Husband has right, upper abdominal pai... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Husband has right, upper abdominal pain. Drinks heavily.

Ally7 profile image

Hello, my husband is drinking about 90-125 units per week of alcohol, and had right upper abdominal pain, the doc is going to send him for a scan (think just ultrasound), and hasn't done bloods, despite telling them, several times, I am really worried about the amount he is drinking.

The dr and my husband think it's gall bladder, but I am thinking it could be damage to the liver. Part of me hopes it is, so he finally realises his drinking is excessive and he needs help! 😪 He won't listen to me and says I'm nagging.

Could it be his liver causing painninnhis upper right abdomen, going through to his back It is worse after eating fatty foods?

Thanks in advance.


24 Replies
Hidden profile image

Ally I hate to tell you this but you are absolutely right to be worried. I too was a ' nagging wife' and my husband died at just 54 of liver disease, multi organ failure and bronco pneumonia all caused by alcohol abuse.

Unfortunately unless you can make him see sense, admit he has a drink problem and to see a doctor, you and he will not get help.

I wish you all the luck in the world. He's on a slippery slope and could soon fall off. Don't want to scare you just telling you like it is.


Ally7 profile image
Ally7 in reply to Hidden

Thank you for replying Laura, I hope you are ok and I'm so sorry for all you have been through and still do so, as a result of the alcohol. I will try my hardest to help him but he is not helping himself. So I am powerless. Other than to shock him by leaving.

But that's for me to pluck up courage to do. Horrible. But the alternative is worse.

I hope you are ok yourself and are coming out the other side.

Thank you for sharing your own experience with me. I appreciate your help so much.

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Hidden in reply to Ally7

Oh darling. I know just how tough it is. You must decide what best for YOU now. You will wear yourself out trying to help someone who won't help himself.

Yes we gave come out the other side, remarried and life is wonderful and alcohol doesn't feature in our lives at all. There is s light at the end of a very long dark tunnel. So stay strong.


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As a PS to my message below.... If he manages to give up drinking NOW it is possible for his liver to start to recover as long as any damage he may already have caused isn't too severe. But he will need to see his GP to get a referal to a liver specialist who can determine the level of damage. I suggest as of today you begin keeping a written note of when & what he drinks and take it with you to the doctor/ specialist.

A) it will shock your husband and he'll probably say ' I don't drink that much'.

B) He will also lie to the specialist about how much he drinks.

So I suggest you go with him to every appointment with a list of questions you may want answers to and write those answers down. This way you are on top of exactly what his condition is. You will probably be given details of alcoholic support groups or, as in my husbands case, 1 to 1 home councelling to help him give up drinking.

He may well be hiding bottles and cans in his car and around the house... check his jacket sleeves and sports bags etc.... you have to be as crafty as they are and 2 steps ahead of them all the time .... it's exhausting. ( mine was ransacking bank accounts which I put into my name only and kept the cards locked in a safe I had bolted to the back of my wardrobe. He was even stealing our sons paper round money to feed his stinking habit!)

He may also say he just has a drink because he's feeling depressed. ..... alcohol causes depression it doesnt cure it so that's just a feeble excuse and creating a vicious circle.

This may all seem very extreme but really it isnt... its typical if its not dealt with imminently . It's going to be very tough on you so do look after yourself, you are going to need to be very strong if you are going to stand by him, no matter what the outcome.

Take care keep us posted. X

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Good day Laura009 I have read many of your reposes and truly feel your pain and for that I'm sorry. I just want to offer the perspective of a former heavy alcohol abuser. Not all drinkers are lying stealing abusive people some just have too many drinks during their free time I never lied about drinking to my wife or doctor and I freely sought help myself. I find it a bit offensive that you seem to paint all drinkers with the same brush. Ally husband may just need a serious heart to heart talk about his drinking to seek help we are all different

Take care


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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Hi yes sorry you're right I should have worded it better and added 'could happen' if not nipped in the bud soon enough.

In my husbands case the drinking went on for so long , over time it made him all of those things. Only after he'd been dry for 3 months, did he gradually become the man I fell in love with but by then he was incredibly ill, looked as old as his father and knew he was going to die.

Sorry don't want to cause offence, just want people to be aware.

Did you see my post yesterday after foxman555 was being accused of self pity? You will see I can see it from both sides.

chrisw740 profile image
chrisw740 in reply to Hidden

I've been thinking of saying the same for a short time. Domestic abuse was the precursor to my loved ones total misuse of alcohol. No one chooses to hurt themselves or those they love. It's a rotten illness and addiction is not a vicious act's a vicious affliction. It hurts those who care but, it's best not to be characterised as -you can't help those who won't help themselves. It's far more complicated.

This forum must be judgement free whilst still allowing space for very personal stories and the subsequent connectivity and support. It's never I hope, about blame and lost causes...just hurt, honesty and compassion to everyone effected including those with quiet voices in need of an advocate.

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Hidden in reply to chrisw740

I agree with both your post alcohol misuse is a very difficult thing to overcome and it affects everyone differently. I for one never really had an excuse for my drinking I have a great family and job but I just drank way too much looking back I can see how it effected my family but at the time I didn't see it as a problem. I truly hope I have quit in time to save my health and Ally I hope your husband can see there is more to life than drinking I know I'm much better off now. Hang in there everyone we all have different backgrounds but one common goal on this site to help each other



Ally7 profile image
Ally7 in reply to Hidden

So glad your e better now. Gives me hope as well. Well done too.

Layla132019 profile image
Layla132019 in reply to Hidden

I am going through the same thing with my husband during the covid but he takes cocaine too and says he is bored after I said he is not doing it in the house he now says he has to go somewhere and goes and parks somewhere in his car with his drink for a few hours and I'm finding bottles in the car x I want to be strong and kick him out but I'm afraid and actually relieved when he comes home as I know he is safe and I'm too ashamed to tell anyone so I'm keeping his secret to myself and its draining me

Very well said Boone , I also think it's very offensive to categorise drinkers in such a manner. Some people are naturally deceitful without alcohol.

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Hidden in reply to adrian27lee

Before my late husband became seriously hooked he was a a warm, kind, gentle man. Incredibly fit playing cricket, football and golf regularly. We had fabulous holidays living a wonderful life. I had often said to him that I thought he drank too much but never took me seriously. Over the years he drank more and more then when he turned 50 it spiralled out of control. The alcohol gradually took away everything that was 'him'. He became deceitful, stole money, became rude arrogant and verbally aggressive. So yes where some are like that normally, he most certainly was not.. that's what alcohol abuse did to him and after 4 years it killed him. Like I said the last 3 months before he died with the help of his 1 to 1 councellor he never had another drink and I saw his true personality reappear.

adrian27lee profile image
adrian27lee in reply to Hidden

I appreciate you went through a hell of a lot,more than most people my heart goes out to you but not all drinkers end up the say way. My dad was a heavy drinker maybe alcoholic, he was the most kind ,honest lovely dad. Drink didn't change his personality but it did kill him.He didn't steal wasn't abusive or dishonest so please remember while you talk about drinkers other much might get upset.

Ally7 profile image
Ally7 in reply to Hidden

I am so sorry you lost your dear husband to alcohol . Thanks for sharing this with me. Can I ask how much he drank per week please? I am trying to get my husband to see and he just says the friends he has drink way more. Which they do, but I hate how he changes we with it.

Thanknyou again x

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Ally7

Hi again ally. It's impossible to now exactly how much he was drinking as a lot of his drinking was done away from the house. But he like yours, used to say he doesn't drink as much as his mates. It varies from person to person. A smaller amount to 1 person can caused the same amount of damage as a larger amount to another so we can't really compare.

I take it he is still drinking too much then?

It's bloody hard going isn't it ? X

Hidden profile image

Hello ally

I truly hope your husband doesn't have any liver issues from his drinking I know when I quit drinking and started reading posts from sites like this it was enough to keep me from drinking again. Liver disease is a terrible condition that nobody deserves if your husband reads some posts from this site he might change his mind and chooses his health over drinking it could be worth a shot.

Take care


Ally7 profile image
Ally7 in reply to Hidden

Well done on stopping drinking. Not easy. But worth it. I wish the government would show how bad it is. It's not only wrecking health but also the country is in a state because of it I believe. I hate it now.

Ooh! Bit of a rant ! Sorry!🤣 Thanks again and well done.

sorry to hear about your problem, I'm no doc or expert but mine started in the fall bladder which I had removed and didn't stop drinking then, wish I had. if it's moving to the back as well it sounds so similar to how I was. kidneys could be suffering, liver will be suffering for sure with a large amount of alcohol especially if it's not given a few days to rest with no alcohol. the liver can repair itself but only to a certain extent, push it too far and then it won't recover it will slow start to die. that's what I done to mine. I have no advice for you about getting your husband. to slow down or stop drinking im afraid. you just have to be ready to give up or slow down. one thing that helped me though was not just sitting in front of the tv all day or night and to keep busy doing stuff. that doesn't mean giving him loads of diy, he won't like that, but go out for a walk, drive to a country pub have a half then drive back will kill a couple of hours and he gets a small drink so that shouldn't make it a chor. don't try to nag him as he will probably drink more just because you have had a go. push the doc to get blood tests, the restults might be enough to scare him. there is also the risk of pancreatitis and the diabetes.. good luck. hope you get through to him, ask him if there is something troubling him ? take care....and good luck again..dan

Ally7 profile image
Ally7 in reply to Dnama1975

That's k you Dan. I am sorry you have been through it like this!

Thank you for letting me know re his kidneys too. His memory is definitely affected.

I will see what I can do and appreciate this help. Thanks. Keep well

Im so sorry ur having to deal with this, a lot of the symptoms ive had as my liver is failing, thats a huge amount of alcohol to drink in a week I can understand why this would cause u the difficulties ur having, do u have children? I can distinctly remember an episode when my ex was drinking himself silly in the living room she was upset upstairs singing 'what became of a drunken sailor' at age 4, good luck hunni I really wish u all the best

Hiya Andiball, so sorry you are.foign through it and have been with your ez too. Our kids are 22 and 19. It affects them even though they're grown up.

He just goes into another room listening to his music. Not a marriage or familyt take care of yourself too and thanknyou for helping me.

Sadly your story resonates with me. My Husband enjoys beer and literally can not leave it if it is there. I'm terrified. He never used to drink really but smoked habitually. He stopped that and alcohol became his vice.

My Husband is still alive snd still in denial. He had a normal blood test during a sober two weeks and for him he's decided that means he's fine. I look at him and see a different story

I'm in the same situation my partner is drinking every day. He hides cans. He is now having crippling pain on his right side that comes and goes

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