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Liver Function Tests

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Thought I'd ask this here, rather than on any of the forums where people actually know me personally.

I'm a heavy drinker, I'd say 50 units on a light week, 100+ on a bad one. Of course it's affected my marriage, but it's never really affected my health, always had a BMI of 22-23 and a resting pulse rate <60bpm. I take 1-2 sick days a year, always as a result of dodgy guts.

After a prolonged spell of regularly turning up to work drunk, I gave up the booze completely for three months at the start of this year. I felt good, but of course I got bored. Since I got back on it I've mostly managed to keep it to a bottle of wine a night plus a beer or two, rather than two bottles of wine a night, but still.

I got frightened this week. I've had headaches since long before I was a regular drinker, and usually take 4-6 aspirin a day. I ran out of aspirin, and had a couple of Paracetamol instead. The headaches went away but I got a frightful stomach ache from the region of my liver- and then remembered that Paracetamol ain't good for livers.

I love being drunk, and I don't want to live forever either, but equally I don't want to drop dead in my 30s. I recently read about a film publicist who collapsed and died aged 33 from Alcoholic Liver Disease, apparently without any warning symptoms. I'd always assumed that I'd get warning signs- like going yellow- to tell me when I'd taken it beyond the limit.

So can I march into my GP and ask for a liver function test? TBH I think it'll take a 'yes you'll die soon' from my doctor to force me to give up, since I totally accept the hangovers as the price one pays for being a pisshead.

Advice please. I know there are some doctors here.

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I'm not a medic but I've had loads of liver tests for various reasons (damn you benign but diagnosis confounding issues), seemed very routine stuff, never got the feeling from anyone they were a big deal in and of themselves to sort out. That isn't really what this is about though is it. Just go and see your GP and lay your cards on the table, I don't see the sense in messing about, its all the same to them. Presumably you'll get one of two answers to your concerns, probably exactly the advice you are expecting (the degree of severity and urgency being what you don't know yet) and then you can take it from there. They can't make you do or not do anything so you might as well find out.

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Sounds like you need motivating to stop/reduce drastically your intake:

Wikipedia

Imagine a 40 year old bearded and leather clad heavy metaller wearing nappies and living in a nursing home, often being found in the local village as he can't remember where he is, who he is, or that he's supposed to stay within the grounds of the home. F00king tragic and caused by alcohol.

He's not the only one I've seen either.

TFH

PS: I'm not a doctor. Go see your GP - LFT's are bog standard tests and it shouldn't be a problem. You can also discuss your situation and plan how you will reduce or stop your drinking.

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Never mind the liver, if you get a test and it's fine, what difference will that make to your drinking and eventual long-term problems?

Might wanna get some help with the drinking instead.

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Buried my elder cousin last month at Hitchin. Aged 45 builder and living a builders lifestyle...i.e a "few" beers on a regular occuarance. Utlimately it was Liver failure that did him in.

Not doing you any good especially 100 units a week.

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If you can stomach the taste I'd suggest drinking Green Tea. In a Tomorrows World experiment a study had some alcoholic rats and they also provided Green Tea & Water alongside the alcohol. The Rats with Green Tea started cutting back and avoiding the alcohol altogether after a while. Might be worth getting some if you fancy cutting back. Good Luck!

I was drinking a similar amount to the OP for a few years now. Working away from home and stopping in hotels was boring and, if I am honest, an excuse.

For the last three months I have drastically cut back on my drinking as I was worried about my health. I now only drink on a Friday and a Saturday and am dry for the rest of the week. I feel fantastic.

I have also been drinking quite a bit of Green Tea and Fruit flavoured tea which does appear to have helped.

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The liver is great at renewal I believe but you need to give it a chance to heal. Periods of abstinence would do you good I think.

"I love being drunk"

Yes I can identify with that. The world takes on a certain beauty don't you think. Lets you see through the eyes of Blake I like to think :rolleyes: Noone else seems to share the sentiment though. :(

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I had a liver function test as part of my NZ visa application. I also love a good drink and drank heavily at university so I was pretty concerned that my liver was shafted. I drank nothing for a month before the test and took milk thistle (proven to be good for the liver) and I had normal results.

From what I understand of alcoholic liver disease, some heavy drinkers can just get away with it for their entire life (my grandparents are examples of this), others - well the liver just goes pop like the poor woman you mention.

Cut the drink anyway, life is better without it - you get so much more done.

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Your quantities are not what I would consider excessive.

Some tips:

1. Make sure you stick to good quality wine

2. Drink sparkling water separately with your wine it is a good habit to get into will lessen the work on your organs and will also minimize dehydration and headaches.

3. Try and have two alcohol free days a week it is important to get \the REM phase sleep and you don’t get this if you are on the booze and will get very fatigued..

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Your quantities are not what I would consider excessive.

Some tips:

1. Make sure you stick to good quality wine

2. Drink sparkling water separately with your wine it is a good habit to get into will lessen the work on your organs and will also minimize dehydration and headaches.

3. Try and have two alcohol free days a week it is important to get \the REM phase sleep and you don’t get this if you are on the booze and will get very fatigued..

You don't consider 100 units per week excessive?

I saw the same news story as the OP and it got me worried too. I can understand how folk become alcoholics and I'm trying my best not to go down that road.

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You don't consider 100 units per week excessive?

I saw the same news story as the OP and it got me worried too. I can understand how folk become alcoholics and I'm trying my best not to go down that road.

No I dont think a bottle of wine a day supplemenetd with an occasional beer as excessive.

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Your quantities are not what I would consider excessive.

Some tips:

1. Make sure you stick to good quality wine

2. Drink sparkling water separately with your wine it is a good habit to get into will lessen the work on your organs and will also minimize dehydration and headaches.

3. Try and have two alcohol free days a week it is important to get \the REM phase sleep and you don’t get this if you are on the booze and will get very fatigued..

Water is very important, still is fine. ;)

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No I dont think a bottle of wine a day supplemenetd with an occasional beer as excessive.

Are you a Doctor?

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Never mind the liver, if you get a test and it's fine, what difference will that make to your drinking and eventual long-term problems?

Might wanna get some help with the drinking instead.

Having been in a similar position to the OP (mid thirties, regualar heavy binge drinker), I had a scare once where I had really sharp pains in the stomach / liver area. Went to A&E and got a liver function / blood test. All clear, but as the Doctor said to me, he could show me a ward full of boozers who were dying, all of whom started off like me... :(

He said I should go 1 month with no booze, and if I was feeling nervous / craving a drink etc then I was showing early signs of alcohol dependency - the stepping stone to alcoholism.

As Tuna says, the point is that if you / we don't cut down our boozing, you might be fine now, but sooner or later it's going to lead to ill health - potentially fatal.

I started exercising heavily and regularly which helped, and also now only drink with friends (no drinking with work colleagues who I don't really like, and no drinking alone). Green tea is good too, though I'm not sure it has any effect on boozing.

Good luck - let us know what happens.

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Although it's not the place to give advice like this... I will anyway as it seems important.

You need medical and perhaps psychiatric advice on your drinking levels. You mentioned that it has affected your marriage and that obviously hasn't stopped you but it may be part of the problem. Drinking to forget about problems or just for the way it makes you feel is not going to help either your health or your chances of reaching a decent age.

What's causing you to drink is only part of the problem and If i were you I would get myself down to the doctors ASAP

Any addiction ( mine was gambling ) can wreak havoc on today...and tomorrow

Stay safe

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My uncle died of liver failure from drinking when he was early 40s, he'd been told he would die if he didn't stop drinking but that didn't stop him. I think you relying on that diagnosis is an avoidance tactic (our minds are tricky bastards).

Stop now, just stop buying it, stop having it in the house. Take up carpentry or something. Avoid going to the pub. I stopped 4 years ago, wasn't a habitual daily drinker but stopped enjoying being a drunken idiot at weekends and loosing every sunday to hangovers. Tried a pint about a year after i stopped and it made me ill, tried a sip of wine another time and i could feel it burning as it went down. Amazing what our bodies can get used to so we don't notice the harm.

The big problem with stopping drinking is it makes things difficult socially. You suddenly realise what a nation of drunks we are, and people don't like it if you don't join in. One tip is asking for soda water (not tonic) with ice and lemon in the pub, most pubs give it for free as it's only tap water with a bit of gas, how much can they charge you for a slice of lemon? but it's much more drinkable over a night than coke or orange juice. Try not to get suckered into still joining in on the rounds though ;-)

I'm tempted to suggest weaning yourself off with the purchase of a bong but i think carpentry might be a better way to spend your money and time. Make some furniture, use your brain as a distraction instead of dulling it. Just an idea but try getting rid of your TV for a few months (relatives loft). You must be vegging in front of it drinking, if you had nothing to veg in front of it might force you to do things that don't go with the drink so easily.

If all else fails don't be too proud to go to AA meetings, they exist for a reason and you're obviously not the first person with this problem.

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No I dont think a bottle of wine a day supplemenetd with an occasional beer as excessive.

Don't you remember how much a bottle of wine is? You can't remember when you would have been pretty sh!t faced from drinking that? I don't think our building up a tolerance to alcohol is as good as a defence against it's harms.

The main problem though is doing it every day, that's makes addiction inevitable pretty quickly.

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I just stopped. You have an entire night with no sleep and then the next night about 4 Hrs if your lucky. Go for long long walks to tire yourself etc etc. I still drink but not on my own, down the pub and nowhere near what I used to. 8 strong pints a week.

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I just stopped. You have an entire night with no sleep and then the next night about 4 Hrs if your lucky. Go for long long walks to tire yourself etc etc. I still drink but not on my own, down the pub and nowhere near what I used to. 8 strong pints a week.

I found it very tough to start with when I stopped drinking during the week. Sometimes, like the Champions League final, I get the urge to get a couple of bottles of wine but so far I have been able to resist.

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