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Old 06-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Need some insight...

I am a white male, 43, type 2 diabetic experiencing some symptoms that are scaring me.

My history:

Diagnosed w/ type 2 diabetes at 42 w/ an A1C level of 8.5. Last week, I was retested and A1C was 6.5.

Regular drinker and marijuana user. 5-6 drinks of beer or wine. Over the last 3 months I have grown fond of vodka and sugar free redbull.

Red palms itchy/burning fingers.

Itchy burning feet/toes.

Dull and achy pain in upper right abdomen. Perhaps 1-2/10 on pain scale.

ALT/AST normal high levels in 12/11. Both elevated now some 6 months later.

Blood testing for my pancreas and kidneys were fine.

I currently take Lisinopril 40mg (hypertension), Hydrochlorothiazide 25mg (hypertension), allopurinol 200mg (gout), aciphex 20mg (reflux). The lisinopril and hydrachlorathiazide both say it can cause itchy hands and feet.

Dr. says fatty liver. I am worried that it may be cirrhosis. Father died at 54, but abused alcohol at a much greater level.

Any insight, advice, or similar stories would be appreciated and helpful.

Thank you.

 
Old 06-11-2012, 08:37 AM   #2
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Re: Need some insight...

There are no definitive signs as fibrosis from fatty liver disease crosses over into early stage cirrhosis, so it's best to assume if you're not in serious trouble now, it is quite possible you will be in the future, and take steps now to put a halt to a health catastrophe like cirrhosis while time is still on your side.

Fatigue, anorexia and unexplained weight loss are generally the first signs of clinical cirrhosis. Low or low normal platelets, and albumin are typical early warnings in lab studies. High enzymes simply mean your liver is unhappy, and in need of a bit more tender loving care.

The itchy palms may be a side effect of your meds, but the redness (palmar erythema) may be a more serious "red flag" warning your liver is truly inflamed, and in need of attention.

I'm sure your doc would advise you off of alcohol completely, but if you're not ready to quit, cutting down would be the next best thing. If you can reduce your alcohol consumption to a point where your liver is happier, you may be able to have your cake and eat it too for quite a while. Once liver disease progresses to a point where you start getting really sick, it will be "quit or die" time, and that's not something you might be happy with.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (and there is no cure for cirrhosis!). Keep up with the doctor visits and lab tests, and limit your alcohol to a little nightcap of whatever you like before bed. Red Bull contains a lot of caffeine, and will keep you "up and drinking" longer than an alternative drink that might help send you to dreamland with a little less alcohol under your belt.

Diabetes and liver disease are nothing to be fatalistic about and say "oh well, the doc's will just have to keep patching me up down the road". You can have a long and happy life, and perhaps even a wee nip of alcohol in the evening for many years if you play your cards right. Push your luck too far though, and once your health goes, it may be gone for good.

Best of Luck to you!

Last edited by BillinSD; 06-11-2012 at 08:45 AM. Reason: wording

 
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