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This is Dr. David
you could be going through some mild alcohol withdraw since you stopped cold turkey.
you should hang in there and continue to not drink and drink plenty of water and eat healthy.
you should see your GP as soon as you can as well and let them know you have gone cold turkey and stopped drinking.
you should get routine blood testing of your liver as well as your kidney to see if your prior drinking has affected your liver and kidney.
when was the last time you had routine blood testing?
I don't think I have had it done in a long time.
well, it would be a good time to see your GP and get blood testing.
I am glad you have decided to quit drinking.
hang in there and these withdraw symptoms should get better with time.
also exercising can possibly help as well.
do you do any regular exercise?
Is it normal to feel like this? I am really hot! I am very worried about liver desease and am committed to never drink again! How long will these symptoms last?
withdraw symptoms can sometimes last for 2-3 weeks after stopping drinking, sometimes longer.
it depends on how long you have been drinking and how much prior.
some patients have baseline excessive anxiety and alcohol is used to decrease their anxiety levels.
if you continue to have symptoms of anxiety, then you might need to talk to your doctor about medication treatments to help decrease symptoms of anxiety.
I have been exercising three times a day since saturday by walking, which does make me feel good. Is there anything else I can do. I am very worried about going to see a doctor because some of my symptoms point to liver disease. Is this likely?
don't be worried.
you need to see a doctor and get blood testing.
liver disease is unlikely at your age.
you have changed your life to start to improve your liver health.
the liver is strong and can repair itself.
Are you sure? I am very concerned about how hot I am getting in the evenings. I have been drinking regularly for about 8 years. Is there anything that you recommend I can do to ease my symptoms as I am not ready to get the worst news from my doctor yet
some people use milk thistle to help improve liver health.
avoid acetomenophen products or tylenol products.
continue to exercise and eat healthy and drink plenty of water
continue to avoid alcohol.
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I wont go near it ever again. Is it normal to feel twinges in where I believe my liver to be.
these twinges could be due to stomach inflammation or gall bladder inflammation or your gall bladder getting use to no alcohol.
Would the hotness that im feeling have anything to do with high blood pressure?
have you taken your blood pressure?
you can do that at the grocery store or your drug store
No how do I go about doing that? It is not constant throughout the day and only really comes on after 5pm when I might have a drink normally.
that will take more time for it to go away.
your brain is use to the alcohol at that time.
so it will take several more weeks, but your brain will slowly stop getting use to having alcohol at that time in the day.
do you have any other questions?
I have experienced itching and minor muscle pulls before when I stopped drinking for se eral weeks
hopefully these symptoms wont happen this time.
and hopefully this time you will stay away for good from alcohol.
you might benefit from joining a support group of other men or women who have quit drinking as well and support each other to stay away from alcohol.
we know patients who join these support groups like AA have a better chance of staying away from alcohol.
because they hold each other accountable and give each other their advice and encouragement.
I will definitely do that. Is there anything I can do or take to cool me down at night? I am currently drinking huge amounts of cold water
have you tried cool or leukwarm showers?
that could help as well.
Dear Dr David, thank you for your help yesterday I sleep a lot better last night. Today I walked about 5 miles in the morning, but am feeling a little wobbly in my head and quite cold/shaky. Is this to be expected?
yes, this can happen.
it will get better
The feeling in my head is probably more like being light headed than anything else and gives me a strange feeling when I first get out of bed or up from a chair. I was also sick this morning following coughing and brought up thick but normal coloured flem. Is that to be expected and how long will it go on for.
do you smoke?
Never. It is strange for someone who drinks too much but I have always thought it a nasty habit. When I was quite young my gp thought that I might have asthma because of a perstant cough.
you could have asthma.
Would this cause me to feel light headed (particular ly during exercise) and cough a lot
yes, asthma could be causing you these symptoms.
you should get a pulmonary function test
to check for asthma.
I also seem to get quite a few chesty colds. But these symptoms are worse when I don't drink. Is that strange?
your drinking could be helping you to relax smooth muscles around the airways of your lungs
there are medications for asthma which can help open up your airways and help you breathing better as well.
I know that you advised me to go to the gp straight away, but I want to wait until I can tell them that I am clean. How long should I accept these symptoms as being a reaction to not drinking?
they are a reaction to not drinking.
you have been drinking for some time.
your body has to get use to not drinking now.
Sorry your message was broken up and did not make sense, do you mean 2 weeks maximum for the symptoms to reduce and that in your opinion they are just symtoms of withdrawal?
some of your symptoms are from withdraw.
your other symptoms could have been masked by alcohol.
your asthma could have been a bit better on alcohol.
some people have anxiety disorder which is better on alcohol and their anxiety gets worse after they quit drinking.
what you need is better treatments for your asthma and anxiety other than alcohol.
does this make sense?
Yes thanks for the clarification. I believe that you are correct about it masking issues. I really only started drinking larger amounts when my wife left 8 years ago and I never really dealt with it properly because I have a stressful job and was trying to keep it together. Is there anything that is sold over the counter to cope with anxiety? the possible asthma I am happy to manage at the moment with exercise and see how it goes.
sometimes exercise worsens asthma and causes more airway spasms and more shortness of breath.
anxiety is best treated by your GP.
there are prescription medications used to treat anxiety.
exercise can sometimes help decrease anxiety as well as meditation and relaxation techniques.
but best see your doctor about excessive anxiety symptoms and asthma.
there are good treatments for these.
if you let these go untreated, it increases your chances of going back to drinking.
I will never go back to drink having spoken to my son last week. But I want to be able to prove this to a gp by saying that I have not had a drink for a long time to prove that I am not just a middle aged drunk. I can be a strong person and want to prove it to them. My willpower to never drink is not something that I have a problem with as once I put my mind to something I know that I can do it. Would calms help me, or herbal relaxation (tea etc) help. I have also looked into yoga and will start doing it at home.
you don't have to prove anything to anyone.
you have quit drink already that is the biggest battle.
you are not weak because you go see the doctor.
you are a stronger person because you can go see the doctor and ask for help for your symptoms of asthma and excessive anxiety.
try herbal tea.
that is fine .
but you need to see about asthma
and the excessive anxiety if you continue to have it.
I understand what you are saying and appreciate you being so nice to me. However, it has only really been 5/6 days since I had my last drink and I don't think I can say that I have stopped yet can I?
yes, you have stopped drinking
stopping drinking is an everyday battle.
you have to know that you are only one drink away from going back to drinking.
and that one drink can happen now or even one year from now or 5 years from now.
the only thing you can control is today. and right now.
you have quit before for 3 years at a time and then gone back to drinking.
so that could happen again.
you should not be waiting 3 years before you go see your GP.
No it was three weeks that I stopped for before just to try to get healthy and lose weight, not because I thought that I had a drink problem. This time is different because I believe that I have a drink issue and therefore will stop completely.
well, I hope you stay away from drinking.
don't stay away from your GP try to prove something.
do seek medical help and evaluation for your symptoms.
and don't give a flying crap what other people think
you are not there to prove anything to them.
everyone has their battles.
you are winning yours right now by not drinking.
let me know if you have other questions.
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It is not anyone else that bothers me, just my family and son who I want to be able to be proud of me. I will leave positive feedback and thank you for your help. It is strange, but I just want to be the one that fixes me if that makes sense. It probably doesn't but it is how I feel. That and the fact that I don't want anyone else to know.
My real worry is that if I am on medication and admit to drinking issues I might not be able to be responsible for my son.
Hello Dr David did you try to contact me? I lost my connection
of course you will be able to be responsible for your son.
you can't fix your own asthma by yourself.
if you had high blood pressure, you can't fix high blood pressure by yourself.
there are medical conditions that sometimes you need help to fix.
I tried to go to my gp today, but they are closed for four days for easter. I did go and see a chemist though and he gave me vitamin b1 and tried to reassure me as you had. He said that I did not look like an alcoholic and did a test on my hand to see if it was shaking. He said it was not. He also said that I had done the hard part in stopping and that it was probable that any damage that had been done could be reversed.
yes, I agree.
sounds like you have a good chemist who is caring.
I like how in the UK they are called chemists.
Would that be true even if I had developed liver desease?
in the US, they are pharmacist and they never have time to talk to patients or give advice.
most likely the liver can heal itself.
I have said this before.
but the only way you will know the severity of your liver disease is to get blood testing to check your liver.
I have come round to doing this. I am really worried about the murmor that I am getting from the right side of my chest though. Could it be a real concern or is it most likely something else? It is worse when I bend over or try to lift a heavy object above my head!
most likely due to asthma and the mucus in your chest.
Is this not a sign of liver problem?
If you are certain that has put my mind at rest because it is the only sign that I have a liver problem that I am experiencing at the moment, other than the itching I had a while ago. I now only have a little desire to be sick after I have eaten or drunk water too quick or too much and no headache at all, except when I don't sleep properly. Thinking about things I think that the hotness that I have been feeling is due to anxiety as I just seem to worry and pace all the time. That is probably the reason that I first drank.
yes, many patients who have excessive anxiety turn to alcohol to treat their anxiety symptoms
you need treatments for your excessive anxiety so you don't go back to drinking.
Now that I know it is very unlikely to be liver desease that is causing my problems I will book an appointment for as soon as they open again after the holiday. I will tell him everything that I told you. I will not go back to drinking I am certain of it. I will tell him of our conversation and that you think it could be anxiety and asthma.
let me know how it goes
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I will do. Just to be certain the twinges that I have are also located in the right side of my chest also just under and above the bottom rib
that is more likely to be due to asthma or from prior damage to your stomach from alcohol.
Is damage to my stomach caused by alcohol a real problem or will that heal in time with abstence?
it depends on the severity of damage.
you need to see a doctor and get this evaluated.
I was going to go but am now really worried about this now. I dont have any pain. It is just mild twinges and discomfort at times, a little like indigestion. Should I be really worried or am I just making things up in my head again?
this is very typical for patients who have anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.
they continue to worry and worry
and can't move on without reassurance.
you should use over the counter antacids like maalox or mylanta
to calm down stomach acid
I bet that will help
I will try it tomorrow and see how it works! They never occured before I stopped drinking, or maybe I was just masking it with booze. For some reason I don't associate those twinges with the stomach it seems to be the wrong place, but you are the expert. I certainly do worry a lot and seem hypersensitive to everything at the moment.
this is very characteristic of excessive anxiety disorder.
At the moment I just seem to need constant reassurances over everything and thinking about it i have been seeking this constantly recently over any number of issues. I seem to calm right down having talked to someone, but need to do it constantly to feel better. About the side chest twinges I am laying here listening to my stomach curning and making all sorts of noises like it is digesting food. Could this be linked and point more towards the issue of stomach acid?
it is normal for your stomach to curn and make noises
its job is to digest food.
I'm glad you have some self awareness about your need for reassurance.
this is typical in patients who have anxiety disorder.
you need treatment for this for you will go back to drinking alcohol to treat your anxiety.
I will go and get the help from my gp for my anxiety. I was just asking if the twinges in the right side of my ribs might be more likely to be this because of the churning?
yes, it can be from stomach acid
and stomach churning.
Sorry to be more likely to be stomach acid because of the churning. It is a sort of flutter sensation.