Liver pain - how long?: Hi Everyone I'm... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Liver pain - how long?

sdk1138 profile image

Hi Everyone

I'm a 48 year old male who was a heavy drinker from the age of around 26 to 45 when it came to a head and I stopped.

I seperated from my kids' mum 2 years ago and since then have been leading a better lifestyle (much happier) and rarely drink, although I do have a terrible ready meal based diet and loved to take chocolate to bed, and I mean lots of it!

Anyway, I started drinking again when lockdown started last April, but within a few weeks developed right side pain which scared the hell out of me and I stopped. We are talking 10-13 units a night. It took a couple weeks I think then the pain went away, so in October I had a set of function tests done via thriva - the results ALL cam back normal.

Then at Xmas I drank on Xmas day and Boxing day. Got right side pain again and it took a few weeks to go.

On 30th May - 2.5 weeks ago I had a very bad day and consumed 20 units, and the next day woke up with right side pain. Now I'm still in the same pain. And I hugely regret that day - it's my one and only alcohol touch this year - that's for sure.

I guess it's not so much pain as discomfort? I'm also quite skinny with a ridiculous pot belly that looks really odd - but I can't decide whether it's ascites that I've always had or I'm literally just really out of shape.

My plan is to get some tests done via Striva again to check all the basics then go back to my GP end of the month for tests.

Has anyone else experienced liver pain that went away? I'm interested in everyone else's experience with liver pain. I'm in that frame of mind - do I have cirrhosis in either an early or middle stage meaning I've got 2 to 5 to 12 years left depending on which site you read, or a fatty liver that will heal up probably in the next month and I might be okay if I don't drink ever again and it much better?

it's funny - when I used to drink regularly I convinced myself most mornings I had liver disease but - you know - hangovers and liver disease have similar symptoms! But I'm thinking if my results last Oct were completely normal and I've only drank on a handful of occasions since I doubt that would have pushed me over the edge in to liver damage?

Don't know - am keen to hear others opinions!

Thanks for your time in advance.

S

38 Replies

I would miss out the private blood tests altogether and go and see your doctor, explaining your relationship with alcohol, the amounts together with your somewhat poor diet and get proper blood tests done and perhaps a scan.Hate to say it but you can have very advanced liver disease and normal bloods - it depends what bloods were done.

You need to get yourself very thoroughly checked out.

Katie

Worrysome1 profile image
Worrysome1 in reply to AyrshireK

What bloods give a true reading Katie? Sorry to jump in but my 3rd LFTs are good again but still have symptoms, having bloods done on Friday for urea and electrolytes. My platelets were 320. Would bilirubin be a good indicator, mine was 5.

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to Worrysome1

I am not qualified to comment on specifics of blood tests. My concern for this poster was he had private bloods done and assumed all was good. To monitor liver health you would usually have full liver panel, kidney function test - Urea and Electrolytes, full blood count and probably more.

Worrysome1 profile image
Worrysome1 in reply to AyrshireK

Hope it is for him. Thank you for replying.

Hello,I agree with Katie, you need to tell your GP all that you've put in your post. You know what you need to do really, we're cheering you on....

Hi I just found out that I have problems with my stomach I have been like this for a couple of years ago my GP sent me to the hospital I went I have been seeing a nice doctor he has done a lot of tests and he told me that I have cirrhosis of the liver and I don't drink I have lost a lot of weight I have to put on weight I went back a couple of weeks he said that he was going to call up Edinburgh to speak to someone about me before I left the hospital he told me I will put you on the waiting list .I was very up set asi was just there my self as my boys and my partner were all working he said bring some one with you when you come back .

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Petrina_gmfc

It is so sad that when Drs need to deliver such devastating news they don't consider the need for a patient to have some one with them to support, I was told last November by a Consultant I have stage 4 liver disease and I would not be a candidate for a transplant and it will not regenerate, my husband and my children were devastated and couldn't believe how bluntly I was told I truly empathize but hopefully when you next see him with a family member he may have some positive news regarding a transplant. X

Petrina_gmfc profile image
Petrina_gmfc in reply to Tia2021

Are you a drinker I am not I yes to drink in my teens but not now.

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Petrina_gmfc

Not no more and when I did I didn't consider it a problem, I had an RTA in 1997 and was put on strong pain killers for years which were packed with paracetamol which they said contributed, It doesn't make sense to me as a year previous I had scans and bloods and they said everything was normal then I was blue lighted in November 2020 with upper GI bleed, they didn't expect me to live x

Worrysome1 profile image
Worrysome1 in reply to Tia2021

So sorry to hear these stories. I think Paracetamol caused the problems I have now. I started taking it for tinnitus before Christmas and drank wine on the other nights. Tia, did you continue to have a drink after they told you all was normal? How much? I still won’t touch anything toxic as I don’t feel myself. Having more bloods done Friday. Hope you don’t mind me asking. By the way, you trust that you’re not being given anything that will endanger you as in your case.

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Worrysome1

No I don't drink at all, my Coeliac keeps going off and yet I avoid all process foods and cook fresh only x

Worrysome1 profile image
Worrysome1 in reply to Tia2021

I won’t touch the stuff again but even normal ultra sound and 3 lots of LFTs, I’m sure I’be got severe liver disease. Hope you get the coeliac under control, one thing less to worry about. Xxxx

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Worrysome1

It certainly will be, all trial and error , Take care xxx

Worrysome1 profile image
Worrysome1 in reply to Tia2021

Thank you, you too x

Montys profile image
Montys in reply to Tia2021

Hi. What is your prognosis? What happens for you from here??

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Montys

Since my admission November 2020 and then readmission early December with clot on my lung and heart and acites I lost 4 stone which I felt much better for, I have had only telephone appointments with my consultant who relayed my liver is compensated and doing well, he requested banding which I have had done and await chest x-rays and scans, my magnesium keeps dropping low along with sodium, this he will monitor xx

Montys profile image
Montys in reply to Tia2021

That's fantastic . Get well soon. You are inspiring 🙏👍👍

Montys profile image
Montys in reply to Tia2021

Hello again 🤝, do you, like me , find your mind doesn't seem quite right?? Like nothing is real?? Like your illness is happening to someone else and not you?? Hope you don't mind this question.

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Montys

I certainly do or that like the bag of medication they gave me upon Hospital discharge that was all another patient on the ward, I started to think like the medication they had mixed me up with another person for stage 4 liver disease, I still have to keep checking myself and thinking is it all real. Xx

Montys profile image
Montys in reply to Tia2021

I wonder, if like me you have chronic insomnia too? My sleeping pattern is really bad. I get no refreshing sleep at all. Always tired.

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Montys

I rarely sleep well and certainly don't feel refreshed for a good night's sleep bit since November last year, I feel permanently drained xx

Montys profile image
Montys in reply to Tia2021

One day at a time. I know how you feel. Get well soon 🙏 . Got to be light at the end of the tunnel. X🤝🤝

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Montys

I'm praying there is light 🙏🙏, You take care too , xx💛

Montys profile image
Montys in reply to Tia2021

👋 hi. Do you get bad depression?? After I had to stop drinking the depression really kicked in. Still got it today. After 25 years of heavy drinking adjusting to a new life is so hard.

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Montys

I take antidepressants but did previous to becoming unwell, I think sadly all the twinges, bloatednes and pains I had 12 months prior to my Emergency admission, all scans showed nothing abnormal just a few gasses floating around , I was already even more depressed as felt so unwell but didn't know why, then my Emergency admission 8 months ago with upper GI bleed, blood transfusion that ended up in my abdomen and bless the hospital I didn't go in with COVID but was put in a COVID Bay and caught COVID, I think all these things heightened my depression and still give me nightmares now 💛💛xx

Worrysome1 profile image
Worrysome1 in reply to Tia2021

Glad to hear that you are now compensated. You seem very brave. Well done Tia xxxxxx

Tia2021 profile image
Tia2021 in reply to Worrysome1

Thank you 😊 xx

Hello!

I have also had the dreaded right sided liver pain after alcohol. I stopped and started drinking many times — if I stopped drinking long enough (normally a few months) the pain would go away, I could even drink a few times without it coming back, but eventually it would always come back and after not very long. after a couple years it became not only right sided pain but also itchiness after alcohol consumption. Some medications also cause these symptoms for me. Also psoriasis popped up around this time, which has been shown to be linked to bile.

I have had 2 ultrasounds, many blood tests, 2 fibroscans a work up by a liver specialist and a MRE/MRI of my liver.

Everything came back normal. My liver specialist said he would no longer be seeing me due to my liver being perfectly healthy.

I know that is not true, I think I have some form of alcohol induced cholestasis. - I’ve basically given up and just don’t drink anymore. I do plan to see a naturopath about a liver healthy diet and explore bile issues.

My advice would be stop drinking, go the doctor and get bloods and an ultrasound and fibroscan. Just labs is not enough. I know it’s scary but the first step is figuring out exactly where you are, often times liver damage is reversible if caught early, so doing something about it now is what really matters.

Good luck!!

Morning. I agree with all the others. Book a GP appointment and get them to undertake a full assessment.

I had normal bloods taken in November last year and in February they were all deranged and after a liver biopsy diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis. Things can change quickly.

Take care.

This question about liver pain does crop up from time to time. It might surprise some people to learn that the liver doesn’t have any pain receptors so it can’t tell you when it’s being damaged. If our livers did have pain receptors we’d all be doubled up in constant pain as those toxic chemicals are constantly being processed. This is also why liver disease is often referred to as being, “The Silent Killer”.

This is not to say that some people don't experience some pain and discomfort in the liver region. The liver is surrounded by a thin membrane called, the “Glisson Capsule”. Now, this does contain pain receptors. If the liver becomes enlarged it is this membrane that stretches and causes pain and discomfort.

Gallstones are another cause of pain in the upper right quadrant area.

To establish the correct diagnosis, a GP may feel around the liver area to see if it’s enlarged. They may also order up a fibroscan and some blood tests.

Further scans and tests may also be required before a full diagnosis can be confirmed.

Hope this helps.

Richard

Glisson capsule

Hey mate. Google=Anxiety and immediate death. Bin it off. Go to your GP as soon as possible, I wouldn’t bother with anything else where. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis with ascites(10 litres) 16 months ago. Presented with Liver failure. To be honest I felt fine only went to hospital because people keep on about my belly. I was at a party can you believe it. Anyway I caught it in time an I’m just over a year sober. I’m healing. What I have learnt is who knows how ends up with liver disease. It’s a silent one, not everyone gets a warning like I did. So just go and it get sort,it’s better to just know and then you know what your dealing with. Ps. I had massive sugar cravings at the start. I figured if the cake keeps me off the booze(short term) then I’m having cakes,lots of them. I dealt with the diet after the initial 3 months. Best of luck mate!!

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Administrator

Welcome,

You have had some very useful replies on this thread. We would also suggest you see your GP and discuss your alcohol usage and symptoms.

You can have normal liver blood tests and still have liver damage so it is important to discuss other diagnostic tests like ultrasound scans and fibroscans, if appropriate.

If you are in the UK, you can call our nurse helpline on 0800 652 7330 to discuss this. Mon to Fri 10am to 3pm

Keep us posted.

Hi

I'm your own GP will be happy to see you. No need to pay for the private tests. It sounds like you've got the right intentions and have been doing lots to help yourself already, which is all very positive. I'm sure your GP will be more than happy to give you a good looking over.

Hi sdk1138 nearly 18years ago I was getting pains and got tests done the doctor at the hospital did not know how much I drank, because I didn’t tell the truth so when they got my tests results back his words to me was your enzymes levels are a bit high but nothing to worry about. Well 3weeks later I was in hospital with liver failure and the doctor standing over me in the morning saying well you made it through the night then didn’t think you would. So ended up having a long stay in hospital and not a drink has passed my lips since. So my advice is go to your doctors and tell the truth because the pain you are describing worries me, good luck and don’t forget tell the truth I didn’t and nearly payed the price good luck.Stay Safe All

Dogbot 🐶🌈

Hiya - sorry to read your experience, a familiar story. All understandable so don't incriminate yourself. Bite the bullet and get in the NHS system. I'm on ward now after 3 years clear then slipping. They're doing a fabulous job. Good luck, Chas

Hi there. My names Julie and I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis & end stage liver decease three and a half years ago.As has been said you should never go on google as according to them I should be dead or have one foot in the grave.

I have 20% liver function and live a releativly normal life apart from fatigued.

I regularly have pain around my liver area and spoke to my consultant and she asked me if I was constipated which I was I also have problems with my gall bladder that also causes pain around the same area.

As has been mentioned as scary as it is you must have blood tests through your doctor. There are different types of Cirrhosis some reversible and some that sadly too much damage has been done but it doesnt mean the end.

I had to completely change my diet and exercise mainly salt followed by low fat

fruit veg and no Paracetamol and microwaved meals are not good.

Good luck and please try not to worry.

Julie.

You can also call the liver trust on 0800 652 7330 the nurses there will give you advice and support I have spoken to them and they are excellent. Julie.

I'm going through the same well I did I had all my liver functions tests done cbc and a ultrasound and my liver came back healthy which I didn't understand

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