anyone with fatty liver with physical signs of it on abdomen?

hi, I've been trying to find out about a strange horizontal line on the liver side of my abdomen (half way up) which appeared about 18 months ago after a wine tasting holiday in italy. Prior to this had some back and shoulder pain. Put myself on a diet and no alcohol for a few weeks and this line disappeared likewise the pain. However, when I started drinking again this line came back-also had a feeling of "tightness" in the liver area. After a while the pain became more chronic and eventually had some blood tests which showed elevated ggt(188). After about 6 months abstinence(not total) this line is fading and pain diminishing so there's a definite correlation it seems. had an ultrasound recently and all clear so I'm not concerned just curious as I can't find anything on the web of similar symptoms-I thought it might be an enlarged liver but evidently not. I'm going to get my bloods done in a few weeks so will know for sure if there's an improvement. I haven't been diagnosed with anything btw.

26 Replies

  • Hi,

    I have/had fatty liver through alcohol and what prompted me to stop drinking and see the doctor was what I would call swelling in the liver area which went away 2 days after stopping drinking. I was diagnosed with FL after an ultrasound scan but my yearly blood tests (one of which was around the time I had the issue) revealed no abnormality.

    I would suggest ( I am not a doctor) that if the scan is fine and blood tests are ok, there is nothing to worry about.

    Not sure if you are drinking anything now but I now stick to small amounts of alcohol on Friday, Sat and Sun with nothing from Monday through to Friday evening.

    It may help to see if the pain and swelling returns after a couple of drinks...

  • hi kleam,

    actually it was you I had in mind on this so thanks for the swift response-a few months ago couldn't drink anything but tolerance has returned somewhat but I'm going very easy from now on-waiting to see if the GGts have returned to normal. Have taken advice from bolly on this.

  • No probs

    Its good to share stories and experiences on here, certainly I have been helped by the contributions of other members. I would be interested to know how you feel the doctors have dealt with your case as I have doubts with mine, do you feel confident they know and understand the issues?.

    Keep us posted with how you get on..


  • to be honest I can't make any real criticisms although I think doctors are pretty complacent about fatty liver generally -I think when 6 monthly blood tests are done they should add GGt because I didn't have a clue about them-in fact never heard of them-I'm pretty sure I would have changed my habits had I known I was doing some "damage"-all my bloods were always ok. This forum is excellent-you and bolly/bigplanet etc.In fact I feel a bit of a fraud posting on here as I know nothing but happy to share experiences-take care mate

  • briccolone you should not feel a fraud. Your contributions are really useful. If anyone should feel a fraud its more likely me, as I don't have direct experience of ALD and a high % of posters are on here because of ALD. My experience is of living with cirrhosis (in my case caused by viral hepatitis) and also of the healthcare system in general when treating/monitoring liver disease.

    Keep those posts coming!

    I think it helps to remember (see Kleam's comment above) that in the first instance most of us were dealt with by our GP. GP's are generalists (hence the G) not specialists, so we shouldn't expect them to be experts in liver disease. Its their role to refer us on to specialists if they feel we need medical care/treatment. Its more interesting to read how different specialists treat/monitor, as despite published protocols and procedures for all sorts of liver disease, reading the stories on here everyone has a different one!

  • fair point about the GPs-they certainly aren't liver specialists-they shouldn't claim to be either! My GP nodded sagely when I mentioned PAWS bit it was clear he'd never heard of it-he was in good company!

  • So can you explain Ggt a bit more please? thanks

  • Ok I'm no expert at all but GGT as bolly will explain is typically high in people who drink excessively and regularly as I did. It's also high with gall stones problems or biliary obstruction-I had symptoms of this and must of had for quite some time. GGT is the only liver blood test that has come back high for me. I don't recall if you've had yours checked? It's not typically checked unless the GP specifically ask for it but I would have thought that before the ultrasound was ordered they would have checked it but perhaps not?

  • Hi

    GGT to me is a general benchmark of liver health. It is generally not part of a LFT blood test but used in connection with ALT and Bilirubin levels. Couple of links below for reference, BTW mine was near 1000 now 150 ish. Normal level is 60. It's takes a few months for the rate to decline as the liver recovers/chills out.

  • thanks Bigplanet-my experience is that when I first got tested my GGT was 188 and then 3 months later after 2.5 months "dry" the GGT rose to 215! Think this was skewed by going cold turkey which, apparently sometimes raises GGT and doing a fasting diet at the same time which can have the same effects. One month later GGT down to 182. At the time I was still pretty sensitive to alcohol in small quantities so without any medical knowledge I would say that GGts are a good indicator of how the liver enzymes are handling "toxic" substances. I noticed strong coffee was also causing me issues. Recently however after a further 3 months "dry" things have improved-I can drink a glass of wine or 2 with no ill effects. I'm going to get the GGts tested again 2 weeks and report back as I'm interested. A year or so back I noticed alcohol occasionally would make the face really flushed so this was the first sign of issues along with intolerance. Difficult to find this stiff out on the web so once again this forum an excellent resource. BTW I gather you've had some better news on Meld scores?

  • Hmm, just had a look at those links-Think I need to make sure my GGts are back in the normal range...!

  • Just a quick note re these links. The medicalhealthtests one says "If you are not an alcoholic, then the reasons for liver damage could be from consuming contaminated food or drink. The result is viral hepatitis. This is a problem that will take a month of complete bed rest and dietary modifications to cure".

    Can I hijack this thread to say this is very ambiguous and partly wrong!

    While hepatitis A and E can be caught from contaminated food/water Hepatitis C and B can NOT. Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B are blood borne viruses which are spread via blood to blood contact.

    As cirrhosis tends to be a stigma for drinkers, so those with Hep C and Hep B are assumed to be 'druggies'. It is true that Hep C and Hep B are spread via intravenous drug use/contaminated needles, but many people contract Hep C from blood transfusions from the days when blood wasn't screened. In fact many mothers are Hep C/B carriers from blood products given during caesarean sections, they just don't know it. Tattoos and piercings put you at risk of Hep C and B too.

    So, to conclude viral hepatitis is not the result of eating food or drink! Its a virus in the blood. You cant cure viral hepatitis with bed rest and diet, though Hep A and E will improve with rest and a good diet. Confusing I know, but Hep C is only cured with a tough course of treatment similar to chemo, and Hep B (which I have) is never cured, only suppressed with anti-virals.

    Sorry briccolone but I couldn't let that pass. Apart from that the GGT links bigplanet put up are useful.

  • PS, re above.

    If you want to know more about blood tests, what they mean etc, a good resource is

  • hep b can be caught by sharing towels or combs and contact with someone with it. not just by blood to blood.

  • Where did you get that (mis) information from grace?

  • my sister woked in a childrens home in the 70's and quite a few children caught it.

  • I presume you're talking about hep b which I don't have...but confused as I posted the original over 3 years ago and which I now to be fatty liver due to alcohol

  • yes if your talking to me it was hep b they got and i know google said you can only get it through blood to blood but this did happen, i remeber it well,so how on earth did these children get it roughly one after the other almost. and were kept in isolation for around 3 months it was 40 odd years ago so i cant remember all the details now,

  • The Hep B virus was only correctly identified in the late 1960s to 70s. Before that it was just referred to as 'hepatitis'. Its also much more rare in the UK, than in other parts of the world. It could have been a different 'hepatitis' condition, perhaps Hep C? You so can NOT get it from sharing towels, that's just incorrect. The virus is transmitted in the blood, semen, or other body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus and has to enter the body of a person who is not infected. For it to transfer on a towel there would have to be copious amounts and the child that had contact with the body fluids would have to have a cut or a sore that the fluid touched. Bearing in mind the decade you are talking about, my suspicions would be that any BBV or hepatitis cases in the home would have been spread by adults abusing the children and the cause being hushed up and palmed off as being caused by towel and comb sharing.

    Keeping them in isolation for 3 months also shows ignorance of Hep B. If it has not been cleared by the bodies own immune system in 6 months it is classed as chronic. So keeping people in isolation is a waste of time as you are always infectious with Hep B unless on treatment that renders the viral load undetectable.

  • My GGT was normal in Feb it was 22. I have been to another doctor today due to the really intense itching sensation, hot feeling etc. She is doing more blood tests and given me some Telfast tabs along with a leaflet to see a Wellbeing Therapist..

  • Ok Sunflower, keep us posted. I take it you're not drinking right now whilst you've got symptoms right?

  • Briccolone, no not drinking at the mo although I did the other week and thats when the really intense itching flared up.. I am going on holiday in a few weeks, will probably be drinking then to be honest. Hope you are ok. Thanks for all your advice.

  • take it easy-if you are going to drink on hols and drink wine-I suggest drinking water with it, it might surprise you and don't binge!

  • Thanks Briccolone.. NOTED! I wll be on here before I go, I am on here every day! Thanks again.

  • look after yourself

  • I have cirroshiss and fatty liver no symptoms with fatty liver, diagnosed after endoscopy, diet helps to rid liver of fatty tissue I have also started to take lecithin granules which causes no harm to the liver, done plenty of research on that, it apprantley removes fat from body, it seems to work in my case lost quite a bit of weight also with healthy foods,going to loo three to four times daily can only put that down to lecithin as am not on any laxatives at all. Hope you all keep well and positive hard as it is. Angse

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