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Dying young from Cirrhosis

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by sammy, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    I always thought that Cirrhosis was an disease that struck older men who had spent a lifetime over drinking alcohol. I never, ever thought that it could claim someone young but it does.

    I had a good friend in high school and college who I never knew to even experiment or be curious about alcohol. It was only after college that I learned she was drinking and drinking enough to basically qualify her as an alcoholic. She was arrested for DUI and started attending AA. During that time, we hung out and she did appear to be turning her life around. Things got busy, we fell out of touch and 2 years later I ran into her mom in the grocery store. It was then her mom delivered the devastating news. 6 months, prior my friend had actually died of Cirrhosis. I was in shock and told her mom that wasn't possible! But she assured me it was. My friend was very petite, under 5 feet and less than 100 lbs. They felt her smaller stature may have had some impact on how fast the disease progressed.

    My friend was not even 35 when she died. I regret that we lost touch but I also feel regret that I didn't think to encourage her to speak to her own family doctor about her drinking so that he could have provided medical advice on the physical ramifications of being an alcohol. If you have a family member or friend, do encourage them to tell their doctor about their drinking and/or drug use honestly.
    Mpg likes this.
  2. ExpertAdvice

    ExpertAdvice Active Contributor

    Sad story but I can tell you, ages matters not when it comes to ailments, Cirrhosis can affect anyone! and especially since your friend was an alcoholic, that made matters even worst, she may be had a very feeble liver and so, being a alcoholic just put an end to her liver's lifespan, then...her's. Taking alcoholic beverages is always something that person's should be wary of.
  3. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your friend. It was really disheartening, she was so young and had a life ahead of her. Thank you for sharing your story, it will really help those people who might be experiencing the same thing.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Alcohol [or drugs in general] is/are "no respecter of persons." It's even worse when you overuse/abuse the substance. It's possible in such cases to develop cirrhosis of the liver even if you haven't been drinking alcohol for a very long time. It's unfortunate that your friend had to die so young.
  5. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    Thank you for sharing the story. It's very easy for a lot of us to easily profile someone as being of a certain age, a certain social strata, a certain family history and so on. But it can happen to any of us if circumstances dictate.

    I hope you're at peace with your friend's passing and that the episode can send a message to more young people that are walking along the same path as her.
  6. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    Thanks for the kind words. I still look back on occasion and think of the "what ifs". I would be happy to prevent just one other person from going through what she went through. Dying of Cirrhosis is really terrible and painful and that's another aspect that I think many people just don't realize.
  7. XiaoDre

    XiaoDre Active Contributor

    I am sorry to hear about your friend Sammy and may God rest her soul. It is very sad how drinking can take over our lives the way it does. People become addicted to alcohol for many different reasons. Some people love to party and drink lots of alcohol just for fun and some people run to it as an escape from their everyday problems. I used both of those examples because they apply to me and the reasons I used to drink a lot of alcohol. I used to love being the life of the party getting drunk and being wild. I became worse when I started experiencing many problems in my life and used alcohol as an escape. People would tease me and say that I am going to get Cirrhosis of the liver. I knew of this disease but I didn't care. It took me a long time to realize that I had a serious drinking problem and I needed to slow down. Thank God I have not been diagnosed with Cirrhosis and I got my wake up call. I still drink but not as much as I used to. Again this is a sad story. I don't want anyone who has lost touch with me to ask about me only to find out that I am dead because of alcohol. I've learned to control liquor before it controls me.
    Mpg likes this.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Sorry to know that and condolence to the family, as well as to her friends.
    It is right that even at young age, one can have diseases because of too much alcohol. I do know someone who had a heart attack even on his early 30's because of being an alcoholic.
  9. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    It's a sad story. Unfortunately, I have a similar one to tell. I had a classmate whose mother owned a restaurant. During our high school years I often noticed alcohol on his breath. Many times he came to school looking disheveled and tired. I also saw bruises on him, but when I questioned him he would clamp up and tell me that it was none of my business. I met him again a couple of years after we finished high school. It was in a bar, and he told me that he was studying to become a chef and going to work in his mother's restaurant. I was astonished at how many drinks he managed to down in the few hours in which we chatted. About three months later I saw his death notice in the newspaper. It turned out that his mother had sexually abused him since he was a boy, and that he died from liver cirrhosis at the age of 20.
  10. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    I know that I have likely teased someone in the past myself but after my friend's death I have become more serious about talking to those who tell me the they drink quite often that this is a serious and real consequence and it can catch up with you much sooner than you think.

    I am so glad to hear that you have gained control. That's excellent!
  11. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    Wow- horrible story. I am so sorry to read this. He died before he even got a chance to really live.
  12. XiaoDre

    XiaoDre Active Contributor

    Yes I had to get control of it so it would not continue to control me. I would think about the consequences of drinking a lot but I didn't care to the point of stopping. First I had to fix my problems with anger because that is what really made me want to drink a lot. Once I stopped being so angry I started to drink less. There are times when I get mad and still crave alcohol but not a lot of it. I know that saying not a lot is not a good thing but I am learning. I am just glad that I do not get drunk anymore to the point that I black out and do not remember anything. It would have led me to the path of Cirrhosis, prison, or death (other ways besides catching cirrhosis).
  13. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    Yeah, every human respond to ethanol differently, and its effects are variable in each humans. Truth is, sometimes, cold turkey on alcohol can actually speed up problems in one's health - although, I do not imply that people shouldn't practice cold turkey, because ethanol addiction was a process and not a overnight thing, so it makes since detoxing should be a adjusting of sorts too. Also, Cirrhosis can be caused from many many types of diseases that were not the result of ethanol beverage drinking.
  14. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    My father was 45 when he died. He had Cirrhosis. Actually, if I remember correctly, the doctor said my father had no liver and he did not know how my father was still alive when he got to him. It was not a pretty site to see. They had tubes going in and out of him filtering him since his liver was gone. He was being feed through a tube in his neck. I was thankful that at this point half my fathers brain was gone from multiple strokes caused by the withdrawals, so he did not truly understand what was happening. He was like that for a year, the only thing keeping him alive were the machines. Finally my mother had them pull the plug so that he did not have to suffer any longer even though he was still somewhat aware. She knew he would have wanted her to let him die rather than live the way he was living.

    It is really sad to see someone go that way.
  15. Lexi

    Lexi Member

    Having never lost a friend, I can only imagine what that would be like, even if you weren't as close as you once were.

    The fact is that these things will happen to people that abuse their body with drugs and toxic food/drinks. Our society is being poisoned to death. It's not hard to see. The medical industry is profiting off of population control.

    Not only is it important to break any drug/alcohol addiction you may have, your diet should be looked at in the same way. Too many people are dying from diseases and illnesses that are completely avoidable. It's sad to see. It's unfair that an industry is profiting off of death and illness.
  16. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    This is a shocking story. I have also observed different people mostly young in various stages of morbidity caused by alcohol. I have to say that a tree is judged by its fruits not by its flowers. Cases of kidney and liver disease are on the increase especially fatty liver and cirrhosis and various mouth and stomach cancers. You can educate and cajole a person to quit but in the end everyone is a master of their own destiny. I think preemptive intervention should start at an early age.
  17. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    We are all sorry to hear that of course but I can not feel sorry for that person, not really, because I wouldn't like people to feel that way about me. He chose the way he wanted to live and if nothing he left a legacy to his friends and his family. They should stay off the booze and do what he didn't. We usually change our hearts when it is too late and liver is a sensitive organ.
  18. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    It would be a nice encounter if our paths crossed with someone we knew had a substance abuse problem had turned their life around for the better. Unfortunately that is not always the case.
  19. WannaBfree

    WannaBfree Active Contributor

    Alcohol is a killer. My father didn't get cirrosis of the liver, but he became emaciated and replaced food and nutrients with alcohol. Therefore, he couldn't fight off an infection because he was too weak, and he died at age 66, unexpectedly. I am so sorry about your loss. Alcohol takes people in many different ways, and it's important for me to hear stories like these in order to stay on the right path. For me, today is Day 4 without a drink. Thank you for sharing.
    Mpg and MrsJones like this.
  20. Novelangel

    Novelangel Active Contributor

    I had a good family friend who passed away a few years ago from Cirrhosis. He was in his seventies and had never touched alcohol to his lips. (He was a Baptist) Yet, he was struck down very suddenly and within a couple weeks had died from what is commonly known as a "drinker's" disease. Now, obviously, he didn't just suddenly get the condition, but it had grown over several years. Apparently it can also be caused by having too much iron in your system. The liver can't filter it all out apparently, and scarring occurs. I'm telling this story so that we will all realize that keeping the liver healthy is something everyone needs to be concerned about, not just drinkers.
    I'm sorry to hear about your friend's passing, Sammy. Thanks for telling us her story.