It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Liver & Pancreas Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Reply Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-25-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 24
forehand36 HB User
more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

Hi All

I just joined. In brief, my story is

diagnosed with fatty liver couple of months ago
been a heavy drinker for 6 - 7 years
stopped drinking for close to 4 months now

I am assuming that when i go for next ultrasound, my fatty liver will be gone. if that's the case, is it like i'm starting anew again. i can safely drink moderate level at the same risk as other people who never had fatty liver?

or am I at a higher risk of developing liver diseases because i had fatty liver once?

all i have found out so far is - people saying Never Drink, but there does not seem to be any basis for such position.

 
Reply With Quote
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 07-25-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 223
BillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

When you go back for your follow-up studies you would do well to have your FERRITIN (stored iron) level checked, as well as your ALT/AST liver enzymes. Ferritin is a cheap and easy blood test and your doctor should not object to adding this to your blood labs.

Alcohol increases iron absorption from food and excess iron is stored in the liver. Fatty livers become enlarged and can hold a lot of iron, but when you stop drinking and your liver dumps its excess fat (returning to normal size), it really has no way of unloading any excess iron it has taken on board from before when you were drinking.

As long as iron levels are not sky-hi, this excess iron may not be problematic unless additional oxidative stress occurs, which is what drinking again can do, however even moderately high iron can cause problems when combined with the oxidative stress from alcohol.

The upper limits of the "normal" range for ferritin/stored iron are set quite high @ 300, but this is the official limit for "iron overload disease" and NOT "normal" for optimal health. The "optimal" levels for ferritin/stored iron are 25 to 75, and when ferritn runs into triple digits (over 100), this will put you in the "high normal" range and any unnecessary additional oxidative load (from alcohol) at these levels might be unwise.

Resuming alcohol consumption with high normal iron levels will mean you will start adding even more iron to an already elevated state.

If your ferritin/stored iron is in the optimal range (well under 100) and your liver enzymes are normal, as well as your ultrasound, resuming moderate alcohol consumption should be relatively safe.

When you look at your liver enzymes, the AST should also be well below your ALT level. An AST at parity or higher than ALT is an indication of established alcoholic liver disease that has not resolved and additional alcohol consumption would be unwise in this case.

If your ferritin is on the high side, it is easy to dump excess iron through blood donation. Each 500cc donation will lower your ferritin by about 30 points, thus if your ferritin is around 100, only two donations would put you back into the ideal range again, and additional donations twice a year should keep it there, even with moderate alcohol consumption.

Google around on: The Role of Iron in Alcoholic Liver Disease, and you will see, the guru's of hepatology have found hepatic iron overload to be a major factor in the development of alcoholic liver disease.

Drinking or not, optimal iron levels are the key to a happy liver.

Cheers!

Last edited by BillinSD; 07-25-2012 at 07:04 PM. Reason: addition

 
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BillinSD For This Useful Post:
forehand36 (07-26-2012), Mat3t (09-03-2012)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-07-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 24
forehand36 HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillinSD View Post
When you go back for your follow-up studies you would do well to have your FERRITIN (stored iron) level checked, as well as your ALT/AST liver enzymes. Ferritin is a cheap and easy blood test and your doctor should not object to adding this to your blood labs.

Alcohol increases iron absorption from food and excess iron is stored in the liver. Fatty livers become enlarged and can hold a lot of iron, but when you stop drinking and your liver dumps its excess fat (returning to normal size), it really has no way of unloading any excess iron it has taken on board from before when you were drinking.

As long as iron levels are not sky-hi, this excess iron may not be problematic unless additional oxidative stress occurs, which is what drinking again can do, however even moderately high iron can cause problems when combined with the oxidative stress from alcohol.

The upper limits of the "normal" range for ferritin/stored iron are set quite high @ 300, but this is the official limit for "iron overload disease" and NOT "normal" for optimal health. The "optimal" levels for ferritin/stored iron are 25 to 75, and when ferritn runs into triple digits (over 100), this will put you in the "high normal" range and any unnecessary additional oxidative load (from alcohol) at these levels might be unwise.

Resuming alcohol consumption with high normal iron levels will mean you will start adding even more iron to an already elevated state.

If your ferritin/stored iron is in the optimal range (well under 100) and your liver enzymes are normal, as well as your ultrasound, resuming moderate alcohol consumption should be relatively safe.

When you look at your liver enzymes, the AST should also be well below your ALT level. An AST at parity or higher than ALT is an indication of established alcoholic liver disease that has not resolved and additional alcohol consumption would be unwise in this case.

If your ferritin is on the high side, it is easy to dump excess iron through blood donation. Each 500cc donation will lower your ferritin by about 30 points, thus if your ferritin is around 100, only two donations would put you back into the ideal range again, and additional donations twice a year should keep it there, even with moderate alcohol consumption.

Google around on: The Role of Iron in Alcoholic Liver Disease, and you will see, the guru's of hepatology have found hepatic iron overload to be a major factor in the development of alcoholic liver disease.

Drinking or not, optimal iron levels are the key to a happy liver.

Cheers!
Hi BillinSD

I did Ferritin test and it is 179 (25-200)

My ALT is 16 (4 - 43)

ALK PHOS 53 (30-110)

so it is your opinion that i give blood 4 times (30 x 4 = 120) to bring down this level to 59?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 223
BillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

I'm not a doctor... I'm an X-Drinker, but this is what I did when I suddenly became ill while drinking no more than I usually did for many years.

I quit drinking promptly when I became ill, but to my surprise, instead of feeling better, I started feeling worse. An ultrasound showed an echogenic/fatty liver, and my BUN was at the bottom end of normal, but other than that, my doctor could find nothing wrong. My liver enzymes were never elevated until after I quit drinking, and even then only slightly high.

I scoured the internet for 3 months looking for clues as to why I wasn't feeling any better and finally came across the hepatic iron overload associated with long term drinking as a new theory on alcoholic liver disease. I had donated blood in the past, but hadn't been in for over 10 years so I figured I'd try it.

I felt noticeably better shortly (the week) after my first donation, but it wasn't till I'd dumped 3 pints in 6 months (the fastest the blood bank allows) that I knew I was on the right track.

My doctor hadn't even tested for iron in the blood work done when I was ill, so I went back to him for a ferritin test. After 3 donations my ferritin was still at 117, so I figure it was right around the 200 mark when I became ill. Not really sky-high as far as iron overload goes, but combined with the oxidative stress from drinking, apparently it was enough to get my fatty liver really angry.

If you're going to try blood donation, look at your local blood bank's website for their donor restrictions to be sure you qualify. Also... The needle they use at the blood bank is a bit larger than the one they draw blood with at your doctors lab, and it usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to draw off a pint. You can preview the whole process via online video if you like. A bit of googling should turn one up.

Also... Make sure you're donate "whole blood" and not plasma, platelets or packed cells.

Don't go in to donate hungry and dehydrated from work, and don't go in right after an enormous meal either and you shouldn't have any problems. Millions of people donate blood every decade and so can you! Hydration is the key to a happy donor experience. Go in well hydrated and drink another glass of water as you fill in the forms. Then drink at least another pint of liquid before you leave.

The blood banks have a little canteen and request you "recover" for 15 minutes with drinks and a snack before you leave. Don't skimp on this recovery and you should do fine. The whole process should take less than an hour.

I haven't started drinking again since I've de-ironed my liver, but I'm feeling so good I must admit I've been tempted to tipple again. I had felt so bad for so long I kind of got "scared straight", but to each his own.

Best of Luck to you!

Last edited by BillinSD; 08-07-2012 at 05:48 PM. Reason: typo

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 24
forehand36 HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

Heu BillinSD

thank you very much for your quick reply.
i stopped drinking 4 months ago and i also do not feel too well.
i will snoop around the internet more and decide what to do.

thanks again

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 24
forehand36 HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

Hey Bill

I find myself in a funny situation.

It is curious that my hemoglobin, red blood cells are low, lower than normal range, but my ferritin is close to the high range.

My GP prescribed me over the counter iron pills - because of anemia and dizziness i suffer. but on the other hand, i should try to dump iron based on high ferritin level, per your posts.

i have to have more iron, but have to get rid of iron?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 05:30 PM   #7
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 223
BillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

Inflammation and/or infection can boost ferritin artificially high, so this is a possibility. This low iron content ferrtin is called apoferritin, and the body pumps this out to attempt to pick up any stray iron floating around that could aggravate inflammatory or infectious conditions.

Inflammation and/or infection will also boost "hepcidin", the body's master iron transport hormone. When hepcidin is high, iron is effectively put in "lock-down" mode, again to prevent iron from contributing to inflammation or infection.

These two processes combine to cause "the anemia of inflammation" also known as "the anemia of chronic disease".

I'm not saying this is what I think you have, but this is an example of how one can have low hemoglobin / anemia and plenty of stored iron that is simply not being used.

I wouldn't try to dump iron if your anemic or your hemoglobin is low, and the blood bank wouldn't take you as they test hemoglobin before every donation to be sure you've got the blood to spare.

If you've got inflammation going on somewhere and this is causing your anemia, I believe iron supplementation is also unwise, according to what I've read. In the end, it's best to follow your doctor's advise, but I would consider asking to see a hematologist if your anemia does not resolve soon. If you're a male, and you eat meat, and you have a history of alcohol use, you shouldn't be low on iron/anemic unless you've been bleeding somewhere (GI?) or have some chronic inflammation going on somewhere.

I believe there are some blood tests that can show inflammation and you might ask your GP about these.

This is an interesting medical puzzle... I hope someone else can shed some light.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 06:42 PM   #8
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 223
BillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB UserBillinSD HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

P.S. A couple of additional thoughts...

Deficiencies in vitamin-B12 or folate can also cause anemia when iron supply is adequate. If you're taking antacids or acid blockers these can cause a B-12 deficiency. Folate deficiency is rare now days, as so many foods are fortified with folate/folic acid.

B-12 is poorly absorbed from supplements or food if acid is not present in the stomach, but there are "sublingual B-12 dots" available that you dissolve under your tongue that may bump up your B-12 levels.

You might ask your doc about this possibility.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 24
forehand36 HB User
Re: more risky to drink after reversal of fatty liver

Hey Bill

thanks for your insights.
frankly, i really don't understand what you are saying

i have been referred to hematologist, and i'm seeing her nov 1 - canadian medicine at its best - 3 months from now, i might be dead by then

but it is free to see her!

again, thanks.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Reversing fatty liver disease thedpboy Liver & Pancreas Disorders 4 02-13-2012 08:49 PM
Fatty Liver A Disease? Buzzy523 Liver & Pancreas Disorders 0 11-15-2009 06:54 PM
Fatty Infiltration of Liver causing back discomfort? trojan23_us Liver & Pancreas Disorders 10 09-11-2007 03:59 PM
Re: More confused now saying liver fatty sparing??? donna70 Liver & Pancreas Disorders 2 09-06-2007 07:18 AM
Fatty liver what does this mean? andycharnell Liver & Pancreas Disorders 4 04-23-2006 10:56 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:54 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!