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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19320
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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good morning I wonder if you can help me I will give you some

Customer Question

good morning I wonder if you can help me I will give you some insight into my medical background before I ask my question. In February 2012 I was diagnosed with cancer primary unknown PTx N2b M0 SCC if any of that makes sense and I had left neck dissection followed by post operative chemo/IMRT that was completed in December 2012 as a result of my treatment I was left with damage to my mouth and as a result have found eating very difficult and my diet up until recently mainly consisted of ensure milk shakes (3 a day if very lucky) some days eating may only result in a sandwich in the morning. Also I was diagnosed with pancreatitis (ethanol induced) over four years ago and over that period up to now I haven't had any flare ups and have been given the all clear for the scans I have every six months regarding my pancreas (I suffered pseudocysts as a result of my flare up four years ago which subsided but they also found a small cyst in my duodenum which they monitor six monthly) my current medication is only omeprazole and recently it was flagged up that I had a raised level of ca19-9 which was 40 in February but is currently 90 although know cancer has been found , I've had a PET scan MRI scan and CT scan all came back ok. know to that bad part, on few occasions I do consume alcohol and as I explained before I've never had a flare up from my pancreatitis but in September this year id had five 500ml bottles of beer at 5.9% starting at 5:30 and finishing at about 9:00 pm the following morning at 5:50 am I was driving to work I was stopped and was asked to give a breath specimen which I failed and was taken to the police station where I gave another specimen which came back with a reading of 52. I've instructed a barrister to act as my defence and had a court hearing on the 6th of November this year this was adjourned to a later date because the barrister asked if I had or had ever suffered from reflux or excess gas I told him that was why I was taking omeprazole and initially he felt that as a result of this it may have been possible that a higher reading could has resulted due to this condition! I have been asked to submit doctor's and hospital medical records which I have done his recent feed back to me was that he'd spoken to a professor who specialises in drink driving cases and the professor feels the reading was far to high for the volume of alcohol and the time difference from finishing drinking and when I gave a specimen now my question is this is it possible for alcohol to take longer to get out of my system especially if I'm not eating a great amount as something doesn't seem right to me with there assumptions I was 98 kgs when I started my treatment and know I'm 70 kgs I'm 5'11" male aged 42. If there is anything in my defence then I would seek legal medical guidance but I have been told this will probably cost me in the region of £1000.00 my bill is already going up and currently I look as if I'm going to be loosing my job after nearly twenty years with the company as a result. I'm a heavy goods vehicle mechanic by trade and my licence is very important to me as with out it I cant do my job (if only I could turn back the clock) many thanks for taking the time to read this
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
Have you ever had any problems with the liver?
When was the last time that liver blood tests were done?
Were these tests normal?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
I had asked for some additional information and have not heard back, so will address what information is available.

In answer to your direct question, no, the fact that you have not been eating much would not cause the alcohol to take longer to get out of your system. Eating a larger amount of food while drinking can slow the emptying of the stomach and the time it takes for the alcohol to be absorbed, but once absorbed, it will be metabolised at the same rate. The opposite of this would also be true - drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will typically be absorbed more quickly, but will be metabolised at the same rate.

The reason for the questions that I asked is that the primary reason why alcohol may not be cleared at the expected rate would be because of liver dysfunction. People that regularly drink alcohol are at increased risk of developing liver dysfunction. If you had recent liver blood tests and these were normal, then there would be no reason to suspect that this might be the problem. If there is any suspicion that there may be a slow metabolism of alcohol, it would be easy to check, by drinking a reasonable amount of alcohol, and then measuring the alcohol level by a blood test over the next few hours to see how quickly you are metabolising the alcohol.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.