My 46 year old sister is suffering with liver disease, what to expect
My sister has liver failure, but I feel like I am getting more questions than answers, what are the right questions to ask to find out where she is in the process, she is currently in a rehab to get back on her feet after spending 30 days in the ICU restrained do to confusion, she has a very disteneded belly and has alot of diarrhea also using a walker to get around, this is her 3rd time in the hospital for drinkig and ammonia levels so high she was out of her mind, there is no talk of a draining, they are sending her home with nurses coming to visit at her boyfriends house, who is also an alcoholic. He has her sign a paper he is the only one to get her medical info and when he gives us info it is never correct always make it sound like she is fine, but we as family see her and know it is not true. What are the stages? I find comfort in reading these posts because I like to understand what is going on and my heart goes out to all who are going through this. God Bless!
I wish I could offer you more help but I know that it is very difficult to obtain someone else's medical records. If you sister doesn't want to talk to you about it on her own then i'm afraid there's not much that can be done.
With cirrhosis it is very difficult to predict what stage a person is in since everyone is effected differently by heptic encephlopathy (HE) which pretty much comes with cirrhosis. Most likely she has varicites which is why her belly is like that. It's a build up of fluid. Also the diarrhea is most likely cause from the medication (lactulous) the hospital gave her which will help bring her ammonia level back down. She should be taking a variety of vitamins that a doctor will set her up with and lactolous or xifaxan to help treat her ammonia. Absouloutly no more alcohol under any circumstances. The confusion she experienced is most likely from the ammonia level being so high and the restrainsts are due to withdraws from the alcohol. This tells you she has not stopped drinking. She must stop drinking immediatly or she will continue to get sick. There are different ways to measure the stages and a doctor can find out what stage she is in from blood labs. He then will explain to you about the current stage you may be dealing with.
I hope this will help you have a better understanding of what may be going on. please keep in mind I am not a medical professional at all but as a patient I do my best to educate myself on the disease. You mentioned all the right questions right there in your post. God bless
The only true way to know what stage cirrhosis she's in is to do a biopsy. They can pretty much guess, though, that it's severe from all the symptoms. The extended belly, called ascites, can be controlled without draining with meds and diet.
Unfortunately, I think many doctors have seen people in this situation who still will not give up the alchohol. Maybe that is why they sent her home with minimal meds and not really a good plan??
Perhaps you could convince her to see/take her to see a hepatologist (liver specialist) who hopefully will give her a plan if she sees that she has a lot to live for.
I was near death over 3 years ago also from alcoholic cirrhosis, end stage, etc. (bleeding varices, H.E., ascites, in ICU for days with blood transfusions) but I am GREAT now... there is hope if she can commit. Take care!!
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