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03/08/2012 05:33 AM

Living with possible Cirrhosis(page 2)

taziedevil
taziedevil  
Posts: 10
Member

Hi, congratulations on ur year sober. I must say 6months has been along road but certainly getting easier I will never have another drink this last 6 months has been a total nightmare. I just want to get my life back. Thanks heaps for the info like you mentioned the more we learn the better. One thing is the declining platelets normal. My iron seems to be all over the place it was actually below normal a fortnight ago now it,s on the high end of normal. The bit I'm struggling with now is the anxiety and depression some days I'm on top of the world the next I'm really low. I'm on serquel the doctors put me on this when I was really sick to try and keep me calm. I'm not sure if the depression is caused by a side effect of the meds or if it,s related to the liver.
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03/08/2012 01:42 PM
MoonWatcher
MoonWatcherPosts: 735
Member

Sorry you're having a hard time with the depression... I thought my world was ending as I tapered down off alcohol myself. Google around on "post-acute withdrawal syndrome" or P.A.W.S. and see if this looks familiar to you. All I can say is, at one year out, I'm feeling much like my old self again. Don't know about that serquel. How long are you supposed to stay on this?

Regarding the platelets... Mine dropped like this too! My doc said "platelets do jump around a lot", and that hydration can affect the count. When you are dehydrated (fasting blood draw) they can be higher; then drink a liter of water and a second draw that same day will show lower platelets, even though you have exactly the same amount/number of platelets in your body as you did in the morning.

I assume the iron testing you speak of is serum iron, which is not accurate unless done on a fasting blood draw. Serum iron always rises after you start eating as everything is fortified with iron now days. Flour used in bread, cereals, pasta; all fortified with iron. Alcohol increases absorption of this iron which builds up in the liver (a major storage site for iron) and can cause oxidative stress and fibrosis in the liver.

Your bleed should have relieved you of a lot of excess iron, hence a return to more normal hemoglobin levels. "Ferritin" is a blood test/measurement of stored iron, and is a better indicator of your total body iron reserve (or overload) than serum iron. If your ferritin is still dropping at this point, this would be a better indicator of internal bleeding than serum iron, which normally fluctuates a bit on its own.

Congratulations on finding out about FibroScan and where to get one... Here in the USA (where healthcare costs double everywhere else), I can't find anywhere to get one. This should give you peace of mind I may never find.

Stick with your current efforts at regaining your health, and I hope you're feeling as good as I am in 6 more months time. The adjustment to alcohol free happiness is a long and slow process, as is a return of good health, but you are young and life is long.

Best of Luck to you!


03/08/2012 01:49 PM
sadlystillsane
sadlystillsane  
Posts: 942
Member

I concer, the emotional rollercoaster is likely due in part at least to the 'thaw out' of emotions experienced when alcohol is discontinued. If drinking was in part to deal with emotions (and it usually is at least in part) then the feelings of on top of the world/in the depths is normal while you get over the alcohol withdrawl and learn to live life on life's terms.

Congrats on both staying sober and your very good liver panel numbers! Looking at your numbers I was jelous! My ALT and AST hover around 100, and of course my ALP (which is more significant with my type of cirrhosis) sits around 600, which is 5x the highest normal value!

Good luck..I hope the scan you are having gives you the final peace of mind with regard to cirrhosis. Trust me, you don't want a biopsy. I found mine to be very painful, I had a potential bleed afterward and was kept in hospital on morphine for a time, then was off work for a week recovering. DO NOT want to do that again!

Best of luck.


03/09/2012 05:32 AM
taziedevil
taziedevil  
Posts: 10
Member

Thanks for alll the info everyone has been a great help. I'm learning so much more talking to people who are actually going through the journey than what the docs have gave me. I'm not sure how long I will need to be on serquel but reading the about P.A.W.S I would say my journey has only just started and will need this med and the Avanza till I level out. Yer the fibroscan is the test is holding my future after repeat attempts for a biopsy one of my specialist has arranged for the test. I have another month in limbo till I have the test. Thanks again for all the advise and all the best I hope things work out for everyone. I will let you all know how I get on with the fibro scan. If anyone has anything else they would like to share that would be great. Cheers Andy.

03/11/2012 10:02 AM
CreateHealth
Posts: 3
New Member

This is a very good discussion.

I am freaking out too.

What imaging test is best? US or CT Scan?


03/11/2012 12:08 PM
mpmom
mpmom  
Posts: 3275
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

CreateHealth,

Hi

A Ct scan will show Cirrhosis,If the cause is not in question or important this is usually enough.

Often Drs are reluctant to order expensive testing unless there are other test that point to a problem.US can show Fatty Liver, lesions and depending on the tech Cirrhosis.

It will also show portal hypertension , Ascites. It's usually a good first step. if abnormal then the Dr will usually order further testing.

Biopsy shows what is happening to the liver cells and can deermine the cause. (Hemochromatosis , Hep, fatty Liver, and others)


03/11/2012 01:13 PM
CreateHealth
Posts: 3
New Member

Thanks Gail. I am in Lima, Peru so the tests are not that expensive.

So a CT and an US should be enough to see if I have a liver problem or not? (And obviously blood work.)

What do you mean "depending on the tech"? The person doing the US or the US test itself?

Post edited by: CreateHealth, at: 03/11/2012 01:14 PM


03/11/2012 01:49 PM
dmanflan
dmanflan  
Posts: 1735
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hey CreateHealth!

Welcome to the group! Gail was referring to the individual technician that performed the US itself. In the states, this individual may have different skill levels in getting enough information from the US equipment.

I admire your efforts to find out as much as you can about liver disease so that you can have more "successful" discussions with your doctors. If you have any questions about what you may have going on with your problems, be sure to post a new discussion for them for the group--we LOVE to help out and give support! Don't forget that you can send a Personal Message (PM) anyone in the group too if there is anything that you would like to discuss privately.

You can also find quite a bit of information at our www.MySickLiver.weebly.com website. You can also "Like" our My Sick Liver Facebook page and get frequent links to information or other liver disease information on a regular basis on your news feed.

Again, WELCOME!

Dennis


03/12/2012 10:57 AM
sadlystillsane
sadlystillsane  
Posts: 942
Member

Ultrasound CAN be sensitive enough to see cirrhosis, but it depends a great deal on the person administering that U/S. My biopsy had an U/S guide, and the surgeon doing the biopsy mentioned to me that my liver looked very cirrhotic on the U/S. Turned out he was right, as the biopsy came back indicating cirrhosis. (My diagnosis was already sure, it was to stage illness that the biopsy was done). A month prior I had an U/S administered by a tech, not an MD (I'm thinking this MAY make a difference) and the result was that my liver: "unremarkable", no sign of illness....WRONG. Which is why I was thrown for such a loop when I was told about the cirhosis, I didn't think I was that far along yet.

So in that I am an advocate for finding out exactly what is going on....not just trusting one test/one result IF problems persist. However, once a good number of tests have been conducted (especially more sensitive imaging such as CT or MRI) and blood work and physical results are all good, then no sense in continuing to push toward more invasive, expensive, time consuming and system clogging testing. If your doc can tell you what you need with a CT then no need for a biopsy in my opinion.


03/12/2012 04:07 PM
CreateHealth
Posts: 3
New Member

Thank you both! I am just trying to get the best information and patients usually are the best source.

I will be back with some more questions.

I do know that here in Peru the person giving the US is a doctor...

Post edited by: CreateHealth, at: 03/12/2012 04:08 PM

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