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Please help - really scared. Liver Disease???
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Please help - really scared. Liver Disease???

Please can anyone help.  I am really scared I have alcoholic liver disease,

I am 32 years and female and I drank heavily for 10 years.

I have been experiencing symptoms over the last 2 years including:

* Nausea  
* Some right side abdominal pain (gone)
* Burning and red palms (recent symptom)
* Swollen breasts (could this be linked to increased Oestrogen?)
* Terry's Nails (I think)

I have had over 15 LFT tests, an MRI, an Ultrasound scan, 2 Fibroscans and 2 Fibrotests and all have come back completely normal.
My LFT tests and enzymes have not changed value much at all in the last 5 years and are all in the normal range.

However, I have just read about the AST/ALT ratio.  My ALT is always lower than my AST including 14/20, 14/21 and 13/23.

I have also have High ASO Titre (which I believe can be a false positive with liver disease).

Do you think I have alcoholic liver disease? Should I have a Biopsy?

Many thanks,

Oxford08
Tags: Liver
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I am not a doctor but I have seen a lot of lab results and yours look good to me.
I don't believe that the AST/ALT ratio applies when the values are well within normal range. I have researched this issue and I have never found anything which suggests that the ratio is of any significance with normal ranges and yours are nice and low.
Your fibroscan and fibrotest results are consistent with a person who does not have liver disease.
I do not know much about ASO Titers but I have never seen ASO mentioned in the context of liver disease.
There are other lab values which may be relevant to liver health such as alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, albumin, protein, globulin, GGT, platelet count and INR (clotting time).
I would want more tests before I'd undergo a liver biopsy. I have had many biopsies and they all went smoothly. Though the risk with a liver biopsy is small, nevertheless, a risk does exist and I seriously doubt that a reputable physician would order a biopsy for someone in your situation unless there was some other strong evidence of liver injury.
Your burning/red palms and Terry's nails can be suggestive of liver disease. You said that you are not certain about your nails. I suggest that you try and find some clear and illustrative photos online and determine whether you do have Terry's nails.
My opinion is that it is hard for a patient to diagnose these types of symptoms - it's just hard to be objective.
Has a physician examined you and mentioned your palms or nails?
If you haven't been examined recently I would advise you to see a physician knowledgeable about liver disease - either a hepatologist or a gastroenterologist - and get examined. Often just by palpating the liver and spleen a doctor can tell if there is a problem so, if you're worried, I suggest getting seen.
Again, I am not a doctor or in the medical profession in any capacity.
I am a patient who underwent a liver transplant in 2000 due to hepatitis c.
I have some experience and a little knowledge so my opinion isn't really worth much.
Having said that I don't think you have a serious liver problem.

If you want to ask an expert here is a link to a physician here at MedHelp who answers this type of question.

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Liver-Transplant/show/274

Good luck,
Mike
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Mike,

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my message; it is really appreciated.

I have seen a specialist and they assure me that I haven't damaged my liver.  
I am going to try and believe this and start living my life again, rather than worry!

Thanks again for your message.  I hope that you are keeping well/

Many thanks,

Oxford08
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Avatar_m_tn
I hope you are able to relax a bit and enjoy your life.
Believe me, I know what it is like to worry. I tend to do that myself.

All the best,
Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
I will be 49 Sunday and was diagnosed with first stages of alochol liver chirossis. a year ago.  I finally quit drinking about a month ago altogether!  I have no symptons at all.  I eat healthy and exercise.  I do not have any hepatitis.  what are my chances of living a long life if I continue taking my supplements and keeping up with my routine?  
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to add in the above question that i also go to a hepatologist every six months at the va for lab work and an ultra sound to test for liver cancer.just to be safe, she said......I'm really scared and after i was told i had this i was in complete denial.  I never read up on it or anything!!!  How STUPID!!!!  If i would have read that a year ago when i was diagnosed i probably could have given  me more time.  Something popped up on the computer one night and i ended up reading about everything!!  The alochol is definitely out of my life FOREVER!!!  I had been drinking for about 25 years.  About 25 times a day i check to see if i have a yellow tint.  It's hard living every day scared out of your mind. Help
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Avatar_m_tn
I believe that if your liver is functioning and you do not consume any alcohol your liver will be alright. There has been a lot of information recently about the increased odds of developing liver cancer in a cirrhotic patient. Since you have been diagnosed with cirrhosis liver cancer it is wise to be monitored. I think an examination every six months is ideal.
You cannot live every day in fear of something which will probably never eventuate if you stay 100% clean. You've done what you've done and now you're living right so try and enjoy your new found freedom and sobriety. Liver cancer has a high mortality rate and a big reason for that is the lack of early detection. With scans and exams every six months if by chance you do develop cancer it will be detected far sooner than most patients and you'll have a much better chance at surviving the cancer. At any rate you'll deal with then when, and if, you need to. Don't waste good time borrowing trouble. I have done a lot of that and it is truly a waste of time. Forget about looking for a yellow tint. The real challenge for patients that no one ever talks about is resisting the inclination to become our disease - to allow our disease to consume us. You can spend so much time thinking and worrying about your disease that your life simply goes right by you. And the strange thing is that you're worried about your life but we know that a life filled with compulsive worry isn't a life worth living. So relax and celebrate your life.

Good luck,
Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
Did the doctors prescribe you lactulose to get rid of the toxins in your body?

My father has Cirrhosis stage 1 and 2. Doctors said my father only had 1 month left to live. Our family doctor prescribed him 1-2 tablespoons of lactulose per day. For him to have 2-3 normal bowel movements within 24 hours. When my father took that medication properly as doctors ordered. He got better and now they are saying he could live up to 4-5 years or longer.  From my own research Cirrhosis is when the liver is shrinking thats what medical liver speclialist stated. Secondly, the yellow tint could be caused from the ammonia being built from a liver that is not functioning properly which is called Jaudince. If you are constantly feeling constipated or not having normal bowerl movements. This is the first sign that could lead to jaudince. Living in fear or feeling stressed out is really bad. Stress can cause other damages to the body which could be severe like having a stroke. Or could lead to post tramactic stress disorder. This is something you need to figure out how to live peacefully without alcohol. Talk with friends about finding solutions to your own problems or have a bunch of hobbies. Make a garden or re-decorate your surroundings. Do anything healthy that will make you healthier. Be at peace or just read the bible. Because consuming alcohol will cause more damage to the liver if the liver is trying to reject it. Its like having the enzymes attacking your own liver when its suppose to only process the foods or liquids.
How do I know all this? Its because I had to care for my dying father. I had to research all of this so that way I could understand what is happening to him. But, really the stress comes from myself on how I have to deal with it. Knowing that I did the best I could to get him better. I should not feel stressed out about anything.  Because I know stress can kill.


Live in peace and God Bless you 8729
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Avatar_m_tn
You said:

"Secondly, the yellow tint could be caused from the ammonia being built from a liver that is not functioning properly which is called Jaundice...."

That is not correct.

Jaundice is caused by a build-up of bilirubin in the blood. That is what causes the yellow tint of the skin and the whites of the eyes (sclerae).

You're correct about high ammonia levels being associated with cirrhosis. It is thought that high ammonia level, due to the inability of the liver to detoxify, is a major factor in hepatic encephalopathy (HE).
HE is a worsening brain function due to the toxic build up and results in confusion, poor memory, disturbed sleep cycles, irritability, disorientation etc.

Mike
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Avatar_m_tn
I do know is that Jaudice could be linked linked to the liver having problems. I am not sure about the bilirubin part...but doctors did mention briefly that Jaudince is yellowing of the skin. They did not tell me exactly what was causing that problem...but I do know its related to the liver not funtioning properly. As for specific remedies to the cause of Jaundice I have no clue. But I do know for sure is that during the 1st stages of Cirrhosis doctor's prescribe my father Lactuose to get rid of the toxins. When my Dad took Lactulose to clear out the toxins he showed no signs of Jaundice. When he did not take lactulose during the later stages of (HE) jaudice was one of the symptoms. He has not been back to the hospital for almost 1 year now and has shown no signs of Jaudice or (HE).

Hope this helps.

Thank you mike for pointing this out. There was a lot of symptoms showing when it comes to liver failure. But, in the end it was my goal to make those symptoms not show anymore.
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