My husband is 62 and for the past 20+ years has drunk 7 pints of strong beer (Guinness) every night. (i.e. nearly 100 units a week, four times the recommended limit). I believe he is an alcoholic as he is absolutely unable to curb the habit. He refuses all suggestions of help or advice. A recent blood test taken by our GP for a General Health check showed his liver to be in normal working order - he now thinks he is totally impervious to any damage drinking might cause. He also smokes 20 cigarettes a day. He has dry, itchy skin and the whites of his eyes show yellowish discolouration - now he is suffering occasional bouts of diarrhoea in the mornings. Are these symptoms of cirrhosis ? Or am I worrying needlessly over normal signs of growing older?
There's no way to tell the condition of his liver without some type of an image scan or a biopsy. I had good bloodwork too, but when they scanned me I found that I had "fatty infiltration" of the liver, which can eventually lead to cirrhosis.
You can actually have a good blood-work and still have a compromised liver. It just means that the "good cells" are operating normally, but there may be damaged tissue in between the good cells.
Some people get cirrhosis and some to not.....some have heart problems and some do not. There are many other factors involved, and with the cigarette habit (combined with drinking), I'd say his heart is a major worry too.
All I can say is drinking that much every day will catch up with you from a health standpoint. It's very hard to "make someone" stop- it has to become "real" to them, and they have to have a good reason for stopping on their own. If you need to give him a scare, see if you can get a CT Scan or an Ultra-sound on his liver.
Honestly, at 7 pints a day I do not believe you are worrying needlessly, but I understand that it's pretty hard to get him to stop if he has not seen any consequences.
I agree with Jacker. A biopsy or scan would show just what is going on with his liver. He can only dance with the devil so long. Until he is ready to quit there is nothing you can do for him. How are you doing with this? sara
Thank you Jacker and Sara for your responses, I am very grateful.
I agree with everything you both say, although the NHS won't support a CT scan or any other investigations unless the patient has complained of something being wrong and it has therefore been recommended and referred by the G.P. It is an expensive procedure to pay for privately, but I would be willing to find the money if he would agree - but of course, being in such denial, he won't !
It is infuriating to say the least, but I don't think I have a choice but to sit it out and wait for some sign of illness of malfunction to manifest itself. Which of course, could be too late... Again, thank you though. It is nice to receive understanding and support. - JoshysNanna
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