Question by xenophanes40: Treatment for Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
I am a 52 year old male who has presented with swollen feet, distended belly and abdominal pain last week. Following blood tests for liver function it was established that although albumen production was normal, the enzyme reading was not. An ultrasound scan revealed fatty liver disease. I was disturbed to hear a BBC Radio 4 documentary say that 20% of people with my symptoms do not live beyond a few months.
I have stopped drinking alcohol and am taking lecithin and milk thistle and I have also radically changed my diet to exclude fat, sugar and nighttime carbohydrates and have been eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Despite this regime being enforced for more than two weeks, the pain continues, the belly is still swollen and I have not lost an ounce of weight.
Any advice would be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time and knowledge.
Answer by Ann F
I am well aware of your problem since I was diagnosed with this about your age but continued to drink. I had a choice and made the wrong one.
You have made a good start but must continue.
About 10 years later, I was faced with liver failure and ultimately had a transplant. It is not something you want to go through. I was fortunate because I had a supportive family, good insurance, and enough money to spend 2 months 2000 miles away. I am now have perfect blood and other medical tests but do not recommend my road. You don’t want to put yourself or your family through this.
Good diet would help. No alcohol is the answer. AA might help; it didn’t for me. It is a great organization for some, men especially, so try it. Too much drama for me. I should have tried some counseling since I have an addictive personality. Anyway, I don’t live with regrets. Live for today. That is all you have for sure.
I never had any pain, not at all. In fact, I was horribly scared by my dr. when he told me that when you die of liver failure, you just shut your eyes. Somehow, that really seemed upsetting. About a year before the transplant, I gained much fluid and turned yellow-not fun or attractive. Hospital can take off the fluid by draining it physically as out patient procedure, but the dr. could give you water pills (Lasix) first to cause the swelling to go down. That worked for me for about a year. There is not any real medication for liver failure.
As for the pain, I know nothing because I never had any. Maybe another trip to dr? May not even be related?
I know that I lived about 10 years after diagnosis and did NOT stop drinking. I think that the documentary was scary. Aren’t they often?
It sounds to me that you have hope. Also, men do not have as much damage as women.
Anytime that you have any questions there are 2 major sources to go to on here. Good luck. Take my words, not my action, wrong way.
If you have any questions or comments, you can get back to me if you respond to this.
LATER: I remembered so much thanks to the next answerer who I will compliment as she did me.
Hospital (outpatient) can try to drain the fluid. In my case, it was in the corpulses so it was everywhere. The lasix finally reduced it, surprised you are not on it-very common.
You need to know your meld score; the doctor can tell you. It is a combination of several liver tests.
It tells you the state of your liver. 15 is where hospitals will consider transplants; mine was over 30 right before the transplant. You may not have a
high one at all. It is a number you do need to know and keep track of. Will get back here if remember more.
The liver transplant was “a piece of cake” as I still under sedation told my family. I had no pain before, after, or during but it was a terrible ordeal that you must avoid.
You can go to your initial question and “edit” it to ask us any questions just as I did now. later…..
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!