British Liver Trust

Itching and pain in right rib area

Hi im a 45 yr old woman and im frightend to death, ive had pain under my right rib area which radiates around the side in my nabk and up into the shoulder, ive had many tests ultrasounds which have shown slight fat, but has said smooth contour, was told if i stop alcohol this would reverse, i have been drinking for a few years now a couple of glasses of wine each night for relaxing, i have tried to have two/three nights of pe now but the pain is there everymorn when i wake. I have bouts of itching my arms, face and back which is worrying me and driving me daft, i paid for a private fibroscan in july and was told the same slight fat but my reading was F0 which is good, my gastroenterologist has now been cross with me and told me liver does not cause pain unless its enlarged which he says mines not and tells me the pain is mot from my liver, im trying my best not to drink but i am a ocd sufferer and drink to help me relax,i dont no what else to do

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Your liver may not be "clinically enlarged", but fatty livers by nature tend to be somewhat larger than before they became fatty. The threshold for hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) depends largely on what size your liver was to begin with. Women tend to have smaller livers than men, and the measurements done during ultrasound for hepatomegaly may not have taken this into account.

Alcohol contributes to fatty liver, but excess dietary carbohydrates, particularly high fructose corn syrup found in soda's will do this too.

Don't know if you've got a sweet tooth, but if you do, this is a bad mix with alcohol. You might need to either reduce alcohol, simple sugars, or both. A diet high in both alcohol and simple sugars will continue to cause problems.

If you really need a little nightcap to stay happy, you might get away with simply going sugar free regarding your diet. If you like your soda and desserts, you may need to try and do without the alcohol.

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Hi thanku for your reply i dont have a sweet tooth i only have a sweetner in my cup of tea in mornings, and i do drink alot of water throughout the day my recent letter from gastro states i have a echogenic liver woth possible fat infiltration my Lft are normal no fibrotic changes and states the quadrant pain has got nothing to do with alcohol consumption or the fatty liver, so im at my wits thinking well why do i have the pain everyday feels like a babys foot pressing on my right ribs and dull ache, and the constant itching has though my blood is boiling

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To alleviate the itching, I use E45 moisturiser in the morning after a shower.

I asked my dr what I could do about the itching and was advised to take piriton, but please consult your dr before taking any additional meds.

I find that it’s worse in the evening, and when I’m hot.

Hope this helps

Olivia

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What is causing your itching olivia, doe you have any liver problems

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Yes I was born with Biliary Atresia and was recently put on the transplant list.

I’ve had problems with itching since I was 12 so been taking Rifampicin to get rid of the itch

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Sorry to hear this but what is biliary atresia never heard if it but bless u, how okd are you, my daughter who us nearly 14 has been diagnosed with gilbert syndrome

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Awh I hope your daughter is ok.

Biliary Atresia is a childhood disease of the liver in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent.

I’m 26 and have now got to a point where by I am in need of a transplant.

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Do you take rifampicin daily? Does it help with the itch?

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Indeed. Our parasympatheric nerve activity reduces in the evenings ( if I remember right). Plus our ability to withstand itching reduces too.

Due to the liver issues our skin's coping mechanisms are undermined and it struggles to cope with even small stresses so a little itching seems a big itch.

Apply coconut oil before a shower too to protect it.

Menthol creams are good too.

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E45 never worked for me and I never tried piriton.

I'm 2 years post TX and still itch awfully at night, but have found that using Lidocaine Gel sparingly, gives me some relief for an hour or two (enough to get to sleep).

The Dr's are fine with me using it but as you say we should always consult the Dr first. Maybe not for pre tx though as its processed by the Liver.

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The "itch" of liver disease is caused by high bilirubin. If your bili is normal in your labs, it's not a liver issue that is causing your problems.

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Ive just been looking at my notes from over the last few years ive suffered with these problems, in 2014 one letter states that i have a slightly elevated bilirubin which would eould be consistent with Gilberts syndrome, i have looked into this but it dosnt state this would cause the itching, also my whites of my eyes do have a little yellow colour in them, im constant in fear that my liver is damaged but the dr just saying its fat

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Hi metanola, just interested in your comment. I've had bother with itching for many months. My blood tests showed bilirubin was 8. Which based on my lab range was normal. Just interested in your experience regards what could be the cause of itching.

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With normal bili, itching is most likely due to something other than bili. So many possibilities; most of which I'm not familiar with.

Hope you get to the bottom of this soon!

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Thanks. me too. I'm off to GP again tomorrow and I'm going to push for some more tests. Just not feeling right and have some scary symptoms. I hope you are doing well.

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With fibroscan of F-0, you really shouldn't be worrying too much about advanced disease. The Gilbert's angle is interesting. Not much you can do about that.

Choline/Lecithin deficiency results in fatty liver even when alcohol and carbohydrate consumption is low. Eggs are the best source of this, the liver's favorite nutrient. Do you routinely have some eggs in your diet? A 30 day trial of a few eggs/week might be something to try.

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I have Gilbert's Syndrome and also get pain in upper right stomach and into my back as well as itching. I also have a slightly fatty liver. I gave up alcohol 3 years ago and eat a healthy diet and am a normal weight and exercise...but my liver is still slightly fatty (had my latest scan yesterday) but not getting any worse. Did you have your gallbladder looked at as well? It's possible you have gallstones?

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Yes i did and they statey gallbladder is fine, my itching is playing havoc with me and i feel hot n flushed in my face too, my daughter who is 14 has had recent bloods done has her eyes have a yellowish tinge to them, the dr noticed this himself, they cane back last week had high levels of billiruben and he said strate away gilbert syndrome without knowing i was told i had it yrs ago, she is having repeat test tues of this week to see if it is high again to make sure gilberts is defo the diagnosis, do u still get the itching and pain alot even though u dont drink, its bloody scary n thanku for your reply

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watch out for those artificial sweetners iv heard that they are not good and they caused me allergies i'v noticed. i had facial flushing really bad with some that were used in some products.

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I do get pain, like a feeling of heaviness in that area with occasional sharp pains) but nothing like I used to and itching is also much reduced. Glad they are doing a repeat test for her. I had 2 blood tests (both showing raised bilirubin with everything else normal) and an ultrasound to check everything looked ok. I found it VERY hard to stop drinking. I suffered awful anxiety and yes it got worse straight after drinking but it is 99% better now.Honestly giving up drink was one of the best things i ever did.

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Thankyou for your reply shes having her bloods done again in the morn to check her bilirubin and me myself am going to try and cut right down with the drink hopefullyy pain should settle down

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