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?