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Will I recover from liver damage?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 362 Questions
Hi I went to the docors as my sister says that in the family we suffer from hi colerstrol, so doctor gave me blood test. They called me up and said my serum gamma GT result and it is 82iu/L and this is high. I am 57 years old and unfortnately drink about 3 glasses of wine each night for the last 30 years. I suspect that I will be advised to stop drinking, however there pernament damage to my liver, will it recover etc..If I stop for a period of time, would I be able to resume to a normal level og drink, or is this really the end of my drinking life
I have also noticed, but it may not be related that my stool has become 'sticky' over the last year. I had it tested for blood, however this was normal along with my urine. The stool can sometimes smell of meat like the steak I have eaten is not completely digested.
I feel fine and in good health. The only last thing I can add is that sometimes I get a dull ache from my lower adomen, however I put this down to just old age.
Thus the key item is the GT reading, the other items I mention to you just in case there is any realtionship
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 25 minutes later

Based on your description, you have two health related issues.

1. Elevated GGT. You must know that GGT is a liver enzyme which gets elevated in all who consume alcohol regularly. Eve few weeks of continuous consumption of alcohol will show up as elevated GGT. There is no correlation between the level of GGT and liver damage. So by jest looking at GGT, we cant say whether liver is damaged on not. The best way is to get a scan done. Ultrasound can reliably pick signs of damage to liver.
Liver damage progresses along a spectrum
Fatty Liver ----> Alcoholic Hepatitis ----> Cirrhosis
The first two are almost completely reversible. Cirrhosis is end stage and irreversible.
So, elevated GGT is not an indication of liver damage.
Yet, I will advise you to reduce your consumption of alcohol so that permanent damage might be prevented.

2. Sticky stools and Lower GI Discomfort. Elevated GGT has no relation with this symptom. However, people who consume alcohol are prone for infections of GI system. Especially Amoebiasis. Your symptoms are suggestive of the same. You will need to take a course of antibiotics for the same. Do consult your physician in this context.

Hope this answers your query.
Please get back if you need any further information

Thanks and Regards

Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Will I recover from liver damage? 1 hour later
Thank you for answer, following question about each item
1) Thus I should not be to concerned about my GT at 82, however I should stop every day drinking and perhaps allow myself a couple of beers at the odd Barbeque. In addition can ask the doctor to refer me to have an altrasound so that we can check the state of my liver, based om that result we can then move forward with further treatment consulation if necessary?

2) This is interesting, the dull ache, both sides, started about 3 years ago. My doctor sent me off for loads of tests and they found nothing so I thought I needed to live with it. After one year I was travelling to the USA and had an ear infection so I was given antibioctics....the ache just went, alng with my ear infection. About a year later it came back again which I lived with again, until after 18 months I was perscribed general antibotic for a chest infection and again this ache vanished. It would appear that the general antibotic stops the ache for periods of 6 months or more. My stool sample was examined then I believe for general parasite as I had just come back from Thailand, however nothing was found...could it be that I have the infection and require a specific antiboctic to remove this infection,,,if thats what I have? If my doctors have failed to find the infection with thier standard tests, may I ask what specific tests you suggest they run to analysis the issue for treatment?
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 2 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

Yes, as of now, do not worry about your GGT being 82. Get Ultrasound scan first. If it does not show signs of Chronic Liver Disease, it means your liver is normal. In that case, please reduce your consumption of alcohol for 1 - 2 drinks a week if possible to prevent progression.

Since you have had some improvement in your pain abdomen with antibiotics previously, its likely related to infection.
For amoebialsis you will require a stool examination. Also, serology tests can be done on blood for the same. However, best option would be take a course of antibiotics. The tests may not always pick up the organism. Colonoscopy will help pick up lesions and infection of colon if there is one.

Hope this answers your query.

Take Care

Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Will I recover from liver damage? 13 hours later
Thanks for the update, I will ask for the Ultrasound on the liver

With regard to the possible infection and antibiotic, as I have tried twice over the lat three years amoxocilina which seem to initially cure, but I guess not completely as the ache has come back, can you recommend an alternative antibiotic?

The course I took was 5 days , three times per day with 500 mg capsules

Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 13 hours later

Thanks again.

Amoxycillin would not be the treatment of choice for your infection. You will need a combination of fluoroquinolone and Metronidazole group.

Due to our restrictions, I cannot prescribe the medications on this forum.

Please consult your physician and take a prescription.

Warm Regards

Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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