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Yellowish eyes and fatty liver worried about alcohol damage
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Yellowish eyes and fatty liver worried about alcohol damage

I am 38 years old and unfortunately used to drink alcohol a lot. Had my gallbladder removed because of gallstones 2007. Had a CT scan in March 2010 on an unrelated matter and it showed mild diffuse liver consistant with fatty change or layman's terms fatty liver. Dr. said it was from drinking alcohol needless to say I havent touched the stuff since finding that out.  
So anyway I decide to start running and make a lifestyle change after that and drop about 15 lbs. from March to July 2010.  Well anyway, about July 2010 I noticed the whites of my eyes have a yellow/ creamy color throughout and have been for about 6 months or so and currently still are.  The whites of my eyes are not bright white looking anymore but have a yellowish color throughout.   I've always had allergies and reddish eyes wearing contacts etc... But they just look different more yellowish than I'd ever noticed.  So I was concerned after reading online about yellow eyes and jaundice so I had bloodwork done at Dr. because I thought something might be up with my liver after reading about yellow eyes on line and because I used to drink alcohol a lot.      
During the past 6 months (July and October 2010) I had bloodwork done twice and my bilirubin levels were the same both times total bilirubin=1.0-  normal range .2-1.0, and direct bilirubin = 0.1, normal range 0.0-0.2.  All LFT's and platelets and everything have been well within normal ranges both times.  Nothing has been abnormal.  I insisted on an abdominal ultrasound last October at the second Dr. visit just in case something is up cause I've lost the weight and really started running and am sore sometimes where my gallbladder laparoscopic surgery was in the liver area.  Doc said he thought it was probably scar tissue and where I told him it was sore was lower than the liver.  He said my eyes looked more creamier than jaundiced and jaundiced eyes were bright yellow.  Said, my labs were normal and that it may just be from age.   The ultrasound also checked out ok and they didnt even mention the fatty liver.
Well I am really, worried and confused about what to do next or wondering if I am ust being paranoid.  My questions are to anyone that has had liver issues or know someone that does. Please share similar experiences or stories. Any advice would be appreciated.  Sometimes the patients are the best source of info.  Im just hoping I havent destroyed my life by drinking out of a stupid bottle.  
1- Is it possible to be mild jaundiced with bilirubin levels like this?
2-as anyone else had experiences like this or similar, please share.
3-Should I request any furter testing from anyones past experiences?
Thank you so much and God bless.
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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729009_tn?1237330483
Congrats on quitting! I would say you are doing everything right in watching your health. Some people are more susceptible that others in regards to liver disease. I would say that if you continue to be worried, have your doctor do the liver panel whenever you see him. It's so helpful to have numbers to compare to. And, hopefully, it will just make you feel better to know that nothing is out of whack. About the jaundice, it can be so subjective. My thought would be to rely on the bloodwork.

I get checked every 6 months with labwork AND either a CT or ultrasound, but I already have cirrhosis. The scans, though, are 99% cancer screens. (Been sober for over 3 yrs and liver function is awesome again, too!)

The fact that you quit drinking when the doctor saw a hint of a problem says a lot. You may have just saved yourself from some serious problems!
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Avatar_m_tn
THanks for the reply.  Was your bilirubin level ever high in your bloodwork?  Ever any yellow eyes or jaundice and if so at what bilirubin level?  I congratulate you on your sobriety.  It is harder than I thought to do (quitting drinking) but I have not really had many major withdrawal symptoms other than anxiety some and just not able to relax like I could when I drank. Considering I drank for several years quite heavily.  It[s awesome to hear your health is doing great.  Good luck to you and thanks again.  Gettin another blood test done next week...
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729009_tn?1237330483
Oh yes, my bilirubin was high (8.4!) at my sickest and I was most definitely yellow.
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1475202_tn?1388955435
I'm 39 years old and diagnosed with Cirrhosis 03/23/10. I was always freaked out about having to go to the doctor especially since I was drinking about 23 beers a day and spending $600 a month to do so. I did this for the past 2 years straight but I have always been a heavy drinker. Liquor, wine or beer. I would only eat once a day unless I forgot. So anyways I had to go to the Doctor to get another supply of blood pressure pills to last for the year and he sent me right away for blood labs. I got my blood pressure prescriptions so I was all happy and free of having to go back again for anything other than the lab results. So I went back and Doc was reading the results and I was thinking okay hurry up it's time to get to drinking. As he got further down the list he started expressing his concerns and then he looked up at me kind of angry and disappointed and said "I bet you have Cirrhosis" then he pointed out how yellow my eyes were and my skin and said "you have jaundice".

I didn’t know what to do and I was sure getting scared, not because I was going to die but mostly because I knew I had to stop drinking so I could be here for the people that love me and need me. Not much late I went to the specialist and he confirmed that I had Cirrhosis in the very beginning of the final stage. (Stage C) After several other tests I have Grade 3 Varices, Hiatal Hernia, Umbilical Hernia and Edema along with some pretty high scores from the Lab Test.

Well here I am 11 months later, I have not drank any alcohol since 03/11/10 not even mouth wash. ha ha I didn’t hardly run into any withdraws other than a fever for a few days. Help from rehab or AA hasn't been needed. I really think God has helped me out tremendously. Most of my levels are very close to normal. Although now the latest for me is dealing with H.E. (Hepatic Encephalopathy) I seem to be greatly affected by many of the symptoms such as confusion, loss of balance, memory retention, stuttering and sleep disorder.

Randy
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the reply, Randy.  I apologize for not replying earlier. Congrats on your sobriety.  I hope you are doing better with the H.E. I too think about AA sometime but more just to talk with people sharing the same addiction, not necessarily to help quit cause i've already done that.  Although, I miss the drink sometime but have realized now mentally and physically it's a poison.  I just feel a lot of anxiety now because the almighty drink used to help me relax.  Other than the anxiety I have not had any major withdrawals either.  I wish I would have quit years ago.  I wasnt drinking as much as you said you were but i guess around 6-8 a night and got to where the last couple years it was everyday that  I was off work and when I worked in the evenings at least 4 -5 to wind down and call it a day.  So more or less at least daily I'd drink a few till I'd get a good buzz and quit and sometimes more than a buzz.  Mostly beer but some wine. I went to another doc last week just to get a second opinion about my eye color and the soreness in my right lower abdomen.  I was straight up with him about my drinking.  So, he gave me another blood test through a different hospital lab and my labs were all normal.  Normal LFT's, complete blood count was normal.  My bilirubin was 1.2 mg on a scale of normal being 0.3mg-1.5mg.  Apparently different labs have different normal ranges on tests , dont quite understand that but anyway my bilirubin is still within normal range.  He said he didnt think my eyes looked that yellow (even though I still do) but like irritated around the vessels and tiny capillaries inflamed can make them look yellow.  Also, could be sun damage or just aging.  Which i've been told before.  That the bilirubin level was normal and he sees it all the time in patients around that level.  I dont know I just find it hard to believe all that abuse I put on my body from the brew hasnt caught up with me.  I feel alot of guilt about drinking and making such a poor decision.  See i've got three sweet kids, a wife and how stupid was I to do that to my body and them and miss out on things with them all the time and I was so busy always planning and thinking about a stupid drink.  Anyway...  
Couple questions for you or anone else just in case you dont read this:

How was your bilirubin level when the doc said you were jaundiced?  Could you visibly tell you were jaundiced yourself prior to him telling you?  Have your bilirubin levels improved or do they pretty much maintain around the same level? Thanks man and I wish you the best in your sobriety and maybe will touch base with you again.  zeak (nc)
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Hello Zeak,
Thanks for sending me the thank you. i some how never caught your reply. I aplogize. I looked up what my bilirubin was at the time of my diagnosis and it was 3.0 anything over 1.3 was considered high. My last test was done in february and my bilirubin is still at a 2.3 I can no longer see any yellow in my eyes and my recovery is going quite well. I still have problems with my other numbers. It was very easy to tell my eyes were yellow. It was one of the first things my doctor noticed. now every time i see him he always says looking good and slaps me on the back. lol Zeak I think you certainitly made the right choice when you stopped drinking. I also think your very lucky and very smart to quit when you did. God is looking out for you man so that you can really enjoy what a wonderful family you have! I bet they are all very happy. Keep sticking with not drinking, any damage you may have already caused your liver should heal in time. Think of this as a second chance to be a better person to the people that love you. Show them how great you are!!! God Bless you and your family! :) Take care my friend.
Randy
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