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    What causes liver cirrhosis?

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Posted on Thu, 13 Jul 2017 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Question: Hi - worried about liver
I had a normal CBC in early April (ALT-28, AST-32) while at time consuming 5-8 pints beer on weekends...since have been consuming 6-10 pints on weekends...Have a strange on and off ache in and around liver area, which goes around side to back area. I run a lot and do ab exercises on weekdays, so not sure if that's the source or the liver...im 44 yrs old male, not overweight, on keppra for seizures, healthy diet. I stopped drinking altogether for over a week, as I have another blood test scheduled in two weeks from now. I noticed yesterday that one of my ankles was a bit swollen, but it is in an area where I got a pretty bad sunburn on weekend, so maybe that's why? In sum, im a bit paranoid, as I have been googling my symptoms, and bad things have filled my head....I would like to know if you think this could be liver related, and whether my liver enzyme levels will be elevated when I do the next test, as at that time I will have not had any alcohol for 3 weeks...last enzymes were normal as I said in April...not sure if they will have risen in that little time, but just speculating.....
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 53 minutes later
Brief Answer:
unrelated to liver damage probably

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

although increased consumption does cause liver injury which may even lead to cirrhosis (an irreversible type of injury to the liver) nobody can predict when the tests will go abnormal or when serious structural damage (like cirrhosis) will occur. I can't comment on your swelling without clinical examination but if the burn was very serious, some swelling can be explained. A doctor should have a look on your feet.

Regarding your tests, 3 weeks is not enough time for all enzymes to get back to normal (if they were abnormal). Enzymes like the gamma-GT (which is an indicator for alcohol consumption) require a month or so to become normal. If your enzymes were normal 3 weeks before then they will be normal now. If they were not, then I can't say... You'll have to see. If they're not normal though, you can't be sure they're not affected by your drinking. When doing tests it's better not to change your usual routine.

Tests like INR and an ultrasound scan of the liver may provide additional information about your liver's condition.

I hope you find my comments helpful!
Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 31 minutes later
Hello and thanks...just to clarify - In april, my liver enzymes were normal as mentioned (ALT-28, AST-32)...just concerned that they could possibly rise on my next CBC in a few weeks from today...I have stopped consuming alcohol a week ago
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
nobody can say...

Detailed Answer:
You're welcome!

When you drink for a long period of time, liver injury accumulates little by little. When the injury becomes serious enough symptoms and other findings may occur. You can't predict when the liver enzymes will rise... If you're really worried about hurting your liver with drinking (and you should be if you ask me) you should cut back on alcohol. Drinking a glass of wine every so often wouldn't hurt but drinking 6-10 pints may hurt your liver... I didn't say 'will hurt', I used 'may hurt' instead because not everybody develops cirrhosis and we can't say who will and who will not...

So the answer is that I don't know! The results will probably be normal but this is just a guess, I can't say for sure.

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3691 Questions

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