So here I am, sleepless at 2am.

Hello all,

I've been reading these forums for quite some time, I've been interested in researching a little issue I've had with dull "fullness" just under the RHS rib cage, for 4 (ish) years. This can be accompanied by a burning sensation on the skin just above my hip and seems to be made *much* worse when sitting in a car for extended periods. I note that I don't feel any aggravation when I have just woken from sleeping and sometimes it comes on in a couple of hours, sometimes not until the end of the day. I drink coffee in the mornings, i smoke way too much, maybe 25 a day...

I have a couple of slightly visible (to me, as my eyesight is good) veins on the bridge of my nose, which everyone else tells me they can't see unless they get really close.

A little about me.... I'm 37 and have been a fairly heavy drinker for a good few years. I started drinking 3-4 pints a night (beer / cider) when I left home at 18 and had a few years before that when I was mainly a weekend drinker, but not majorly heavy. I became a heavy cocaine user when my mother became ill and eventually passed in 2002. This continued along with somewhat heavier but social alcohol until 25/26.

I've rarely had a night off the booze and in the last 10 years moved on to white wine, usually 1 1/2 to 2 bottles each evening, never before food and never a daytime drinker. I have completely knocked the drugs on the head and have never been tempted to go back that way and have moved away from the group of friends who inspired the ever increasing binges.

I generally drink less when away from home working, which could be a few nights a week until recently, but the weekends were still pretty much 6 bottles of wine, maybe a couple of beers at the local.

I have recently become aware of a couple of small spider veins (with no centre dots) on the bridge of my nose and having looked back on holiday photos from a couple of years ago, what I thought was a little bit of sunburn may have caused this, as I cannot remember ever seeing the veins before the past few weeks.

Anyway, getting to the point this has all scared the crap out of me and given me a glimpse of being dead very soon. I went to the GP and had a thorough exam just over a month ago, she did some strange percussion tapping, felt for my liver, (said she couldn't feel it) poked around my pancreas area, no pain was felt, inspected my skin, nails and eyes then said "you appear fine". I followed up with blood tests which appear pretty normal apart from MCV, MCH and Eosinophil counts all ever so slightly above the reference range. I spotted the eGFR as ">60" and crapped myself, rang the GP and it was explained that the lab doesn't work it out, just says it is above 60, which is satisfactory. I've been on a couple of eGFR calculators and all say 105 or above, so I'm not in the top 5% but I'm not dying of Kidney disease either.

So I've stepped it down from 100-120 units a week down to 2 pints the first week, 2 bottles of wine the second and nothing the last two weeks until each Friday, when I had 2 large glasses of wine. I estimate my weekly totals are now under 20 units and I intend to do the stint up until Christmas with the same, then over Christmas nothing, then proceed with January dry. I only plan to have a couple of social beers with colleagues over Christmas and have made arrangements to be driving on literally every holiday day, so I won't be touching a drop.

I've taken up cycling again, bought a pretty decent bike and this last week have taken to doing 15-20 miles each day. I was never a slouch as a kid and used to ride hundreds of miles a week, as my legs still show having never shrunk!

I have attached scans of my CBC and Liver function which are surprisingly normal, and I've heard they can be even with Cirrhosis or severe Liver damage. The fact is this unexplained pain and burning is still there and I cannot seem to get to the bottom of it, neither can anyone else. I am wondering if there's any mileage in a Fibroscan or if I should wait until Feb / March when my fitness and abstinence is truly settled in? I cannot believe I've gotten away with it, if I have but something nagging tells me there must be some damage from what I've put away.

I have a bit of an issue with constipation, have caused a fissure on occasion but it was fresh blood so I'm not worried. I don't go for a couple of days now I'm not drinking, sometimes three. Stools are solid and not floating, shades of brown and slightly sticky to the bowl, but no oil in the water or anything.

On the nutrition front, I'm at 86-87KG constantly, I've always eaten well and whilst I'm partial to a McDonalds sausage muffin and coffee, I don't eat much processed food, takeaways once a week max and usually Thai or Indian. I cook most nights as my partner is chronically Ill and needs to keep her strength up, we are both doing better without the booze, but it's this pressure under my rib and the burning I cannot (still) get a handle on.

Whatever happens, I am feeling so much better now for losing the grog and exercising I will not be going back to 100 units a week and I know I need to do a long stint of close to zero alcohol, I can own this thing rather than it owning me.

Question is, does anyone think this burning and fullness could be a result of liver damage, despite all the tests?

46 Replies

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  • I can't seem to post a second photo, CBC...

  • Hi, where exactly is your pain and from a 1-10, how painful or discomforting is it? Do you get a lot of gas after eating? You're gonna need an Ultrasound and a CT Scan with contrast ASAP.

  • It's not really pain under my ribs per se, more like a feeling of bloating. The burning sensation isn't direct, if you know what I mean, it's kinda itchy but only in the area above my hip. I don't want to be dismissive as I'm not a moaner, but it's not serious pain, more like a continuous nagging, maybe a 4/10

  • In further response to this question, yes, I *did* have a lot of gas, belching all the time even without having eaten. You got me thinking here, I haven't really been belching at all since knocking the wine on the head.....

    The belching used to be constant and we put this down to a diet of curry and Greg's whilst working away, but now I'm not so sure. I'm actually wondering if there's something gastro intenstinal going on.

  • Hi there

    Just seeing this. I'm not a doctor but from reading this, your LFT's are obviously ok. But the worry is the pains and i'd get the scans asap. Not to scare you, but many people can progress from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis (both reversible) to cirrhosis and cirrhosis can be present even with normal LFT's. But if your scans are ok, a break for 2 months is usually recommended to let the liver recover if fatty liver is the issue. Al hep over time (years) will reverse with total abstinence and as you probably know, cirrhosis in general is progressive (non reversible). I have cirrhosis Child Hugh stage A - there's A,B, and C being the worst). The liver will take many assaults and i reversed from stage 4 of the Ishak scale (0-6, 0 being a normal liver to 6 cirrhosis) to 2. Delighted, sober then a year and then i was diagnosed with a 1 in 1 million type cancer and slowly started on/off again over last few years. Sober now nearly a year, but the damage has been done. Pity but in AA as we say there's consequences to falling back off, no matter the circumstances. My advice for what it's worth, get the scans and if they say to give up, don't take it lightly. Then count your lucky stars that you stopped in time. Hey, best of luck....

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. I fully understand there may well be damage done which is why I want the scans. I went to a different GP yesterday (not my choice as they were busy) and he basically dismissed me and said I would have to wait for an ultrasound appointment. He asked rather rudely why I' waited several years. When I explained I'd been to the GP and even hospital before, he shrugged it off and said "oh well". I asked for a referral to BUPA for scans (we are lucky enough to have private medical care) and was repeatedly questioned as to why I was suddenly so bothered! I explained that I'm coming to my senses now having had a few weeks off the grog, didn't seem to care.!

  • Good morning,

    Isn't sleep wonderful !

    Brilliant that you have such a positive attitude to your health and wellbeing.

    I'm fairly confident that if you continue with your attitude and maintain the exercise regime combined with the reduction in alcohol consumption, all will be well.

    However, your post does seems to be asking for an opinion regarding symptoms which nobody here should be giving. You give a very detailed breakdown of blood results and tests which is specifically not encouraged by The British Liver Trust who host and moderate this forum / group.

    Nobody here is able to make appropriate comments. This is entirely for the clinical team that ordered the tests. Only they are in a position to reassure you about the meaning of the tests and what they mean to you as an individual.

    Try to not worry too much and be happy that you are definitely heading in the right direction.

    As a group we will always be here to encourage and give support in your endeavour to keep your liver happy.

    These are a couple of links which should help.

    healthunlocked.com/britishl...

    britishlivertrust.org.uk/

    Take care and I hope sleep comes more easily for you.

    Jim

  • Hi Jim,

    It's not that positive, trust me. Hence my not getting to sleep before 4am most nights and sitting up reading countless forums and looking at test results.

    I'm not meaning to break any rules of the forum but I'm honestly just wondering how the results can be this normal with no serious issues, and where this chronic discomfort is coming from.

  • LGLG,

    Perhaps you should put 'appearing' confident and positive to good use by embracing what you are already doing. You are obviously motivated which has to be a good start.

    Just go to your GP and ask for a double appointment as there is a lot to discuss, write down all your questions and if necessary take with you someone you trust.

    That way you won't forget what to ask and you have a second pair of ears to take everything in. We all leave the doctors at times, thinking, what did s/he just say ?

    As for the rules, don't worry about that, I just thought I should let you know.

    You take care and come back and fill us in to the outcome.

    Jim

    By the way - so you know I understand a bit about where you're coming from, I had end stage liver disease caused by alcohol and went on to have a liver transplant in March 2016,

  • Lets see if we can offer a little bit of reassurance first. It looks like your GP has given you a pretty good once over. From their examination, their discussion with you and from the test results returned they don't seem to be too concerned about anything sinister going on. I must admit the comments on the test result sheet and what your GP has told you all look pretty reasonable and sensible to me.

    Now you do clearly have some uncomfortable symptoms, so something may well be going on. Your body is telling you it ain't happy. Given the amount you drink and that you have quite full on responsibilities i'm not surprised you're having some issues. What's causing them, only your GP could advise. However, you can do your bit about them and it looks like you've already started on the right path. Keep doing just that, cut down on the booze, keep up with the increased fitness and hopefully things will get better. If nothing else you'll stop doing more damage to yourself and should feel much better for it. Certainly the alcohol intake you've been having is way too much. Just cutting that right down will have significant benefits. Probably worth cutting down on the cigs too.

    Also look at it this way. If, and that's a big IF, you do already have some liver damage, perhaps some fibrosis or even some cirrhosis, you can still do something about it if its caused by lifestyle such as drinking. Basically stop what's causing the insult, you'll stop doing the damage. Things therefore should stop progressing much further, and can even rectify themselves. So the good news is, the ability to change things doesn't necessarily rely on taking pills or medication. Just stop doing the damage, which you've already started to do.

  • Hi, I empathise with your sleep issue, worry, pain and liver disease keep me awake.

    The only thing I wanted to say is you could consider this pain may not be visceral, it could be muscular. I know people experience pain very differently, but what you describe doesn't sound like typical liver pain. The liver is pretty much covered by the ribs on the right side ( it can be palpated if enlarged), which is why your doctor felt for it. Pain often radiates up to the tips of the right shoulder, and can also be felt in the back. The burning sensation you get above your hip could be muscular. Also the ascending colon is on that side, if you have constipation it could cause discomfort there( also on the left low down for descending colon). Anyway my point is, I'm not qualified to diagnose anything, but to say it could be nothing to do with your liver.

    That being said, reducing and stopping alcohol, and eventually giving up smoking ( not easy to give up two things at once), will improve your all round health and wellbeing. At least you will be actively helping to improve your health and then ( in time) your sleep will improve and things will feel better.

    If you have private healthcare it is your right to get things checked, and put your mind at ease. I think the NHS at this stage are likely to say given tests were normal, maybe repeat after a few months if pain doesn't improve and see how things are.

    I really hope it settles down soon, and your new found determination to get healthy continues.

    Best wishes

    E

  • Many thanks for the re assurance, I really hope it is something else and not my liver or kidneys.

    I went back to the doctor again earlier, having not really attended and used the GP in over 10 years I feel I'm within my rights to keep returning and be heard, so I went back. This time a different, female GP who was very keen to listen and look, rather than jumping to conclusions and chastising.

    What she said was very strange, but she is almost convinced that the pain isn't liver related, just she is really stumped and one of the only things left to consider could be some kind of infection, UTI or otherwise. The tell tale sign is the referred pain to my right testicle, apparently. So I've been prescribed a course of Co Amoxiclav on the basis my functions were fine and it should be safe, to try and clear whatever it is that's possibly causing this.

    I'm currently on a 3 times daily mixture from a local Apothecarist and he's dead against antibiotics so I've text him to ask his advice and will hold off taking them until he comes back to me. I want to remain open minded if possible and to avoid taking anything which could set back any other treatments, possibly. I must admit I'm also a bit paranoid about taking anything which may affect the liver, including antibiotics. I must also say that I want to exhaust all possible "natural" potions first, rather than jumping to antibiotics. His treatment seems to be having a fairly profound effect on my partner's MS and Ovarian problems...

  • Personally I am very sceptical about ' alternative treatments'. Anything your gp prescribes has been through very vigorous testing and will be proven to do the job its supposed to. Drs have years of training and are highly regulated. An alternative therapist could be a window cleaner by day and a therapist by night. Nothing is regulated, has not had to go through several research stages and have regulatory statutes to protect the safety, efficacy of the things prescribed.

    I realise you feel they have helped your wife, but MS is an illness that has remission phases and so could easily be coincidence. Also when drugs are tested in double blind randomized control trials they always have a placebo, and find people will report improvement in symptoms even when not taking the active drug. There is a lot to be said about the power of the mind. Maybe your herbalist has more time to spend, they are selling you stuff presumably so as a job they are likely to be good at calming and reassuring people. That doesn't necessarily mean what they advise is good. In fact some things can do more harm. For example the BLT doe not recommend the use of milk thistle or other liver detoxes. These can put your body under more stress.

    I don't wish to be rude or upset you, but I find it odd that you said you were worried, you went back to the gp, and found one that listened, she gave you a sensible suggestion and treatment and now your going to ignore it and not take a medicine that has been around for years used by millions and billions of people, which if it is a bacterial infection would have you better in days. Sorry but I'm very confused???? The testicle pain you hadn't mentioned in your first post and that could well be caused by infection, which could explain flank pain also???

    Of course you are only doing what you believe to be right, but with me it always worries me when people say they are ignoring medical advise in favour of quackery?? Sorry, just my opinion. Not easy when you live where I do, near Glastonbury, the town of alternative/ spiritual healing!!! I'm surrounded by my worst nightmare!!

    The only reason I say any of this is because I want you to feel better, and get back to life without health worries, when you clearly have a poor unwell wife and a busy job etc. Its only said out of genuine concern, not malice or judgment.

    Best wishes

    E

  • Wow, all these replies! I can't believe I've never posted on these forums before, they are truly full of brilliant people.

    Wass71, I whole heartedly take your advice regarding the antibiotics on board, but the GP only prescribed them when I mentioned it may have been coincidence but having previously taken antibiotics for a tooth abscess whilst on holiday in Mexico, it appeared that my abdominal pain "went quiet" for a good few days. This would have added up with the stalling of bacteria but the dose not being high enough to completely kill something off, an idea which she agreed with.

    To be honest I looked at the liver toxicity and I did question her choice of antibiotic as a matter of course, but she shrugged and said that the bloods don't indicate "current" damage and she was comfortable prescribing it.

    What I really don't want to do is end up taking a variety of different antibiotics before finding one which works, as I may just tip my liver and pancreatic "balance" so to speak.

    I am open minded still and may try the Co Amoxyclav, just not in a desperate rush to try knee jerk "guesses" when I've had the problem for such a long time. I guess I'd rather know we are treating the issue, by finding it first.

  • I know there are different views on the antibiotics, but if your doctor was comfortable prescribing them given the full picture of all your tests and symptoms then i'd be comfortable to take them. If it is an infection then the sooner you treat it the better.

    If the drug does affect your liver there will be tell tail signs, most of which will be described on the advice leaflet. If those appear follow the instructions given and speak to your doctor again. They will advise what to do. If they don't appear, don't worry about it.

    You will also find that many many diseases are only diagnosed following a process of elimination. You have to rule out what its not to try and find out what it is. Its a process you sometimes just have to go through if you actually want the right answer.

  • Oh and the veins on the nose, apparently not worth worrying about and probably Rosacea. She's recommended we leave it until the other stuff's sorted and try some gel....

  • Hi

    Just a thought. I know you say you are eating healthily and exercising, but are you drinking enough water? I hate the stuff but having been ill recently boiled water fairly warm has helped me. Also as a family carer are you actually sitting down and eating slowly and giving yourself time to digest your food before running around trying to get everything done 30 minutes ago? Are you sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee or rushing around?

    Are you taking time to relax before going to bed? By relaxing I don't mean watching the news or an exciting programme. Taking a note book bed and a pen, writing down thoughts going round in your head then saying I can forget about them now as I have written a reminder can help. Even if you have to do it yourself a gentle massage of your hands with an aqueous cream can help. Do each hand separately not just squirt a bit of cream between them and rub together. If you do it focus on each part of the hand you are massaging not on other matters you are worrying about. Do it slowly and methodically.

    Obviously cutting down or out with booze is good. But you may find teaching your body to relax helps. It may also help to eat smaller meals but more frequently.

    All the best and sorry this advice comes so close to Christmas.

    Gx

  • Hi 19581979,

    I must admit I'm not a water drinker but for the last 6 weeks I've been forcing it down. We are lucky enough to have a chilled, filtered tap and it's not as bad as the local "council pop" which can be very limestone rich. I have literally been drinking half pint glasses by the half dozen over a few hours each evening, a bottle of water in the car during the day and really trying to keep my kidneys moving it through. My urine is almost clear with a light yellow tinge and not smelly, so I guess I'm doing my best!

  • Could be bowel related maybe? They cover a massive area in your abdomen and pain can be referred, also you mention costipation, gas and fullness which is typical. I personally went in once with (gp) suspected kidney stones, severe pain under ribs on left side, turned out on ct to be diverticulitis(hernia like protrusion in bowel wall that got infected) and nothing to do with kidneys. Co amoxiclav is what is prescribed for that also. Maybe you are attributing pain to your liver as you have been a heavy drinker in the past? Well done on your cutting down though, its not easy i know but it can only help, i wish you all the best.

    Stacie. X

  • It's strange you mention this Stacie, I can give the area a good poke and sometimes the pain settles. I find it particularly bad when in the car and have driven my thumb into the area of of frustration a few times but put it down to temporarily reducing blood supply...

  • Umm, Co Amoxiclav (AMOXICILLIN-CLAVULANATE) has a nasty reputation for liver toxicity.

    If you've got a positive culture for an infection somewhere and your doc prescribes this, I guess you'd need to take it, but I wouldn't want to try this on a "hunch".

    Please do a bit of research on AMOXICILLIN-CLAVULANATE and drug induced liver injury (DILI) before you start on this without any significant indication of an infection actually being present.

    From "LiverTox": "Amoxicillin-clavulanate is currently the most common cause of clinically apparent, drug induced acute liver injury both in the United States and Europe."

  • I'm very curious about what the original poster wrote initially and wonder if he can pinpoint the area on the body a bit better to me:

    "issue I've had with dull "fullness" just under the RHS rib cage, for 4 (ish) years. This can be accompanied by a burning sensation on the skin just above my hip and seems to be made *much* worse when sitting in a car for extended periods"

    I was driving about a month ago and suddenly felt a sensation on my lower right side [think where you would wear you belt and then on the right side of the body] of "fullnes". Just felt weird. LFTs have been elevated so worried it was liver or kidney issues. Went to see doctor who said musculoskeletal. He also said it was in a weird position on the body to be organ related.

    It comes and goes and also now have occasional tenderness near the right side groin area. Definitely feel it more after sitting down.

    I have a liver biopsy in two weeks but just the nervous type and wonder if this pain could be related to my liver issues. Thanks all for the discussion here.

  • Hi Ang,

    This is exactly what you are describing, and sometimes after a few beers ( I generally only drink 3 pints or so when working away ) it feels like I'm bloated. At first I thought it was beer, then got worried about liver... Don't get me wrong I'm feeling much better mentally and in other ways now I'm not drinking heavily and didn't even allow myself the mid week "one pint" on a Wednesday tonight, because I'm now curious how long term total abstinence may positively affect things all round.

    I had a chinese doctor at a BUPA clinic say to me "Sciatica" and nod her head repeatedly, so I went to an Ostepath a good few times after she said it. Whilst my neck and back are much better, the pain remains.

    I could swear that, when I don't cough properly all day I don't have the pain, but then again it all may be coincidence.

    I really feel like I'm pulling at straws now and there are so many variables.

  • Also Ang, unless you don't have any other option, the Fibroscan would be far less painful. Have you consdered that instead? Good luck with your diagnosis though and keep me posted if you find out what it is I'm all ears, this sounds so familiar it's unreal.

  • Thanks for the additional info. Fibroscan was a 6. Went to doctor today about this mystery pain and he still says muscular. He did order a urine test to check kidneys though.

  • Hi,

    Welcome to the forum.

    We ask new members to kindly read our community guidelines which do stipulate our rules including listing medical test results.

    Differences in normal range for different laboratories can make it difficult to compare or comment on individual test results specifically. This is due to the different brand of tests that are used and how these are interpreted.

    This forum is here to share experiences and provide support to each other and we would advise against posting any test results or asking for specific medical advice. This is not a medical forum and should not be used to try and make diagnoses or replace advice from your own medical practitioners who have a much wider view of your health and test results.

    We appreciate how worried you are and hope you can still post with regards to support and information but it is against the rules of our forum to post test results and to ask for specific medical advice,

    You may find The British Liver Trust publication on liver disease tests explained useful to read;

    britishlivertrust.org.uk/wp...

    However, it really would be best to discuss your test results with your own doctors who know you best,

    Very best wishes,

    BLT Admin

  • BLTadmin,

    Many thanks for the kind nudge and I have removed the image now as I'm truly feeling this discussion is helpful and don't wish to offend :)

  • Thankyou LGLG

  • Hi LGLG

    How are you feeling now? Like you I often have confusing pains. I had a compression several years ago that resulted in an incomplete spinal cord injury.

    I get lots of pain through the injury and spasms. I get itchy skin and temperature issues. Years ago I was told I had a hiatus hernia just below the bottom of my right rib. It literally really hurt in a sharp pain I had to belch and press my fingers in just the right position and it seemed to pop back in and the pain eased. Over the years I had to watch the spices and eventually most of the time it settled, only flaring up if I was stupid. The strange thing was I had an endoscopy a while ago and no one mentioned finding a hernia. I also recently had an ultrasound showing fatty liver a fibroscan indicating cirrhosis then another ultrasound showing fatty liver but I asked them about cirrhosis they said there was no indication of any on the ultrasound. I'm now not use how much the injury is affecting my liver. The hernia I think is just going to be a complete mystery.

    The reason I mentioned these issues is that I do understand how confusing and frustrating trying to find out what is wrong with you is. I have also learnt that sometimes things are interlinked making it crazy trying understand what is going on.

    All I can say is good luck and congratulations on trying to help yourself and please keep us all updated on your search.

    Gx

  • Hi G, I'm doing OK for the last couple of days, if a little confused. Basically I have a couple of bad teeth which really need fixing but I'm terrified of the dentist, so I've unfortunately had to take Amoxicillin, only twice this week and only a single tablet, just to take the edge off the infection and get me to the mental place where I can go and deal with the dentist. I chose to accept the Amoxicillin over Co-Amoxiclav due to it's slightly lower (0.3 in 10,000 verus 1.7 in 10,000) risk of Liver problems. It's just kept the swelling down enough to prevent me being in real trouble and the infection reaching my sinuses, as tooth infections often do.

    The strange part is that, since taking the first tablet my bloatedness and pain on the right had significantly left me, as has the groin (testicle) pain and burning which so often rears it's ugly head. It's really beginning to make me think that, with all the normal bloods etc. maybe it's something skeleto muscular like perhaps a hernia of some kind which is allowing part of my stomach to get trapped or protrude, and maybe get infected.

    Very strange co incidence indeed but I was doing a job in Edinburgh around 5 years ago which involved some reasonably large electrical cables (400mm2 for anyone who's electrically minded) which needed to bend in a way which was pretty close to their maximum. This involved a massive amount of force against my right ribs and stomach muscles in order to bend the buggers. I remember having something "pop" back then and thought I'd done something to my floating rib, but thought little of it than another minor work injury, at the time.

    Either way, it seems a little too co incidental that I've taken an antibiotic of some kind and the symptoms are alleviated for the day, then comes back by the next morning until I take another pill.

    I'm sided towards thinking I will call BUPA tomorrow and get into a MRI scanner ASAP on a self referral and get scanned. I'm wondering if it'll actually pick up on a hernia or tear in the stomach wall, or if I need a different type of scan.

    It's all got a bit much and I'm afraid I've reached for the bottle tonight for the first time in weeks, had a glass of white and nearly spewed my guts up when realising I no longer like the taste ! (bonus).

    Time for a nice cup of dandelion tea and honey, then bed, once I've sat for an hour on AutoCAD getting ready for tomorrow's meeting. :)

  • Hi LGLG

    It might not be a bad idea to also ask for an endoscopy. That goes down quite a way. That was the one I expected to be told about my hernia and I didn't. When I next see my specialist I might ask if one showed because I may have put a note on my file saying about it and that was why I didn't get told. Having said that I'm fairly certain there isn't one there so I've no idea what caused those problems that started 30 years ago.

    It might not hurt getting checked out in case you have an ulcer, it doesn't make sense otherwise that antibiotics might help. If it is that you will find spicy food will make it worse.

    Sorry to say it, but I'm glad the wine tasted foul. It helps if you are trying to give it up.

    Good luck. Keep us up to date. I'm unhappy at the moment. Had a rotten cold for ten days and the heating is leaking. Bulge in dining room ceiling with buckets to collect the water.

    Gx

  • G, Really sorry to hear you're having a crap time, have you got someone to sort the water out?

    Endoscopy may show an ulcer, never thought of that. I think if it's a hernia the MRI should find it.

    Whereabouts are you in the country? I have tradesmen all over the place and would be more than happy to help a fellow forum member and pal :)

  • Hi

    Thanks for your concern. The heating is insured and the company were told they would deal with it last night. I'm afraid I reminded them that I'm a vulnerable adult due to my spinal cord injury (incomplete) and that leaving me with no heating or water just wasn't going to happen. When they didn't listen I said I am sure East Midlands today would be interested in how they failed a disabled woman. I won't be unreasonable but I know how to argue a case quite well when I have to. The cold and the weather made me feel mean. I'm an advocate by trade, so used to fighting corners. 10:30 last night the radiator was isolated. The heating and water on in the rest of the house. The radiator will be replaced or dealt with today, but to be honest some time this week is ok by me, as I have my essential needs met. To add insult to injury I made sure the engineer as he did his job as best he could at short notice got a little box of chocolates. That will create an interesting discussion in the depot.

    Be glad when this cold has shifted. I think about my dead father-in-law whenever I get a cold. He had a couple of major strokes, took a lot away from him. His right side speech and some permanent word mix up. He had it for over 30 years. Prior to that he had major heart trouble, anaemia and diabetes, major hearing loss. Despite that he learnt to use his left side more and talk a bit and walk with a stick. He was an incredible man. BUT if he got a cold he was terrible. He was so miserable, so woe is me so helpless. I may not emulate him in his determination normally, but I sure do with the cold gripes.

    Thanks for you offer of help though it was much appreciated. The good news about the leak is it gives me an excuse to get my husband decorating after Christmas. He hates it. Actually it will probably be my brother-in-law who will help him.

    Good luck with the tests and let us know how you get on.

    Many thanks again

    Gx

    :-)

  • Glad you sorted it G, nothing wrong with playing the Ill and infirm card, it used to really get people moving whenever my mum (paraplegic for 20+ years) hollered ! Just make sure to get some heat on in the room and maybe think about a dehumidifier (your insurance should cover the hire of this) as you really don't want to be getting damp air in your lungs.

    Good luck shifting the cold and remember what I said about damp, it's not a good thing if you're at risk / Ill already.

    Take care hun :)

  • Hi

    The heating is on. The radiator in the bedroom can't be replaced until beginning of January apparently, it is a big radiator pre metric, but not worth repairing. I've put a heater in there to dry it out. My lad is sleeping in a different room. Downstairs we have the dehumidifier on trying to help dry it out. The leak was worse than we realised so it will take a few days to dry that bedroom and our dining room out.

    Mind you it was fun listening to the engineer, trying to get an earlier call, not sure he thought he was going out with his head from here. He was really keen to talk to my lad rather than me. I decided I want the area really dry before I worry about the radiator so I didn't hassle. I'm going to get the room as empty as possible and then dump the carpet and underlay.

    I will take care though thanks for the concern. Years ago my sister had pneumonia and my eldest son has asthma so I know not to mess with the damp.

    Take care and good luck with the tests.

    Gx

  • Hello LGLG- have you been tested for hepc ? I had same issues with the rib pain thing although I describe it more as like an electric shock pain. Anyway point is cos of you're history it might help to rule things like hepc out..... hope all goes well. Taania 🌞

  • Hi Taania,

    I haven't been tested for Hep C in particular, just CBC including Albumin, Gamma GT, ALT, all the usual ones. I was either band in the middle of each or towards the lower end of each tolerance scale. Having looked at other lab tolerances it seems my GP's lab are very stringent on the allowable levels before advising action and many other results posted as "normal" on other forums seem to be outside of my particular GP's tolerance band.

    i could ask for Hep C tests next time I go, but I would have expected to see at least some symptoms other than the ones I have.

  • Hi, could it be your gall bladder? Is it worse when you have a fatty diet?

    Just a thought.

  • Hi Mandy, I've suspected gallbladder too, but to be honest it really would show in the stools I'd think. I eat a pretty good diet to be honest but I'm not exactly "regular"... Very strange this but in the past few weeks (and I really can't tell because I've been consciously trying both) cutting down on coughing / smoking and (mostly, bar a couple of tame evenings) drink and I haven't had the groin pain or the burning at all. The pressure has occurred a couple of times after a particularly bad coughing fit, but the burning and pain isn't really there at all..

  • Happy New Year everyone, I thought I'd drop by with an update...

    I've spent the past month Googling (whoops!) symptoms and have come to the conclusion because of the tiredness, pain location, the fact my LFTs are normal and many other (possibly slightly over imagined) symptoms I'm dying from compensated Cirrhosis.

    I've spent Xmas and boxing day sat in a chair with a glass of water mostly and have explored every possible avenue regarding what may, or may not be wrong with me, a million times in my head; It's safe to say I've had a very miserable Xmas.

    Now I'm not suggesting that there aren't problems inside going on from the years of self abuse, but I've made a very strange discovery, which I'll start off by telling you all the run up to:

    So my New Year's Eve began with a 10 mile bike ride, averaging 14mph which is pretty good for someone who's fairly unfit. My heart rate took literally three hours to come down from 97bpm, but my BP was 121/79 and is much lower already that the 139/85 (and higher) it's been. On my return, I thought my heart was packing in as it was beating so fast, but I've realise that, having only eaten a piece of toast all day and a banana, apple and raspberry "Nutri bullet" blend (with skins on, I do this every day now) I hadn't eaten anything else. So that explains (together with a little dehydration from not enough water) why my heart was working so hard to move nucleic acid and get blood to my muscles for so long afterwards, panic over on that one, at least.

    I proceed to go to the mini-market and stock up on Alco Pops, Wine and Gin (for the teenagers and missus) again feeling very subdued and I eye the wine fridge, I walk away. Something made me go back to the fridge where the girl from the checkouts is re stocking after the rush earlier. "Do you sell alcohol free wine?" I ask. She smirks (knowingly) and I hang my head in shame. I know I cannot be trusted to have one or two drinks; so does she. I found what I can only describe as the only thing I've ever tried which actually tastes a little like Sauvignon Blanc but with 0.05% Alcohol and the rest somehow "removed". A glass of it at home and it actually tastes OK, ish.

    So I sat down to my Oven roasted jacket potato - We have one of those awesome ovens which microwaves and bakes at the same time, does a jacket in 20 mins, crispy. One tiny knob of spread, two pieces of salmon and little else, no salt and no flavour, just a little olive oil. I've been eating like this for weeks now. I started to feel the familiar bloating which further irritates my lower right rib pain, I left half of the jacket potato and the door rang.

    Enter my neighbour Trevor, 62 who's in fairly good fettle apart from his constant dizziness and balance issues / deafness from Meningitis in his 20's. He wants to take me to the local pub for "one or two pints" to repay me for fixing his satellite TV and I agree, in the knowledge I'll see what fruit concoctions they have in store. I order a J20 (big mistake as they taste like they are full of sugar and very nasty) which I begin to sip, much to the horror of the other locals! I buy a second round - a pint of 4% bitter for him and another J20 for myself, again to much horror. I make my apologies and leave wishing everyone a happy New Year and feeling like a second class citizen or an outcast. It's no wonder people find it so hard to give up alcohol completely. I proceed home, wobbly on my feet from the physical exertion earlier ready to cry and fight back a tear as I come through the front door of the house to loud teenagers (one of which has recently been sick, elsewhere thank god) having a party. My partner is tipsy but not drunk. I'm OK, just.

    I sit down, the pain under my ribs is unbearable and in sheer desperation I clutch my side and dig my thumb in between two of my lower right, rear ribs. My face turns downside up and I look at my missus in shock. I get up, crouch, stand up again, touch my toes, walk round the house a little and emerge with a smile / confused look, asking her to put her finger between my ribs in the same place. She can't feel anything strange but I explain that the pain in my upper right abdomen, testicle and burning around my right flank, is gone. So is the pain my my right leg. This is really weird but I'm so happy I volunteer at 11pm to drive to McDonalds and much to the 12pm finish staff's annoyance, I order 60 chicken nuggets, some cheese "things" and a quarter with cheese. Sitting in the car normally kicks this pain off, which I figured was from compressing my guts against my poorly liver. I'm fine, during the drive to and from McDonalds. So "fine" in fact that I turn the suspension to "Sport" and disengage the traction control, give it a bit of throttle coming out of the corners on the empty roads. I've never enjoyed the roads sober, on the most empty night of the year, before.

    Arriving home I eat the first bit of junk food I've had in months, and it's freshly cooked, hot and tastes great. I make a mental note that McDonalds tastes like this if you only have it once every 3 months!

    I get home, see in the first New Year I've seen in over 25 years sober and go to bed with a feeling of complete peace, bar the tooth ache which I've been nursing for weeks. A small price to pay for complete (well, almost) peace.

    I wake up today after 10 hours asleep as, since quitting alcohol my body has been missing so many calories of sugar I'm constantly tired.

    Coffee, toilet time. I pass what is determined as the "perfect stool" bar maybe a little light brown, no mess and no sticking. First one in month's, literally. I'm ecstatic.

    I think the fruits are replacing the processed sugars gradually and as I sit here writing this, I can feel my energy level coming up again, towards the bottom of my pint of "Nutri Bullet" juice.

    Next I'll go to the kitchen, take my gut flora tablet (to replace what was taken out by the recent antibiotics), drink my Apothecary potion, check my BP and pulse, then get on the bike with my 70 year old neighbour for 20 miles. I may even attack the porch floor which I've been too despondent and tired to do in literally months, later.

    Now I'm not celebrating yet and may well have a couple of operations to correct something which, to all intents and purposes doesn't look life threatening, but I feel like a world of weight has been lifted. I am fully aware that I won't have gotten away scot free from my years of over drinking and not looking after myself, I know my insides are damaged from the little niggling and odd pains I've had elsewhere (Pancreas, gallbladder, guts, heart) but I'm going nowhere in a hurry and I'm determined not to drink again, ever. The smoking needs to go, but let's leave that a little while and go for hypnosis; I'm a kind of "all or nothing" person, after all.

    I'll go to the doctors, demand a referral for a full MRI to check the size of everything and I know there'll be visible fat and possibly heavy scarring, but I don't know feel like I'm on my last legs and this is only in a week of total abstinence after months of drastically cutting down. Hopefully the MRI will also yield clues I can take to a muscular / whatever they are doctor who will say "You know what that is, it's the blardy blah muscle pressing on the whatever nerve and it needs this...". Now I don't really want the Fibroscan, at least not just yet. I can't change the past but I can change my future, so I'll probably wait to go for that after 6 months clean and see what I get. If it comes back high / mental then I'll know I was really at death's door anyway, but equally I'll not see a good set of results and be tempted to "have a few beers". I think a little healthy fear is better than putting myself through agony again, unless of course I develop any more symptoms. What kicked this all off was the sudden onset of a few tiny veins on my nose and putting that together with the pain.

    I think the point is, whatever the damage is, I am determined to deal with it and there's absolutely no way, as long as I've got a hole in my backside, I am EVER going through the last month's agonising, Googling and sheer terror I've put myself through. What is done is done and we can only look forward to the future, with the support of great people who are on this forum.

    I will keep everyone up to date as things progress and I really cannot emphasise how much I feel I'm not out of the woods and there's a lot of work to be done, but I am encouraged that things are looking a little better, dare I even say it.

    Happy New Year folks and to anyone who is thinking of quitting, I'll let you know when I've next been to the pub for my nasty j20 with my head held high and (hopefully) looking fitter and healthier each time.

    God I can bang on, sorry. :)

  • Well i guess sometimes we are lucky enough to be getting "signs from above" to make a change in our life :)

    My pain also came after some few years of over drinking and i was sure thats it. Ultrasound and tests shows all is clear but this was enough to get me to stop drinking.

    When i was thinking about it about it after, i know that i got this pain after some stress time and after moving our flat almost alone and it was a lot of heavy lifting so maybe it is muscles after all...

    For me it was the sign to stop and hopefully just in the right time.

    Glad to hear you are better.

  • Hi David,

    I think you may be right, but I still have this nagging feeling although I don't feel like the reaper is standing over me, maybe he's at the end of a football field pacing and looking...

    It is however very bizarre as this has been going on for literally years, during which my LFT's have been taken three times, showing nothing more than MCV/MCHC increases, a couple of decimal points over the tolerance band. I will get the doctors to look into the Ferritin elevations in the next couple of weeks and see if maybe i've got high Iron, which might account for some of the tiredness.

    It is definitely enough to scare the life out of anyone and I am only thanking my lucky stars it's happened this way and not in hospital.

    It's going to be a long, health conscious road but I'm happy to commit myself.

  • Also anxiety can cause many real physical symptoms.

  • Update again.... Hopefully more good news.

    I went to the GP again yesterday to follow up my symptoms and saw a different person, she was great. She could obviously see the overall panic on my face and the urgency of a resolution to my issues and booked me in for an ultrasound with Doppler today at 4:30.

    So I went in, another really nice lady who understood my concerns and literally walked me through each of my internal organs on screen, one by one. Kidneys, Spleen, Pancreas, bladder, then the Liver...

    The Liver was practically solid black with visible veins through it showing clearly as white. It had pronounced edges and showed absolutely zero visible fat (apparently) which I found absolutely amazing, given the beating it's had. It was explained to me how the edges can appear "nodular" and not as pronounced, defined etc. and it seemed to all make perfect sense. She compared it side by side to my kidney which appeared to have exactly the same properties and explained that it looked absolutely fine. The lady also demonstrated the Doppler imagery as well, blood flow was good everywhere with no obstructions and she even focussed on the Portal Vein and Vena Cava while I held my breath in, they were unobstructed and passing blood well.

    I must admit I was very impressed with the amount of detail she was prepared to go into in order to re assure me and I'm pretty well satisfied there's nothing untoward, if a little surprised, stunned and very grateful.

    I did mention when I was in for the US I might book for a Fibroscan, she said it may be a waste of money but if I really want to be sure and I won't worry too much in the run up to my date, I could do. Does anyone think I should just leave it here and carry on trying to find out where this pain is coming from instead?

    I'm basically thinking I can get a referral to BUPA now and get an MRI (or MRE, if available) to find out if it's a problem with the muscle wall or perhaps a hernia which is pinching my guts, might explain the bloating too? I gather the MRI should further reinforce the opinion given by the US lady and if there's any doubt about the texture or makeup from this scan, I may do a Fibroscan just to be ultimately 100% sure.

    Treated myself and the missus to a nice healthy Thai meal on the way back, sat here with my glass of water and still feeling very positive about my health changes, but I really want to get to the bottom of this long standing pain...

  • I see your point. I think that anxiety as well adds to the pain you feel. I am as well quite amazed that apparently no damage was done to this amazing organ after heavy drinking years... even sometimes i dont believe it and still thinks something is there. thats why i rarely (if at all) drinking. For me this pain was a wake up call and in some way im thankful to it for making me change my lifestyle and almost daily drinking.

  • David,

    I'm in your camp on this one, the Liver is a downright amazing organ and to be honest whilst I'm not 100% positive and don't have any proof I'd say the herbal stuff has done me a great deal of good so far, maybe helped things along. I have no doubt that if I'd had this test in October I'd have been looking at least at fatty liver.

    Wake up call indeed, I'm happy as I am and have no urge to drink at all, which is a first for me. I think wee are both fortunate enough to have been scared witless the first time round, which beats planning funerals, selling everything I own to make sure my family are looked after etc.

    Lesson learned here, but I'll update when I actually find out what this is. I know it's very unlikely it's liver related now, but hopefully when I find out it'll give others something else to consider before assuming the worst.

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