Cirrhosis of the Liver Community
Alcoholic Cirrhosis question
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Alcoholic Cirrhosis question

I am ill.  Quite.  Got sick over the holidays with a head cold that took two plus months to get better, but I never really did.  From there, in the middle, when I thought I was improved, I tried to get back on my std. have a glass or three of wine every night or so (or it might be a few beers).  Long story short, approx three to four weeks ago I had a terrible bout of incontinence).  Basically had to wipe my butt far more often then usual after going to the rest room.  Then I started to get pain in my right rib area after one glass of wine (I stopped).  That pain changed into pull blow inflamed stomach), terrible headaches, pain under my arms and when I sit (between my genitals and my legs), congestion, difficulty breathing etc.  The congestion has stayed, as to a certain degree the tightness at the right rib cage.  Had ultrasound and blood work done a week ago (when I first started feeling too bad before the sore throat and congestion hit).  According to my dr. results were fine.  He thought I caught what was going around -- of course that does not explain the pain in the right rib.  I asked my dr. for additional testing and he said no.  Am very scared it's liver related since I know my drinking history.  Advice?  
22 Comments Post a Comment
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4670047_tn?1375734001
Start with a gastroenterologist so he can order a liver biopsy. Hope you have some coverage. Might make everything faster. At the stage your describing isn't the drinking different now. I'm trying to remember some that stuff I had last year. Mine ended up being hep c with stage 4 (cirrhosis). Try to get that biopsy. Don't be scared. It's not worth it. You might be surprised. You might be getting the warning from the cocktail gods!
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Avatar_m_tn
I saw my grastro yesterday and my regular GP.  Gastro reiterated my GP's comments that a liver biopsy was not needed because my blood work and ultra sound were clean.  I asked/told him that I had read just because your bloodwork is clean does not mean you may not have damage to your liver, hence why not a liver biopsy.  He performed a physical inspection of me after hearing my feedback for symptoms and suggested an endoscopy to begin.  I am really confused.  Still getting very bad nausea one-times a day, generally out of it, bad/burning stomach, incontinence, etc.  Feel's like I have the flue honestly.   The concern began with the pain emanating from the liver area.  
That in this is the second time I have been very ill in three months.  Thoughts are welcome as I am quite concerned.
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Your ultrasound would have indicated if you have cirrhosis. Also your liver function test can not read normal except in circumstances where the cause of cirrhosis has been removed. Even then it is doubtful a cirrhotic liver could perform well enough for all liver enzymes to be in range this would be very uncommon. I hope this helps ease your mind.

This sounds like GERD (gastric reflux) likely due to alcohol abuse. Medication is available for treatment.


What problems can upper GI endoscopy detect?

Upper GI endoscopy can detect
•ulcers
•abnormal growths
•precancerous conditions
•bowel obstruction
•inflammation
•hiatal hernia

When is upper GI endoscopy used?

Upper GI endoscopy can be used to determine the cause of
•abdominal pain
•nausea
•vomiting
•swallowing difficulties
•gastric reflux
•unexplained weight loss
•anemia
•bleeding in the upper GI tract

I hope this helps you out, consider sobriety before more serious conditions arise.

Randy
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your assistance.  It's really awful.  Nausea hits one to two times a day and REALLY bad.  Feels like someone has my upper right rib area on their hand (kind of tight up there).  Have lost a lot of weight.  My guess 10-15 pounds.  Partially from simply not eating.  Gone almost completely vegetarian diet wise.  Am going in for an endoscopy on Monday.  My GP and my stomach Dr. are acquaintances in the same building so everyone is getting on the same page.  That said, I am really scared.  I have a baby on the way in June and this is really freaking me out badly.  I hope I get through this.  I will ask them both about GERD tomorrow (although I may be speaking with one of them tonight).  Am also on board on the sobriety comment.  I have tried many times before and failed.  Acknowledge there's definitely a history in the family.     Am going to go to AA and stick with it.  Also seeing a pysch this Thursday as well.  All that said, have to get this health situation figured out.
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Avatar_m_tn
Two questions: would GERD cause nausea?  Also can you clarify your comments regarding blood tests?  "function test can not read normal except".....

thank you for your help.

Alec
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4670047_tn?1375734001
Fantastic work on your part!! Good for you!!! Hopefully the endoscopy will show something. But at least your on board & I like the network thing with doctors. Go to your meeting (again good for you) and thurs. appt. Keeping the alcohol out of the picture helps the docs get a better idea of what's going on. Even if its alcohol related. I'm sure rpooo  will see this. Good luck!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Randy,

I just received something disconcerting from my doctor.  He said that my lipids were slightly higher than normal on the original blood test.  What does this mean?  Help please.  Am scared.  Went to AA today, first time in a long time.  Felt terrible in there, but did it anyway.  Going to keep going.  That said I am not well physically.  The waves of nausea (hot sweats/cold chills) combined with discomfort in my abdomen is brutal.  That and the anxiety/depression.  
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1475202_tn?1388955435
A lipid panel is a blood test that measures lipids-fats and fatty substances used as a source of energy by your body. Lipids include cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

As far as I know you may just have slight elevated cholesterol in which I don't think would be causing any of the problems you are describing. You can check with our gastroenterology community to be sure.

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Gastroenterology/show/68

The symptoms you are describing: Sweats, cold chills, anxiety and depression all sound like withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.

I suspect nausea and pain is from GERD/Acid reflux and can be treated with medication. Again common side effects from alcohol abuse.

Have your endoscopy on Monday, it will lead you to the answers you need to start feeling better. Your doctors are on the right track :)

Randy
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4670047_tn?1375734001
Hi randy I'm mzkity, I left you a note. I looked at his profile. I need more help then him, just by the way I answered his question.  Lol!!! I do feel sorry for people here they don't get a lot of answers. Your wonderful to give to people here.
After looking at this guys profile ahhh don't think medical is going to help him. You do what you want of course.  Don't step on colorful eggs.    Kitty
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Avatar_m_tn
Randy,

Thank you for clarifying (and thanks to everyone on the board).  Am really stressed out.  Can't eat.  Tried to eat chinese food last night (something simple like dumplings) and got terrible chest pain.  Really bad.   All other meals have been: cereal/fruit maybe a half bagel in the (morning); left overs (like rice/greens) mid day and at night.  Limited to no meat, pork, even chicken or fish.  Have noticed my legs getting itchy.  

To try to get through this, have been taking a sedative (when needed at night), seeing a pysch and going to AA.  Again thanks for the help.  I have one other question.  Pain from below.  When I sit it's quite painful.  i.e. Feels inflamed.  Would this be a lymph node issue or sciata being inflamed caused by something else?  Just thought I would ask.

Last question.  If the Doctor comes back with nothing from the endoscopy, what do I do?  i.e. Can I push him for a liver biopsy to be certain?  Are there  other tests/procedures to ask him to perform?  Please let me know.  thx.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear NeedHelp,
Randy is among the most knowledgeable and experienced people on this forum - and he is giving you good guidance.  I would only add:  IF your doctor balks at the idea of a biopsy, then you may want to ask about a FibroSure blood test.  Although not as accurate as a biopsy, it is statistically very reliable for RULING OUT extensive fibrosis (the liver damage that can lead to cirrhosis).  A very low score would rule out fibrosis and thus give you peace of mind; and if your score suggests the presence of fibrosis, then it would help to make the case for a biopsy.  It requires only a standard blood draw, and is much quicker and cheaper than a biopsy.  Good luck!
PD -
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4670047_tn?1375734001
I'm not being sarcastic, this is a serious question. Would you be considered very intelligent, or maybe medium range. I'm asking because I've seen this in our family.
I'm also curious as to how much did you drink? Was it 7 nights a week?
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Avatar_m_tn
thx.
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Avatar_m_tn
not seven nights week.  more like three to four, but each night 2-3 glasses or wine or 2-4 beers.
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Avatar_m_tn
A couple of things:

a.) GI Dr. put me on Ondansetron for nausea.  Works part way.

b.) I went back and saw both my GP and GI guy on Friday.  I asked about biopsy to the GI dr.  Still did not believe it was needed.  Said it would be "malpractice" in essence to do it with my combined current results.  Made no sense.  That said, my endoscopy has turned into an endoscopy and colonoscopy on Monday.  

c.) GP said again "I don't see anything here that's says you have something terrible".  Fk.  Frustrated and confused.

d.) Here's where I get really worried.  This morning my fiance woke up with lymph node inflamation (inflammation) under one arm pit.  This started to get me thinking that maybe my GP did not do a full blood test (maybe he missed doing Hepatitis) or HIV or maybe the test was done and they screwed up.  I panicked and called the backups to both Dr's.  Complete waste of time assurances from folks with zero information.  My fiance called her Drs office and they treated it "non chalantly" like it's no big deal.  Fk me.  I just can't believe this ****.  I want some answers.  I don't want to hurt anyone and I am scared half out of my wits.

Am really struggling to hold it together.  
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4670047_tn?1375734001
My question didn't come out quit like I meant it to. Anyway what I'm saying is I have a close relative who is to put it bluntly, a hypochondriac. This person is extremely smart, educated and successful.
I read your old posts. Someone even responded to you by telling you what med help was going to do to you if you kept posting (just like you are now).
Your not drinking that much either. Stick with the counseling.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with mzkity. Whatever health issues you may have or that may arise are at this point not as important as the anxiety you are experiencing in what you imagine could be wrong. Go for the counseling.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am going for counseling.  Seeing a psych this Tuesday.  Here's where I am at:
a.) every day one to two times I have an attach.  It last anywhere from 1hr to 3hrs.  
b.) Symptoms are: chills, tightness in my upper right abdomen/chest, nausea, headaches/pressure (primarily right side), very upset stomach.
c.) Issues throughout the the day: itchy legs, bad taste in mouth, sporadic cough, etc.

Medication
a.) Taking Ondansetron (nausea)
b.) Alprazolam (anxiety)

Am really really angry with myself and am taking this out on my poor finance.  I am an idiot, I am weak and I am not taking enough personal responsibility for my alcoholism.  I am also frustrated with my the pace of the problem identification by my medical folks.  This is taking way too long to get an answer.  Why can't they just do the biopsy and get over this.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Can you get this in the States?  I went for my endoscopy and colonoscopy today.  Visual feedback was, everything seemed fine.  That said, two polyps were found and removed.  Final results from the biopsy at the end of the week.
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Avatar_m_tn
Randy,

Need your assistance if you have moment.  Here's where I am at: I am very, very sick.  Cannot make it through the day without anti nausea medicine.  The colonoscopy and endoscopy (from a visual standpoint mind out) came out fine.  Biopsy information in the next few days.  Just got off the phone with my GP, I feel like I am in the stone age.  I told him the feedback the GI doctor stated, and said that I would like to focus on the liver and gall bladder since I cannot hold anything down.  All I got was push back.  I don't understand this.  I am going to ask my GI doctor for assistance as well since my GP does not want to help or at least does not understand that I am seriously having major issues.  Any comments?  Thoughts?  thx.
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317787_tn?1373214989
Hello, I am not a doctor, I see that you have had this problem since joining in August.
Has your gall bladder been checked?
That would cause pain in upper right quadrant as well as nausea.  I am sorry you are going through this.  It is very frustrating when you are sick and no one can find the reason why.  I have heard that stress and anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms as well.
Good luck
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1475202_tn?1388955435
The best I can tell you is that since your LFT's, endoscopy and ultra sound have all turned out normal I think it is a safe bet your liver is doing alright. Further testing is not necessary for liver function.

I would stick with your GI doctor in hopes that he/she can provide you with better answers since this would fall under their expertise.

Have you tried posting in the gastroenterology community yet?
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Gastroenterology/show/68

Sorry I couldn't help you more but I'm glad your liver is doing alright!

Randy
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