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Hello everyone. I was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis and my doctor did not do a biopsy. She said it's not a good way to indicate the extent of damage done and that blood tests and her examination were sufficient. She also said to avoid, among the other obvious things, herbal remedies. I also remember her saying that drinking coffee may help. I would like to know if this is similar to what everyone else is told. Thank you.
Best Answer
446474 tn?1446347682

A little more detail would be helpful to understand your situation.

What tests did she perform and what were the test results that show you have cirrhosis. You can post the number here.

Yes it is true that a good doctor can diagnose cirrhosis of the liver with a physical exam and some blood tests. This usually indicates that you have complete cirrhosis with all of the tell-tale signs of cirrhosis.
Hard and nodular liver
Enlarged spleen
Blood tests that indicate cirrhosis
Plus there are many physical sign of cirrhosis that appear on different parts of the body
Etc, etc.

If you do have cirrhosis... yes you should avoid herbal remedies as some are toxic to the liver and can cause further damage. I assume she also told you that alcohol is also toxic to the liver and needs to be avoided.

What is the cause of your cirrhosis? Alcohol, fatty liver, hepatitis B or C, hereditary condition.
Is there some treatment of life-style change she is recommending?

Are you experiencing any of the common symptoms of cirrhosis? Fatigue, fluid retention in your abdomen or lower legs, any mental confusion or poor memory?

I assume you will be having ultrasound, CT or MRI soon to further assess your condition? Also an endoscope as well?

Hang in there. Many of us have been through what you are going through now.
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6708370 tn?1471490210
Hector is too modest.

One could add that he provides inspiration to all in this support group to not give up, to learn as much as one can about your illness and the latest treatments and to reach out to others to share your experiences. I have learned more from Hector and others in my support network and Lots of research, than, sadly, any doctor

Good luck to you. Congrats on the sobriety. It makes a lot of difference when you think about it this way - Drinking = Death
Helpful - 0
446474 tn?1446347682
I am sorry to hear of your situation but know that the mix of hep C and alcohol is not uncommon. Your symptoms do sound like the early symptoms of cirrhosis unfortunately. I am glad you are being monitored for liver cancer that is important. I ended up needing a transplant due to my liver cancer inside of my cirrhosis.

My opinion on milk thistle is it doesn't make any difference and studies have showed this to be the case. What we know will help to stop further damage to your liver and possibly allow you to avoid the need for liver transplantation is ....First, never drinking again. AS I am sure your doctor told you alcohol is toxic to the liver and combined with hepatitis C speeds up the damage to your liver.
Second cure your hepatitis C. If you can do both of things things early cirrhosis can be reversed in many cases and you won't have to suffer with decompensation and End-Stage Liver Disease.
I am sure your doctor has already told you all this.

How can I help you?
Do you have any particular questions?  
What is next in terms of a treatment plan?

I am happy to help you an anyway I can just let me know how.

Here is my experience with hep C, cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver transplant in a nut shell.

I was diagnosed with cirrhosis in 2007 caused my hepatitis C. Tried interferon +ribavirin treatment. Did not respond to treatment. 2009 decompensated, with ascites and HE being my most common issues. Put on liver transplant waiting list. 2011 diagnosed with liver cancer. 2012 one of the first 61 cirrhotics with HCC in ever to treat with Sovaldi in clinical trial. Unfortunately I relapsed after being undetectable for 47 weeks. The results of our study is the reason that Sovaldi is now approved for hepatitis C infected patients with liver cancer (HCC) awaiting liver transplantation.  2013 failed 5 cancer treatments. Removed from transplant waiting list.Told I was terminal. Tried experimental radiation treatment which was successful in reducing my cancer enough so I was able to get back on the waiting list and got a liver transplant Nov. 16, 2013. Still recovering from my transplant. Currently co-leader of my transplant center's hep C support group. Provide support based on my own experience to pre & post hospitalized liver transplant patients at our transplant center. Cheers.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Well, I've had hcv for about 20 years, however my viral load has been undetectable until last year. now its over a million.  I've been drinking  for 35 years excessively with some periods of sobriety. So it is a combination of both. As far as the blood tests I will have to get a copy of the results from the V. A. She did perform a physical exam and noted hardness of the liver and the spiderlike blood vessels on my upper  chest. I have some fatigue and a little memory loss. An MRI showed no sign of cancer.  I am aware of some of the things to avoid but I keep hearing about milk thistle and wondered if it will help or at least do no further damage if I take it. I have been sober for five months now and I don't take any medications that aren't really necessary. My current list is diltiazem and 81mg aspirin for atrial fibrillation, lithium for bipolar disorder and ropinerole?  For restless leg syndrome.  Thank you for responding. If you have information/suggestions I would appreciate it. When I get the results I mentioned I will submit it.
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