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Old 08-08-2012, 10:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Liver Disease AFTER Quitting

Hello again,

Assuming that no one is allowed to give medical advice, all standard disclaimers to that effect apply to any answers to this post.

I have often heard of people becoming ill months after quitting. It seems that what may have been dormant liver disease becomes symptomatic because the immune system, no longer compromised by alcohol, kicks into high gear, creating inflammation and other sorts of havoc.

I have also heard of people going into decompensated cirrhosis YEARS after stopping. I am guessing they started developing cirrhosis though the drinking but that it took several years to decompensate. What I do not understand about this, is that I have read all over the place that if you remove the cause of the cirrhosis (alcohol) you halt its progression. So which is the more likely scenario? I suppose it depends on your personal physiological makeup… It is a frightening prospect.

Luckily I never get WDs (from my past 72 hour “tests”) so no worries there. I am wondering about vitamin C – I have taken 1,500 mg daily for at least 15 years. Vitamin C is a major component in the manufacture of collagen. As my body enters the healing process, perhaps I should lay off the vitamin C in case it encourages TOO much collagen production therefore creating a risk of cirrhosis (if I don’t already have it).

Any thoughts?

Peace, love and sobriety,

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Old 08-08-2012, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Hi. I think your overthinking this; worrying about the risk of quitting seems like classic upside-down addict thinking; every sip of alcohol represents great risk to an alcoholic. Focus on quitting for good. If you're worried about your liver, consult a doctor. No one else can tell you anything about your health.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:05 PM   #3 (permalink)

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i agree self-dx. by reading over the internet just can make you think you have every symptom.

Go to your doctor, tell them HOW MUCH you drank X how many years and they will run the proper tests at intervals (usually 90 days apart, maybe 4-5 months). follow a good nutrition plan and try to get yourself back into a positive frame of mind.

why 2nd guess and dx yourself with something you probably do not have. Leave that to the professionals.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:01 PM   #4 (permalink)

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I've never heard of getting liver failure after stopping drinking. The alcohol is the poison that is destroying your liver in the first place, by stopping, the liver (assuming it's not too damaged) begins repairing itself.

Though liver disease can happen completely unrelated to alcohol such as fatty foods, being overweight, and hereditary issues.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Does it really matter? I guess the reverse (and addictive) logic is to say "I shall keep drinking to help ensure that I do not get liver disease." Hmmm, pretty sure everyone agrees that this logic will lead to death.

I used to look in the mirror at my eyes when drinking to see if they were turning yellow. (makes me sick and sad to type that!) Sometimes I might still look even when sober just to check. However, in those cases I sort of just shrug and realize that I am atleast giving myself the best possible chance of being healthy. Doing everything I can. If liver disease shows up after quitting then I guess it is fate, God's will, or just "life" but at least you did your best to put the odds in your favor and to live whatever time you have left in a peaceful, productive way. I can live with that more easily than drinking myself to death and removing all doubt.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've never heard of getting liver failure after stopping drinking. The alcohol is the poison that is destroying your liver in the first place, by stopping, the liver (assuming it's not too damaged) begins repairing itself.
Only partially true (((((Forward)))))

Yes, there are people that do develop cirrhosis years into recovery. Usually because the liver could only heal so much and when something else started to affect the liver the cirrhosis. A friend of mine at 12 years sober ended up with cirrhosis after catching Hep B and the meds involved were really hard on his liver.

I personally was diagnosed after 14 years of sobriety from me using Tylenol on a daily basis, for several years from getting 'cluster headaches' which today they know are a form of a migraine headache. Put me back in liver failure.

I am okay today, I have about 52% liver function and do just great. My doctors are very careful in what medications they prescribe me for some of my health issues including my diabetes, always aware of my decreased liver function.

So yes, after a liver heals in our sobriety it is still 'damaged.' And there is no guarantee it will 'totally' heal.

However, (((((Shepherdess))))), please do NOT over think this. As said above, go to your doctor, be totally honest, tell said Dr how much you drank, for how many years and that you are worried. You Dr will do the preliminary tests to get a base line to compare to and will probably do a test every 3 months, then every 6 and finally about once a year.

Please do NOT drive yourself crazy by what you read on the internet, as many times it can be contradictory to something else you read.


Love and hugs,

God Bless You All As You Trudge The Road
Of Happy Destiny (especially when you are
trudgin thru alligators up to your butt)
Sobriety: AA June 7, 1981
Codependency: Alanon June 7, 1984
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)

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All you can do is live for today. Quit drinking, eat a healthy diet (liver friendly even) and exercise. What will be, will be. I know I had a fatty liver. I still could. I haven't had an ultrasound in awhile. I do my best to be healthy but I don't let my liver fears consume my life anymore. When it did, I was not even living, I was living like I was already dying, it got ridiculous. Yes I drank alot, and ate alot of bad foods and was inactive and maybe it was only the alcohol that gave me fatty liver, or maybe it was/is my gallbladder, or being overweight..I don't know. All I know is that I was very overweight and drank a bottle of wine about 3 times a week. Now, I no longer drink, no longer get liver pain, I've lost 40 pounds and feel a a hell of alot better.

I am much happier today, not worrying about tomorrow. However I am proactive at doing my best to make it a healthier one.

Be well.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There are so many variables to be considered about any disease.
That is why SR has this mandatory rule...
10. Medical Advice: No Posts giving medical advice, medication advice, or psychiatric advice. Do not use the forum to give or ask for professional medical or psychiatric advice. If you are a medical professional, please remember the forums and chat are for peer support only and not to be used for distributing professional medical advice and/or using the forum to represent your professional services. Medical and Psychiatric advice includes giving a diagnosis, treatment plan, medication advice and dosage suggestions, over the counter and natural home remedies that should be approved by medical professionals. Detox can be dangerous and life threatening at times. Please consult with your physician.
I strongly suggest anyone concerened about their health
ask your doctor and I don't mean Dr. Google. liver was not the organ damaged by was
my brain that was affected...that cleared with time in sobreity..

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