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Liver Disease - How Long to Live?

Long-Time Alcohol Abuse Can Be Fatal


Updated June 23, 2014

How long to live with Liver Disease
Antony Nagelmann Collection/Taxi/Getty Images
Alcohol abuse can affect the body in many ways, from a simple morning hangover to serious alcohol liver disease. Those who continue to drink in spite of serious health problems run the risk of developing irreversible physical damage.

The following email exchange between a visitor to the About Alcoholism site and Guide BuddyT graphically illustrates how long-time alcohol abuse can affect not only the person doing the drinking, but friends and family members as well.

The following exchange began on Sunday, June 17, 2001 with an email from someone we shall call "E" with the following subject line:

How Long to Live?

6/17/01 9:38 p.m.

From "E"
-- Jaundice all over, legs look like tree trunks, lost weight from waist up, constant bloody nose, my urine is very seldom. I am on a diuretic. I have irreversible liver disease and my kidneys are failing. This is all due to alcohol. I am 40 years old (female) and was told it could be 2 days but maybe up to 6 months -- this was 3 weeks ago -- and nothing else can be done. I have read numerous articles, but I need to know the real truth in order to prepare my friends and family. Will I need to be in a hospice? What behaviors am I going to actually go through. Thank you.

6/17/01 9:40 p.m.

From BuddyT
-- Why do you think the doctors are not telling you the truth?

6/17/01 9:51 p.m.

From "E"
-- It just doesn't seem that there is that much time left? And I am too scared to ask in person so, I thought there would be others or yourself who may have witnessed someone in my state and had a more precise answer.

6/17/01 10:06 p.m.

From BuddyT
-- Yes, unfortunately I have witnessed someone in the last stages of liver disease. I wrote about it once.


If you really want to know the truth, and you want to prepare your family with the truth, I would suggest asking your doctor to give you the details.

I'm not a physician and I don't give medical opinions, but it sounds like to me it would require a liver transplant in order for you to live much longer.

Are you still drinking? You can't get on the transplant list if you are still drinking.

6/17/01 - 6/18/01

From "E"
-- No reply.

6/18/01 3:58 p.m.

From BuddyT
-- What did you decide to do? Let me hear from you, okay?

6/18/01 11:15 p.m.

From "E's" email address
-- She died at 4:30 p.m. from cardiac arrest! Who ever you are please do not respond again.

A Fatal Disease

Alcoholism can be a fatal illness if left untreated. If you have experienced any health problems due to drinking, don't wait until it's too late; seek help now before you find yourself asking someone the question, "How long to live?"

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Alcoholism
  4. Effects of Alcohol
  5. Health Effects of Alcohol
  6. Alcohol Liver Disease
  7. Alcohol Liver Disease - How Long Do I Have to Live

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