Alcoholism Community
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1475202 tn?1536274577

Alcoholism leads to more..

More than many people ever imagine.
As if end stage cirrhosis isn't bad enough causing your physical health to deteriorate along comes with it is Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE). Mental health is also greatly effected.

Hepatic encephalopathy is a worsening of brain function that occurs when the liver is no longer able to remove toxic substances in the blood.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hepatic encephalopathy is caused by disorders that affect the liver. These include disorders that reduce liver function (such as cirrhosis or hepatitis) and conditions in which blood circulation does not enter the liver. The exact cause of hepatic encephalopathy is unknown.

An important job of the liver is to change toxic substances that are either made by the body or taken into the body (such as medicines) and make them harmless. However, when the liver is damaged, these "poisons" may build up in the bloodstream.

Ammonia, which is produced by the body when proteins are digested, is one of the harmful substances that is normally made harmless by the liver. Many other substances may also build up in the body if the liver is not working well. They can cause damage to the nervous system.

Hepatic encephalopathy may occur suddenly in people who previously had no liver problems when damage occurs to the liver. More often, the condition is seen in people with chronic liver disease.

This definition in part was borrowed from another website to get the definition as accurate as possible.

Symptoms include:

Breath with a musty or sweet odor

Change in sleep patterns

Changes in thinking



Mental fogginess

Personality or mood changes

Poor concentration

Poor judgment

Worsening of handwriting or loss of other small hand movements

Patients with hepatic encephalopathy can become unconscious, unresponsive, and possibly enter a coma.

I just thought you should know alcohol when abused can take your health and your mind! The attatched photo is a "screen shot" of a post i recently made concerning a diagnosis I recieved in October 2011.

What if this happens to you? 03-23-10 I was diagnosed with cirrhosis. Age 38. Coming up on two years of sobriety. Do you think if I would have stopped three years ago it would've made a difference but how was I to know! I knew and so do you when too much is too often but I didn't know all of this!

6 Responses
Avatar universal
Good Job my faithful  cyber recovery assistant!So glad ur here......i speak highly of u here......Kraseara is new here.....i know her personally...she has come so far in her recovery...i told her ur one of my cyber recovery buds!and to pay attention 2 ur contributions here!i know she does...we all do!
1475202 tn?1536274577
Thank you Ibizzzzy! I'm very glad to be here. That's really great to hear about Kraseara. I'll look forward to getting to know her and help her through this anyway that I can :)

Avatar universal

         I had a couple of old friends who had the end stage disease and both kept on drinking they both are dead now they could not quit alcohol thats how cunning, baffling and powerful this disease is. I have been quit now for 20 yrs. Thank God for his power.
1475202 tn?1536274577
It's very sad and I have spoken with a couple of people over the past year that just couldn't find the strength they needed to stop. Alcoholic cirrhosis will progress very quickly if the cause (alcohol) is not completely stopped. No exceptions ever! No matter what you’re going through whether it be the loss of a loved one or even your daughter’s wedding. The unfortunate thing about cirrhosis is that most cirrhotic patients will not have symptoms until they have reached the end stage. Then how far into the end stage you are by the time you have been diagnosed and decide to quit takes even more time. It is very possible for a person with cirrhosis to live twenty to thirty more years with diet and exercise and vitamin supplements. A visit for blood work and a trip to the liver specialist every three months is necessary. Many other problems may occur such as hepatic encephalopathy and peripheral neuropathy (and many others) that may warrant further testing by other specialists or an earlier visit to the Gastrologist. This seems to happen with me all the time.

A recent experience I had:
Umbilical hernia's are very common with cirrhotic patients and I have the privilege of having one also. Normally this happens when the intestine pushes through an opening in the abdominal wall “the belly button" giving you an outty instead of an inny right. when too much exertion is made lifting it is possible for the umbilical cord to wrap around the intestine causing strangulation and killing part of the intestine. This is a very serious situation as you can imagine and immediate surgery is needed.

After a shower one morning I could see the area had a large red circle around it. this was abnormal and I was immediately concerned. I went to my general doctor and he had it arranged with a surgeon to do the surgery. Less than a month sooner I had an ultrasound done of my abdomen just a routine test requested by my liver specialist. I went to his office to obtain the results of the ultrasound and asked the lady at the front desk to go back and tell him briefly about the surgery. He insisted I stay so he could see for himself. He then immediately sent me for an MRI which revealed that the hernia I have is nothing more that fatty tissue and blood vessels so my intestine was in no danger. He was very concerned and told me that that he takes very good care of me and he has been doing this for many years. He also know surgeons that understand how much more dangerous it is the work on a cirrhotic patient than someone without these problems. My platelet count is approx. 70 so my blood does not clot well and the blood loss or infection could be very dangerous. I was so close to having this minor surgery and taking these risks all for nothing. So for anyone with cirrhosis always follow up with your liver specialist before any serious decisions have been made. I cancelled the surgery with the doctor s office and the surgeons office. Call it lucky if you want but the quality of life I have now and with every test result I thank God! Oh looky there..700 days of sobriety! Thats a miricle itself! Also a very big congradulations to you mgm777!!! 20 years is how many days? ha ha!
2026843 tn?1333811224
Well thank you ibiz! It means a lot to me to hear encouraging words! Rpooo, I'm sorry to hear you're having health issues, I don't know a lot about liver issues.
1475202 tn?1536274577
Oh it's okay things happen you know. It all sounds real bad but actually I feel really great. So I just keep letting those doctors diagnose whatever they want but I can tell you I feel healthier not drinking and having cirrhosis then I did drinking day after day the way I did. I wouldn't want for anyone else to go through this to realize how much better life is and that’s a huge part of the reason I come to this group. I have seen some amazing conversations during the short time I have been here and you can really watch people change their lives. In some cases maybe even save their life.

You can do the same thing too Kresaera! I was looking you up yesterday, you know just snoopin around.. he he I see that you have some amazing will power and have probably been through a lot. So with this I know you can beat it too, you just have to learn how. Here that can happen. Every person is different and it's something different that motivates them. Please feel welcome to make a post or send me an email. I promise no more belly button stories! Ha ha I am really glad you have a friend like Ibizzy and that you are here!

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