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Alcohol - Liver / Kidney Check
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Alcohol - Liver / Kidney Check

I have been a daily drinker for probably 13-15 years.  I am a 48 yo male.  In the last 2-3 years my drinking has really picked up - about 12 oz of 80 proof Vodka/day.  Due to some limited aching in my liver area and the areas where I think my kidneys are, I quit drinking completely - almost 4 weeks ago - haven't had a drop.

My question is:  should I get checked for anything - liver activity, etc.  And if I do get checked, and I've done some damage, what can be done?  And the reason for both questions is:  If nothing can be done, then why get checked?

Thanks, Jackstone

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I'm glad that you were lucky and survived-- abruptly stopping alcohol consumption of to that extent can cause 'DT's', seizures, coma, and death.  But that would have happened after a few days, and so you dodged a bullet.

You don't mention whether the aching went away--  I suspect the aching was coming from a swollen liver capsule due to a 'fatty liver', one of the consequences of heavy drinking.  Alcohol destroys liver cells, and again depending mostly on luck, the scar tissue can develop in different patterns, including a pattern that causes constriction of liver blood flow and cirrhosis of the liver.  If you had things 'checked', they would likely check liver enzymes-- yours would likely still be elevated-- and maybe do an ultrasound of the liver and gallbladder.  If you have gallstones, it would be helpful to know ahead of time-- the elective surgery is much easier than the 'emergency' version of the surgery for an inflamed gallbladder.

Your point at the end is reasonable, I suppose-- although one reason to get things checked is because you might find out that more drinking would kill you, giving you more reason to abstain and even seek treatment or AA.  On the other hand, does that imply that if you get it checked and the pain was unrelated to drinking, you would start up again?
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