Alcohol Liver Cirrhosis Treatment – My Story

Now this comes with a big caveat here as this is my experience and you should really discuss with your medical professional as much as possible or an organization such as the Liver Trust here in the UK who can guide you. If you are not in the UK as many of you won’t be I am sure they will guide appropriately. If they don’t let me know and I’ll take them out of my will 🙂

This article is really to provide you a sense of what I got with Alcohol Liver Cirrhosis Treatment. I have written a few steps and thoughts which may get you to take action or provide both. It did however inspire me to drive this blog to get more choice of alcohol free options out there which at times is dismal. There is hope but I’ll also be real.

Ignore the prejudice

This may seem like an odd thing to start with but I have to say it’s one of the barriers to people going for help about their liver. This is true of people who don’t drink either but they suddenly get a serious liver issue and people don’t always know why. I know people who had an urgent transplant who have never touched a drop.

The other thing key is you don’t have to be a massive 24-hour drinker, I wasn’t but people will presume you are. If you are by the way that is fine I am not here to add to the judgment. You will however get the odd look by certain medical professionals and yet the majority were and are brilliant. So let’s put a couple of reactions out there :

  • My GP ( doctor) admitted me straight away and all the options were on the table. No bias, just medical help and still makes every effort now.
  • One doctor in the accident and emergency was dismissive while the other made up for it. As I had no alcohol in my system at all they were confused and put me through every test going. Whereas the doctor lifted up my shirt to look for scratching as itching is a symptom and then just walked out the room. The other suggested some doctors drink more than me. Overall I felt really looked after.
  • The liver ward was first class, I can’t say anymore than specialists who knew their stuff inside and out.
  • Friends were mainly brilliant but some people gossip, especially work colleagues. I took the view that if they were talking about me they were leaving others alone!

Now is this Alcohol Liver Cirrhosis Treatment? I believe it is because prejudice is a block to treatment so get that sorted first or ignore it. Liver disease can come in all forms and sometimes you might hardly drink anything, I certainly was not typical.

Stop the alcohol

For you to at least be in with a chance you need to quit with immediate effect no if or buts. That includes the odd sherry or beer. It’s a no no. It is one of the reasons I am passionate about 0.0% options as I have to stay well clear. Not 0.5 or 0.10 just 0.0%. If your liver is at the stage where you are needing Alcohol Liver Cirrhosis Treatment then you have a clear choice. I was only drinking wine socially but it had to stop.

There are a few people who suggest one won’t matter. I can’t tell you how much it does. From the moment I was told you have 48 hours to live I had given up, no ifs and no buts. The consultation was clear about that and you will need to as well.

One of the key aspects of my treatment was watching my jaundice lower its count and my color change to something resembling normal. This is how you start to look when your liver is failing. I was very yellow but as time went on it began to fade and that is when I was discharged to out patients. Jaundice is a clear symptom of how your liver is adjusting. The eyes are key.

Ascites

One of the awful signs of liver disease is your stomach and a key part of Alcohol Liver Cirrhosis Treatment. It was only one of the earliest symptoms they checked out. Basically my stomach was expanding and I don’t mean in a bad way food or beer wise. Firstly I did not eat much nor did I drink beer but my belly button did not half look odd. Keep an eye on it.

So my stomach filled with fluid which they drained straight away then I had a camera out down my throat to check my stomach. Now that was an awful thought for me but you have the option to get medicated and I was away with the fairies! Now one of the complications is that you can develop veins in the stomach which, if they start to bleed, can kill you quickly.

So part of your treatment will be to really make sure your stomach does not have ascites. Luckily for me my stomach was damaged but not critical so I am still on acid suppressor to help with that and probably will be for the rest of my life. This is a crucial part of any treatment so don’t overlook it. Look out also for swelling in your ankles. They will treat excess fluid and it’s very important they do as mine had become infected.

Diet

One of the best things I was given in hospital was a dietitian which at the time I thought was odd but what I had not realized was that I was so ill that I had come malnutritioned. When you have liver disease you really need to watch your diet for example to reduce your salt. This can really help with your recovery in terms of far you can go. The other thing this made sure of is that my digestive system was working properly and the consultant was very hot on this. Basically if you are not digesting and excreting your food properly it can poison your system and head to the brain and make you very confused. The medicine they give you helps avoid this and it can be a lifesaver.

So you can have a future

So this was my experience and I had some drips which helped my blood system cope and a lot of it for hours on end but at the end of the day the treatment really does depend on your commitment.Food and alcohol plays an important role and the drugs they give you will help support this. I think I dodged a bullet. You have to manage your energy levels and of course exercise is key but fingers crossed whatever caused my liver to go suddenly into meltdown has stabilized.

I have certainly taken lots of stress out of my life. Alcohol however is a no no. So if you think you may be changing color and your stomach is expanding. Get help urgently, forget the prejudice as it could save your life. I have many medical professionals to thank for mine. Remember it may just be a glass of wine not a bucket that brought you here! My treatment is my personal journey and yours of course maybe different. Get help is the common thread.

Please comment below and do shout if you need guidance on where to go to get help. I will always respond.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Alcohol Liver Cirrhosis Treatment – My Story”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, and you have a fantastic point – especially us men.  If you don’t feel right, we should go and get checked out by the doctors.

    We shouldn’t feel like we can’t go and ask for help.  If we don’t, it could have disastrous consequences.  It shows how alcohol or even a bad diet could have a huge effect on our bodies and our lifestyles, etc.

    thanks for sharing

    Reply
  2. Great article, i think many people many needs to see this especially the men, alcohol is what most people take for many reasons, i think the rate at which most people consume alcohol is alarming, considering that some of the food we eat contain alcohol, most people still take in alcohol in high rate, i think i need to share this post for others to see and i also need to reduce my intake of alcohol..Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Thanks for so much for your feedback, its really important. I agree much of it is very alarming so awareness is key. I appreciate you taking the time out to comment, Phil

      Reply
  3. Wow, thank you for sharing your story, Phil! That was extremely interesting, and as you say, each story is different.

    I relate to the misunderstanding out there. I’m not a big drinker, and sometimes I’ve gone for years without a drink. Yet, I remember a few years back going out with some friends who were all quite big drinkers. Because I had just had a couple of operations, I explained that I had to take it easy and not drink, but agreed to go as they all wanted me there.

    Nevertheless, with all the music, noise and dancing, as the night went on, I found a few people almost annoyed that I wasn’t drinking. “Why not?” they asked. They continued to try to convince me to drink. It was hard to repeat myself over and over through all the noise, but I continued to get a lot of pressure and eye-rolling. 

    The night ended abruptly when a few of our friends ended up quite unwell as they had been partaking in some rather strong home-made grappa. Long story short, one of them ended up in hospital! 

    I remember the difficulty of that night, as they sympathised with the people who had become ill drinking that grappa, but had none for the person who was already unwell (or at least recovering) and deciding to play it safe by not drinking at all. I had to admit, although it was a worry how sick these people had become, I did feel some resentment. It was also strange how they shunned me from helping, (I was the only completely sober person there!), as they all worked their way clumsily (they were all quite wasted) through the steps of realising what was happening, to the understanding of needing to call an ambulance. 

    I think your website is a fantastic idea and will be a great contributor to the broader understanding required. 

    As a side-note.. I have more recently been diagnosed with fructose intolerance, and have wondered how that might play a part in the health in the liver. I have read that is raises the alcohol level of the blood. I’m wondering if you have come across that, Phil?

    Reply
    • Hi Jacquie, thanks for this story I think it illustrates the problem of social pressure perfectly and I am sorry it turned into a difficult evening for you. I do think it is some times damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Very strange really human behaviour! Its very much a “well one won’t matter” regardless of what you say. Thanks for sharing your personal story.

      In terms of fructose intolerance yes it can have an effect as I understand it. It basically about how the liver reacts to certain substances especially things like carbs, sugar and salt. Lots of confusion out there but the concept of a fatty liver is real and again gets confused with drinking alcohol and the two are totally different apart from how certain substances can affect the liver. 

      Again it is all about balance. I know when I was in hospital I was assigned a diet specialist and it was really helpful. So I think awareness is the first step which sounds like you have that then leads to a first conversation with your doctor but it might need some specialist advice like a dietician. Do ask for one or seek one out. I found it brilliant advice and really helped.

      I will do more research and write something about it, so thanks for the nudge. Very useful.

      Do look after yourself and thanks for such a briliant informative response. I appreciate the time you took out to respond. Phil

      Reply
  4. Interesting to read is this article and to be honest, I actually could resonate better with this post because you added your personal experience with it. Though I am not an alcoholic but seeing that you don’t necessarily have to be sunk in alcohol before this alcohol liver cirrhosis can affect you is really baffling to me. Very good that you are getting the right treatment. Also, I believe the tips you shared could really aid quicker recovery from this generally.

    Reply
    • Thanks for taking time out to read the blog Phillip. The key point you raise is about the misconception that the liver can cope with anything and am afraid that is not the case. You are spot on. I like to add the personal experience as hopefully people can read it from a peronal point of view and see that it is genuine. I really appreciated your best wishes. Thanks so much, Phil

      Reply

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