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British Liver Trust
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Worried...

Hi guys new here. Been having on going pain in right side where my liver seems to be. They did some blood work an ultrasound and a CT scan with no findings. I'm highly concerned because I've been a drinker for 10 years or so a few beers everyday and heavily on weekends. Because of my concerns I quit drinking 3 months ago but still having the pain. Doc says my liver is fine but I don't believe it. My finger nail beds are white making me think that I may have poor circulation due to fibrosis I also feel fatigued however this could be due to the stress in my mind over this. Would all problems have shown up on Ct and us? Alone any alcohol related damage? And any other reasons the circulation in my fingers could be horrible other than liver issues. Please find attached a photo of nail bed sorry for the dirty nails I'm a mechanic by trade....

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who said you have fibrosis? no findings on ct and u/s is pretty conclusive normally...

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Well I was concerned if potential fibrosis would show on those scans or not was what I meant. I told my Doc I had right side pain and I'm wondering how careful they would have looked at the liver if looking at the right side overall for anything that would cause pain. The reason I thought fibrosis potentially or cancer is because they're telling me nothing stands out as being a cause for pain yet pins and needles in my fingers and right side pain right where the liver should be. So I'm just a little overwhelmed. I also really appreciate the feedback and thoughts.

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i can't find a picture of your nails

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How is your urine and stools, are they particularly dark or clay coloured?

Do you notice any other symptoms such as spider neavi on the chest area? Bruising or difficulty stopping small bleeds?

Have you had your bloods done by the gp?

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Bloods were done 3 months before I quit drinking. At the time I didn't put 2 and 2 together to think that maybe my drinking could be a problem and causing the pain in my side and tingling fingers....no symptoms with urine or stool as of yet. I did notice I got cut the other day working and it was a challenge to stop wether or not that's related I don't know.

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An u/s would usually pick up any liver damage because the texture of your liver would be different (coarser) and this would be detectable with the u/s machine. Also when they do bloods, as long as they have done the tests for LFT's, there is no reason for them to miss liver damage usually.

With regard to the pain on the right side of the body, when you hear liver specialists talking, they will tell you medically there is no reason for the liver itself to cause pain as there are no nerve endings there (if I remember rightly). The only way the liver would cause pain, is if it had swollen so much, that it was pressing on surrounding tissue because the liver had "outgrown" the space it normally occupies. If this was the case, then they would have seen it on the u/s.

I can't comment on the nails, but I have never had anyone ask to look at my nails when they have been assessing me for liver damage.

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Well I wonder what is going on then. My hands are cold and the nails being white like that made me think it's related People with liver issues often have cold hands so I thought between the right side pain and my hands being messed up it had to point to a liver issue. Is it possible liver issues stemmed from quitting cold turkey? Should I go back and go through testing again?

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I'm afraid we can't offer a diagnosis on here as you know. I myself have a liver problem, and have had for 8 years and don't suffer with cold hands any more than I did before diagnosis. If you had something seriously wrong with the liver, there would be other more obvious symptoms than cold hands I think, but since I am not a doctor I can't say. (I'm suggesting this because of my own experience) I would have thought cold hands was more indicative of circulatory problems. Since I have no experience with alcohol and the liver, I'm afraid I can't offer any answer to the cold turkey question.

As you are clearly very concerned about all of this, I think it would be better to have your mind put at rest by the GP, but make sure go with a clear set of questions to ask.

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if you fingers have just became that shape fatter at the top and round nail beds get gp to check your breathing do u have any issues with your lungs

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I'm not sure. I will certainly check on that. I wake up with cold hands and the nails white in the morning. Also wrinkled palms.

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do you get very hot during the night i dont think theese symptoms is your liver dont worry i think you need doc to give u a chest xray i had your syptoms and i am well now

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None that I am aware of. I just got a new job and my health insurance hasn't kicked in yet. So I need to wait a few weeks and I'm just trying to get as much info as I can for my return visit to the gp to try and help either diagnose or know what else to test for regarding my current symptoms.

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do u know if lfts were included in ur bloods?Do you have any yellowing of the eyes or darkness under them?

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I haven't noticed any yellowing of the eyes of they did turn yellow would that be temporary or long term? I do notice my muscles tire easily like turning a ratchet or something arm just tires quick. They did a hepatic panel 3 months prior to me quitting I didn't realize I could be drinking enough to damage my self. So I'm thinking what would three more months drinking have done? And could symptoms worse. Or surface after quitting? If I didn't have wrinkled palms and pain in my right side I don't think I'd be so worried. They just don't seem to be looking at things properly...

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Do you do much walking? If so, do you find it hard work going up slight inclines?

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Does struggling to walk up inclines indicate problems with liver?

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No, it indicates your lungs aren't working as they should, as do a lot of your symptoms, such as your problem using the ratchet etc. But as someone said earlier, either on this post or another, many symptoms can lead to various conclusions. I hope you manage to get it sorted. One of the worst things is not knowing what's going on. Good luck.

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Thanks. I guess it's the right side pain that was Havi g me think it was related. If my lungs weren't functioning correctly would I know it? Would there be something to look out for? I don't seem to struggle breathing any and thanks.

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I have noticed lifting something heavy like a wheel or such puts me into a dizzy spell at times.

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I have exactly the same issues. Nails get paler all the time, pain over liver area, fatigue, bad allergies, skin changes, list 40 pounds since stopping binge drinking 3 years ago and cold fingers and toes. I have since been told i am pre diabetic with fatty liver and been told by endocrinologist that insulin resistance can cause many of my symptoms. Have you had your a1c checked for diabetes. mine was 6.1 percent. 6.5 is diabetic and u need to be on meds.

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I will have them check that I'm going to return and have tests done again for comparison. Thanks everyone.

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Maybe go and get bloods done again

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My thoughts as well I will schedule the appt now. Thanks everyone.

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My thoughts will do thanks.

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Hi,

Welcome to the forum.

The forum is here to provide peer to peer support and not medical opinion. It would be a good idea to make an appointment with your GP and discuss your worries and concerns with them, additionally you can ask them to examine your hands.

You could also think about asking for a repeat liver function blood test so your doctor can compare the results.

You may find our publications on 'Alcohol and liver disease' and 'liver disease tests explained' useful to look at prior to speaking with the GP.

Here is the link to all our publications;

britishlivertrust.org.uk/pu...

We hope that is helpful, if you would like to talk, then our helpline is open 10-3 pm Mondays to Fridays on 0800 652 7330

Best wishes,

Rebecca

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Hi there hope your doing okay!!! just wondering if you got any where with your gp?

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I did go to My gp. They did blood work and an MRI. I'm told everything is fine however I still have some right side discomfort with no answers as to why so I'm a little skeptical as to wether or not they checked every angle here. I think I may get a fibroscan done just to ease the subconscience.

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Ah that's great news! I'm sure something would of shown up in your bloods sumwhere if there was a problem! How is the pain in you side ? How would you describe it?

Have you got any idea where u can get a fibroscan done?

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Yeah, I found a place in Boston that does Fibroscans. Will be going next week. Slight pain still present. I guess there's really no way to fully see the health of ones liver from what I'm understanding as of late.

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It is possible to have alcoholic hepatitis with normal or nearly normal blood work. A pain in your right side is nothing to take lightly. You can be doing incredible damage to your liver and not even know it. Tingling in the hand could possibly be alcoholic neuropathy. If you vow to never drink again, you may recover totally within a couple years. However, according to the AASLD you may still develop cirrhosis even while abstaining, though the odds are lower.

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Would they have seen alcoholic hepatitis on a ct scan or ultrasound (which I've had)?

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No, imaging will not necessarily show alcoholic hepatltits or fatty liver. I had alcoholic hepatitis and neither a CT or U/S showed anything remarkable. The intense symptoms of hepatitis resolved months ago but I still have an ache in my right side a couple days a week. I expect the ache to become less frequent and completely go away if I continue to abstain. I was skeptical as well, but two liver biopsies finally convinced me (and the doctors) that it wasn't cirrhosis, but alcoholic hepatitis. I also have hemochromatosis but the iron in my liver was still in the acceptable range.

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May I ask how long you drank for and how much? I was a 4 beer a day kind of guy for 10 years or so. Too much I know. I just hope stopping now isn't too little too late :(

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I also was curious. Is there stages to liver problems? like does fatty lead to hepatitis and hepatitis to chirosis? If the docs have done ct scan, ultrasound and blood work would that be enough to know if there has been or is damage?

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In very simple terms - Hepatitis just means liver inflammation (and it can become inflamed for many different reasons - alcohol, drugs, viral hepatitis infection, auto-immune liver diseases etc), and if the liver is inflamed and enlarged it sometimes tries to protect itself by throwing out a load of fibrous tissue to protect cells and this is what is known as - it does the same to protect liver cells if there is a build up of fat in the liver in the case of fatty liver. As it continues to make this protective fibrous stuff it has the detrimental effect of starting to squish and squash the surrounding liver cells and the liver starts to suffer cell damage and becomes shrivelled, shrunken and mishaped and at this stage it would be deemed cirrhotic.

So progression in simple terms is Healthy Liver becomes inflamed or fatty build up occurs ( in the case of alcohol or non-alcohol related fatty liver disease ), liver might then become fibrotic and if it advances further cirrhotic.

Ultrasound might not pick up early change but a CT scan should definitely have done, U/S would definitily have identified cirrhosis if present and the CT scan would be fairly conclusive. Blood work may or may not be a good guide - my hubby has advanced cirrhosis of the liver but because his liver is currently stable and compensated he actually has near normal LFT results. CT & US (plus symptoms) demonstrate that he deffo has cirrhosis though.

Hope that help Worriednut.

Katie x

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It did. Talked to my doc yesterday and did some blood work. They also took some urine why I don't know beats me. Tests came back fine. However I definately have a pain in that area. I asked for a biopsy and was declined he said no one would perform one on me like shooting in the dark I was told. Needless to say this is rather depressing going back in 2 weeks maybe find out other things to check.

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