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Aster's avatar

How serious is it if an alcoholic is in the hospital with swollen legs and what is going on?

Asked by Aster (19994points) June 16th, 2019

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10 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Possibly, they are having kidney trouble or a circulation problem. Both not good. If it’s one leg it could be a blood clot. These are just possibilities obviously. My MIL gets swollen legs every time she flies and it lasts for two weeks, and it’s been going for 30 years. Although, she was never hospitalized for it. She isn’t an alcoholic, but you don’t need to be an alcoholic to have kidney, circulation, or cardiac problems. Being hospitalized seems like it’s probably something that needs to be addressed. When Kidneys begin to go in an alcoholic that’s a bad situation, especially if it’s concurrent with the liver failing. I hope that’s not the case.

JLeslie's avatar

Was he/she hospitalized to take him/her off the alcohol? Coming off of alcohol can be very difficult and risky, some part of the hospitalization might be monitoring them as they go through withdrawal. Do you know any other symptoms they are having?

zenvelo's avatar

Fluid retrention is a sign of impaired liver function, which is a symptom of long term alcohol abuse. it is very serious.

An alcoholic who has reached that stage needs to either quit drinking entirely, or experience debilitating liver disease, which will mean a prolonged decline to death.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry to post again. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but if there is any indication it is acute liver or kidney failure, like they are on dialysis, and you would want to visit this person go now. My girlfriend since 5th grade didn’t indicate to me how sick she was and died days before I was going to see her. She was 51. She told me she was on dialysis, but I know people on dialysis for a very long time, but I didn’t understand that alcoholics almost always have liver and kidney failure at once. My girlfriend downplayed it all, she didn’t mention the liver trouble When I talked to my sister, who is a nurse, she knew how fast it can happen. My sister believed my friend didn’t mention the liver problems out of embarrassment. I wish I had rushed right over to visit her. She was 51 when she died.

jca2's avatar

Could be a heart problem. The hospital will run extensive tests and give a diagnosis in a day or two.

Aster's avatar

@JLeslie they wont speak of any other symptoms. They claim they’ll be released tomorrow but I don’t believe it.
First came the divorce; then the massive weight loss; then a teaching career wiped out. Then the lies..
They’re fifty years old. Three fabulous sons and big bucks made no difference.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t believe it! If you care about seeing the person—go! Go for you. I really regret not going. This is the only time in my life I didn’t rush to a friend’s side when I felt compelled to, and it was a mistake I can’t fix now. I don’t feel she was angry or disappointed, she wasn’t like that, it’s me, I wanted to be with her.

Aster's avatar

Yes, I know what you mean. I’ve had two friends who died when I wasn’t around. I’m glad I visited them but the visit was not even in the month they died. One had C Diff and died at home after being released from the hospital. I was told she was contagious. The other one was my BFF. We spoke a lot on the phone and laughed a lot. I drove out of state to visit her at the hospital and spent the night at a motel. She was smiling and laughing. Next thing I knew she was in Hospice.
The person I am speaking of now is not close to me emotionally at all. Not a blood relative.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster I wasn’t assuming anything, just relaying what happened to me, and it’s very recent. I’m still upset about it. I wish I had seen her more the years prior to her death also. Ugh, lots of regrets there.

If your friend had c. diff there wasn’t much you could do, it is risky to be with them.

kruger_d's avatar

Edema is the medical term.

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