Cirrhosis of the Liver Community
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Confused about stage and worried

So glad I found this site and hoping you guys can provide me with some information. I will apologize in advance that this may be a long post, but I want to provide as much information as I can.

I am a 46 year old man, not a binge drinker, but have had 1-3 drinks a day for many years to relax. Last year I began vomiting blood and having bloody diarrhea. Went to the hospital for a week and was told I had Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension. Managed pretty well over the past year, cut back on drinking. No. Didn't quit completely.

2 months ago started to feel very bad. Pain in my right side that traveled around to my back. Very sore legs, no appetite and lost about 30 pounds, diarrhea 10-15 times a day. Shortly after began with the bloody diarrhea and vomiting blood. About 7 times before I got to the hospital. In the hospital for another week getting fluids and tests. Again confirmed the cirrhosis (no stage discussed.) Follow-up app with GI Doctor he told me I was in the beginning stages of cirrhosis and of course, to cut out drinking all together.

Since my hospital stay my symptoms seem to have gotten worse. I've lost a lot of muscle mass - esp in my arms. Legs and ankles swollen, legs and arms very sore to move, pain in side still there and now in my back right shoulder, diarrhea with little blood, can't keep any food down and only eating once a day, tired all the time. CT scan showed bad case (?) of Ascites, so add those meds to my regiment. Also now have serious leg cramps especially in the morning.

So I guess my question is should I be worried that the now presence of the bloating, leg pain, Ascites means I've gone to the next level / stage? Any advice, insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thank in advance for your time and good luck to all of you!
1 Responses
446474 tn?1446347682
I am sorry to be the person to have to tell you how serious your situation is, your doctors should have told you, but I hope you will be able to accept the situation and take some positive steps to save your own life.

Unfortunately you have very serious liver disease (signs of decompensated cirrhosis) which will only get progressively worse if you don't stop drinking. You will develop more and more serious complications over time as you disease progresses. More ascites and fluid retention in the lower legs typically, bleeding, loss of muscle mass, and other complications from your cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is the last stage of liver disease, Sometimes it is also called "stage 4 liver disease" or "F4 liver disease". But there are also different degrees of cirrhosis. "Early compensated cirrhosis" is when a person has no symptoms from their liver disease and only a work up by a good doctor can detect it. The second more advanced stage is when the liver can no longer perform all of its functions because so many of the liver cells have been damaged and are nonfunctional. This is called "decompensated cirrhosis" and appears to be the status of your cirrhosis. This is when a person will begin to develop ascites, sometimes bleeding varices which can cause a person to vomit or defecate blood which will look black or like coffee grinds due to internal bleeding. Bleeding varcies can be fatal it the person looses too much blood. And there many more complications too many to mention.

Only you can choose to change you life. If you continue to drink unfortunately you will suffer from liver failure and die. When that will happen varies from person to person but please be aware that you are literally killing yourself every day that you continue to drink and damage your liver..You are a young person with plenty of life ahead of you if you decide to change you way of living.

I have seen many alcoholics choose to continue drinking and die from liver disease because they could not change. Most of those folks were decades older than you and they couldn't chance a lifetime habit.

Dying from liver failure is a pretty horrible way to die. There is nothing pleasant about it. The suffering all involved go through is beyond anything anyone can imagine until they go through it.

I hope you understand the seriousness of your situation and choose to save your life before its too late.

The first step is to STOP DRINKING COMPLETELY and must never drink again. Without that all other attempts with be futile.

Second, I would contact a liver transplant center near you and try to get out on their "waiting list for a liver transplant". Probable a transplant center in Boston would be closest to you. The doctors you have been seeing are giving you a false sense of your situation or are afraid to tell you how serious it is. If you take the first step (stop drinking) the transplant center doctors will help you to manage as best you can your liver disease or they will help you get a life-saving transplant.

NOTE: You must have stopped drinking first, before you contact the transplant center, as people who drink will not be given a new organ.

In the meanwhile once you stop drinking either your liver will be able to recover from the damage it has already accumulated OR if your cirrhosis is too advanced for the liver to repair itself then in time you will need a liver transplant to continue living.

Good luck to you Jeff.
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