healthy diet and exercise. But you need to know that once a liver is fully decompensated, Stage 4, there is no cure bar transplantation.
Your hepatologiest needs to do a liver biopsy to see the condition of your liver. Don't wait on this, it is important to know.
AND to be eligible for a transplant, if needed in the future, a patient must be 6 months sober with documentation of a treatment program, counseling or AA type meetings signed by the speaker. My Mike has Hep C, is an alcoholic and had liver cancer. He thought he could get sober on his own, and he likely could have, but the center would only take the documentation...to be sure. AND he had to meet several times witha psychiatrist who wrote a letter stating he believed Mike was committed to life long sobriety. He waited to go to AA and thus had to stay alive longer waiting to get a liver!
You ask about
the jaundice. That is really a function of both your sobriety AND the current condition of your liver. And sometimes there can be obstructions in the bile ducts that cause jaundice also (but you would likely have pain that would send you to an ER if that were the case). You may have periods where the jaundice subsides, but my friend, this condition of yours isn't going to go away.
Some who drink alcoholically get sober and have long periods where they feel well...those folks who are Stage 1 or maybe Stage 2. But when it gets bad, it will get bad. you currently are not reporting edema in your legs, ascites in your belly, easy bleeding or bruising ( if there is bleeding from the mouth or rectum, get to an ER FAST), shortness of breath, changes in mental status (Hepatic Encephalopathy is caused when the liver cannot clear wastes from your body and return them to your blood stream -- patients report being crazy, forgetful, angry, confused, sleepiness, etc), GI symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. So far so good for you. This can get very serious.
I urge you to take this situation seriously. Another binge could bring you to death's door. Hopefully some of our sobered up, pre transplant folks will chime in...this could be your last chance to nip this thing...not in the bud...that ship has sailed.
Post Edited By Moderator (hep93) : 7/30/2012 2:20:00 PM (GMT-6)