Cirrhosis of the Liver Community
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Avatar universal

Cirrhosis Question (variceal bleeding)

Hi Guys,

I wanted to get some information regarding variceal bleeding.    2 weeks ago I went to blow my nose and a 1 minute later realized I had to spit and it was bright red blood (mouth full). I rinsed out and couldn't find out where it came from.  I didn't feel it come up from my stomach, so I have no clue if it was from my post nasal passage.  No blood came out of my nose.  I haven't noticed any other symptom so I'm really confused.  My father passed away from alcoholic cirrhosis and his first symptom was vomiting blood.  I'm 34 years old and the beginning of 2010 I had blood work done for some stomach issues and also a ultrasound.  Everything was fine. 22 months ago I also had extensive blood work done since I was loosing my insurance.  Liver and kidney function test were perfect.  I drink about 9 beers every Saturday and maybe 6 thought-out the week.  I didn't think I drank too much but now Im concerned.  Obviously now I stop drinking.  I went to see and ENT doctor and he didn't think it was variceal bleeding, my primary care doctor also doesn't think so.  Im schedule for another ultrasound since I have family history of cirrhosis.  Does anyone here think that variceal bleeding can present on the manner described above?  I'm hoping that something may have been pick up in the last 3 years that I was screened.  Your input is greatly appreciated.
10 Responses
1654058 tn?1407159066
An ultrasound will give you some good answers. I blamed my varices bleeding on everything from a stomach bug to sinuses. It was a small bleed and eventually was part of my diagnosis with cirrhosis. I'm glad that you are following up and would definitely lay off the beer until I found out.
My cirrhosis progressed pretty fast.
Mostly, what you are fighting is fear. It is hard to stay mentally calm when you see blood in the sink. I'm proud of you for facing it and going to the doctor. It may just be sinuses.
At any rate, you will find out for sure and can move on from there. BTW - cirrhosis is not the end of the world. Many of us are living past a poor prognosis.
Keep calm and keep us posted. xo Karen:)
1475202 tn?1536270977
Hello Chris,
It doesn't sound to me like your drinking is too excessive. I don't know how to explain where the blood came from and further testing from your doctor(s) should hopefully provide you with the answers you need.

Variceal hemorrhage is a symptom of decompensated cirrhosis and it's likely other symptoms of cirrhosis would have manifested before this point. Alcoholism is hereditary so you might caution how often you drink but alcoholic cirrhosis is a repercussion of years abusing alcohol and not a hereditary condition.

I know you mentioned your insurance ran out but it's always a good idea to have an annual physical even if it's just blood lab work this way you can see potential problems.

I wish you the best, take care.

5611452 tn?1370971104
First of all I'd like to offer my condolences on your Dad.  You seem to know a bit about cirrhosis since going through that with him.  I think it's good that you know the signs to look for, but it sounds like you are on top of it.  I'm glad that you are getting things checked out.  Better safe than sorry.  I hope everything comes out well for you.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

446474 tn?1446347682
To test for varices a gastroentologist does an endoscopy where they look down your esophagus and GI track for enlarged veins. Patients with suspected acute variceal hemorrhage should be admitted to an intensive care unit for care.
Bleeding varices is a life-threatening condition where a percentage of people die from losing too much of their bodies blood during a bleed. It is not something a person can spit out. Also if the blood comes from the lower GI track it tends to be jelly like and dark not red like fresh blood.

No one goes from a health liver to decompensated cirrhosis within 3 years from alcohol. You would have to have decompensated cirrhosis in order to have bleeding varices and usually will have other complication of advanced liver disease as well.
It usually takes many decades of drinking to develop cirrhosis which is why most alcohol related cirrhosis is seen in those 50 years old or older. You say you are only 34 years old so it is very unlikely. Also you would have to have an enlarged spleen and a nodular liver which can be seen on an ultrasound. Also your blood test platelet count would be below 100,000. 150,000-450,000 is the normal range. And you would have many other abnormal blood levels.

By the way, alcoholic cirrhosis isn't hereditary. Alcoholism is more common among members of families with a history of alcoholism. It is the abuse of alcohol that destroys the liver. The liver doesn't scar itself. Being from a family with a history of alcoholism means you are more prone to being addicted to alcohol yourself.

See a gastroenterologist and get proper care. ENT and primary doctors are not trained or educated in liver disease and its compications.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
Thank you guys for all the great information.  This is an amazing forum.  Here's an update.  I had an ultra sound done and it turns out I have a fatty liver with a couple of kidney stones.  My doctor seems more concerned with the kidney stones than my liver.  No more drinking on a weekly basis any more and a balance diet has been order by the doctor.  I asked my doctor if cirrhosis would be picked up on an ultra sound, but I didn't seem to get a straight answer from him.  I guess doctors won't look any further unless there's additional symptoms.  Would you guys tend to agree?

Thanks in advance!!!!
Avatar universal
Here's what the actual results say:  

Addominal Sonogram

1) Heterogeneous fatty liver.
2) Right renal stone.
3) Evidence of what seems to be bilateral renal small calcifications.  There's also evidence of what seems to be microcalcifications in the left kidney with no evidence of any hydronephrosis, cystic or solid masses.

The spleen is normal size in size, shape and configuration. Normal homogenicity.

5611452 tn?1370971104
I know that my cirrhosis was first found when I was having an ultra sound to check my gallbladder.   The cause of mine is fatty liver.  I am very happy that your spleen is not enlarged.  Mine is and was at the time of ultra sound.  I would stay on top of it.  Make sure you get hepatic panels done (blood work) on a regular basis, and keep on top of your doctor, get on a good healthy diet right now, exercise, no alcohol....well you know the drill having gone through it with your Father.

On another note, about the kidney stones.  I'm sorry.  They aren't fun, trust me I know.  I have chronic kidney stones.  I have for the past 20 years.  I ALWAYS have a stone in one or both kidneys and have had to have them blasted because they get so large and they've had to go up and get them a couple of times, etc etc etc.   I'd like to offer a little dietary advice if I might.  Things to stay away from.  I was told by my old urologist, whom I loved and could kick because he moved away, anyways, he told me  NO broccoli, No dark green leafy vegetables, NO carbination oiy vay, there is a lot more but my brain just went blank.  OH and here's one for ya.. no coke.. the soda.. the other either lol. There are a few different kinds of kidney stones (made up of different stuff) and in the type that I have issues with coke has the exact ingredient in it that these stones are made up of.  I don't, nor have I ever drank a lot of soda, but found that very interesting.  Anyways, you should research that as kidney stones are not fun to pass and with each stone your kidneys can become weaker.  After having so many for so many years my kidneys aren't in the best of shape.  Food for thought.  :)

I wish you the best of luck and am glad that you have time to make changes in your life before it's to late.  :)

1654058 tn?1407159066
Good news! You will have to eat pretty healthy low and/or good fats, low sugars. It isn't that hard. Just a healthy well balanced diet. Don't allow yourself to carb out or live in the drive through lane on fast foods. I eat that way and even with cirrhosis - feel better than people 1/2 my age most days.

You have a long life ahead of you. Kidney stones can be painful if they aren't dealt with. I'm really happy for you that dealing with the stones and eating healthy will take care of your health needs.
xo Karen:)
Avatar universal
Hello Guys,

I'm back with some concerns.   I was screen for liver disease about 7 months ago as I stated on my original thread.  Like an idiot that I'm I went back to drinking about 20 beers a week, thinking I had a free pass.  But most recently I started to get mild pain on my abdomen.  The pain seems random and fluctuates in areas sometimes being on my lower right and then upper right abdomen.  I had an endoscopy done with my ultrasound 7 months ago and my doctor said I had chronic gastritis/with fatty.  Could I have developed Cirrhosis in 7 months?  None of my extensive blood work 7 months ago raised any red flags.  I guess I don't know enough about liver disease to make a good judgement call.  Does Cirrhosis occur this way?  I'm 35 years old and I'm really concern now.  7 Months ago my doctors didn't seem concern with my liver at all.  Should I ask for a CT scan?  Could this be something unrelated to my liver?  I know for a fact I'm not an alcoholic but I have definitely done my share of drinking in the past 10 years.  Mostly beer since I was never a big fan of hard liquor.  Can fatty liver advance to cirrhosis in 7 months?  I had an Ultra Sound Done in 2010 and I didn't have a fatty liver then.Since I wasn't screen from 2010 to 2013 you can say that maybe my fatty liver started 2010 which now makes it 4 years old?  Would cirrhosis occur that fast?  I know Hector had mentioned in a comment above that no one goes from a healthy liver to cirrhosis in 3 years?  How so?   I apologize for the lost post and would greatly appreciated anyone shedding some light on my concerns.
446474 tn?1446347682
Could I have developed Cirrhosis in 7 months?
Not unless you had cirrhosis before.

Have you had a liver biopsy? A liver biopsy will tell you what stage your liver disease is. Blood tests don't tell you have much liver disease you have unless you have advanced liver disease.

Ultrasound is used for looking for abnormal physical features. Again it will not tell you how much liver disease you have from drinking. Unless you have complete cirrhosis with nodular growths it will tell nothing about the extent of liver disease.

Should I ask for a CT scan?
A CT scan is used to search for liver cancer. If you don't have cirrhosis, you have no higher risk for liver cancer than any healthy person.

Fatty liver can be a consequence of drinking alcohol. Almost all heavy drinkers have fatty liver disease. More than 15 million people in the U.S. abuse or overuse alcohol. Almost all of them 90%-100% develop fatty livers. Fatty liver can occur after drinking moderate or large amounts of alcohol. It can even occur after a short period of heavy drinking (acute alcoholic liver disease). Genetics or heredity (what is passed down from parent to child) plays a role in alcoholic liver disease in two ways: It may influence how much alcohol you consume and your likelihood of developing alcoholism. And, it may also affect levels of liver enzymes involved in the breakdown (metabolism) of alcohol.

" My father passed away from alcoholic cirrhosis"
Get help with your drinking. It will be harder to stop the more you continue to drink. You don't want to end up having the same thing happening to you.

Chronic gastritis involves swelling or inflammation of the stomach lining. A variety of medications and conditions can irritate the lining of your stomach, leading to chronic gastritis including excessive drinking.

* Get a liver biopsy to find out how much damage has been done to your liver already.
* Stop drinking to prevent further damage to your liver and your life.

Good luck.
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