Worried about liver: Hi. I am 36 years... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Worried about liver

misha3 profile image

Hi. I am 36 years old and was a drinker for 5 years then quit for over a year when I was pregnant. Have now been drinking for about 2 years at night, water and lemon juice during the day. I have had pain on mu ribs rhs for about 8 years. Last tests 6 months ago were blood tests which were ok with ggt only elevated by 20. Ultrasound was perfect. Not even fatty liver. Should I be worried about my liver or could pain be something else? I also have costochondritis on my ribs. Just concerned about liver damage :(

10 Replies

hi Misha,

blood tests/ultrasound indicate not but depends how much you've been drinking-if you're drinking 5 units a night even at your young age being a woman especially-you could be stressing the liver. What happens if you have a few nights off? Does the pain reduce/disappear? I would give this a go-have at least 3 nights off drinking a week. Any other symptoms?

misha3 profile image
misha3 in reply to briccolone

Hi there. I stop drinking sometimes for a week. Pain is not as bad but still there sometimes. But as I have the rib issue cannot tell of it is that. Pain is sometimes near belly button. Just thinking of a drink makes pain appear if it wasnt there so wondering if it is somewhat psychosymptomatic? If there is liver damage would it be bad and/or take long to heal? Thanks :)

shirley29485 profile image
shirley29485 in reply to misha3

The place that your talking about if it is not your liver I would have my Dr check your lungs..that and muscle are the only things left. lower lung is in same position. I get both liver and lung pain but I have disease in both.

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"elevated by 20" that is clear evidence that yes you drinking too much at the moment, ok its not a major red flag but think about 2/3 years time. Also dont drink for 2 days in a row. also how much are you drinking each night?

misha3 profile image
misha3 in reply to Hidden

Hi there. I don't drink every night but when I do about 6 or 7 vodkas with water and lemon juice. As I have had the pain for about 8 years and countless blood tests and ultrasounds with the last one being perfectly fine I would have thought of it was liver related it would have worsened or shown damage over that time?

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Hidden in reply to misha3

having clear tests for along time is good, ultrasound wont show minor damage. The thing with the blood tests is they usually show damage once its there, they may not show how close you are to damage. GGT IS telling you there is some inflammation due to alcohol, also as you get older your body is less able to handle it. A Fibroscan is a better way to look for damage. I would take atleast 6months off if I were you

shirley29485 profile image
shirley29485 in reply to Hidden

Ultra sound does not show primary biliary either. Im stage 3 and it never showed on ultra sound only biopsy and blood work.

Hi Misha,

I am a recovering alcoholic....am in my 8th year of recovery and going strong. Ironically, my liver was fine when I quit drinking, however, I have since had some unrelated liver enzyme elevations and fatty liver issues. You reminded me of myself when you mentioned your age. I stopped drinking at 35. You are still SO young!!! :o) I know that you have people in your life who love you, depend on you and care about you. I can't tell you weather or not you are an alcoholic, but I can tell you that despite potential warning signs of liver issues, you are continuing to drink and that concerns me about your ability to stop on your own or admit a potential problem. Please look deep inside of yourself and be honest with yourself. If you are having potential liver issues and can't stop drinking on your own, you might want to talk to someone who can lead you in the direction of exploring the potential of an issue with alcohol and removing it from your life....or at least cutting down. I DO NOT come from a place of judgment, as I drank hard and heavy from the age of 22 until I was 35. Like you, I did not drink during either one of my pregnancies, but I can tell you that I am NOT proud of my drinking days. I was a disaster! Thus....no judgment here....just offering a perspective from a former drinker and also, from a person who was delivered terrifying news that I have a potentially progressive liver disease that follows the same path as alcoholism. (See NASH if you are curious.) I don't want anyone to feel the fear and regret that I have been feeling. I love my kids and am now doing everything possible to make sure that I will be at high school and college graduations, marriages, grandkids.....and to spend a long and happy/healthy life with my hubby of the past 20 years. I hope the same for you! Again, not judging....just pointing out my thoughts on your honest email. I hope that you are well and will keep us posted on how you are doing. Also, if you want to talk to me about alcoholism....you can message me. Trust me.....I am a pro!!! (And that is NOT something to brag about!) God Bless You! Robin

As long as your blood work is good I would not worry. Your liver function test would be elevated and they would see something on a ultra sound. So I would not think it is your liver. Maybe you pulled a muscle? I did that a few years ago when I broke a rib and it still hurts me.

I would stop drinking all together for at

Least 6 months. Take the chance. Before it's too late your so young.

I just lost my brother 35 due to Alcoholic liver disease and its a awful thing to have. And see happen. X

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