Pain in right side especially after drinking

Hi, I get pain in my right side especially after drinking alcohol, also with fast food but not as severe. I have posted on here previously but have since had a fibroscan score of 4.9kpa (12.4 in February) seen numerous specialists who cannot provide a proper diagnosis. Pain radiates all down right side of the back especially the shoulder blade area. Also had a clear liver multi Scan in June. I've had basically all scans/tests available for the liver except a biopsy. It looks like the previous fibroscan of 12.4 was an overestimation because I remember the doctor struggling to get a reading at the time.

15 Replies

  • Pain will normally peak 2-4 days after drinking and can linger for 10 days

  • From reading back your posts B_RC you previously presented with high ALT and high GGT blood test results demonstrating that your liver was probably inflamed - doctors advised they had identified some scarring but not cirrhosis and advised abstinence from alcohol to give your liver the chance to recover. You've had a fibroscan which would indicate some thickening of the liver & at one point I believe you mentioned you had Alpha-1antitrypsin deficiency (which on it's own can lead to cirrhosis).

    You were strongly advised to abstain from alcohol but if you haven't then this pain could be the liver still rumbling away, with the alpha 1 deficiency you already have a liver condition that could worsen without alcohol's help and if you are continueing to drink it's sadly like pouring petrol on a bonfire........... giving your potentially damaged liver even more hard work to do by having it deal with alcohol is not going to help one bit.

    Your liver might be inflamed again, you might be seeing further fatty deposits building up which in turn will turn your liver fibrotic and potentially cirrhotic further down the line.

    What you are asking is like someone stating "When I put my hand in a fire it burns me!" What would you advise them? ........ "Don't put your hand in the fire then!".

    Might be worth revisiting the doctors for some blood tests and trying to lay off the drink and the highy processed fast foods which are causing you these issues.


  • Hi. I had a fibroscan of 4.9 kph on Friday showing a healthy liver. ALT is 45 with all the rest normal on the bloods. The only abnormality I see is excess fat or grease in my stools, a high GGT isn't necessarily caused by alcohol. Mild scarring which has now gone, the scan which showed 12.4 I never even paid for because I didn't believe it was right and haven't been chased for the money after I explained what I thought. The liver multiscan showed a healthy liver, a fibroscan score of 4.9, a normal CT Scan, Slight hiatus hernia in an endoscopy, clear CT Scan. Surely one of these would flag up a damaged liver!?!?!?!. I understand your point but I've seen 4 specialists who have all said it can't be the liver!!!!!

  • Well I have Cirrosis , now coming up to 9 yrs and I listened to what my consultant told me , stay off the booze !! alcohol is the worst thing you can take that with every mouthful you are killing another healthy cell . It just is not worth the risk , I did relapse when I lost my loving father to cancer and my ascites returned .i think you need to abstain from drinking . Then I think you will see an improvement .. There's a life without Booze and I now enjoy my healthy cooking , yes Xmas is a hard time for me but I only have alcohol free drinks under the watchful eye of my daughter over the Xmas period .. Regards Linda

  • I appreciate your input but I'm really looking to find if anyone else has or is experiencing the same issues. On paper, I have a healthy liver. Any doctor would tell you to abstain if it caused you pain, I don't need a doctor to tell me that, to have all normal fibroscan, MRI,CT,ultrasound (forgot that earlier), multi Scan. Seems puzzling to be told you have a healthy liver by all these specialists as well.

  • As you say, liver tests seem ok. Has anybody mentioned gallbladder to you?

  • you need to stop drinking end of ,,,,i did it so can you


  • Hi B_RC

    Whilst no one on here is qualified to give you the diagnosis you are searching for, you have yourself identified what causes your pain to increase in the first line of your post, alcohol.

    I appreciate you wish to get to the bottom of the root cause of this pain, however, having identified alcohol as the trigger why not take that as a warning sign that it is obviously affecting your body in some way and abstain from drinking for the time being.

    I notice you say in a previous post that you have been a binge drinker for 8 years. It is well documented that binge drinking is extremely harmful to the liver.

    As someone who drank to excess for a few years, I became afraid when I too started to suffer right sided pain after drinking. Frightened enough to stop and stay stopped, I took it as a warning sign that the alcohol was starting to take its toll.

    If you view it as an allergy, the same as any other allergic reaction, for example a nut allergy, would you continue to eat nuts knowing the outcome?

    Maybe another visit to your GP is needed, but in the meantime why not try giving the alcohol a rest and see what effect that has.



  • I stopped for 6 months and the pain never went away

  • Have they examined your gall bladder? Fatty stools and right side pain could be a gall bladder issue if they've all but ruled out liver.

  • I can only recommend that you return to your GP in the first instance and hopefully you can be referred for further investigative tests.

    I wish you the very best of luck and hope that you can get the much needed answers that you need.

    Take care,


  • Not really looked at the gallbladder. Waiting for an appointment is outrageous!! 3 month waiting list. Went to see Dr Munro at shakespear medical she suggested possible chloecystitis

  • Hi just thought I would update, still getting the pain especially after booze/fast food, turns out through a HIDA scan that my gallbladder is 1% functional and I'm having a consultation next week to see what I'm going to do with it.

  • See below

  • B_rc, I found your post when googling my symptoms, exactly the same as yours sounds.

    Feel it most after drinking alcohol, but to a lesser extent after caffeine and fatty foods.

    Right sided dull back pain at the bottom of my ribs radiating up to my shoulders and indigestion too, increase in burping. I generally start to feel it about an hour after and goes after a day or two. Does this sound the same as you?

    I've had the full works too after being referred to a gastroentologist. Extensive blood tests revealed nothing bar mild anaemia. Have had an endoscopy, ultrasound, X-ray of chest and an MRI.

    The only thing picked up was mild gastritis, but I don't think that explains where the pain is located and neither did the gastroentologist as he sent me for an MRI after to check for gallstones. I did have two courses of PPIs which didn't get rid of pains either. The one thing I've not had was a Hida scan. I was sent away saying to manage it with diet (i.e. Cut out triggers).

    Just curious, what did you do after your hida scan result? How are things now?

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