Yellow complexion, swollen legs and stomach + other things


Standard Member
Hi, we are a family in the UK who are extremely worried about our mother. She has been in hospital twice recently but the NHS don't seem to have a clue how to treat her and it now just seems a bit like they're fobbing her off! I realise it's very difficult for people to give medical advice through a forum but we're running out of ideas so any advice at all would be much appreciated...

Please see a full explanation of my mum's condition and the circumstances, written by my sister, below:

Our mum has had a long history of illness, and recently it has gotten to the point where it seems all her separate ailments are working against her. Every medication they seem to try has new side effects which make the situation worse.

Mum has quite advanced COPD, which we found out last year is causing left sided heart failure. She is not on at-home oxygen as yet, but her breathing difficulties have become steadily worse over the years. On top of this, she has immunoglobin deficiency, for which she has infusions of white blood cells every three weeks. This treatment is known to cause damage to the liver, so in ordinary times, Mum is checked on every three years to make sure there is no scarring on her liver. Due to her various illnesses, Mum was shielding due to Covid and has not been able to have these regular tests.

In approx Nov 2018 fluid began to build up in her legs. Mum struggled to get any sort of diagnosis as to why this might be and was bounced from various departments looking for blood clots etc, but eventually a consultant said they thought the fluid was gathering as a result of her left sided heart failure. At this point, she was put on diuretics for the first time. Throughout late 2019 this seemed to work, and the fluid seemed to go down - thankfully Mum was able to move around again more.

Sadly though, at the end of 2020, the fluid came back and has now also gathered in her stomach. Again, we started to investigate why this might be happening, and we continue to be bounced from hospital department to department.

More recently, Mum has very low blood pressure and her blood shows regular potassium deficiency. She has been admitted to hospital twice in the last two months because her potassium levels became dangerously low and because of her overall diminishing health. She can't move due to the swelling at this point, as she is very slight and her chest is bad, so the weight of her legs is too much for her. She is also yellow in complexion. She has had a number of tests, from chest x-rays to ultrasounds. All come back with little resounding evidence, other than 'the liver was a bit bright but no considerable damage'.

Our instincts are all that there is something happening with her liver function, given the symptoms and the risk of liver damage from her immune deficiency treatment/lack of testing of this due to Covid. She recently had an endoscopy which showed portal hypertension gastropathy, ascites, watermelon stomach and ulcers in her stomach. She will have a follow up endoscopy in approx a month, in the hope that the ulcers will have cleared and more will be seen on the subsequent scan.

Portal hypertension has been mentioned before by doctors, but never as a particular cause of her symptoms, and with no treatment plan or further investigation. She has yet to have a biopsy or in-depth scan on her liver, as the doctors do not seem to think this is necessary.

During her most recent hospital stay, a doctor began to talk about not wanting to operate because of the 'stress it would cause' and asked about whether she would want to be resuscitated or not - a subsequent doctor told her not to worry about these things - but these interactions obviously seriously shocked and worried my Mum and all her family. Nobody has given us any clarity on what any of this meant. We have called the ward and they won't provide any further info at present, and plan to discharge her today.

She is currently taking:

Mum’s medication routine

Inhalers: as needed

Two in the morning with breakfast:
- Spironolactone (brand name Accord): Stomach swelling

Once a day:
  • Colecalciferol (brand name Mylan): Calcium
  • Folic Acid (brand name Crescent)

Twice a day:
  • Bisoprolol Fumarate (brand name Sandoz): For the heart
  • Ferrous Fumarate (brand name MercuryPharma): Iron
  • Furosemide (brand name Crescent): Leg swelling
  • Lansoprazole capsule (gastro-resistant): Stomach ulcers and heartburn

Once a day with evening meal:
- Calci-D (brand name POM I think) : Chewable Calcium

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.


Distinguished Member
You won’t get any medical help in here , it’s not allowed , however , the yellow skin points towards liver issues , you need to seek more professional help , good luck 🤞


Distinguished Member
Sorry but it sounds like her medical history is complex even if someone was qualified.
Not the place to ask, even if a qualified doctor was here they would not offer help other than to say push harder for treatment for your mom.

Stay safe.

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