Congrats on quitting! I would say you are doing everything right in watching your health. Some people are more susceptible that others in regards to liver disease. I would say that if you continue to be worried, have your doctor do the liver panel whenever you see him. It's so helpful to have numbers to compare to. And, hopefully, it will just make you feel better to know that nothing is out of whack. About the jaundice, it can be so subjective. My thought would be to rely on the bloodwork.
I get checked every 6 months with labwork AND either a CT or ultrasound, but I already have cirrhosis. The scans, though, are 99% cancer screens. (Been sober for over 3 yrs and liver function is awesome again, too!)
The fact that you quit drinking when the doctor saw a hint of a problem says a lot. You may have just saved yourself from some serious problems!
THanks for the reply. Was your bilirubin level ever high in your bloodwork? Ever any yellow eyes or jaundice and if so at what bilirubin level? I congratulate you on your sobriety. It is harder than I thought to do (quitting drinking) but I have not really had many major withdrawal symptoms other than anxiety some and just not able to relax like I could when I drank. Considering I drank for several years quite heavily. It[s awesome to hear your health is doing great. Good luck to you and thanks again. Gettin another blood test done next week...
Oh yes, my bilirubin was high (8.4!) at my sickest and I was most definitely yellow.
I'm 39 years old and diagnosed with Cirrhosis 03/23/10. I was always freaked out about having to go to the doctor especially since I was drinking about 23 beers a day and spending $600 a month to do so. I did this for the past 2 years straight but I have always been a heavy drinker. Liquor, wine or beer. I would only eat once a day unless I forgot. So anyways I had to go to the Doctor to get another supply of blood pressure pills to last for the year and he sent me right away for blood labs. I got my blood pressure prescriptions so I was all happy and free of having to go back again for anything other than the lab results. So I went back and Doc was reading the results and I was thinking okay hurry up it's time to get to drinking. As he got further down the list he started expressing his concerns and then he looked up at me kind of angry and disappointed and said "I bet you have Cirrhosis" then he pointed out how yellow my eyes were and my skin and said "you have jaundice".
I didn’t know what to do and I was sure getting scared, not because I was going to die but mostly because I knew I had to stop drinking so I could be here for the people that love me and need me. Not much late I went to the specialist and he confirmed that I had Cirrhosis in the very beginning of the final stage. (Stage C) After several other tests I have Grade 3 Varices, Hiatal Hernia, Umbilical Hernia and Edema along with some pretty high scores from the Lab Test.
Well here I am 11 months later, I have not drank any alcohol since 03/11/10 not even mouth wash. ha ha I didn’t hardly run into any withdraws other than a fever for a few days. Help from rehab or AA hasn't been needed. I really think God has helped me out tremendously. Most of my levels are very close to normal. Although now the latest for me is dealing with H.E. (Hepatic Encephalopathy) I seem to be greatly affected by many of the symptoms such as confusion, loss of balance, memory retention, stuttering and sleep disorder.
Thanks for the reply, Randy. I apologize for not replying earlier. Congrats on your sobriety. I hope you are doing better with the H.E. I too think about AA sometime but more just to talk with people sharing the same addiction, not necessarily to help quit cause i've already done that. Although, I miss the drink sometime but have realized now mentally and physically it's a poison. I just feel a lot of anxiety now because the almighty drink used to help me relax. Other than the anxiety I have not had any major withdrawals either. I wish I would have quit years ago. I wasnt drinking as much as you said you were but i guess around 6-8 a night and got to where the last couple years it was everyday that I was off work and when I worked in the evenings at least 4 -5 to wind down and call it a day. So more or less at least daily I'd drink a few till I'd get a good buzz and quit and sometimes more than a buzz. Mostly beer but some wine. I went to another doc last week just to get a second opinion about my eye color and the soreness in my right lower abdomen. I was straight up with him about my drinking. So, he gave me another blood test through a different hospital lab and my labs were all normal. Normal LFT's, complete blood count was normal. My bilirubin was 1.2 mg on a scale of normal being 0.3mg-1.5mg. Apparently different labs have different normal ranges on tests , dont quite understand that but anyway my bilirubin is still within normal range. He said he didnt think my eyes looked that yellow (even though I still do) but like irritated around the vessels and tiny capillaries inflamed can make them look yellow. Also, could be sun damage or just aging. Which i've been told before. That the bilirubin level was normal and he sees it all the time in patients around that level. I dont know I just find it hard to believe all that abuse I put on my body from the brew hasnt caught up with me. I feel alot of guilt about drinking and making such a poor decision. See i've got three sweet kids, a wife and how stupid was I to do that to my body and them and miss out on things with them all the time and I was so busy always planning and thinking about a stupid drink. Anyway...
Couple questions for you or anone else just in case you dont read this:
How was your bilirubin level when the doc said you were jaundiced? Could you visibly tell you were jaundiced yourself prior to him telling you? Have your bilirubin levels improved or do they pretty much maintain around the same level? Thanks man and I wish you the best in your sobriety and maybe will touch base with you again. zeak (nc)
Thanks for sending me the thank you. i some how never caught your reply. I aplogize. I looked up what my bilirubin was at the time of my diagnosis and it was 3.0 anything over 1.3 was considered high. My last test was done in february and my bilirubin is still at a 2.3 I can no longer see any yellow in my eyes and my recovery is going quite well. I still have problems with my other numbers. It was very easy to tell my eyes were yellow. It was one of the first things my doctor noticed. now every time i see him he always says looking good and slaps me on the back. lol Zeak I think you certainitly made the right choice when you stopped drinking. I also think your very lucky and very smart to quit when you did. God is looking out for you man so that you can really enjoy what a wonderful family you have! I bet they are all very happy. Keep sticking with not drinking, any damage you may have already caused your liver should heal in time. Think of this as a second chance to be a better person to the people that love you. Show them how great you are!!! God Bless you and your family! :) Take care my friend.