Can I recover from liver problems?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/9/2007 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
In 1991, I was going through a divorce with a cheating wife, I was 27. Prior to the the start of the divorce, I was a very healthy man. While going through the divorce, I began to drink very heavily (vodka) for about 2 months straight, without getting hardly much sleep. This behaviour landed me in the hospital for about a week when I turned jaundice, was extremely tired and my urine looked like iced tea. I recall in the hospital that I was diagnosed with mono and hepatitis. I never got any details on the hepatitis, but in hindsight, I assume it was alcholic hepatitis.
about 3 months out of the hospital, I felt normal again, and figured that I was lucky and hadn't caused any permament damage.. Over the last 10 years, I have drank pretty heavily (just beer and wine, but lots of it). I now know I have been destroying my liver all along by drinkng. I completely quit drinking 7 months ago after I started having some symptoms which are scaring me. In general, I feel tired most of the time, and I have been having some muscle wasting in my arms and legs. I also feel some pain and occasional swelling in my liver. My legs feel crampy and painful most of the time. I believe I suffered  some serious vitamin deficiencies because of the liver problem, so I started taking vitamin B1 and B12. This started to help with the cramps and atrophy, but I still experience these problems.
I need to go see a doctor I know. I am scared of the prospects that may face me. I don't feel like I am too bad of now. Can I recover from the damage that I have done to my liver, by stopping drinking and eating a very healthy diet? Or will I slowly progress into later stages of liver disease? I am fairly sure at this point that I may have some sort of cirrhosis.

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 4/9/2007 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Wizdel, Welcome to the forum. You really do need to go to a GI doctor at the very least. A hepotologist would be even better. To know exactly how much damage that you have done to your liver you need to have a few tests done. Some of the symptoms that you have point to some degree of liver damage but only tests can determine how bad. And it depends on the amount of damage as to whether stopping drinking and eating healthy will be enough. Get to the doctor as soon as you can and do follow all his orders. My husband took too long to take it serious and now he only has months to live (if that). I am not trying to scare you just trying to make you understand that when it comes to your liver don't mess around. Your life can depend on it. My thoughts and prayers will be will you. Pink Grandma

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 4/9/2007 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Wizdel, it sounds as though you have done some real damage to your liver. I agree with Pink Grandma that you need to have some tests, and probably a liver biopsy. The one thing you can and should do for your liver is to stop drinking alcohol in any form RIGHT NOW! If you can't do it by yourself this time, go to detox and then AA. Even if you can stop, I still recommend AA in order to STAY STOPPED!

Good luck to you, and please see a hepatologist ASAP!


New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/10/2007 2:05 AM (GMT -7)   
hep93 and grandma,

thanks for the responses. I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in 7 months, and I have scared myself straight and have no desire to ever drink again.

I have read a lot of the posts on here, to try and get an idea where my symptoms compare to other folks who are dealing with liver disease. Most peoples symptoms sound far worse than mine. I'm just trying to get an idea if anyone on the boards had symptoms similar to mine (atrophy in arms and legs, tiredness - though helped by taking vitamin b12, and some slight pain in RUQ), and if so, have they slowly progressed into a worse condition even though there was no more intake of alcohol.

I know I need to see a hepatologist right away. I'm scared. I have a wife, child, a great job and a good life now.

Jim's wife
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 4/10/2007 6:28 PM (GMT -7)   
You just never know what you might face with liver disease.
I know men can be a little "testy" about seeing a DR, but you need to.
My husband, 66 YO, has been a heavy drinker for many many years. I thought his GP was on top of his health situation because he got "blood tests" every year. Well, they were only for cholesterol and PSA. Never a CBC, never a liver panel.
In August 2006, Jim went into end stage liver failure and between then and Thanksgiving, he was only out of facilities for 2 weeks. He was in ICU twice, both times near death.
He has come around. It's a miracle, is all I can say, but we keep in very close contact with his GP and his GI DRs. Strict adherence to low-sodium diet and reduced fluids. He lost about 50 lbs since all this happened, is now experiencing very little ascites and no edema, has regained much of his mental capacity (no more encepalopathy), and is mobilizing very well and even back to driving. This has been the trip through hell, but Jim has, thankfully come back. Also, no alcohol since August 06.
Jim's biggest enemy through all of this has seemed to be prescription medications. His liver simply cannot metabloze them normally. He is on a small dosage of Aldactone (a diuretic) and 15cc BID of Lactulose (to remove ammonia from his body), otherwise it is multivitamins, B1, folic acid, Prevacid (for potential stomach upst from the other pills), and a supplement called Milk Thistle. Oh, also a prophylactic antibiotic because his first turn in ICU was because of spontaneous bacteria peritonitis, which threw him into kidney infection, bladder infection, and blood sepsis. The second ICU visit was because of low platelete count, and he was on continuous blood and platelet transfusions for 5 days, until the DRs gave up on him and withdrew the transfusions and all but "supportive" meds. That's when he started getting better. Jim just "graduated" from home-based Hospice today.
I wish you and your family the best Wizdel. You are young and have so much to look forward to with your wife and child. Do your best to take care of yourself, but do get a good health care team on your side. And do your research. If not too badly damaged, livers can regenerate. Stay off the juice, eat right, keep fluid levels down, and see your DRs on a regular basis. And be sure to ask for regular APPROPRIATE blood tests to check not only your liver functions, but also your kidney functions.

Venita and Jim
Wlmington DE

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/10/2007 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi wizdel
At the very least, you need to make an appointment with your PCP. He/she can take a blood sample (probably a CBC - Complete Blood Count) which a lab will analyze & then send the results back to your doctor. This test will show whether or not your liver enzymes are elevated. You probably ought to mention the hepatitis to them, too, so they can test for that. Depending on the results of the CBC, you PCP will know whether or not you should be referred to a liver specialist, such as a gastroenterologist. A lot of insurance plans require a referral anyway, if you need to see a specialist. 
We can offer a lot of encouraging words here, but nothing is going to take the place of a doctor's exam. And ignoring the problem, and worrying about it, is not going to make it go away. If you love your wife, child, & job, you should do it for them. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 4/10/2007 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Wizdel, Welcome to HW. It sounds like everyone is giving you good advice here. You asked the question can I recover from the damage,,,,It is important to know what the damage is before the question can be answered. If you have cirrhosis, the liver can not regenerate and fix the damage, diet and life style can slow it down or even stop further damage in some cases, depending on the stage. If you have fibrosis of the liver, the liver can regenerate and repair it's self with diet and life style changes and time. You really do need to know what type of hepatitis you had, when you were hospitalized, dangerous to assume. You have listed some very serious signs and symptoms of Liver disease, please do not put off seeing a doctor. If you are certain you have some cirrohosis, it is not a good ideal to be medicating yourself with any Over the Counter drugs including vitamins and herbs, without a doctors okay. You have made the same statement my husband made "I really don't think I'm too bad", he is now 3 weeks post liver transplant. For the love of your family, please seek medical care now! Know that we are here to offer you support, or even share our own experiences, but we are not doctors. Keep us posted, and we will help you if we can.


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/14/2011 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello wizdel,
congrtas on stopping drinking,not only from the physical need but worse the emotional need,which noone on this earth KNOWS! other than you,myself and those like us. I too had the hep diagnosis, it was a ttemporary one, due to too much vodka drinking,I started at age 30, stopped at age 42. I stopped because I had too, I never had any pain or jaundice. But i stopped ating, no appetite, i vomited every day I was listless,and could not do or think anything without a drink. I was not abused,no money problems,no marriage problems, i was just bored and a bit depressed I suppose. In October 08, i developed a pain in m upper amdominal area,it would not go away,i did not seek treatment, as I am a health care worker, I drank more to numb it,until that did not help, i dragged myself to emergency,they took blood tests, i had ruptured my gallbladder,and had acute pancreatitus, another day laying in bed and i would have died. they operated on me that night,i was a heavy bleeder due to thin blood from drinking for years, i had 2 scars on my liver,i later found out. I took this as a sign,I was allowed to live, I have not drank since, I now eat, not annorexic,my liver by the way has repaired itself,my blood tests are as normal as any non drinker, every six months I check,I guess I was lucky,the scars will stay, but enzyme levels,billrium and ect.. are all better than normal, dont wait for something serious,my husband and two children almost lost me and for what? I too was scared to go,but it fixed me
take care and email me in private if you need too my friend

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 4800
   Posted 10/14/2011 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Karenelia,
Welcome to the Forum.  One of our moderators will be along to welcome you shortly.
Until then, I'm just a forum poster, a caregiver of a Hep C liver patient who received a transplant May of this year.
I notice that you responded to a very old post...2007.
If you would like to post a new topic and tell your story, you will get more replies.
There is valuable information about Liver Disease at the top of this forum that may be helpful.
The story that you have put your liver disease into remission by avoiding alcohol is REALLY an important message to those with liver disease. We have had members who have been given just months to live (like my Mike) and the act of quitting drinking have opened up their lives again! 
I thank God every day Mike quit when he did. He was a sick sick man by that time.
Some choose not to make the change.  It is a personal decision.
Good luck, and contratulations!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 10/14/2011 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello, Karenelia, and welcome to the forum!  Congratulations on stopping drinking!  That is the single best thing you can do for your liver.  I agree with MamaLama/Carol that you have a powerful message to share with others.

However, since you picked up on a 4-yr.-old thread, it's best for you to start your own topic and introduce yourself and your story to the other members.  Just hit New Topic instead of Reply.  Give it a name and post away.

Thanks and hugs,








Forum moderator - Hepatitis

"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 11/14/2012 2:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Wizdel, this is my first time in the forum. I know exactly what you are going through & your very brave. I was diagnosed with chronic liver disease in April had been drinking cider & wine for a very long time, I suppose I was a functioning alcoholic, I ended up being very yellow, extended tummy pain in my liver, I unlike you would not admit this for a long time. I went to hospital with days of living. In hospital for 2 weeks liver count was 400 healthy count I think is around 3 (please check) you do need to see your GP you will more than likely need other meds I take B12, multy vits, Thiamine 2 lots of water tabs & an anti depressant which I think is my biggest savior, these are prescription meds not over the counter vits. The liver is amazing for recovery if you act now you may not need hospital treatment as you have been abstenant for 6 months (give yourself a pat on the back Hun) My muscle waste was awfull I went from 13 stone to 7 & 1/2, I am now 9 stone I do not sleep first 4 months non at all I get the odd hour here & there, I saw my consultant last week 1st time in 6 months he gave me the biggest hug ever, he really thought he I would be another statistic on death related alcohol. It is a long slow progress my count is down to 38 still high but getting there, I unfortunately lost my job due to not getting help sooner, I worked for Tesco every company has a complete understanding and have programs to help they were fantastic. It's important to eat well very little salt watch fluid intake as you may need help to rid it, also check out bilirubin was is very important as it rids you of toxins produces bile & enables to of to the toilet, I also take lactulose to help me, I have not been to loo properly for years

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 11/14/2012 2:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry need to close now please go to GP you have overcome the worst by acknowledging you problem the worst is over good luck you will be fine keep positive & you will find strength within yourself admit and talk to people you will surprise yourself how many people know someone in their family with alcohol related issues. Life is precious I am a totally different person my family are so much happier, my aim now is that if I can help somebody believe in themselves them I will be very happy, YOU GO GOOD LUCK You will do it I know you will x

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 11/14/2012 2:55 AM (GMT -7)   
P.S. I don't understand the terms PCP terminology terms get confusing just see the Doctor they will take care of the rest & exlpain their meanings if you don't understand

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 11/14/2012 5:13 AM (GMT -7)   
PCP - Primary Care Physician

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 11/14/2012 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi M52, thanks for letting me know what PCP Stands for been wondering all day x

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 2072
   Posted 11/14/2012 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Benny63 , Welcome . Sometimes if you post or write in a older thread ( Subject someone else originally authored ) it goes unnoticed to many of us .>>>>> Thanks Mariel !!!!

Benny I read your story , Would you start a new post and tell some more details about how you are doing .

A. Ziffle
I learned long ago , never wrestle with a pig . You get dirty , and besides , the pig likes it .

G.B Shaw

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 11/16/2012 1:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Thanks for asking, it has been a long 7 months, I still do not sleep well, am quite weak and my memory is a little confused I also forget certain words and spell wrong. I think my anti-depressant helps me a great deal(citlatropan) I also got knocked over by a taxi revering his cab in my close first time in my front garden a few weekd ago ended up severe bruised ribs the pain was awfull. I cried for days then realized hey your still alive. Every day is a new day & I would never have done this without the support of my husband, daughters,family have been there. I do get really low my confidence needs a boost a long way to go yet, but you know what am gonna win this awfull illness.
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