Does any one know much about cirrhosis of the liver?
Q:my father has been an alcoholic for 14 years drinking whiskey every day. he now has yellow skin and eyes (jaundice) and complains about stomach pains through the night. The doctor has been treating him for alcoholism for a long time but he won’t let anyone go with him so I don’t know if he has been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis yet. Any doctors or nurses out there, what is the average time someone has left when they get like this (bearing in mind that he will not give up the drink. He is determined to drink till he dies)
More Answers to “Does any one know much about cirrhosis of the liver?“Alcohol & liver disease When you drink alcohol it is quickly absorbed directly into the blood stream from the stomach and upper part of the gut (small intestine). The absorbed alcohol then passes through the liver and subsequently into the blood stream where it reaches all organs in the body. Although most tissues are capable of breaking down alcohol, this is mainly carried out by the liver, where alcohol is eventually converted into water and carbon dioxide, which is removed through the lungs. Since the liver sees the highest concentrations of alcohol, it is one of the organs in the body most prone to developing alcohol related problems. However, alcohol also causes toxic effects on other organs in the body including the brain, heart, muscles and pancreas. Almost all excessive drinkers will develop the first stage of alcoholic liver disease fatty liver. This is a ‘side-effect’ of the liver breaking down alcohol into carbon dioxide and water. Fatty liver disappears when patients stop drinking excessively. If patients continue drinking excessively then a proportion (around 20-30%) will develop the next stage of alcoholic liver disease – alcoholic hepatitis. In this condition, the liver becomes inflamed and in its extreme form, patients can die of liver failure. An even smaller proportion of patients (around 10%) will develop a permanently scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis), if they continue to drink excessively. Why certain heavy drinkers remain at the stage of fatty liver and others progress to alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis is not known at present, although undoubtedly, the more you drink and the greater the frequency and duration of heavy drinking, the more likely you are to develop the more advanced forms of disease. Recent evidence suggests that being overweight increases the risk of developing serious alcoholic liver disease and as yet largely unidentified genetic (inherited) factors may also be important. Excessive drinking can also cause: stomach disorders pancreatitis leading to diabetes high blood pressure heart muscle damage leading to heart failure strokes cardiac rhythm disturbances sudden cardiac death vitamin deficiencies sexual difficulties problems with the brain depressionproblems with nerves in the limb cancer of the liver, mouth, throat, gullet, large bowel and breast. caused by too much swalley
Your father will already have cirrhosis of the liver and the yellow colouring (jaundice) is not a good sign. I am sorry to say that his liver has already suffered a lot and is probably much bigger than your average liver. Unfortunately there is no solution to the problem, but by completely stopping drinking would help some. The liver is very good at healing itself, but a liver can only do so much. Hopefully his liver will not give up completely (liver failure) as the only solution then is a liver transplant. In the case of alcoholics transplants are not an option unless you have lots of money, eg Geore Best the famous footballer was a severe alocholic and he got transplanted. HIs transplant went well but he continued to drink again after the operation. Sorry to give you so much bad news, but it is serious and there is not too much that can be done. Just hope that his liver keeps on ticking along. It’s a pretty tough organ and can put up with a lot.
(NOTE I am not an expert) Well, the yellowness in the eyes indicates that the liver is not functioning as it should, because there is a buildup of ‘bile’ in his system.If he did stop drinking, doctors often say that the liver is very resilliant and can recover to near normal health over a moderate time period.I’m not sure that even a Doctor could tell you when someone in this situation is likely to pass away. Sometimes, miracles do happen so don’t give up on your old man.
My wife had an Aunt with this problem – she could drink for England – until she died in her early fifties.
He would probably have to have a liver function test and or a biopsy to determine the stage of the disease is at. There is no guessing I’m afraid, infact if he is already receiving treatment, these tests will probably already have been done. It also depends on the individual and quantity of alcohol consumed. A friend of mine was given five years before transplant stage/liver failure if he continued drinking, 10 years before failure or transplant if he did. He is 58 and still drinking, 6 months to go at the moment. His problems were complicated by HEP C contracted whilst in a spanish hospital receiving cortisone injections for a back injury. There are so many factors involved. Mostly at the moment it depends on how far advanced the disease is and any other complications such as ulcers and intestinal problems. Is his diet healthy apart from the alcohol? Avoid fatty foods and green tea…check out other sites for foods to avoid. I’m not a nurse or doctor just a friend of someone who went through many months in hospital. Best wishes xxxx
Hi, my mum died in 1994 from cirrhosis of the liver, I was 14 at the time. Whatever you do you won’t change the mind of your father, but make sure you talk to friends & family & don’t bottle it up. Its only human to seek advice & help & in the long run you will benefit. My thoughts are with you, and if u ever need anything don’t hesitate to contact. And whatever you do never blame yourself, life is too short make sure you live with happy memories & always look forward to the future. Lol going out to u. Richard
How should I put this? It’s time to get his affairs in order. Have him write a will if he hasn’t already.
Hi ! I lost my Dad to it, he suffered 6 years with it, his brother 3 months, and their nephew 18 months, he was just 40, he fought hard to live, but in the end he was a vegetable. Please enjoy the time you have with him. Life is so short.( I am sorry I am not the nurse you wanted.)God Bless You and your family. Also my 3 relatives were beer drinkers.
It may be that he has alcoholic hepatitis, which is the stage before cirrhosis. It is usually characterized by liver tenderness, pain, loss of appetite, nausea, jaundice, ascites (excess fluid in the abdominal cavity), and liver failure. Cirrhosis is the end stage of chronic liver disease. As far as how long he has left, that really depends on if he has liver disease and what stage of failure he is in, and even if those were known factors it’s still hard to judge because everyone is different. I can tell you this, liver failure does effect every body system, heart, kidneys, ect. Good luck
The stomach pains could be gastritis caused by excessive drinking. With cirrhosis he would be jaundice and would have an enlarged or hardened liver and would show all the signs of liver failure. He would have general malaise no appetite,vomiting and weight loss. He would also have pain in the upper abdomen. He may also get varices in his throat that ruture and bleed.
It sounds like your father’s liver is definitely diseased. It may not be cirrhosis (which is scarring of the liver); it may be hepatitis, another liver disease that is very serious. If your father’s doctor has seen him in his current condition, and hasn’t hospitalized him for immediate detoxification and treatment, he is guilty of malpractice. Your father may be determined to “drink til he dies”, but his doctor is morally and legally bound to try to prevent that.
“my father has been an alcoholic for 14 years drinking whiskey every day.”That will do it. In advanced stages of cirrhosis, the condition is irreversible and the only option would be a liver transplant.
Cirrhosis- Hardening of an organ. Applied almost exclusively to degenerative changes in the liver with resulting fibrosis. Associated developments are such as ascites (free fluid in the peritoneal cavity), obstruction of the circulation through the portal vein with haematemesis (the vomiting of blood), jaundice and enlargement of the spleen.Please see the webpages for more details on Cirrhosis and Alcoholic liver disease.
the stomach pains sounds like (forgive the spelling) pancreaitis. stop him drinking tie him to the bed and pour the drink out.
My uncle had cirrhosis of the liver but none of the family knew until he started coughing up blood and went into a coma for 8 months. The doctors told us that the chances of him coming out of the coma was slim to none, but as the fighter he always is, he pulled through.We received a liver transplant about 6 months after he came out of the coma and he is still living after 15 years. I’m not saying it’s easy, he developed diabetes because of the rejection medicine. He has since had a heart attack and is in Renal failure, it is inevitable but the doctors had only given him 5-7 years to live after the initial transplant.But the point is he got treatment and he helped himself, and your dad needs to be willing to help himself, until then there’s not much to do but pray.My heart is with you.
Has your family tried and intervention? Everyone gets together and confronts him thats after your have done your homework about rehab, where what and how much.Everyone shares how they feel about him and how they feel about him killing himself. Be honest and direct, you might be able to frighten him into treatment.A heathy diet “The Fat Flush plan” is a great book to help purge the system of the poisons we put into it. Maybe there is a slim chance you can save his life. But he does sound far along in his cirrosis. I too lost a family member from alcohol.. Best wishes.
Really sorry to hear about your Dad, it must be an awful thing to cope with. Although you seem to have come round to the idea of what is inevitable, and i wish you all the best for any difficulties that lay ahead for you.The outlook is not so good if there is a lot of liver damage, especially if you have alcoholic cirrhosis and do not stop drinking. Cirrhosis can cause death by bleeding from varices, or by going into a coma from liver failure. People with cirrhosis are also more at risk of developing serious infections. In the UK over 4,000 people die from cirrhosis each year, two thirds of them being under the age of 65. I have heard that keeping to a low sodium diet can help or he could take or diuretics (water tablets) to help reduce fluid accumulating in the body.Good luck an i really hope that go well for you. You seem to be really level headed and aren’t imagining a rainbow at the end of the storm, which means that you will never be disappointed. Good luck.
I’m sorry to hear that your father is an alcoholic. My father is recovering, so I know how hard this is for you. I’m sorry to say that it sounds like your father is not doing very well. Cirrhosis has the following symptoms, so you can see if there are others that your father is experiencing. Fluid buildup in the legs (edema) and the abdomen (ascites). Fatigue. Yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Itching (pruritus). Profuse nosebleeds (epistaxis). Redness of the palms. Bleeding from enlarged veins (varices) in the digestive tract. Bruising easily. Weight loss and muscle wasting. Abdominal pain. Frequent infections. Confusion. My grandfather died in 2001 of cirrhosis and my uncle Mike is currently in the final stages. It’s horrible for the patient, but it’s also horrible for those who are surrounding it, knowing that there’s nothing they can do. Please try not to blame yourself. Your father is making his own decisions, and nothing you do will be able to change his mind.My thoughts are with you.
Cirrhosis is a chronic disease that is the result of slow deterioration of the liver. In this disease, damage to the liver from one of many causes changes its structure gradually, and the liver becomes progressively less able to carry out its functions, which include regulating the content of the blood. What ever the underlying cause of the cirrhosis, stop drinking alcohol immediately. If you continue to drink, the disease is certain to get worse. You really need to get him some help because you do not want him to get this disease.
Unfortunately then, your dad is destined to die. The first stages of alcoholic liver damage begin with alcoholic hepatitis where you will begin to see signs of pain and jaundice, similar to what your father is experiencing. This is reversible at this point and is sort of the body’s way of warning you to do something about it before the real damage begins. After this, your liver starts to develop scar tissue from the repeated damage it sustains from alcohol. This is cirrhosis, and is irreversible except by transplant. As far as I know, the NHS will not give an alcoholic a liver transplant if they know he’ll just keep on drinking as this is a waste of a perfectly good liver.So, it seems as if unless he changes his ways, he will die of cirrhosis. I think you need to seriously get the smack down if you care about your father. I don’t know what you should do because I do not know your dad, but I would act quickly. He needs a good scare to show him how close he is to the grave if he’s gonna stop.
I couldn’t give you a timeline, depends on his physiology and how much whiskey he is drinking along with other medications or poor diet that can be componding the insult to his liver. All I can say is cirrhosis is a terrible way to die, often people end up bleeding to death via varocosities in their esophagus. The liver becomes so fatty that blood cannot move through it efficiently and blood will rupture these varocosities and the doctor can do nothing but watch the person bleed to death. Pretty sad