If not liver problems, then what?

Anyone who's viewed my other post entitled 'Could I already be beyond help with my liver problems' will be well aware of my condition, but on a general point I wish to ask: Could the symptoms that I'd imagined were liver problems really be caused by something else altogether, even though part of the pain is seated around my upper right quadrant? I say this because:

a) The condition feels especially sensitive to hot drinks and spicy foods.

b) Is worse when I'm stressed than when I'm relaxed.

And

c) Can be temporarily eased most times by a big glass of Andrews Health Salts or similar, or a couple of big glasses of water.

Despite all this, the condition has now been with me for around eighteen months or so, all of which makes me feel that it's pretty well advanced by now. Granted, it hasn't killed me yet, but for all I know it could be well on the way to doing that despite my many tests. I don't mean to be over dramatic, but I'm especially stressed this weekend as anxiously wait for the results of a CT scan I had last Tuesday, of which I'm really scared the results might bring bad news irrespective of the fact that my previous blood and Ultrasound results were largely pretty OK.

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  • Have looked back through your posts Graham. I think you can be reassured with your normal blood test results and your normal ultrasound that you have neither advanced liver disease, cirrhosis or cancer.

    Yes there does seem to some evidence of fatty liver, but this is something that can be reversed by you with correct diet and lifestyle choices. Having had HCC liver cancer myself I will stick my head above the parapet and guess that this 'abnormality' on your ultrasound is not a tumour but evidence of fat in your liver. However an ultrasound is not as high resolution or detailed as a CT and any sensible and cautious doctor would do what yours has done which is get a CT scan done to make a definite rather than a probable diagnosis, just to be sure. If it was me I would be glad the GP had asked for a CT rather than leaving it with the ultrasound and a 'I'm sure you're ok' message. Yes waiting for results is awful and stressful, but you are not at death's door nor are you an emergency, so others will take priority in the consultant radiographer's pile of CT reports waiting to be written up. Try not to spend the time 'googling' your health symptoms while you wait for the CT report or you will make yourself ill with worry.

    Turn the waiting time into doing something positive to help yourself - stop drinking (don't just cut down, stop), if you are genuinely scared about liver disease this is motivation in itself to stop drinking. If you don't stop drinking you aren't genuinely scared enough!!! Change your diet to fresh wholefoods away from convenience and don't eat or drink anything that up to now has given you digestive pain. Some of your symptoms sound like gastric ones rather than liver ones, so if hot drinks are a problem, don't drink them. If spicy foods are a problem, don't eat them. Monitor what you eat and drink and make a diary of which foods and drinks seem to irritate.

    Unless you are constipated stop taking large quantities of Andrews health salts as they have a magnesium sulphate in them which has a laxative effect and can affect the balance of calcium and magnesium in your body. Also if you do have an iffy liver its best to stay away from salt! Switch to an antacid such as Gaviscon original or ask your pharmacist for advice.

  • Perfect Bolly. We can all take a leaf out of this book :)

  • Great response from Bolly. You identify your problem "is worse when I'm stressed" and stress reduction should be your aspiration. Mike

  • Gentlemen, and especially Bolly...

    Many thanks for your replies, and all the very sound information there...

    I'm away now for the weekend, and have just logged in briefly to check my mail, but I'll reply at much greater lengthy when I get back tomorrow (Monday) night.

    Take care and have a happy day, but most of all, many thanks again.

    Regards

    Graham

  • Have you had a gastroscopy? What about gastritis, ulcer or coeliac tests? All treatable conditions.

  • excellent advice from Bolly et al as always... it is a but stressful waiting for results but like Bolly says-use the time more positively and change diet that's more heplful to fatty liver conditions-i.e.cut down on sugar/alcohol etc. IF you're looking for ways of dealing with stress-you might want to look at aqupuncture.....I'm doing a course on fatty liver now with chinese herbs-I'm seeing improvements-not for everyone but the herbs seem to reduce the burning sensation you describe. I'll see what happens in 3 months and feed back to the forum if positive...

  • Excellent advice as usual, only other thing to add is it is possibly down to stress pure and simple. Hubby went through a barrage of tests for the same symptoms you describe and at the end of it all the specialists put it down to stress. If your insides are contacted through stress they will cause pain and baulk at hot and spicy things. A choose of relaxants sorted him out in the end. I hope the same turns out to be your problem.

    Irony if ironies, I -the non-drinker- developed cirrhosis, oh well the spice of life I guess

  • Thank you for that, Mrs Merlin.

    I'm sorry I've taken so long to reply, but am grateful that you took the time to get back to me. I'd love to think my symptoms are caused by nothing more than stress, but given the long standing nature of their presence in my life, I'd say there's something a bit more there than could be created by mere worry. I'd so hope I'm wrong, though, but I doubt it.

    As to what it might possibly be if not cirrhosis or fatty liver, who can say? Most people on here have ruled out cancer, but even this worry keeps wheedling its way back in, and really frightens me from time to time when it does.

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