Enlarged Liver and No Clue Why

I'm new here - as in just registered a few minutes ago! So, first of all let me give a little background. I'm a 25 year old female with a long list of medical issues. I was born with a club foot, I have been recently diagnosed bipolar, I have anemia, arthritis (in just about every joint in my body), scoliosis, GERD, and a history of DVT/PE and high blood pressure in pregnancy only. Those are the official diagnoses.

Here are the symptoms that have yet to be diagnosed.

- Pain in my right side below the ribs (being treated with buspirone currently)

- Enlarged liver, portal vein, spleen and kidney

- Constant nausea anytime I eat anything at all, followed by either constipation or diarrhea (depending on what I eat) and stomach pain

- Severe hair loss (I have VERY thick hair so it's not noticeable just from looking but the hair-splosion in my bathtub and hairbrush begs to differ)

- Tiredness/Dizzyness/Overall feeling like crap

I have had blood tests, CT scans, MRIs, Ultrasounds, a fibroscan and a few other tests. All came back normal. Aside from the enlargements listed above.

I am now being sent to a hepatologist for further review. All of the above tests were done by order of my GI doc who was treating my GERD. At this point I'm just nervous. I guess I don't really know what else the hepatologist can do to help - if anything at all. I mean from everything I've read the GI doc did all the standard tests.

So my question for you guys - what else is there? What should I expect at the hepatologists office?

*Side note - I do not drink regularly, maybe once a month if that.

4 Replies

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  • To your question: Your hepatologist will try to identify the cause why your liver, kidneys, portal vein and spleen are enlarged.

    BTW, if you have these morphologic anomalcies, you will neither have a normal US, CT, MRI nor FibroScan 'aside from the enlargements'. You don't say 'all my leg imaging comes back normal aside from my broken leg bones'.

    Once the cause has been identified, your hepatologist will try to eliminate the cause or to get it so far under control that it does not cause further hatm. By which means will depend on the cause. Could be simple dietary changes, medicaments or an anti-viral treatment.

    Good luck,

    P.

    P.S.: Buspirone is not an analgesic, but an ansiolytic drug, I seem to remember. Is your RUQ pain of psychosomatic origin?

  • I apologize for the improper wording of my post I guess. I was simply trying to get across that everything other than the enlargements are coming back 100% normal on every scan I've had done. I just kinda wanted a general idea of what to expect - thank you for giving me that. And as for the buspirone it is what he prescribed. He told me it doesn't work on outside pain (take a headache for example) but will target the pain in my liver. I'm beginning to think he was truly trying to rule out stress related pain - perhaps this is all brought on by stress. I'd say perhaps he was right except that the buspirone seems to be doing little to nothing other than interacting with my other medications.

    Also, I apologize for not replying sooner - I actually lost the link to this site.

  • I am also having bloodwork and US of whole abdomen, probably gonna have it today. Aside from the pain on my right side of ribs, i feel normal. I just feel like doing nothing when i think about it, maybe due to anxiety? I get breathless sometimes and then i do other things and then my breathing becomes normal.

  • Do not have any more bloodwork or scans done before you see the hepatologist, or another medical professional has them ordered.

    More bloodwork and scans will only increase your anxiety, in case there's still room left to the upside. You would not be able to interpret bloodwork and scans correctly, anyway. Leave it to the professionals.

    I doubt your ailments are liver-related, but just in case: chronic liver disease is a slowly progressing condition. You are in no need of a hurry. Your case is most probably not urgent. It is not like you are suffering from mushroom poisoning or a stroke or ruptured varices. Yours is not a medical urgency, at least not if it is liver-related.

    A certain kind of anxiety which causes psychosomatic issues in the region of the liver is very frequent and generally harmless, as far as the liver is concerned. Already the Greek physicians were aware of this phenomenon 2000 years ago. The region below the ribs in ancient Greek is called hypochondrion.

    Out of curiosity: enlargement of liver, kidneys, spleen and portal vein in otherwise normal CT, US, MRI, and FibroScan. What was the exact wording of the reports? Who did say that? I rule out that any radiologist, and even less three of them (FibroScan does not look for enlarged organs in the abdomen, anyway, so it is three, not four) would come to such an assessment based on such findings. You most probably misread, misheard something.

    You must try to control your anxiety. Everything will be fine.

    P.

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