Cirrhosis Symptoms Pain

The first question that arises is how a person knows that the spleen is hurting. It is hard to diagnose abdominal and chest pains without completely investigating what is ailing the patient. A pain felt by the patient particularly in the upper left side of the chest may be linked commonly to the diseases of spleen or colon. If the pain is felt near the ribs then it may be the spleen which could have been affected. The spleen could have been enlarged or may be the place of an infraction.

The size of spleen

Spleen is an important organ of the digestive system. It is located on the left side of your abdomen next to the stomach under the ribcage It is a soft and spongy organ that performs various functions like filtering and destroying old or damaged blood cells, preventing infection by producing white blood cells called lymphocytes, storing blood and platelets that help in blood clotting and sometimes acting as an between the immune system and the brain.

The spleen is normally about the size of a fist but some conditions from infections of liver diseases and some cancers can cause it to enlarge. A person with an enlarged spleen may sometimes not show symptoms and this condition is discovered often during a routine medical examination. When a doctor diagnoses it, blood tests and imaging of the patient have to be taken to determine the cause.
Symptoms of Splenomegaly

An enlarged spleen may not show symptoms but some people have experienced the following;
- Pain in upper left abdomen that can spread to the left shoulder.
- Fatigue
- Frequent infections
- Anemia
- Having a full feeling without eating or after eating in small quantity because the enlarged spleen could be pushing against the stomach.
- Easy bleeding

Cause of the swelling in spleen

An enlarged spleen may start filtering normal blood cells apart from abnormal blood cells. This can reduce the quantity of healthy cells in the blood and it can also trap blood platelets eventually blocking the spleen and interfering with the normal functions. An enlarged spleen can even excess its own blood supply that can damage or even destroy sections of the organ.

The change in size of a swelled up spleen may be caused by the following:

- Parasitic infections like malaria
- Bacterial infections like syphilis or infection of heart's inner lining
- Viral infections like mononucleosis
- Cirrhosis and diseases that affect liver
- Different hemolytic anemia
- Metabolic disorders like Niemann-Pick disease and Gaucher's disease
- Blood cancers like Hodgkin's disease and leukemia
- Pressure on veins in spleen or liver or a blood clot in these veins

Consulting the doctor immediately

Even though people with enlarged spleens generally feel no pain but they have felt something in their left side which should not be there. It is a general feeling of discomfort that may affect sleeping and eating habits. If one starts feeling pain on the left side of the abdomen under the ribcage, its better to immediately see the doctor and have some tests.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    If someone has de compensating cirrhosis, about how long do they have to live without a liver transplant?
    My husband has cirrhosis. His abdomen is distended, he has jaundice, pain in the abdomen, and most of the other symptoms of end stage liver failure. No one has given us an idea of how much longer he will be with us. We have no insurance, and he only quit drinking 2 months ago, so even if we had money they would not give him a transplant.

    • ANSWER:
      If you are low income, you might qualify for state aid regarding insurance. It would be a guess at best as to how long your husband might have left. A hepatologist or gastroenterologist would be able to give you a somewhat accurate prognosis as to how long. Sometimes people with cirrhosis can go a long time with getting tapped (fluid drained) and treating the symptoms as they appear.

      The pain is probably due to all the fluid retention. If he gets to the point of not being able to breathe right, get him to an emergency room right away. That happened to me when I let the fluid accumulate for too long. It starts squeezing the lungs and everything else. If left untreated, it can be fatal. There is also the risk of the fluid becoming infected which also can be fatal. If he needs tapped, take him to a hospital whether or not you have insurance.

      You don't say how old your husband is or whether or not a transplant might be an option for him if he did have insurance. The transplant centers require 6 months of proven sobriety before they will consider him. There is a procedure called TIPS that is done that can help control fluid accumulation.

      When the liver is near total failure, the person is usually extremely weak and tired. It's common for them to sleep 16 hours/day or even more. Of course they also have the hard bloated abdomen and jaundice. They usually get to the point of not being able to care for themselves any longer due to weakness. Due to the liver not being able to get rid of ammonia like it should, the levels become high which causes confusion, behavior changes, forgetfulness, and even can cause hallucinations and they can become violent. Lactulose is the med used to help this, but near the end it may not help.

      Your husband is really going to need some kind of insurance more than anything else right now. He is going to need medical care to help him through this. If he had insurance, he could at least be evaluated for a transplant. The husband of a friend of mine was an alcoholic who recently had a transplant and he is doing good today. We thought he was going to die. He got through the 6 months of waiting and got listed. Of course, he cannot drink any alcohol for the rest of his life and he understands that. Some people just can't or won't give it up long term.

  2. QUESTION:
    Herbal medicine for cirrhosis?
    My sister had Inherited diseases of iron disorder (hereditary hemochromatosis) from my father. This diseases damage her liver cell and her liver had a small scar (cirrhosis). She has never been drink or got chronic hepatitis B and C. But She still has gone through everday with the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis — weight loss, fatigue, sleepless, abdoment pain. Everybody has any suggestion or any different medicine such as Herbal herbs and nutritional supplements , please tell us.

    • ANSWER:
      Your sister is no doubt being followed by a hematologist for her hemochromatosis and probably gets routine transfusions. The ONLY things she should be taking are what her doctor has prescribed. I'm sure that you love her and want to help her and you may feel helpless to do so. But please do not solicit suggestions. The majority of the people who answer these questions have no medical background, no understandiing of anatomy and physiology, no knowledge of the disease process. Any advice given could be potentially harmful. The best help you can give your sister is to make sure she follows her doctor's advice, give her emotional support and assist her in her daily activities.

  3. QUESTION:
    what is the most common reason for side pain?
    I'm a young male (21), with a somewhat healthy diet, and I've had slight side pain and strange stool for
    close to 4 years now, ( it hasn't really bothered me that much), I would like toknow the most common reasons for this, w/o jumping to conclusions and saying its HEP or Cirrhosis, cause its would most likely caused a problem by now (also no jaundice which is a main symptom of hep and cirrhosis), please and thank you

    • ANSWER:
      You need to describe pain and where it is at better. What kind of pain? Sharp? Dull? Aching? Sore? Is it there at a certain time or all the time? Does it occur when you eat? Exercise? Where at on the side is the pain? Chest area? Stomach area? Hip area? Is it more in the front or back?

      Pain is not a common problem for people with cirrhosis. I had cirrhosis and had to get a liver transplant. The disease never caused me any pain. I had a lot of other symptoms such as fluid retention, jaundice, blood not clotting right, and fatigue but never pain. The liver has no nerve endings. The sac around the liver can cause some pain, but it is not common to have pain from that either.

  4. QUESTION:
    Could it be Cirrhosis of the Liver???
    Over the past 10-15 years my mom has gone from social drinker going out on Fridays to a sheltered and depressed woman who drinks alone daily- With nothing more on her mind than wanting to be dead. In the past 2-3 years Ive seen my mother go from bad to worse and everything in between. She just recently came down w/ a kidney infection that left her in bed for 2 weeks--And she denies it, but I know she was drinking even then. Not a day passes when she hasn't vomited or almost dropped to her knees in pain. She also suffers from bulimia on top of her alcohol addiction. She's constantly bleeding and claims it's just hemorrhoids, but everybody assumes otherwise. She's 54 years old and looks like a 65-70 year old woman. Although I hate to admit it- I can tell by looking at her that she's slowly dying... She's now past the point of being saved. Im just wondering if anybody knows of any really good websites I could go to to find out the signs and symptoms of Cirrhosis of the Liver--OR if anybody can share their experiences on the subject....ANY input is encouraged and greatly appreciated.
    Im not looking to put her in rehab...She's been countless times and insists on leaving before they even get a chance to talk about treatment. I know she needs help, but u cant give help to someone who doesnt want to take it. We've all tried and she refuses. Now we've run out of options... As I said she's past the point of being saved. She has her mind set on one thing and that's being done w/ her life and everything it consists of.

    • ANSWER:
      I am really sorry to hear what you are having to go through with your Mother. I had my unfair share of troubles with my Mother abusing pain medicines and not taking them like she was supposed to do.

      I, too, tried rehab for my Mother and it doesn't work for people
      that do not want to be cured. So, until they admit that they have a problem and that they want help or possibly a cure, there isn't much you can do, other than to make your Mother
      comfortable. It is really hard to say just how much longer she
      is going to be with you, considering that she doesn't want help
      and she is continuing to drink.

      Please allow me to offer my condolences about your Mother. It is really hard on children to know just what to expect the alcoholic to do or how the child(ren) can just make their Mom more comfortable. I hope that you will never turn to liquor as a solution to any problems you may have because it is nothing but a cop-out for extremely weak people that don't want any help and since this is a serious disease they are almost always beyond any reason whatsoever. This is a serious illness not to be taken lightly.

      Best of luck to you, sweetie. This isn't your fault and there is nothing that you could have possibly done to prevent this from
      happening. My heart really goes out to you. ♥

      These web sites may provide some helpful insight to you as to what is going on and what may possibly happen in the near
      or distant future.

      http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/

      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm

      http://www.webmd.com/search/search_results/default.aspx?sourceType=undefined&query=cirhossis%20of%20the%20liver&navState=0

      http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec10/ch136/ch136c.html

      And I also found this page that is informative as to how to tell if someone has Cirhossis of the Liver:

      The most common symptoms of liver cirrhosis are:

      Weakness
      Loss of appetite
      Weight loss
      Dark skin color
      Intense itching
      Confusion
      Nose bleeds
      Breast enlargement in men
      Fluid retention in the legs and abdomen
      Fluid retention occurs because the liver decreases its production of a protein called albumin. When the blood level of albumin decreases, fluid retention occurs.
      Jaundice
      When the liver's production of bile is compromised, bile can back up into the blood, causing the skin and eyes to turn yellow and the urine to become dark.
      Gallstones
      The abnormal production of bile causes gallstones to develop.
      Blood Clotting Difficulties
      The liver makes certain proteins that help the blood clot. When the proteins aren't made properly, the blood doesn't clot properly.
      Esophageal Vein Bleeding
      Esophageal Vein Bleeding occurs in advanced cirrhosis.
      What Causes Liver Cirrhosis?

      The above topics and information can be found at:
      http://www.mamashealth.com/stomach/livcir.asp

      I know this is a lot to absorb, but I am hoping you will find something here to help you get through the rough days and nights as being the child of an alcoholic parent. ♥

  5. QUESTION:
    cirrhosis and hep. b question? blood Alt and Ast?
    Can a person with Alt at 85 and Ast at 48 develop Cirrhosis with this level, considering that the person is HbeAg positive.
    What would be another serious consequences of having Hep B chronic when blood does not show very high level but patient has other symptoms live: severe abdominal pain, fatigue, chest and back pain (mid and lower), swollen abdomen, tiredness, loos of memory and depression.

    I appreciate your opinion. Website are too hard to understand

    • ANSWER:
      Usually, cirrhosis develops after many years of having hepatitis B and it is not related to the ALT or AST levels. Your transaminases (ALT, AST) would be more relevant to your being HBeAg positive. HBeAg positive means that the hepatitis virus is actively replicating inside your body and that you are infectious. At this point, it would be wise to have a HBV-DNA test done to check for your viral load (how much hep B virus you have). Considering that you are HBeAg positive, have a slightly elevated ALT level which means that you body is still mounting a response to the virus and if you have elevated HBV-DNA levels, then you are a candidate for treatment.

      Patients with hepatitis may have some of the symptoms that you have mentioned. What concerns me is that these symptoms are also seen as a complication of cirrhosis. Fatigue, swollen abdomen (ascitis), changes in your mental status (hepatic encephalopathy), just to name a few. It would be wise to go to a doctor.

  6. QUESTION:
    can a person with hepatitic C and cirrhosis of the liver get the swine flu ?
    i am a male 30 y/o , i have chronic hepatitis c and cirrhosis of the liver i am getting treated by doctors but i feel good no pains no symptoms , i went for treatment for hepatitis c but it did not work for me , so my only hope is a liver transplant probably in years from now
    but my liver is still working 100% . i am living a normal life right now with god's will . my question is : can i get the swine flu if i leave the country on vacation ?

    • ANSWER:

  7. QUESTION:
    please help, i think i have liver cirrhosis and i need answers, thanks!?
    ive been sick for almost 3 years now. i had my gallbladder out in october 09 and that actually fixed the problem for 8 months and then the pain in my side came back and its actually worse than before, i throw up alot, nauseous all the time. i have medicine to control vomiting an help nausea. but i have gotten more symptoms and i have gone through all tests you could possibly imagine.

    i have nausea
    vomiting
    pain in upper right abdomen
    irregular period
    weight loss
    complete fatigue, tiredness
    blood is always coming from my nose, little at a time
    so many things, there are others too

    but i happened over this article with liver cirrhosis and i match almost perfectly except for being yellow because of jaundice, i dont have that. could i have liver cirrhosis without having this?

    and i need to get new blood tests but my ones from previous months dont match the levels that would tell if i have liver cirrhosis.

    i just got an xray of my abdomen and my doctor said i had lots of waste built up in my intestines but is it possible its not waste? she said its not normal to have THAT much in me but i took the laxitivs and enema and its not like i had that much come out.

    please help, i feel like im getting worse and no doctor can help me, i only just turned 18 and im 96 lbs.

    • ANSWER:
      Your symptoms are more consistent with an eating disorder.....are you really skinny, but think you are not?

      See a therapist at once.....the fact that you are concerned enough about your health to ask this question strongly suggests it is not too late to get help....

      You are about 25lbs underweight for a woman your age, your tiredness may be a symptom of low iron through not eating properly...

      I am NOT a doctor, but had a girlfriend many years ago who almost died from anorexia....she had all the symptoms you mention...

      Get help. Please!

  8. QUESTION:
    What are the final symptoms in end stage liver failure?
    My father was diagnosed with Hep-C which has caused severe cirrhosis. He is not a candidate for a transplant because of pulmonary hypertension (most likely caused by the sanding of toxic woods - he was a cabinet maker). He is on oxygen, has acites, takes lactulose and lasix/diuretics, sleeps for about 15-18 hrs a day, can hardly walk, trembles and is in pain. He was diagnosed about 1 month ago (because he was too stubborn to go to the hospital) and has rapidly been declining since. I am very sad for my mother, she feeds him all the right foods and takes care of him according to his GI/cardiologist/pulmonologist. Does anyone have experience with a loved one who has died from liver failure? Any experiences with respect to a time frame and the final symptoms before death?

    • ANSWER:
      You wrote, "Does anyone have experience with a loved one who has died from liver failure?"

      Sadly, yes, my Mom. She was diagnosed with some liver disease or other and lived for many years after that, but then, at the end, she just started failing rather quickly.

      It started with her being very weak and confused, which was followed by a swollen, distended stomach, called "ascites" and more confusion as she lost her faculties, kind of like Alzheimer's but on fast-forward, and she finally lapsed into a coma and passed away a few weeks later, coincidentally on the exact same day that my Dad had died, only ten years earlier! We think that she must have known somehow and was waiting for that day so that she could go on the same day he did.

      I'm very sorry for your troubles, I went through it with my Mom and wouldn't wish it on anyone, to see your loved one slipping away like that, it was just heart-wrenching.

      Good luck!... ☺

  9. QUESTION:
    could that be a tumor/cancer/or cirrhosis. please your opinion?
    I have sever left side pain (upper abdomen, chest and mid back radiating towards lower back)
    I have hepatitis b and other symptoms that I am trying to understand. Doctors think that I have something else besides hep. B - here I go:
    Blood test: ast 48, alt 85, cholesterol 256, triglycerides 211, VLDL cholesterol 42, LDL171, HDL 43, cholesterol/hdl ratio 6.0.
    CT -mosaic attenuation pattern, other CT mosaic perfusion, X-Ray - possible pulmonary venous pressure, ultrasound enlarged liver, ekg - normal, stress test - normal, blood pressure -normal.

    constant chest and back pain (mid), lower back pain, swollen abdomen with constant pain that is always followed by chest pain, breathing normal but feel lack of breathing, tiredness, depression, bitter mouth, nausea, sleeping over 10 hours a day (it is not because I want)

    Anything I do with the body it increase the abdominal pain is if I am stretching the skin and inside organ

    please give me your opinion

    • ANSWER:
      It is my opinion that you are exhibiting the symptoms of chronic active hepatitis. Begin treatment now so that you do not develop hepatocellular carcinoma in the future.

      http://www.hepb.org/patients/hepatitis_b_treatment.htm

      http://www.beyonddiscovery.org/content/view.article.asp?a=265

  10. QUESTION:
    Hi, can anyone tell me what the later stages of liver failure are?
    My Mum has been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and was told if she didn't stop driving she would have 2 years maximum. She hasn't stopped drinking and lately she has been sleeping a lot more than usual, she has pains in her stomach and diarrhea. Are these symptoms that her liver is failing, if so how long would she be able to live for if this is the case?

    • ANSWER:
      When someone start to have a problem with
      the liver...it usually means that some cause,
      like alcohol consumption...has caused
      damage to the liver cells. When this takes
      place, the immune system of the body
      responds to this and causes inflammation
      inside the liver. This will cause the liver
      to enlarge in size and the doctors can see
      this on an ultrasound or CT scan.

      If someone stops the alcohol consumption
      and is treated for the inflammation...the
      liver cells may heal. But, it seems that
      your Mother is passed that point if she
      has been diagnosed with cirrhosis.
      Cirrhosis is "death" of the liver cells where
      scar tissue develops inside the liver that
      blocks the flow of blood through the liver
      on its way back to the heart and also blocks
      the flow of blood to the liver cells that are
      still living and they start to die, also.
      It is a progressive disease with no known cure.
      Your Mom can get help by going to a detox
      program at a hospital....or seeing her doctor
      to give her medications to help with the
      symptoms that occur from coming off the
      alcohol. If she can stop drinking for a period
      of 6 months, they may evaluate her to be
      placed on the liver transplant list for an donor
      organ. If she doesn't stop drinking...she
      will not be placed on that list and will become
      worse.
      Tiredness is common with Cirrhosis of the
      liver. That is because her body is trying
      it's best to compensate for the functions
      the liver used to do but isn't able to do now and
      also, because her body is trying to heal.
      She may develop symptoms of confusion
      and disorientations: known as Encephalopathy, because the liver isn't able to handle ammonia that is now going into her brain. The doctor
      may start her on Lactulose to help with this.
      She may start to gain fluid weight in her abdominal area, known as Ascites. This is because of the liver being unable to make a protein that holds fluids in the vessels and it leaks out and collects here. The doctors can remove this fluid through a procedure known as
      paracentesis. If she throws up any blood at
      any time or there is blood in the toilet from
      the rectal area...it is an emergency. The blood that normally goes to the liver is backing up into
      vessels that are not used to handling this
      and they have weak places that can break
      open and cause her to bleed internally.

      Here are some links to help you understand
      more about the disease your mother has:
      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm
      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cirrhosis/DS00373

      The doctors know her past history, they
      have all the tests results that show how far
      advanced she is in this disease...so they
      are giving you their best guess of how long
      she has.

      It would be good, if you could have her
      make out an advance directive or power
      of attorney form, so that you or another
      family members can speak directly with
      her doctors and also handle her affairs for
      her. Privacy laws are terrible...even with
      being part of a family.
      Here is a free site to download advance
      directive by the state you live in:
      http://www.caringinfo.org/stateaddownload

      As soon as the cells of the liver start to die
      off, the functions they do to keep the body
      well start to deteriorate. This is known as
      the starting of liver failure. Failure to function
      efficiently. This is progressive as more and
      more cells of the liver die off...the less the
      liver is able to function. It will progress to
      "complete" liver failure where the liver cells have
      died of,f that the liver is almost gone.
      The inflammation causes the liver to enlarge
      in size...when the cells die off, the liver starts to
      shrink in size and takes on a hard texture...
      it is dying.

      I hope this information has been of some help
      to you. This isn't only affected your Mom, it
      is affected you, also. It is best to know what
      to expect in the future, if she doesn't stop
      drinking. Best wishes to you both.

  11. QUESTION:
    Cirrhosis of the Liver?
    Well my dad was diagnosed this 4-5 years ago but never told anyone. My mom talked to doctors and was telling us kids what the symptoms are and everything but then she was listing them and said she well im not going to tell you the last thing. I already know weakness,fatigue,loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss, abdominal pain, itching, spider-like vains, nose bleeds, bruising, swelling of the belly/ legs, jaundice and some confusion this last thing seems to be very important. i already know he doesnt have much time left so what is this bad symptom that my mom is hiding from me i mean it cant be worst than him dying......please i would really like to know and be prepared for the worst

    • ANSWER:
      It may be Portal hypertension with varies. The blood no longer flows
      through the liver well. It backs up into the portal vein and smaller vessels
      (known as varies). These varies can have weak spots and balloon outward
      and break open. Any blood seen in the sputum, vomit, or rectal area should
      be checked immediately. He should be taken to the ER.

      The doctors can go in an band these vessels to stop the bleeding.
      Cirrhosis patients...their liver isn't able to make clotting factors efficiently
      any more. They can bleed and bruise very easily. Losing any amount
      of blood can be life threatening.

      He should considered being evaluated for placement on the liver transplant
      list. His doctor could refer him to a Transplant Center close to home to
      have this done. Some patients may not be able to have a transplant done.
      These are those who the doctor believe may not live through the long
      hours of surgery ( like serious heart conditions) or they may have
      to wait to be placed on the list (because of alcohol or drug abuse)
      Each person is taken on an individual basis...only the Transplant doctors
      can know for certain if the patient is able to be listed or not.

      I have listed some links for you, that may be of help.
      Don't know for certain what your Mom meant...
      http://www.hcvets.com/data/hcv_liver/cirrhosis.htm
      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm
      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cirrhosis/DS00373
      http://www.surgery.usc.edu/divisions/hep/patientguide/index.html
      http://www.transplantliving.org/
      http://www.surgery.usc.edu/divisions/hep/livedonorlivertransplant.html

      Some things can be done to make him more comfortable:
      1 Ascite abdominal fluid can be remove by a procedure known as
      paracentesis...make it easier to breathe and eat.
      2 Encephalopathy leads to mental confusion, disorientation can
      be helps by medications like Lactulose or Xifanin.
      3. Swelling of legs and feet: patient is placed on a lower sodium
      diet, told how much fluid they are allowed to have per day and
      may also be placed on diuretics. Raise the legs but do not
      massage them.
      4. If unable to eat, it would be good to ask the doctor which
      supplements he would be able to take.

      If he cannot have a transplant, then he may want to decide to
      have Hospice care at home. The doctor will sign forms if he
      thinks he may not live more than six months. It is always
      good to contact the Area of the AGing in the area you live in...
      they not only help senior citizens but will give information to
      those who are disabled.

      Best wishes

  12. QUESTION:
    Cirrhosis questions...?
    I have been told that my latest blood test shows that my liver function test is abnormal. I've now been sent for more tests and a scan. I have been having Sharp pain in my right side of the rib cage for over a year now. Was told a year ago that it was just muscle spasms but now there thinking different. Can anyone please tell me the symptoms.. I don't drink ( well a shandy at the most if its sunny lol) I don't do drugs. Also does anyone know the normal range of liver function tests ? Thanks in advance Xx

    • ANSWER:
      There are differents tests that the doctor does to check the liver...therefore,
      there would be many different "reference ranges" for each of these tests.

      No one blood testing is 100% accurate. More blood tests and a scan would
      provide a more thorough look at what may be going on.

      Some of the testing done and what is shows, is as follows:
      1]The Liver Enzyme blood tests (known as the ALT,AST,GGT,ALP,etc)
      would give the doctor an "idea" that there is liver cell damage.
      2]The Liver Function blood tests (known as the Bilirubin, INR, Pt, Ptt, Albumin)
      would give the doctor an "idea" how well the liver cells are still able to
      perform all the functions of the liver.
      3]The Liver Viral blood tests would check to see if a virus has entered
      the body and is using the liver cells to replicate itself (like Hep A,B,C,etc)
      4]The Liver blood cancer test known as the Alpha Feto protein.

      There may be no symptoms of having liver problems at the beginning,
      other than feeling tired, flu like symptoms, or discomfort in the liver/biliary area.

      Let me explain what happens when there is liver cell damage:
      The immune system would respond to this and cause inflammation to
      develop inside the liver. This would cause the liver to enlarge in size.
      (this can be seen on an ultrasound or Ct scan)

      There are many causes of liver cell damage:
      alcohol consumption, medication toxification,
      chemical exposure, mushroom poisoning,
      fatty liver disease, hereditary conditions,
      metabolic disorders, viral or parasite infection,
      biliary obstruction/malformation/infection,
      cardiac/vascular problems, cancer/cyst/growth/tumors,
      and others.

      If the cause can be found and stopped...then the liver cells
      may heal and the problem can be reversed.
      However, if it progresses to where the liver cells start to
      die off and form scar tissue inside the liver...then it becomes
      a progressive disease (that cannot be reversed) known as
      Cirrhosis of the liver.

      The liver cells are what does all the functions of the liver
      (over 500 of them). When the cells are damaged or
      they start to die off...these functions start to deteriorate.
      (This is the starting of what is known as "liver failure")
      The first true sign of this happening is when a person
      becomes Jaundice, due to the fact that the liver isn't
      able to the amount of Bilirubin in the blood to convert
      it to a soluble form to become part of the bile. Bilirubin
      is a pigment (greenish/brownish substance that colors
      other things). This Bilirubin will go higher in the blood
      and when it reaches a certain amount will cause the
      yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin. Since it
      is higher in the blood and the Kidneys filter the blood,
      it can cause the urine to become darker in color.

      I know it is hard to wait and see what these tests results
      will show. But, if you do have any kind of liver problem...
      ask to be referred to either a gastroenterologist or
      hepatologist.

      They usually do blood test, then film testing like an ultrasound,
      ct scan, and then if they think it has advanced some...may
      do a liver biopsy. The liver biopsy is the best test because
      they are looking directly at the tissue of the liver and not
      just pictures of it. However, it is invasive, so they try not
      to until the last resort.

      I'm giving you information that may have gone alot farther than
      were you are at, at this moment. That is because I may not be
      able to tell you later. It may help you decide what questions
      to ask your doctor. Best wishes to you.

      LINKs to click on:
      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm
      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cirrhosis/DS00373
      http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/cirrhosis.html

  13. QUESTION:
    Alcohol withdrawal symptoms (my mum)?
    My mum has been an alcoholic for over two decades, my dad's been to hell and back trying to get her off it but there's nothing any doctor can do without her consent, and she won't even go to see him. She did work 16 hours a week, but her performance has been so poor (obviously) that they've reduced her hours down and down and now she's just been made redundant. She's unemployable, the only reason they kept her so long was because they couldn't legally fire her for some reason. Her income alone wasn't even enough to buy the amount she drinks a year, and the money is literally not there any more, so my dad and all of us are having another huge attempt at getting her off the alcohol. I know it isn't going to work, this has been done countless times in the past and it never has and she's worse now that she ever was, but we're hoping for the best anyway. Her health is very poor this last year two, we know she doesn't have cirrhosis (sp?) but she has a swollen liver, but she has gone from chubby to emaciated and her skin is blue/grey and she is in constant pain.

    My dad at first said no more, cold turkey, but after a few hours she was screaming and begging so he agreed to let her finish off the two bottles of alcohol she has in the house, but he's monitoring it and she's only having a glass a day, and when they're gone then he's saying that's it, and if she goes and buys any (which she will) then he's taking her cards off her.

    The only difference in this situation to the ones in the past is now my dad has the right to keep her from having any money as she doesn't earn any, and if she doesn't physically have the money to buy it then I don't know what she'll do.

    She's on her first day of the one drink a day rule, it's evening now and she's shaking, sweating, and going between crying and begging and screaming abuse.

    Has anyone been through this (either themselves or a loved one)? What can we expect? Is doing it like this dangerous to her health to cut it out so suddenly? It's so hard to not give into her when she's begging. How did anybody else get through this? And do you think this will realistically have a chance of working? I know it's something we should be doing with medical guidance but she flat out refuses anything, my dad went to the doctors about her only the other week and there was nothing he could do, the only thing he did tell him was that she didn't have cirrhosis but just a swollen liver, which alone was breaking his confidentiality oath, but she hadn't told us and he 'felt we deserved to know that much'. Is what we're doing dangerous? I'm worried she's at risk of heart attack if it stops too suddenly? She used to drink between 30 and 40 units of alcohol a day (mostly whiskey, some sherry) and it's now suddenly dropped to 1 or 2 units and then will be nothing.
    The people saying you can have her legally hospitalised - is that in the USA? Because we're in the UK and the doctor has said on more than one occasion that there is no way of having her committed against her will as she doesn't come under the mental health act, so I don't really know what else can be done?
    Poppy - you've literally taken the words out of my mouth. The situation here is virtually identical. The extended family have just, after all this time, also decided to involve themselves, and are throwing their weight around telling us we aren't doing enough and that it's our fault etc, so this is also partly due to that. I'm going to talk to my dad about the dangers of cold turkey, I've emailed him with that wikipedia link about delirium tremens, by the looks of it she's at high risk of that as she also is addicted to lorazepam, doesn't eat, etc. It sounds sick to people who don't understand, to say that we just have to accept she's going to die, people I've said that to have always gone mad at the idea that we 'dont care' which isn't the case at all, just like with your uncle. The problem is, now she's lost her job they won't be able to afford the bills and mortgage as well as her alcohol (main cause for this latest attempt), so if she doesn't stop drinking they'll have to sell the
    house we grew up in, but in the current economic climate it's going to be near on impossible to sell it for even a fraction of what it's worth, so I really don't know what's going to happen.
    I'm very sorry to hear about your uncle and that you're in the same situation, you're right it is horrible :-(

    • ANSWER:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delirium_Tremens

      I have been through this with my father, but he was possibly past help. He would periodically quit drinking and shake and sweat and keep waking up to beat the invisible ants off himself. He would not go to the doctor. A doctor told me to get some valium to keep in the house in case he was hallucinating or going to have a seizure.

      I would try to have her committed if possible. Can you go to the court house and beg the judge?

  14. QUESTION:
    Is Dr. House in the house?
    A very dear friend of mine is complaining of symptoms that don't seem to match up to anything pertaining to his "main" condition. Here's hoping a real life Dr. House can offer an explanation.

    "Sweetie" is 61 and drinks way too much. It's obvious to me and others that he's an alcoholic. He is finally seeking treatment for a "mysterious illness" with many cirrhosis-like symptoms: edema, ascites, hypertension and general weakness to name the most obvious ones. He also looks like he's about 4 stone overweight.

    Not a good start, eh?

    What confuses me are the symptoms he's actually "really" complaining about. He seems to catch a cold every two days. Every so often (yearly?) he goes down with something that I can only describe as being like meningitis -- severe headaches and neck stiffness, grogginess, and he's out of it for a week or 10 days.

    The cold-like symptoms could be allergies, but he recently went to California and came back with even worse symptoms. The environment there was totally different, so I'm leaning towards ruling out allergies. He is also complaining of some upper chest pain and, oddly, painful knees (which could be a result of his weight or....could be TB?).

    Sounds like I've lost my mind -- that I should care about "little" symptoms with a person who so obviously is killing himself with alcohol, but I reckon if I understood the whole picture I could conduct one of those "Interventions" more effectively and help his friends and family get him into one of those fancy month long dry-out centres and treatment programmes.

    So I MUST understand what the problems are, so as not to de-rail his primary consultant's plans for him. (Of course, I am not privy to his consultant's diagnosis or treatment plans. I'm truly operating in the dark.)

    So ---- "Sweetie" is currently undergoing a series of tests with a consultant here in the UK. His heart and blood seem to be "okay". Now they're moving on to check urine to see if kidneys are okay. Presumably this consultant's approach is to rule out "everything else" to explain his major symptoms and therefore land squarely on "It's your liver, stupid." A Consultant MUST say it or otherwise, a smart guy like this ain't gonna' believe NOTHIN' that comes from NOBODY about his extreme affection for and dependence on alcohol. Hopefully the threat of actually dying will shake him up enough to be willing to enter your UK equivalent of a Betty Ford Center.

    Leading me to the "auxiliary" symptoms. I need to know what's really going on before dragging someone off to get dried out. About these symptoms:
    1) Do they support a diagnosis of alcoholism and/or cirrhosis? (For example, could the meningitis-like symptoms be hypatic encephalopathy? Sorry, I have NO exposure to this so can't do an amateur diagnosis on this one, unfortunately.)
    2) Do they support a "stranger" diagnosis such as TB? (He did work a long while in Africa many years ago.)
    3) Should I forget the "little" symptoms and just rush this dude to an alcoholic abuse centre and steam roll over "everything else"?

    THANKS for your advice. I've been worried about this for so long!

    • ANSWER:
      The episodes do sound like hypatic encephalopathy. Excess of alcohol is one of the reasons for vitamin B12 deficiency among other B vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes chest pains among many other symptoms. As the liver and kidneys are essential to process vitamin D, a deficiency is this vitamin affects the joints and bones and causes muscle weakness. Vitamin D is essential to activate the immune system and B vitamins are also need for the immune.

      Of course weight also affects the knees. Milk thistle tonic is a must for anyone with liver problems as this detoxes the liver and helps regenerate damaged liver cells. It is found that addictions are linked to low serotonin levels and other neurotransmitters, this is why amino acid therapy is successful.

      Liver treatments:
      http://www.liverdoctor.com/index.php?page=liver-problems&subpage=cirrhosis

      Addiction recovery - amino acid nutrition therapy:
      http://www.addictionrecoveryguide.org/holistic/nutrition.html

      Vitamin B deficiencies and alcoholism:
      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0847/is_n3_v13/ai_8193308/

  15. QUESTION:
    Cirrhosis of the Liver???Will my dad die?
    My dad has been a raging alcoholic for 20+ years. Hard liquor from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed. It's his life.

    About a year ago he was admitted into the hospital for Kidney Failure but made it out of it okay.

    Just about a week ago he was admitted into the hospital because his skin and eyes had turned yellow and he collapsed. During that time the doctors explained that he was no longer a candidate for a Liver transplant, his liver was beyond repair, they can just treat the symptoms....
    He was let go after 5 days of being in the hospital because he was stable. 2 days following he was readmitted into the hospital only this time he's worse.......
    here is a list of his symptoms;
    Fatigue
    Nausea
    Weakness (can barely lift a bottle of soda to his mouth)
    Weight loss (20 + pounds in a week)
    Exhaustion
    Stomach Pains
    Severe Jaundice....like glowing
    Very swollen abdomen
    Personality changes, forgetfullness
    Decreased mental function, slow to respond, blank stares
    Fluid retention
    Pneumonia
    Dimensia
    bad shaking
    loss of balance, equilibrium problems

    It's just terrible and it's breaking my heart seeing him this way.

    I was reading posts from people who had someone close with this disease, they described the same symptoms I did and there loved ones ended up dying.. I'm so afraid of that.

    What are the chances??

    Any help or enlightment would be greatly appreciated!
    Im not sure if I should be precise.....When I say fluid retention, I mean fluid in around his liver which they already had to remove
    The honest prgnosis is they are not sure at this point whether he'll live or die.
    They say it may be time to start making out his will and planning his funeral arrangements just to be safe

    • ANSWER:
      I can answer your question because I had liver failure and a transplant. Your father has cirrhosis from his alcoholism. That is when healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue in the liver and it can no longer function very well. Even though others will tell you the liver can regenerate, this is not the case when it comes to cirrhosis. Scarring is permanent in the liver and does not go away. The damage has been done from many years of alcohol abuse.

      Everything you told me tells me that your father is in end stage liver disease. His condition is serious and he will not get better unless he receives a transplant. When the liver is beyond repair, that is when a person needs a transplant. The problem with your father is that he is an active alcoholic. There might also be some other medical reasons he could not qualify, but that is the first thing they look at for a candidate.

      It's very difficult for an alcoholic to receive a transplant, but there are many success stories out there. The patient has to be committed to changing their lifestyle and never drink alcohol again for the rest of their life. Transplant centers require at least 6 months of proven sobriety before they will even begin to consider an alcoholic for a transplant. The problem that happens with many alcoholics is that they don't have 6 months left to live with their disease. They let it go too far and ignore it until they are near death before seeking help.

      I don't know how your father feels about his disease and his alcoholism, but if he is serious about staying alive, he could go to a transplant center and at the very least talk to them. They will tell him what his options are for getting help and possibly getting a transplant if he has enough time left. If he is still drinking after all this, then I would say there is not much hope for him getting well. He has all the typical signs of end stage cirrhosis.

      It's also extra difficult for an alcoholic to get a transplant because they not only have to deal with the cirrhosis, but they also have to deal with their addiction to alcohol. But as I said, there are many success stories. The husband of a family friend of mine just recently got his transplant and he was an alcoholic for at least 20 years+. When he found out he destroyed his liver, he went to the transplant center, did everything he was supposed to do including rehab for 6 months and submitting to random drug/alcohol testing prior to his transplant. After the 6 months, he got listed and just recently received his transplant. I hear he is doing very well now. I don't know whether or not your father could be one of these success stories, but I want you to know that it might be an option for your father if he is willing.

      I had cirrhosis too but mine was from an autoimmune disease. No matter what the reason for having cirrhosis, it pretty much acts the same for everyone.

  16. QUESTION:
    what are the dangers of having hep c and heart problems (stint operation)?
    my father has cirrhosis of the liver caused by hep b or c he has isachaemic myocardia and needs a stint operation i am afraid of double organ failure his present symptoms are tiredness itchiness lower back pain around sides. low appetite and weight loss

    • ANSWER:
      I assume you mean a stent, a ring is inserted to enlarge the aorta. Any major surgery carries risks but today's procedures and protocols bring this to the minimum. Which organ failures are you worried about?

      If the surgeon or anaesthetist believes that such an operation is likely to result in a worsening of the condition, they simply won't carry it out.

  17. QUESTION:
    Blood Test and Hepatitis concern?
    Hepatitis and blood question please?
    Hello, I found that I have Hep. B chronic. also exams result as: X-Ray (Pulmonory venous pressure and/or lung disease), CT (mosaic attenuation pattern) other CT (mosaic perfusion), Ultrasound (enlarged liver), blood hep. B and H. Pylori, Stress test (normal), EKG (normal)
    Now: another blood test - alt 85 and ast 48 (what is that means in this situation?
    My symptoms: upper abdominal chest pain (severe) with swollen on my lef side under the rib cage. Chest and back pain radiating toward lower back with some symptoms of cramp. Deep mid chest towards left pain and lack of breath (breating seems to be normal but with difficult) and tiredness.

    DO YOU THING I HAVE ANY SERIOUS CONCERN LIKE: Cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, cancer. Please give me your opnion and knowledge. appreciate if you do not send me website. I just need your knowledge and opinion - thank you very much

    • ANSWER:
      The ALT and AST tests are liver enzymes. Your ALT is very high, and your AST is slightly elevated compared to norms. This means that liver cells were damaged at the time of the test. This does not mean anything one way or another about your liver's ability to function - it only means that something is stressing or killing some of the liver cells. The cause for the cell damage could be several things, depending on what your were doing up to the night before the test. If you were drinking more than a small amount of alcohol, or taking Tylenol or prescription medication that affects the liver, you would expect these two enzymes to be elevated.

      The pains you are reporting are unlikely to have anything to do with the elevated liver enzymes - these levels commonly occur anytime a person takes Tylenol or has more than one or two drinks of alcohol. The pains could be caused by an enlarged liver or spleen, they could be from indigestion or other intestinal distress, or signs of coronary disease.

      If I were you, I would take one half of an aspirin, and call 911 or have someone drive me to the ER right away to make sure these are not signs of a heart attack.

  18. QUESTION:
    hepatitis and blood question please?
    Hello, I found that I have Hep. B chronic. also exams result as: X-Ray (Pulmonory venous pressure and/or lung disease), CT (mosaic attenuation pattern) other CT (mosaic perfusion), Ultrasound (enlarged liver), blood hep. B and H. Pylori, Stress test (normal), EKG (normal)
    Now: another blood test - alt 85 and ast 48 (what is that means in this situation?
    My symptoms: upper abdominal chest pain (severe) with swollen on my lef side under the rib cage. Chest and back pain radiating toward lower back with some symptoms of cramp. Deep mid chest towards left pain and lack of breath (breating seems to be normal but with difficult) and tiredness.

    DO YOU THING I HAVE ANY SERIOUS CONCERN LIKE: Cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, cancer. Please give me your opnion and knowledge. appreciate if you do not send me website. I just need your knowledge and opinion - thank you very much

    • ANSWER:
      From your description it sound like you have cirrhosis, (we'd worry about cancer if you had said "I'm losing weight")

      Your enlarged liver on the RIGHT SIDE may be causing what is called portal hypertension which causes venous blood backflow (like a traffic jam) to the spleen, (your spleen is on the left) it is a very vascularized organ and is probably being inflatted like a water balloon, causing you pain on the LEFT SIDE. The cirrohosis which is (the breakdown/destruction of liver cells) caused by the Hep B. virus is the culprit behind the liver enlargement.

      The reason you have chest symptoms is also due to this cirrohosis, in all that destruction of liver cell, there are protolytic liver enzymes that are released. No longer confined to the liver they may react with the inner lining of your body cavity called the pleura. This will cause the pleura to be stiffen or even inflammed, and since the liver is within proximity to the pleural lining of your lungs (ex. diaphram), you develop a difficulty to breath and pain upon breathing, because of this inflammation. It also explains in small part to your abdominal pain, but more due to the enlargement of your liver.

      Paul R. did a great job of explaining to you what the labs were for, it is important to note the numbers (normal ALT & AST are 8-20u/L), the higher the numbers are the worse condition your liver may be in.

      As for your back pain, I am concern that you may have some sort of kidney involvement. But if you are on a Hep B medication called Adefovir (Preveon) then it is a side effect of that medication. While the liver is a hardy organ and will regenerate, you need to see a good doctor and stick with the prescribed regiment.

      Also please do not drink alcohol, or take tylenol (they are process by your liver, which is on sick leave right now, and should not be stressed). Consult your doctor if you are going to take any over the counter medication including those herbal medicines. Also be careful of what you eat, especially seafood & shellfish.

  19. QUESTION:
    Alcohol and sleep questions?
    I AM WRITING A PAPER ON ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND HOW IT RELATES TO SLEEP. If you could answer these questions I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you for stopping by and reading this:)

    Why do you think other people drink alcohol?
    1. To relax
    2. Improve sleep
    3. Increase confidence
    4. For the taste
    5. Socially acceptable
    6. Religious belief
    7. To make them attractive
    8. Romantic/Sexual reasons
    Your answer (select one # from above list) _____________

    1 Do you feel you are a normal drinker? ("normal" - drink as much or less than most other people)
    2 Has your drinking ever resulted in your being hospitalized in a psychiatric ward?
    3. Have you ever awakened the morning after some drinking the night before and found that you
    could not remember a part of the evening?
    4. After heavy drinking have you ever had delirium tremens (D.T.'s), severe shaking, visual or
    auditory (hearing) hallucinations?
    5. Has drinking ever created problems between you and a near relative or close friend?
    6 Does any near relative or close friend ever worry or complain about your drinking?
    7. Have you ever neglected your obligations, your family, or your work for two or more days in a
    row because you were drinking?
    8. Have you ever been hospitalized because of drinking?
    9. Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
    10. Do you ever feel guilty about your drinking?
    11. Have you been arrested more than once for driving under the influence of alcohol?
    12. Have you ever gotten into trouble at work because of drinking?
    13. Have you ever lost friends because of your drinking?
    14. Can you stop drinking without difficulty after one or two drinks?
    15. Have you ever lost a job because of drinking?
    16. Have you ever been arrested, even for a few hours because of other behavior while drinking?
    (If Yes, how many times____________)
    17. Have you ever been told you have liver trouble such as cirrhosis?
    18 Have you ever gotten into physical fights when drinking?
    19. Has any family member or close friend gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
    20. Do you drink before noon fairly often?
    21. Have you ever gone to any doctor, social worker, clergyman or mental health clinic for help with
    any emotional problem in which drinking was part of the problem?
    22. Have you ever attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

    WITHIN THE LAST MONTH HAVE YOU:
    Please respond “Yes” or “No” for each question.

    23 Did you hold your breath, have breathing pauses, or stop breathing in your sleep?
    24 Did you snore loudly?
    25 Did you have restless or “crawling” feelings in your legs at night that went away if you moved
    your legs?
    26. Did you have nightmares, or did you scream walk, punch, or kick in your sleep?
    27. Did the following things disturb you in your sleep: pain, other physical symptoms, worries,
    medications, or other (specify)?
    28. Did you feel anxious
    29. Did you fall asleep unintentionally or have to fight to stay awake during the day?
    30. Did work or other activities prevent you from getting enough sleep?
    31. Did you have repeated rhythmic leg jerks or leg twitches during your sleep?
    32. Did you have difficulty falling asleep?
    33. Did sleep difficulties or daytime sleepiness interfere with your daily activities??

    USING A SCALE FROM 1=“not at all untypical of me” TO 5=”very typical of me” FOR EACH BELOW
    1=NEVER 2=RARELY 3=SOMETIMES 4=OCCASSIONALY 5=OFTEN
    Write the number from the above list that most likely represents your behavior.

    33. Many situations make me worry.
    34. I worry about projects until they are all done
    35. Once I start worrying, I cannot stop.
    36. I worry all the time.
    37. If I do not have enough time to do everything, I do not worry about it.________
    38. I know I should not worry about things, but I just cannot help it.
    39. As soon as I finish one task, I start to worry about everything else I have to do.
    40. When I am under pressure I worry a lot
    41. I do not tend to worry about things.__________
    42. I notice that I have been worrying about things.
    43. I never worry about anything
    44. I never worry about anything.
    45. I am always worrying about something.
    46. I find it easy to dismiss worrisome thoughts
    47. I have been a worrier all my life.
    48. When there is nothing more I can do about a concern, I do not worry about it anymore.
    49. My worries overwhelm me.__________

    • ANSWER:
      This was too lengthy. I'm sorry i couldn't do it. Good luck

  20. QUESTION:
    Can you PLEASE help me answer these alcohol questions?
    I am writing about alcohol, anxiety and stress and really need some information to examine each of these. If you could please respond to these questions it would greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop and read this:)

    Why do you think other people drink alcohol?
    1. To relax
    2. Improve sleep
    3. Increase confidence
    4. For the taste
    5. Socially acceptable
    6. Religious belief
    7. To make them attractive
    8. Romantic/Sexual reasons
    Your answer (select one # from above list) _____________

    1 Do you feel you are a normal drinker? ("normal" - drink as much or less than most other people)
    2 Has your drinking ever resulted in your being hospitalized in a psychiatric ward?
    3. Have you ever awakened the morning after some drinking the night before and found that you
    could not remember a part of the evening?
    4. After heavy drinking have you ever had delirium tremens (D.T.'s), severe shaking, visual or
    auditory (hearing) hallucinations?
    5. Has drinking ever created problems between you and a near relative or close friend?
    6 Does any near relative or close friend ever worry or complain about your drinking?
    7. Have you ever neglected your obligations, your family, or your work for two or more days in a
    row because you were drinking?
    8. Have you ever been hospitalized because of drinking?
    9. Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
    10. Do you ever feel guilty about your drinking?
    11. Have you been arrested more than once for driving under the influence of alcohol?
    12. Have you ever gotten into trouble at work because of drinking?
    13. Have you ever lost friends because of your drinking?
    14. Can you stop drinking without difficulty after one or two drinks?
    15. Have you ever lost a job because of drinking?
    16. Have you ever been arrested, even for a few hours because of other behavior while drinking?
    (If Yes, how many times____________)
    17. Have you ever been told you have liver trouble such as cirrhosis?
    18 Have you ever gotten into physical fights when drinking?
    19. Has any family member or close friend gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
    20. Do you drink before noon fairly often?
    21. Have you ever gone to any doctor, social worker, clergyman or mental health clinic for help with
    any emotional problem in which drinking was part of the problem?
    22. Have you ever attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

    WITHIN THE LAST MONTH HAVE YOU:
    Please respond “Yes” or “No” for each question.

    23 Did you hold your breath, have breathing pauses, or stop breathing in your sleep?
    24 Did you snore loudly?
    25 Did you have restless or “crawling” feelings in your legs at night that went away if you moved
    your legs?
    26. Did you have nightmares, or did you scream walk, punch, or kick in your sleep?
    27. Did the following things disturb you in your sleep: pain, other physical symptoms, worries,
    medications, or other (specify)?
    28. Did you feel anxious
    29. Did you fall asleep unintentionally or have to fight to stay awake during the day?
    30. Did work or other activities prevent you from getting enough sleep?
    31. Did you have repeated rhythmic leg jerks or leg twitches during your sleep?
    32. Did you have difficulty falling asleep?
    33. Did sleep difficulties or daytime sleepiness interfere with your daily activities??

    USING A SCALE FROM 1=“not at all untypical of me” TO 5=”very typical of me” FOR EACH BELOW
    1=NEVER 2=RARELY 3=SOMETIMES 4=OCCASSIONALY 5=OFTEN
    Write the number from the above list that most likely represents your behavior.

    33. Many situations make me worry.
    34. I worry about projects until they are all done
    35. Once I start worrying, I cannot stop.
    36. I worry all the time.
    37. If I do not have enough time to do everything, I do not worry about it.________
    38. I know I should not worry about things, but I just cannot help it.
    39. As soon as I finish one task, I start to worry about everything else I have to do.
    40. When I am under pressure I worry a lot
    41. I do not tend to worry about things.__________
    42. I notice that I have been worrying about things.
    43. I never worry about anything
    44. I never worry about anything.
    45. I am always worrying about something.
    46. I find it easy to dismiss worrisome thoughts
    47. I have been a worrier all my life.
    48. When there is nothing more I can do about a concern, I do not worry about it anymore.
    49. My worries overwhelm me.__________

    • ANSWER:
      This is the classic test given to demonstrate (to the person taking it) that they have a problem with alcohol, specifically, that they are an alcoholic.

      So what you are looking for as far as answers, I'm not sure about.

  21. QUESTION:
    Questions about alcohol and sleep?
    I am looking at alcohol and sleep for a paper and need your help by answering these questions. If you could please respond it would greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop and read this:)

    Why do you think other people drink alcohol?
    1. To relax
    2. Improve sleep
    3. Increase confidence
    4. For the taste
    5. Socially acceptable
    6. Religious belief
    7. To make them attractive
    8. Romantic/Sexual reasons
    Your answer (select one # from above list) _____________

    1 Do you feel you are a normal drinker? ("normal" - drink as much or less than most other people)
    2 Has your drinking ever resulted in your being hospitalized in a psychiatric ward?
    3. Have you ever awakened the morning after some drinking the night before and found that you
    could not remember a part of the evening?
    4. After heavy drinking have you ever had delirium tremens (D.T.'s), severe shaking, visual or
    auditory (hearing) hallucinations?
    5. Has drinking ever created problems between you and a near relative or close friend?
    6 Does any near relative or close friend ever worry or complain about your drinking?
    7. Have you ever neglected your obligations, your family, or your work for two or more days in a
    row because you were drinking?
    8. Have you ever been hospitalized because of drinking?
    9. Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
    10. Do you ever feel guilty about your drinking?
    11. Have you been arrested more than once for driving under the influence of alcohol?
    12. Have you ever gotten into trouble at work because of drinking?
    13. Have you ever lost friends because of your drinking?
    14. Can you stop drinking without difficulty after one or two drinks?
    15. Have you ever lost a job because of drinking?
    16. Have you ever been arrested, even for a few hours because of other behavior while drinking?
    (If Yes, how many times____________)
    17. Have you ever been told you have liver trouble such as cirrhosis?
    18 Have you ever gotten into physical fights when drinking?
    19. Has any family member or close friend gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
    20. Do you drink before noon fairly often?
    21. Have you ever gone to any doctor, social worker, clergyman or mental health clinic for help with
    any emotional problem in which drinking was part of the problem?
    22. Have you ever attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

    WITHIN THE LAST MONTH HAVE YOU:
    Please respond “Yes” or “No” for each question.

    23 Did you hold your breath, have breathing pauses, or stop breathing in your sleep?
    24 Did you snore loudly?
    25 Did you have restless or “crawling” feelings in your legs at night that went away if you moved
    your legs?
    26. Did you have nightmares, or did you scream walk, punch, or kick in your sleep?
    27. Did the following things disturb you in your sleep: pain, other physical symptoms, worries,
    medications, or other (specify)?
    28. Did you feel anxious
    29. Did you fall asleep unintentionally or have to fight to stay awake during the day?
    30. Did work or other activities prevent you from getting enough sleep?
    31. Did you have repeated rhythmic leg jerks or leg twitches during your sleep?
    32. Did you have difficulty falling asleep?
    33. Did sleep difficulties or daytime sleepiness interfere with your daily activities??

    USING A SCALE FROM 1=“not at all untypical of me” TO 5=”very typical of me” FOR EACH BELOW
    1=NEVER 2=RARELY 3=SOMETIMES 4=OCCASSIONALY 5=OFTEN
    Write the number from the above list that most likely represents your behavior.

    33. Many situations make me worry.
    34. I worry about projects until they are all done
    35. Once I start worrying, I cannot stop.
    36. I worry all the time.
    37. If I do not have enough time to do everything, I do not worry about it.________
    38. I know I should not worry about things, but I just cannot help it.
    39. As soon as I finish one task, I start to worry about everything else I have to do.
    40. When I am under pressure I worry a lot
    41. I do not tend to worry about things.__________
    42. I notice that I have been worrying about things.
    43. I never worry about anything
    44. I never worry about anything.
    45. I am always worrying about something.
    46. I find it easy to dismiss worrisome thoughts
    47. I have been a worrier all my life.
    48. When there is nothing more I can do about a concern, I do not worry about it anymore.
    49. My worries overwhelm me.__________

    • ANSWER:
      3

      1 yes
      2 no
      3. a lot
      4. nope
      5. no
      6 no
      7. no
      8. no
      9. no
      10. no
      11. no
      12. no
      13. no
      14. i don't know i don't try to stop
      15. no
      16. no
      17. no
      18 no
      19. no
      20. not often at all. maybe left over beers from the night before etc
      21. no
      22. no

      WITHIN THE LAST MONTH HAVE YOU:
      Please respond “Yes” or “No” for each question.

      23 no
      24 no
      25 no
      26. no
      27. no
      28. yeah
      29. a lot
      30. yeah
      31. no
      32. a lot
      33. yeah

      USING A SCALE FROM 1=“not at all untypical of me” TO 5=”very typical of me” FOR EACH BELOW
      1=NEVER 2=RARELY 3=SOMETIMES 4=OCCASSIONALY 5=OFTEN
      Write the number from the above list that most likely represents your behavior.

      33. 2
      34. 2
      35. 2.
      36. 4
      37. 2
      38. 5
      39. 2
      40. 3
      41. 3
      42. 3
      43. 2
      44. 2
      45. 4
      46. 2
      47. 1
      48. 2
      49. 3

  22. QUESTION:
    Does drinking too much diet coke or taking more than 2 tylenol a day harm your liver?
    I drink about 2 cans of diet coke a day and i am wondering if it damages your liver? i have spent hours looking for proof online about drinking diet coke but haven't found any. I am aware of how tylenol can adversly affect your liver but the docs have told me that it's the only thing i can take for pain (on top of that i am allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen) I had this rare liver disorder called "primary sclerosing cholangitis" (it damages the bile ducts and then causes liver cirrhosis and death unless you have a transplant) and was lucky enough to have had a liver transplant in december of 2001 after i was stage 3 for 4 years. Now i was diagnosed with another rare liver disorder called "primary billary cirrhosis" (it doesn't differ much from the first illness i described) Fortunately I am still stage one and have no or little symptoms. Maybe someone can tell more about the effects of diet coke or tylenol? (btw, I also drink plenty of juices and other things as well as soda). thank you

    • ANSWER:
      ouch, lots of misinformation in these answers.

      diet products are not harmful to the liver, and have not been proven to be harmful to human in any way (except those with phenylketonuria). the most common claim is that they cause cancer, which is false (see the link below). there is no way for them to "clog up" your body or urinary tract.

      you are right to be concerned with taking tylenol or any product containing acetominophen (many cold remedies have it). tylenol can be fatal to anyone if they take too much, and the cause of death is liver failure.

      you are definitely a special case, with multiple liver disorders AND allergies to other pain meds. you really need to call your gastroenterologist and ask them whta the maxiumum dose of tylenol you should have is. if the transplanted liver is functionally normally, you should be able to take it, although I can understand wanting to be extra careful with your gift.

  23. QUESTION:
    How much drinking does it take to get liver cancer?
    I've been drinking for 3+ years, at an average of at least 1/2 bottle of Vodka per day. I drink this much on normal weekdays and still go to work in a perky mood... on weekends I drink at least one full 1L bottle per day, including Sundays. I've been doing this for some time already. On labor day of 2007 I found myself drinking 3 full bottles of 1.75ML of Vodka and realized that 3X1.75L = 7 regular (750ml) bottles of liquor). I still woke up fine the next work day. Now, after several years I am finally feeling the soar... strong abdominal pains, lack of sleep, pain in the liver, kidneys, stomach, and chest due to the 2 packs of smokes a day diet. Can't sleep on my front because my abdomen area hurts. What are the symptoms of liver cancer or cirrhosis that can apply to me? If any...?

    • ANSWER:
      Are you TRYING to kill yourself or did you just not think this one through?

      Doctor. Now.

  24. QUESTION:
    my mom thinks she has an ear infection? seriously, i need help!?
    she's a recovering alcoholic with cirrhosis, otherwise known as liver disease, and she can't take pain killers or antibiotics and i was wondering what she can do!!! it seems like she just has the symptoms of a regular ear infection and i'm really worried for her, any advice?!?

    • ANSWER:
      Take her to the doctor.

  25. QUESTION:
    what do you suppose is the reason for this?
    my son has gone countless times to emergency room. they say, everything looks good. the labs, the x-rays, on and on it goes. he has cirrhosis of the liver, and even his very own medical doctor told him, everything was good with the labs. he told him his symptoms had nothing to do with cirrhosis. he had very serious pains,in his back, groin, gut, head. my son now has hospice. they are saying all the labs were not good, the doctors sugar coated things...basically lied to us. why???
    hospice says his liver is about gone. why such a strong contrast? all this happened in the same time frame of two months. is he sicker than we thought, or is he less sick than we thought as his personal doc and er docs say?? he seems very sick to me. hospice is a great help i am thankful for. just why do you wonder the doctors would do as they have? who is really right?? i do know when you get hospice, you have to give up everything else...all the other docs and no more er visits. the insurance won't pay for hospice---palmitive care and curative care. it is one or the other. ?????
    yes, i heard the doctors myself say he was ok, "lab work pretty darn good". we went many times. something must have changed in some lab work because hospice called us, we did not call them, which means the doctor did. hospice says, the liver is shot-pretty much gone. they promised to be truthful. he is not bedridden yet. he is frail looking and losing much weight. i agree with allan, hospice would be most forthright. i just don't get the deception from the er docs. it is 2010, and hospice says records from 2008 showed a very sick liver. is it possible they thought positive thinking would give him a better quality of life? he has suffered so much, but now hospice will make him comfortable. thank God. truly.

    • ANSWER:
      If he's been admitted to a hospice then the prognosis that got him admitted is not good. Few people admitted to hospices last even 3 months, and most hospices don't want clients unless they have less time than that. In some cases though people recover and go home, however the percentage who do is not high and in most cases is likely to be only a short term recovery. The hospice is likely to be more forthright than the doctors. It appears doctors want to give you hope so you keep racking up a bill with them. Insurance will only pay for one or the other... otherwise they are working against themselves by supporting both forms of care.

      So what are your dreams telling you? Has Jeremy recalled any of his?

  26. QUESTION:
    Diagnosis? Calling all Doctors!?
    I'd value anyone's advice here. I'll try to keep it brief. Basically my BIL is in hospital and they're struggling to find out what is wrong.

    Symptoms: Severe sickness and vomiting with severe abdominal pain (was then admitted to hospital), cholesterol found to be 33mmol/L. No urine output, even with catheterisation, just a small amount of very dark liquid. X-ray normal. CT scan normal. Has gained 2 stone in weight in 2 days due to IV fluids and no urine output.

    He's not overweight (maybe 1 stone), doesn't smoke, but was a heavy binge drinker. Now drinks wine every day but no binge drinking. The cholesterol is amazingly high, although it has now dropped to 22mmol/L.

    I can't help thinking (after research) that maybe cirrhosis is the answer - but surely a hospital would have picked that up with LFT's? Anyone??! Thanks.
    Thanks everyone. Heard from my sister tonight and apparently it's pancreatitis. Not too severe, so hopefully if he cuts down on the alcohol, or even better cuts it out completely, he'll be ok!

    • ANSWER:
      Sounds like liver/kidney problems maybe. Bladder cancer?

  27. QUESTION:
    Liver damage?
    As a 30-year-old male who has done quite a fair share of drinking since age 21, I have developed a little interest in cirrhosis. General information says that on average, it takes five drinks a day, every day, for at least ten years, for a male to develop cirrhosis. All of this information also points to the liver's ability to heal itself when given a chance.

    Now, I haven't been drinking every day for ten years, but I've done a regular, consistent amount, mostly beer. I've had a few periods of weeks or months where I didn't drink, but I've kept it up pretty frequently. I don't have any symptoms of liver problems except for some off-and-on mild pain under my ribcage, which may actually be gallbladder problems.

    What I'm curious about is the liver's ability to heal itself. Is a young frequent drinker taking the exact same risk as a young person who drinks every day? Or does the liver benefit enough from frequent sober days to lessen the chance of serious liver damage?
    Also -- about six weeks ago, I had similar concerns, so I had a blood and urine test, with a note to the doctor that I was concerned about liver damage. The tests came out fine. However, I am still curious about the potential for problems.

    • ANSWER:
      Consistent usage of alcohol in excessive amount will cause liver issues. The body is indeed am amazing thing- we have organs that will work down to that last little percent and then fail completely. Don't count on the liver's ability to heal itself to protect you. Young drinkers who over indulge, whether binge or steady drinkers, will have the cumulative effects of liver damage.
      The right side of your body, under the ribcage is where both your liver and gallbladder live. They are connected, BTW. You may be young enough yet to be OK, but then again, maybe not. It's not always a linear correlation between drinking some and not having liver disease. Some livers fail earlier than others- it depends on how much abuse it can take.
      If you are concerned enough to ask about liver damage, then you probably have some.
      What happens in the liver, that damage occurs to part of the liver, and it gets filled with non working areas. A cirrhotic liver is enlarged, has lots of yellow streaks and is very bumpy in appearance, with a pale purplish color. Normal livers are brownish red, smooth and may have some little cysts(all our organs can have cysts without any problems). I work in an Operating Room and do transplants- and a sick liver is not a pretty sight at all. Google cirrhotic liver and you'll get to see some pics.
      You can drink yourself to death by killing your liver. That's the bottom line.

  28. QUESTION:
    Whats wrong with him? *Medical scenario*?
    Danny is a 42 year old man who has come to your office with two major concerns. Danny has played the bagpipes for a number of years with a local pipe band. He makes a tidy sum on the side playing for weddings, parties, and of course, funerals. Lately though his fingers have been rather stiff and painful. In order to be able play up to his usual standard, he’s had to rely on ibuprofen or Aleve. On the medical history form, under symptoms and general complaints you notice that Danny has checked off ‘fatigue’ and ‘joint pain’
    His second major complaint is rather more worrisome. His girlfriend, Melanie, is in the sonography program at SPCC and she got Danny to come in for a body scan so she could practice; they discovered that he had a slightly enlarged liver. (Melody has made him promise to curtail his drinking at the various Highland Games until this ‘liver thing’ is sorted out)
    Upon reviewing Danny's family history form, you observe that his father suffers from type II diabetes, though it is well controlled. His father’s oldest brother died from restrictive cardiomyopathy several years ago. His paternal grandparents, who were born in Scotland, are now in their 90’s and in remarkablly good health. Danny makes a face and says that is “beacause Maw maw and Paw paw are vegetarians.”
    Danny's mother, also one of your patients, and though a strict non-drinker is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. His materal grandfather, a native of Ireland, died of liver cancer before Danny was born.
    Based on this information, and research from your text and the internet, how will you advise and help your patient?

    haha, only in A&PII .. I have several of these to do and I am just trying to get a hint as to know in what direction i need to go for the rest of them!

    • ANSWER:
      sounds like he has haemochromatosis

      a thumbs down and Im right.. nice one..
      he has arthopathy form iron deposits in his joints tiredness from iron overload , iron storage in his liver cuases it to be enlargedits autosomal recessive conidtion and iron overload in his fathers pancreas cuased him to be diabetic,
      his grandparents were vegiees so they didnt have extra iron in their diets so didnt affect them
      and grandfather had liver cancer from liver cirrhoisis (non alcohol related) from iron overload damage
      fathers brother had cardiomyopathy from iron overload in his myometrium

  29. QUESTION:
    How to cope with very sick Mother? All of the stress? :( ?
    I can honestly say, I've hit rock bottom. I thought that I was psychologically strong, but I'm not. Please take your time to read my story, I've asked several other questions about the same topic (sorry) but I haven't had any helpful answers...I just feel like I need to tell somebody (anybody) who really cares; you know?

    Anyway, my Mom has 3 terminal illnesses, Hep C- (an illness that attacks the liver, she got it from a needle stick injury at work 7 years ago, hasn't recieved any treatment whatsoever) Factor 5 Leiden (A blood clotting disorder passed down by genes) and CCF (Heart failure). She may even have more diseases but it's unknown now.

    She's in hospital right now - she's been given tablets to help her urinate out all of the fluid that was stored in her lungs. Because of the Hep C I'm afraid that she may have Cirrhosis of the Liver because she shows all the signs and symptoms of doing so...

    I'm 14, I'm so stressed out. I wrote a 5 page letter to my Mom I'm going to give it to her tomorrow. Are there any ways to help me relieve stress? I thought she may have had Ascites but I looked at google images and she didn't have pot belly.

    I'm just scared as HELL! AS HELL! I've been crying for 10 hours straight. At the hospital I just stare at the ground and bite my tongue because I'd cry like crazy. My Mom thinks I'm becoming distant of her because I don't want to sit on the bed with her..Oh God I've got tears in my eyes now :(

    I'm getting chest pains because of all of the stress...Please help :( She's all I'm living for....
    Yes, Vote you're right. The pain's from the neck but sometimes from the heart.
    & Yes also the left side of my body (shoulder blade) has an annoying pain also

    • ANSWER:

  30. QUESTION:
    Liver damage?
    As a 30-year-old male who has done a fair share of drinking since age 21, I have developed an interest in cirrhosis. General information says that on average, it takes five drinks a day, every day, for at least ten years, for a male to develop cirrhosis. All of this information also points to the liver's ability to heal when given a chance.
    I haven't been drinking every day for ten years, but I've done a regular, consistent amount, mostly beer. I've had a few periods of weeks or months where I didn't drink, but I've kept it up frequently. I don't have any symptoms of liver problems except for some off-and-on mild pain under my ribcage, which may actually be gallbladder problems. A recent blood and urine test came back fine.

    What I'm curious about is the liver's ability to heal itself. Is a young frequent drinker taking the exact same risk as a young person who drinks daily? Or does the liver benefit enough from frequent sober days to lessen the chance of serious liver damage?

    • ANSWER:
      Although there is a 'safe' amount of alcohol one can consume in a week, 'binge drinking' (ie. having your weekly 'ration' of alcohol all in one go, over three hours on a Friday night) does much more damage than spreading it out.

      As you point out, you're not an alcoholic and so are relatively safe. If a liver function test came back normal, you've absolutely nothing to worry about. But the fact that you are researching cirrhosis probably means that on some level, you're worried about the consequences of your drinking, meaning that to some extent, you know that you're drinking too much and too regularly.

      Maybe cut back a bit, discuss your worries with your doctor and arrange regular liver function tests to keep your mind at ease. Once a year maybe. Much like 'sexually adventurous' people may have regular STD tests.