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!