Is it my liver? : I am new here. 5... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
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Is it my liver?


I am new here. 50 years old, pretty heavy drinker the last decade and half. I’m having problems with pain in rib area and back. No other symptoms. Had my gallbladder out for stones at end of January this year. CT with contrast was performed at beginning of last November. No mention of any liver issues then . I guess my question is, how likely is it this is the liver , also I keep reading by the time it’s painful it’s likely cirrhosis ?! 😥 by the way yes I quit drinking cold turkey only 3 days now but I’m way too scared to even begin to crave it now. 😥help?!

20 Replies

You need to see your doctor and get tests, bloods first off and perhaps a fresh scan. My husband who has confirmed cirrhosis has never suffered from liver pain at all and it wasn't until he was displaying late stage symptoms that we even knew that he had anything wrong with his liver.

You may have residual issues from your gallstone issue - it is possible even after removal of gall bladder to develop or retain stones.

Normally they would check your liver during gall bladder surgery so it's unlikely you have developed cirrhosis since January.

The only way to find out for sure is to get appropriate medical advice.


I’m about the same age and drinking history. I had nasty pains down my right side but went through a bunch of lifestyle changes and quit drinking 100%. I was diagnosed (ultrasound) with a mild fatty liver. That went within months of quitting as did the pains. I saw my GP to explain I drank too much and had the blood tests to make sure all was OK.

A lucky escape which you can have too if you quit the drink, which your GP can help with too.

Mom23dds in reply to CocoChannel

Thank you! Yes I just had a huge trigger (argument with husband lol) and wanted to grab a glass of wine but resisted . I’m seriously scared although yours and Katie’s comments are helping. I paid earlier online and will go tomorrow to an independent lab to get my bloodwork done , so I’ll at least have that report in a few days , and I guess I’ll go see the dr from there . If nothing else yes, it’s a huge wake up call. Thanks again!

CocoChannel in reply to Mom23dds

Fair play on not pouring that glass of wine 👍 Any chance of giving/throwing those bottles of wine away to reduce the temptation?

Mom23dds in reply to CocoChannel

Not only that but the wine of the month club will be mourning my departure....:'( lol

CocoChannel in reply to Mom23dds

My wife doesn’t drink at all which made it a lot easier. Having a partner who drinks isn’t ideal I guess.

TT-2018 in reply to Mom23dds

You have had surgery, for which you will have had a full blood test. You have also had a CT contrast scan. Both of these would have indicated damage to your liver. Cirrhosis is known as the silent killer, because it shows no early symptoms for the individual.

Having an independent blood test from an online clinic, is (in my opinion), a complete waste of time and money.

When you have a follow up appointment, regarding your surgery, mention your concerns about your drinking. They will be able to signpost you to the appropriate services.

I wish you every success.

Mom23dds in reply to TT-2018

Just to clarify, the clinic wasn't online. It's in my community (I'm in the US) but they partner with a local organization and you can get blood drawn without dr. order through them. Did that this morning, so I guess I will have those numbers in a few days....

Do you mind my asking how long it took the pains to subside? I'm abstinent for 47 days but the pains are continuing.

Usual caveats that we’re all different....the worst pains which felt like a strain or knotted muscle eased when I cut down on drinking. However, a nagging ache came and went for six months after I quit 100%. It was barely noticeable, but I was concerned enough to pay for a private fibroscan. The results of that were very good, and the pains vanished. Must have been some psychosymatic stuff going on.

Many thanks. I have been told that it can take six months for the liver to recover some function but really requires a full twelve months.

I was pleasantly amazed (if that’s even English) that I went from mild fatty liver (ultrasound) to no detectable fat (fibroscan) in about six months, so that’s the sort of timescales.

But maybe we should be wary of talking about timescales. I’m certain the NHS website’s advice that a fatty liver will go after two weeks of abstinence leads people into a false sense of security. The point should be a fatty liver caused by poor lifestyle should improve if lifestyles are improved, but they have to stay improved.

Mom23dds in reply to CocoChannel

It is so amazing to me how similar all our info is. I have a funny feeling I may end up with your same diagnosis. I don't think I read it, how was your blood work when you went to the dr.?

CocoChannel in reply to Mom23dds

I’ve always had annual blood tests, and my ALT, AST and GGT have always been perfect. A routine ultrasound picked up a mild fatty liver, so for me I’m not sure how valuable the blood tests were for my liver health. I still get annual blood tests for general health reasons - far from being a waste of time.



As already mentioned by other members below, we would suggest you see your doctor for another assessment, bloods and scan to provide up to date information on your liver function.

If you are in the UK and would like a further chat, please do call our nurse led helpline on 0800 652 7330

Best wishes


Mom23dds in reply to Trust1

I must say I wish I was in the UK! I love it there! But no, I am in the US. I have already done the bloodwork and have the dr appt set. Just wanted some "been there" like CocoChanel. My mind races to the worst case scenario every time, sadly usually in the middle of the night. :'( Thank you!

Trust1Administrator in reply to Mom23dds

We hope you get to speak to your doctors soon and continue to find our forum a supportive place to visit

Warm wishes.

You should definitely see your GP for your symptoms just try to relax a little as you have had a fairly recent scan the chances are if you have damaged your liver it should be very early stages so stopping drinking will have a massive effect on improving not only your liver function but your overall health.The chances are your still sore from having your gallbladder removed and your pain was always there but the alcohol was masking it.

Please go to your GP though

Wishing you all the best


Mom23dds in reply to 1football

Thank you for the reassurance. I even told my husband that,...many times..."the alcohol (wine for me) is all that really eases the pain"...both before the GB was removed and since... :O ..thanks again for replying.

Just thought I’d update: laying off the wine has helped as the pain is all but gone, and my blood work came back perfect which I’m grateful for . .

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