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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can one binge drinking after quitting alcohol cause the liver to change from fatty liver to cirrhosis?

Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15941 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 24 Sep 2018 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Question: I was told to quit drinking because I had an enlarged fatty liver. I did quit for a few months but about a month and a half ago I got the flu and like in idot I thought a little wine would make me feel better. Now I can actually feel my liver going WAY beyond my ribs when I palpate it and it feels sort of hard. I obviously know I messed it up during that binge but I will NEVER drink again as this time I have learned my lesson, which I should of before when they told me that I did not have cirrosis. Can I now have cirrosiss after this binge or just a really angry liver. I do not have any other symptoms. No pain, No yellowing of my skin and my urine is only dark if I dont drink enough water. No signs of alcoholic hepatitis because of lack of symptoms.
I have studied medicine in the past and am pretty sure of the right supplements to take. I am taking zinc, vitamin e, Omega3s, D, Bcomplex etc. I am only eating fruits and vegetables using tofu and a little chicken for my protein. If, when I palpate my liver and it feels a little hard does that mean that what I did is irreversible or, if I continue on this right path WHICH I WILL, will my liver heal itself?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Some changes can be reversed.

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Restricting further alcohol use, using a healthy diet (which you are currently doing) along with the appropriate supplements, would help to reverse some, in many cases, not all, of the damage to the liver.

Fatty liver can be due to alcohol use but there is also non alcoholic fatty liver. This is fatty liver disease that occurs usually in persons with increased weight.

The binge itself would not cause cirrhosis. Cirrhosis occurs as a result of repeated insult/damage to the liver. The one binge should not cause the liver to change from fatty liver to cirrhosis.

Blood tests and imaging of the abdomen would help to determine the extent of damage.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Thank you so much because obviously I am very scared. The thing that scares me is when I palpate my liver I can totally feel it is WAY enlarged and very angry for sure but.... It feels sort of hard which is my concern. I know what happens when I go to the doctor as I have been thru it all before and I also know that there is really nothing they can do and that it is all up to me. That being said, my liver does feel a little softer as the days go by, I am now on day 4 with 0 alcohol and eating oatmeal with pure raw honey (no sugar at all), bananas and other fruits. Broccoli, cauliflower etc. I am also eating a handful of walnuts and pretty much anything I can think of to heal the damage my stupid self did.

I am the daughter of two very famous celebrity parents and have a huge fan base so I don't want anyone to know how stupid I was for doing this, and I am totally ashamed to see my doctor. I know now, have hit total rock bottom as far as my wanting to drink goes and will give it up forever. But, as I said I am worried about my liver feeling a little hard. It does feel a little softer and less angry but I was concerned, not only because of the size but the fact that it was a little firm made me think I have cirrhosis. Also, can cirrhosis just affect a part of the liver or does it go into the entire liver? Thank you for your prompt response.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You are doing well in terms of diet changes and no alcohol.

Detailed Answer:
Hi!

Understandable to be concerned, anyone would be.

Palpation of the liver is important but unfortunately the only way to determine if there is a change in function or if there is severe damage to the liver would be through testing such as liver function tests.

This, along with imaging if possible, would be the only definite way to assess function. There are some persons with change in the shape and size and texture of the liver who still have good function, whereas others would have impaired function.

Cirrhosis refers to scarring of the liver, in most persons, it is a general effect to the liver but in other cases, may be limited to a few areas but that may still affect liver function.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 11 minutes later
Thank you but yes, I totally know that but since I know the drill I know all the tests they will give me etc. If they tell me that yes, my liver function is impaired, what can they do about it anyway right? Or.... Is there medications that I am unaware of that will help, but of course I really want to do this as natural as possible without these meds if they are totally unnecessary, you know what I mean? Is there any foods or supplements you can recommend to me that will help me treat this on my own?
Also, I stopped taking Propranolol ( I only took it for a few days anyway) but I don't want to add anything additional to my system unless Propranolol will actually help me heal. Also, Is there an advantage for me drinking Ionized 9.5 ph water? Any advise at all I will follow. Thank you so very much. P.S Are you an MD?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
You can use the ionized water if you wish.

Detailed Answer:

Hi!

Since you would have done previous tests, any additional liver function tests would determine if there is any deterioration, if everything has stabilized or if there has been improvement.

In addition, blood tests may be done to check clotting, if there has been worsening in liver function.

In terms of supplements and diet:
1. According to the XXXXXXX association for the study of liver diseases and XXXXXXX college of gastro. - the general diet recommendations for persons with liver disease includes making sure to use enough proteins so that there is no muscle wasting and eating multiple times per day.

2. Ionized water is not specifically mentioned by any association but you can use it if you wish.

3. Physical activity to allow the muscles to work and also to prevent muscle wasting, is also encouraged.

Your current supplements are fine, you would need to be careful adding a lot of supplements since many may require the liver to help break them down so that they can leave the liver

Yes for over 10 years, you can view the medical profile if you wish for confirmation.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 52 minutes later
I am so relieved after I read the information about you and am really glad I found you. I recently moved to Arizona from California where I had the best doctors possible at the hospital where my father was a big part of. They diagnosed me with arthritis as well as Fibromyalgia. I am not a fan of pills unless totally necessary and did not take the pain pills they prescribed to me. I use Ibuprofin instead and only if I am in terrible pain. I use red light therapy and just bought a new product by Oska which delivers pulse waves. (have not received it in the mail yet but it promises relief).

Now that I moved here the doctor that is closest to me is a NP but I don't really know or trust her yet so I do my own research as best as I can when she tries to prescribe me new meds. For example Propranolol. Do you know anything about that and should I take it?

Also, I just made a fresh salad with mainly broccli, cauliflower, some red cabbage and a little sweet onion. I also added avacados because I read that they are helpful for the liver HOWEVER..... I just read an article that said that now they are not good for you so now I am totally confused. Are avacados good or bad for a fatty, inflamed liver. If you can help me with this as well as any future questions I may have you are a GOD SEND! I am only 53 years old with 6 children...

FYI: My father was the iconic actor XXXXXXX Brando, and my mother, among other things played "Helga" on the show Hogans Heroes. So maybe now this will give you a better understanding. Not that it matters but I really want to live, for me, my children, my fans and all the people I have helped with my story about PTSD, anxiety attacks, divorce problems, rape and all the things I have gone thru in my life truly helps others. Pss... Because of my anxiety, ptsd, divorce, rapes and many other things in my life that was why I drank so much. Now that I am older and know how bad I damaged my liver I am going to totally change my entire life around. I don't even care about eating stupid crap and really I eat pretty healthy already but for now, only fresh veggies, fruits, salads and healthy oils etc for me.

You can check me out on facebook as well as my youtube channel where I teach people how to relax by coloring in coloring books as well as running a national gift basket and flower company in which I do all the programming, website work, SEO and more for the past 26 years. I am telling you this so that you may be able to get a better picture of me as a whole person in order for you to give me the best advise ok? :) :)

https://www.facebook.com/lisa.brando.5
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-o2YsduZOIwTDMkWYdFfxg
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Can try the Propanolol.

Detailed Answer:

Hi!

Propanolol is one of the older medications and it is in the family of meds called beta blockers. It helps reduce the 'pressure' in the blood vessels and it is one of the meds that is sometimes used in persons with liver disease to help reduce the pressure in that area.

It has other uses as well- e.g. high blood pressure, heart failure, reduce some of the symptoms of anxiety, reduce hand tremor.

You can consider taking it to see if it helps you, if you have any problems when using it then you should let your doctor know.

Avocados contain healthy fats, fiber but should be used in moderation with the healthy diet that you have been using.

Typically they are considered healthy though a recent medical study did suggest that they may be linked to problems in some persons.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 14 hours later
So now I am TOTALLY confused. Guess I have been looking online to much huh?
Anyway, Now I am reading that I should be on a low carb, high protein diet which obviously includes meat and chicken and that fruits are high in carbs and sugars. OMG!!! So which is it? All I have been eating is fruit and veggies and only a little bit of chicken just to add to my salads. So, do you really know what the heck I am supposed to eat? I will do what is best but there is so much conflicting info out there. I have done the XXXXXXX before and yes, did lose weight, but now with this enlarged liver problem I am eating all this (what I think is healthy) fruit and veggies. Please advise - Signed, confused.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Protein with your fruits and vegetables is fine.

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

You said it right. The evidence can sometimes be very conflicting and confusing.

The diet that you have been using- full of different fruits and vegetables with some protein as well, is healthy.

If you have severely restricted the protein levels then it should be increased.

Fatty liver that is due to diet and inactivity or associated with illnesses such as diabetes/high cholesterol (NON alcoholic fatty liver)- has been found to be improved by the use of a low carb diet

This diet is high in protein and would be helpful for persons with alcohol related liver disease as well.

The protein helps the liver to repair itself.

Protein only needs to be severely restricted in cases of very severe liver failure where the liver disease has affected brain function (encephalopathy).

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Great. Thank you and sorry about so many questions but this time this has me really scared you know? I am online all the time questioning everything I eat to make sure I am doing the right thing but as you said, everything out there is so contradictory.

If I am supposed to reduce sugar because it is so bad for me, than isn't fruit full of sugar, which is apparently what I need to stay away from. This is where some of my confusion lies.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Varies from one fruit to the next, unprocessed.

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

There are different types of sugar, it can be processed or unprocessed and the amount of sugar in a fruit varies according to the type of fruit.

There are a lot online lists that may be helpful in determining the sugar content in different fruits

In addition the sugar they may or may not contain at different levels, would also have fiber and different minerals/vitamins/anti oxidants.

Hope this answers your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 25 minutes later
Thankx. So is it better if I limit the amount of fruit I eat now?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
There are low carb fruits.

Detailed Answer:

Hi!

No, you can still use fruits,there are some fruits that contain very little sugar eg apples, watermelon, strawberries, peaches, canteloupe, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, plum.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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