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Author Topic: Worried I Have Cirrhosis of the Liver ! Distended Abdominal Veins, Spider Veins  (Read 20302 times)

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Offline ImObsessed

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Where do I begin?
Im 47 and have a history of on and off drinking. I probably drank really heavy (3 nights a week) in the late 80s early 90s. Then I completely stopped in 2000 and didn't drink at all again until 2006 and then only socially. When I was young a few times I had elevated liver enzymes after a night out. I also had fatty liver back then but it latter disappeared when I stopped drinking. But I also struggle with being overweight. I know plenty of people who drank way more then me, and on a daily basis.
About 3 years ago I went for an ultrasound of my abdomen and it revealed "Moderate to severe fatty liver with mild enlargement"
doctor said to loose weight and th enlargement comes from the excess fat.
But THAT scared the hell out of me. I immediately stopped al alcohol. My liver enzymes were normal though.

Last year I decide to have another ultrasound to see how my liver looks with no alcohol for a year or so.
The doctor reads the conclusion or impression which is located at the bottom of these reports as usual. The radiologist says "ultrasound of the abdomen is normal" Well I jump for joy, literally. I say to my doc, "Wow, I reversed the severe fatty liver and enlarged liver with just one year of no booze"!
I take a cop home with me for closer examination (typical hypochondriac behavior) and sure enough, hidden in the language up higher in the report where the radiologist  comments on every organ in the abdomen it says "mild fatty liver" - Im not sure why he wrote normal on the bottom, unless he didn't think it was of significance.

Then I make the mistake of asking one of many many people and co-workers and one reminds me that the first ultrasound was in the hospital with a very expensive machine and this second one was in the doctors office on a portable machine that the radiologist travels with and is inferior to hospital units and more prone to mistakes. This is a great thing to tell a neurotic!

So I spend my day looking for signs and symptoms of liver disfunction. I have low testosterone and as a result I have testosterone therapy with blood work almost monthly. Blood have been normal more or less. A couple months ago my bilirubin came back at 1.3 and normal should be under 1.2 but last blood it was .08 - -But that still freaks me out

So I seem to move from one "symptom" to  to another. I will name a few:

Pale finger nails-Indeed my nails are pale! but they have been for 30 years. I even have pictures of me a teenager and they look the same. So  Ihave managed to quell that fear

Red Palms. they do look red to me. But not like the red i see in photos online of liver patients. In those photos the area between the pinky and thumb are bright red. My entire palm had an orange red color. My doctor thinks its too much beta carotin in my system. But I don't believe him lol

Now for the BIG ONE that is the most recent and scarry: Distended Abdominal Veins! Im not sure if mine are distended in the true sense of the word, but I do have visible veins. there is one small maybe 4 inch vein up on the side of my ribs that seems to pop out a little above the skin when I work out on the tread mill. I also have a few spider veins on the sides of my ribs.

I am trying to write this in a comical and humorous way, but in reality I am terrified right now. I don't want to die that way, its a terrible death.

I have been asking EVERYONE and I do men every singe person I know to examine my chest and stomach and look at my veins. I asked a few co-workers what they thought. They all tell me Im close to 50 and out of shape, its normal. I will try to post some pics of them, but its hard to get them in a photo, it just looks like a bluish area on my skin. But I'm fat.
Thats another point, I weighed 245 and one month ago I began a very low carb diet and lost 20 pounds. I am seeing more abdominal veins with the weight loss. Im tempted to just eat more so I don't have see them.

I looked at my wife and he has plenty of stomach veins, but I think woman are supposed to have them, I not sure if men have them also.

I would love to hear from any of you if you have stomach veins. Mine are really more on the sides of my stomach, and of course a hot shower will bring them out even more.

The ONLY thing that is keeping me from going off the deep end lately has been the fact that my labs are pretty much normal. albumin is 4.5, ALT last check was 25 and AST 26..........I felt so good about those labs, until I start Googling and learn that you can have end stage liver disease and normal labs!

HELP PLEASE!?
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline vardnas

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Oh, obsessed, I don't think you have end-stage liver disease! If you were, you'd be very sick and wouldn't be posting to a hypochondria board.

The fact that you used to have severe fatty liver with enlargement, and in a year you were able to have only mild fatty liver and no abnormality, that's excellent! And a testament to how quickly the body can heal itself if given the right environment.

Take heart that your labs are fine. You aren't jaundiced, it would seem (based on your description) and a bilirubin level of 1.3 when 1.2 is normal is HARDLY elevated. It's not even something a doctor would bat an eyelash at.

As someone who carries some extra weight around the middle, I know it's hard to tell what's just fat and what's "distended," but don't worry, veins and stuff are totally normal. I think that if you were having real liver problems, they'd be QUITE apparent. 

If I were you, I would stop polling everyone you know as to the state of your health. Why? Well, exactly for the reason you stated, in that eventually, someone will say something that you will misconstrue or misinterpret as being bad. Not everyone has to know your business. Bring your concerns up with your doctor, with your wife, with your therapist if you have one, but stop asking people to look at your veins or to interpret your medical tests. Unless you work with a bunch of doctors, guess what? None of these people know any better than you!


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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline ImObsessed

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I know your right, but when I look at other men my age I don't see anyone with veins in the sides/stomach.
its like a compulsive thought that keeps intruding into my mind, the more I try not to think about it the more I do

I have been taking klonopin then the hours become too worrisome and that really helps, but only temporarily.

I was on Lexapro 10mg for about a year and that did help a lot, but I stopped because of he sexual side effects.
I think I am going to back on beginning tomorrow. I guess I have no choice  :traurig001:
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline ImObsessed

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No one has any opinions? Im just curious if Im the only one who can see veins on the sides of his abdomen, and if this is normal or not. Is this what they mean by "bulging"  in relation to portal hypertension?
this morning I found a long vein what was very hard to photograph, running from my ribs on the right side all the way down my abdomen, when I twist a certain way and push on it with my hands I am actually able to make it "pop" out and bulge.
Im just a little nervous right now.  with this Paleo diet I am seeing more and more veins.
Time to go back on Lexapro
I don't mean to freak you people out, but I snapped some pics of my abdomen. The veins are really not showing up in the photos other then bluei-ish areas on my skin.
FOr what its worth, Im also on a VERY low carb diet right now and it may be making it worse.
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline ImObsessed

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more pics
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline vardnas

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Your pics aren't show up. Maybe try again??
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline ImObsessed

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The pics say "waiting Moderator Approval" Hopefully soon  :traurig001:
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline vardnas

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In the meantime, I'm sure you're okay!

I think it's really easy to fixate on one little symptom and blow it out of proportion. I mean, if you had distended veins in your abdomen, your bloods were off, you were jaundiced beyond belief and you were still suffering from severe fatty liver, then I'd be worried, but just the veins ... well, I dunno, there's probably a more reasonable explanation. Like, maybe as you're losing weight, the veins are becoming more prominent. That happens to me in my hands and arms if/when I do a lot of weight work, the veins definitely become more noticeable.

I know all that is a lot easier to believe when you're not freaking out, but just keep that in mind: usually the best explanation is the easiest one. At the height of my HA, I would do all kinds of crazy symptom math to get them to all add up to a particular disease, and whenever a doctor would take a look at me, they'd just scoff and offer up a more educated, reasonable explanation. I was never once right, not ever.

Just keep that in mind! Try and stay calm!
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline mantooth

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Man I'm 19 and have visible abdominal veins. You're fine.
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Offline ImObsessed

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I hope you guys are right.
I mean, when I take off my shirt and stand in the mirror I don't see any veins popping out, but when I begin to look closer and prod my abdomen and move the flesh around then I start to find them '
Last year I showed my dermatologist and she said everyone has veins, and truly distended veins were sticking out and engorged.
But in my sick hypochondriac mind I take that and say to myself "ok, so maybe this is the beginning of it and in another year or so they WILL become engorged" lol

Im not sure when they will approve my pics, and I hope this isn't against the rules, but here is a link to the photos in case you want to take a look:
http://forum.mesomorphosis.com/mens-health-forum/normal-have-visible-veins-134315831.html
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline vardnas

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Oh, now it's saying we need to register for that site to see them!

Listen, obsessed, you said something that I really think is key here:  you don't see them when you take your shirt off and look in the mirror, but once you start poking and prodding, you do. Mmmkay ...  :angry-smiley-034: Yes, of course once you START looking for things, you find them.

If you had cirrhosis, you'd have SYMPTOMS. Real, obvious, unavoidable symptoms. Not ones you have to poke and prod yourself to find.

Believe your dermatologist. And listen to those on the board where you posted your photos:  don't worry about illness and death. Try your best to get your anxiety under control, 'cause right now it's controlling you!
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline ImObsessed

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Vardnas: IT looks like a Mod finally approved my pics in my prior post. Take a look at my flabby belly and tell me what you think lol
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline vardnas

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I think it looks totally normal. I see no veins at all! Let alone ones that are distended.

Methinks you're a-okay. :)
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline ImObsessed

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 :spineyes: thanks! It makes me feel better hearing you say that! Yes the veins are hard to see especially in a photograph, I mean, if I twist my stomach and fat in certain positions I can make them "pop" but I realize thats not the same as distended.
But you have to admit there are areas on my skin on the sides that had a blue or greet tinge, I believe there are veins under there.
The dieting is making it worse.
Im back on Lexapro and even though today is only day 3 on the pill I am beginning to feel better.

Im actually thinking about joining a tanning salon to get some color and maybe hide any imperfections in my skin tone.
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Im obsessed with my health and my current obsession is my liver.

Offline vardnas

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Of course there are veins under your skin! Listen to what you are saying—you have miles and miles of veins and some of them are definitely visible underneath the skin.  :P

And guess what? The more weight you lose, the more noticeable they'll become, but listen:  losing weight and getting in shape are NEVER bad things, and will do far more to improve your health than harm it. So please don't worry. I did not notice any green or blue tinge on your skin in those photo. If it makes you feel better, tan, but don't go tanning too much, even the fake stuff's not great for you. Just take it easy, you're a-okay. Lexapro and the like take a couple of weeks to kick in, no? I'm sure in a few you will look back on this worry and chuckle.

Hang in there.
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

 

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