Discussions By Condition: Liver conditions

Liver? Immune system? Scratching

Posted In: Liver conditions 8 Replies
  • Posted By: mellowred
  • August 14, 2007
  • 03:45 PM

We are desperately searching for relief for scratching due to what we believe is a liver problem.
My boyfriend has been a heavy drinker for over 30 years, and it has now taken its toll on his immune system.
He has been prescribed valium to assist with giving up alcohol, but prefers to cut back on his own.
He has cut back on the alcohol, but is finding it very difficult to stop completely.
He has also been advised that he is pre-diabetic and that this could also be a cause of the scratching.

His skin is raw from the constant scratching which gets worse when he gets into bed at night.

His whole body is now affected, and he has red, raw areas which bleed. Creams do not help as the itch comes from under the surface of the skin. He does use a cortisone based cream which I believe will eventually do more harm than good and which only offers short term relief (if any).

Hope someone can offer some advice.

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8 Replies:

  • Hi,My grandmother had similar problems before being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was mis-diagnosed for a long time - the small-town doctors thought it was related to diabetes, and so what at first would have been operable became inoperable - so that is something he might check into. :( At the very least it sounds like your boyfriend may have a serious toxicity problem.Don't give up - the body has an amazing ability to heal itself in so many situations!I am 34 and have liver and other organ damage from being exposed to Workplace chemicals 2 years ago (Diagnosed with Chemical Injury). A year and a half ago I was so terribly ill that I was urinating blood, my food wouldn't digest, severe liver pain, and my skin itch terribly and in some places it would fall off every day and bleed. There were many days when I couldn't get out of bed or couldn't remember my own name. I had arthritis so bad that I couldn't use my hands many days. I was barely able to function last year, but am doing a better this year. So don't give up!I have a doc for my chemical injury, but I have also been seeing someone who also does something called BioScan, and that has really helped. It is based more on Eastern Medicine and deals more with detoxification and balancing the body. The Infrared Saunas that he has prescribed have been very helpful for detoxification.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_saunaIn regard to the alcohol problem, as his body detoxifies itself and heals, he may find it much easier to quit drinking. Some doctors believe that alcoholism is based on advanced food allergies. (Read "An Alternative Approach to Allergies," by Theron Randolph - available on Amazon.com).For liver repair I take:Milk Thistle - 500 mg - 3 times a dayN-Acetyl Cystine (a precursor of glutathione - 500 mg capsule before bedI also take a daily injection of glutathione, by prescription. Generally only Environmental Medicine and Holistic docs are familiar with this, though.(Glutathione is an amino acid utilized by the body's Phase II detoxification system to rid the body of toxins)For perhaps some immediate relief, I would recommend epsom salt baths for the itching and Arnica Gel (without petroleum added) for the itching. I would also drink plenty of filtered water. I also have found the something called "Tri-Salts", made by a company called Ecological Formulas (about $7.00 for a bottle) really helps with my skins problems (available online or at a Vitamin Store). (It is simply a Magnesium,Calcium, Potassium mixture that helps balance the body's acidity.)This should get you started. Good luck and take care now.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 24, 2007
    • 00:25 AM
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  • Thanks a mill for your reply. I believe the problem is a toxic system one (pray it is not the pancreatic cancer). We will check out the web sites you advised, and thank you for the holistic medicines advice. That is the sort of answer we are looking for. $7 calculates to a lot of Rands (our currency) for a bottle of water, but Hennie should drink more bottled water - we have a lot of spa waters available here. He tends to want to mix tap water with cordials or gasssy drinks to disguise the taste so bottled water may be an alternative for him.We will find out what we can about the medicines you advise and pray that things will get better.Kind regards and God blessMandy
    mellowred 2 Replies
    • September 26, 2007
    • 05:39 PM
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  • could it be this - Echinococcosis
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 30, 2007
    • 08:01 PM
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  • Oh - I just noticed. You are in RSA. Where? I spent a few years there. There are excellent liver specialists in RSA.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 27, 2009
    • 10:22 AM
    • 0
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  • We are desperately searching for relief for scratching due to what we believe is a liver problem.My boyfriend has been a heavy drinker for over 30 years, and it has now taken its toll on his immune system.He has been prescribed valium to assist with giving up alcohol, but prefers to cut back on his own.He has cut back on the alcohol, but is finding it very difficult to stop completely. He has also been advised that he is pre-diabetic and that this could also be a cause of the scratching. His skin is raw from the constant scratching which gets worse when he gets into bed at night. His whole body is now affected, and he has red, raw areas which bleed. Creams do not help as the itch comes from under the surface of the skin. He does use a cortisone based cream which I believe will eventually do more harm than good and which only offers short term relief (if any).Hope someone can offer some advice.If, as I suspect, your friend has cirrhosis he may have an elevated amount of bilirubin (a liver by-product) in his blood. This bilirubin gets into the skin and causes the itching you describe. There is a medication which is taken by mouth with juice or Tang or some other liquid that will help this quickly. I get this occasionally. You need to encourage him to go see the doctor. The doctor will prescribe the medicine.You are describing the precursors to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is irreversible liver damage. I think it has little to do with the immune system when caused by alcohol. Eventually the only way to survive is to replace the liver.If he has cirrhosis the alcohol will shorten his life substantially, as will quite a few other things he can take. Alcohol and Acetaminophen is one such combination. Many herbal remedies are also dangerous. Iron in vitamins is one you might never think of. That is why the doctor is important. I'm not preaching here. I do have end stage liver disease and someday I will either get a transplant or die. No question about it. For now I am doing ok.Take a look. Are his legs swollen? How about his belly? It is possible but not always a symptom that his eye whites may have a yellow tinge. The scratching is also a symptom. Cramps, decrease in the brains power, and lots of other things happen. One of the worst being a blowout of enlarged veins in the throat or some other places which results in severe bleeding and a high mortality rate. Any of these familiar?Your friend needs to talk to a GI doc or a hepatologist right away. If he is itching that bad, he needs to do it to get relief.There are lots of other things that can cause this problem, but the one I describe is the most common I know about. It goes with the alcohol and creeps up. Mine is from Hep C. Most of the home remedies, such as bottled water and the like are not going to do much. Milk Thistle has its adherents among some docs. I repeat, the liver at a certain stage WILL NOT repair itself and to think otherwise is both denial and fatal. What is needed is treatment for the symptoms you describe, and probably diuretics to prevent fluid retention, and beta blockers to decrease the pressure in the portal vein and associated structures in an effort to slow the development of varices (swollen veins). These are not going to be found in the health store.I think your boyfriend is in trouble much worse than he knows. Act now if you want him to be around with you awhile.Sorry - I can't think of any other way to try to build a fire and explain how much I think proper medical care is needed right now.Remember that I am not a doc and could have it all wrong, but I've been pretty interested in the subject since being diagnosed.Good luck
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 27, 2009
    • 10:29 AM
    • 0
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  • We are desperately searching for relief for scratching due to what we believe is a liver problem.My boyfriend has been a heavy drinker for over 30 years, and it has now taken its toll on his immune system.He has been prescribed valium to assist with giving up alcohol, but prefers to cut back on his own.He has cut back on the alcohol, but is finding it very difficult to stop completely. He has also been advised that he is pre-diabetic and that this could also be a cause of the scratching. His skin is raw from the constant scratching which gets worse when he gets into bed at night. His whole body is now affected, and he has red, raw areas which bleed. Creams do not help as the itch comes from under the surface of the skin. He does use a cortisone based cream which I believe will eventually do more harm than good and which only offers short term relief (if any). Hope someone can offer some advice. raw food diet, juices montel williams emulsifier. herbs that heal. No alcohol None No sugar . the scratching is toxins being released. cleansing. Do a liver detox cleanse. careful. no meat no milk no eggs veggies and fruits raw . Do you want to live?
    joyinthehills 2 Replies
    • September 2, 2009
    • 08:55 AM
    • 0
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  • I am not a doctor. But I am an alcoholic who was given last rites for damage I did to my liver. Your boyfriend or whoever, has to stop drinking now. Slowing down, thinking about stopping, cutting back, all a joke. Get to a doctor and get a blood test. It will show that he is on his way if not at cirrhosis. Get to an AA meeting. Start eating better. Take it easy but start eating three meals a day. I would venture to say they have recently lost weight, just a guess.Don't listen to what anybody tells you but your doctor. Everybody becomes an expert in this field. Give me a break. Don't be afraid of telling your doc everything, as soon as they get your blood they will know everything.Start some type of exercise, even if it is walking slowly around the block. Bottom line is alcohol is a 10,000 pound bully out to kill you AND IT WILL. Life without alcohol will become better than you can ever possibly imagine. They told me that and I thought it was all BS. I ain't BS, my life is better than I ever dreamed it could be and I am just a normal guy from a blue collar family. Even my dog is happier than he ever thought he could be. This is a very bad/serious situation and if he does not get qualified help he is gonna not be long for this world.Good luck, go on out and kick alcohol in the teeth.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 16, 2010
    • 08:59 PM
    • 0
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  • Alcohol is a serious killer . Poor diet and alcohol are the worst things that can happen to your liver . They cause irreparable damage , and are bound to have severe consequences on the long term . I came across this link , which i found it to be very informative . http://www.lifemojo.com/lifestyle/11-bad-things-for-your-immune-system-65627458
    mattkemp 3 Replies Flag this Response
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