Would I be considered an alcoholic?

I am a 24 year old female and have been drinking regularly for 9 years. For the past 3 years I have been drinking nightly. I go through 8-12 shots of vodka each night. I don't get drunk, just buzzed, and it takes that much to get a buzz.

A couple people think I am an alcoholic. I don't think I am. I drink to wind down for bed.

My doctor thinks it because my liver is enlarged. Without even running any tests she insists it's from the alcohol. But I am overweight and have celiac disease, both of which could cause a fatty liver.

I'm planning on quitting drinking when my fiancé and I decide to start trying for kids, which will be in 1-2 years. I'm just not motivated to quit right now, nor do I think I need to.

Does the fact that I like to drink to wind down and that I naturally have a high tolerance make me an alcoholic?

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The denial you have is amazing but typical. You would be wise to get into detox now. Join AA and begin taking the loss of the alcohol one day at a time. You are by every definition an alcoholic.That's your last liver and it is where the alcohol

    is filtered. You know now. You had some concerns, your doctor

    warned you. You are in God's hands.

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  • 6 years ago

    8-12 shots of vodka a night, every night for 3 years? Yes, I am sorry to tell you, but you are an alcoholic. I personally only drink on occasion but I think that the max that you should drink is (the equivalent of) 1-2 beers a night maximum. Your liver would look like a Halloween pumpkin on November 5th. You don't need to quit (although it would be better for your health if you did) you just need to cut it down quite a bit.

    Why shots? If it is a buzz you want vodka is not the best thing for that anyway. If you want to take the edge off after work I would recommend scotch or whisky and no shots! Just have a bit and go slow. Just take it easy. If you wait 1-2 years to slow down then it may be too late. I would also recommend mixers so that you arent just gulping down alcohol. Set yourself a limit. Whatever limit you need right now and then cut it down until you are drinking 1-2 a night, or even better 0 a night.

    I know it takes the edge off but if you take the edge off everyday then what happens when you have an especially hard day at work? I'm not saying drinking is bad but should certainly be consumed in moderation. You want to get to the point where you are drinking only when you are feeling down or having a night out.

    Sorry for the long reply but the longer you wait, the worse off you will be. Dying of liver disease is a horrible death and for a transplant (if it comes to that) you have to have been sober for 12 months. I know you will probably read this and still think nothing of it but please listen. Just start with mixers and limit it little by little at the end of each week. Trust me. :)

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  • 6 years ago

    There is no doubt that you clearly show signs of being an alcoholic. Not of becoming one, but of being one right now. The proof of that is your total refusal to stop drinking even though you clearly know that it is affecting your health in a negative way. Look up alcoholism on Wikipedia and you will see yourself. You not only refuse to stop even though you already have a fatty liver, but you plan on continuing to drink for years yet. And the amount you are drinking is outrageous on a daily basis. A woman should not drink more than one drink a day and men can have two safely on a daily basis according to the experts and you are drinking nine times that amount.

    You don't know how many alcoholics I have talked to at my transplant clinic while I waited on a transplant for 18 months of people just like yourself who destroyed their liver and now was facing death from it. Some made it, but many more didn't. It's extremely hard for an alcoholic to get a transplant since there are extra requirements for them. They first must go through 6 months of detox under the care of a doctor before they will even begin to talk to them about getting one to save their life and they can never drink alcohol again for the rest of their life. By the time they make it to a transplant center, many are either too sick to survive the surgery and will be denied one or maybe they don't even have 6 months left to live. This is what you will be facing in your future if you don't wake up and start facing your very real problem of alcohol abuse. All those people waiting on transplants started out with a fatty liver too. Then on top of it all, you have another disease that can make it even worse. That means your liver failure is just going to come much quicker when you drink on top of having a disease.

    I might also add that it's very common to experience no signs or symptoms at all that there is a liver problem or even severe liver damage until the disease is aleady far advanced and too late to save the liver. I had advanced cirrhosis and had no clue at all anything was wrong until 90% of my liver was already destroyed with scar tissue. Alcohol abuse is just one of many reasons a person can develop cirrhosis of the liver. I never had any pain and my liver was that damaged before any sign of liver failure showed up.

    You need to wake up sweetie and face what is really happening to you. If you really think you are not an alcoholic, test yourself and see if you can manage to go 3 months with not drinking any alcohol at all and be fine with that. People who are not alcoholics can easily do that. I haven't had a drink in well over 10 years and I do miss a cold beer every now and then in the summer, but I get over it. Dying of cirrhosis is a very slow miserable way to die. Let's hope you never have to experience that yourself. Let's hope when you do want children that they will be born from a healthy sober mother who doesn't need to take 9 shots of hard booze on a daily basis to "relax." Very lame excuse by the way. And even more important, let's hope you never get pregnant and drink like you do now because you are going to damage your children for life with having learning disbilities and many other problems. You need to straighten up now before that ever happens.

    Source(s): I'm a nurse who had cirrhosis of the liver from a biliary disease and received a liver transplant.
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  • 6 years ago

    Vodka is very high in alcohol. I really believe you should think about quitting

    now. No one can make that decision but you.

    .............................

    The doctor can do differently blood testing to check your liver:

    1. the liver enzymes (known as the ALT, AST,GGT,ALP) usually becomes

    elevated when the liver cells become damaged.

    2. the liver functions tests( known as the Bilirubin, INR, PT, PTT, Albumin)

    If these are out of normal range, it can signify that the liver cells are unable

    to perform some of the main Functions that the does to keep the body

    well (they usually do over 500 of them)

    3. the liver blood viral test (to check for hepatitis A,B,C, ETc) There

    virus use the liver cells to replicate itself and is known to occur quicker

    in someone who drinks.

    .................................

    Alcohol can cause damage to the liver in different ways:

    1.Overconsuming it in a short time period doesn't give the liver

    cells time to make the necessary enzymes to convert the alcohol

    completely in the body (therefore the patient becomes tipsy or drunk)

    2.Consuming alcohol over long time periods can lead to the build

    up of fat inside the liver. The liver is surrounded by a tight membrane

    capsule

    3. some people are intolerant of alcohol, some very sensitive to is and

    others may be allergic to it

    4. taking alcohol with medications can cause an interaction that

    immediately damages the liver cells.

    .......................................

    So, what happens when the liver cells become damaged?

    The immune system will respond to this and cause inflammation

    to develop inside the liver. This will cause the once soft,

    smooth liver to enlarge in size and take on a spongy texture

    (can be seen on an ultrasound or CT scan)

    Sometimes the doctor can feel the very lowest part of the

    liver during the examination.

    If the alcohol is not stopped and the inflammation continues

    on in the liver...then the functions that the liver cells do

    start to deteriorate (this is known as liver failure).

    The inflammation there can cause more liver cells to become

    damaged and start to die off, which forms scar tissue in the

    liver ...this is known as Fibrosis. As fibrosis continues

    on in the liver, the scarring starts to connect in the liver...

    this is known as Bridging Fibrosis. When the blood isn't

    able to flow well in the liver because of all this...it is

    Then Cirrhosis of the liver...an irreversible, progressive

    disease. Only cure is a liver transplant.

    ..........................

    Most transplant centers have a rule that anyone who

    is addicted has to be detoxed (under doctors care)

    for a period of six months prior to being referred to

    them for the Evaluation Process to be started to

    see if the doctors will place them on the transplant

    list. Some patient die during this time period.

    ...................................

    If you were diagnosed as having fatty liver disease...

    I would not take this lightly. Inflammation because

    fat build up in the liver is known as Steatohepatitis

    and also leads to Cirrhosis. If it is caused by

    alcohol...it is Alcoholic Steatohepatitis.

    If not it is then known as NASH or Non alcoholic

    causes of Steatohepatitis.

    ...............................

    The liver cells do over 500 functions....one of those

    functions is to take toxins out of the body and convert

    them to a non toxic form that the body can easily dispose

    of. When the liver cells are damaged and start to die

    and those functions deteriorate...those toxins stay

    in the blood and some can go pass the blood brain

    barrier and into the brain (alcohol and ammonia are

    two that do this).. This can lead to Encephalopathy...

    a condition where the patient becomes easily

    confused, disoriented, mental changes, sleep pattern

    changes and hand tremors. Patient are then started

    on Lactulose or Xifaxan so to try to remove these

    from the blood. It can cause severe diarrhea, but

    they have to take it. It lead to have to having others

    handle all there financial and medical affairs because

    the patient can not do things for themselves well.

    And, if not taken, it can lead to going into a coma

    they might not come out of.

    This condition can be mistaken as just being

    drunk.

    Another conditions that occurs in Cirrhosis of the

    liver is the build up of fluid in the abdominal area.

    Patient end up look like skeletons with huge

    stomach full of fluid because the liver can not

    make a protein, known as albumin which

    holds fluids inside our vessels.

    IF you want to see a picture of this...

    look at this site on Cirrhosis

    Medicine Net: http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm

    Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirrhosis

    ........................................................

    Just because you can tolerate more without getting really drunk...

    means you have a high tolerance for alcohol...but it doesn't

    mean that the liver cells is not being damaged by this.

    Women usually can not drink as much a men without damage

    to the liver. Without testing there is no way anyone here

    can be sure you don't already have a problem. However,

    the doctor feels you have some signs of the disease or you

    are at extreme risk of developing it. One needle stick is

    all it would take to check this out. If caught early on....and

    if the cause is stopped early on...there is a chance the

    liver could heal. The only sign you might have to begin

    with is the sign of being really tired. It isn't until the

    liver cells are unable to perform the functions of

    converting bilirubin that the sign may "or may not "appear

    known as Jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and

    skin).

    Best wishes

    Source(s): caregiver to a liver transplant patient
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  • --
    Lv 4
    6 years ago

    If you can't give up drinking, that's a sure sign of alcoholism. Besides, that's not the point. You have a problematic liver, even if the cause is not your drinking, it definitely doesn't help with your condition, and you put yourself at risk. You say you want to have kids at some point. If they cry and keep you up, you're probably going to need triple the amount you're having to relax. It's just not worth it.

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  • Peg
    Lv 4
    6 years ago

    yes, you are an alcoholic. (it takes one to know one). If you are planning to have kids. alcohol fetal syndrome is something to be very concerned about.

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