What could be causing pain on my right side/back under ribs?

I have been having this pain under my ribs for a long time now. The very first time I went to see about it they told me it was a strained muscle. The pain eventually went away. It's came back about a year ago and they removed my gallbladder. After the surgery the pain went away for about 6 months and now it's back and has been back for a few months now. I have had multiple tests done.. MRI (contrast and no contrast) X-rays, urinalyses, blood tests, ultrasounds, and a scope down my throat. They told me I have a fatty liver.. Something under there hurts! It comes and goes. It will hurt consistently for days and then will stop for a bit. I need help.. Don't know what else to do.

14 Replies

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  • Hello Meggers412.

    This pain is coming from your liver and you said the diagnosis is a 'fatty liver'.

    You may be aware the main causes of a fatty liver are alcohol, overweight and diabetes.

    The best advice I can give is to speak with your GP being totally honest about your lifestyle. Left untreated there could well be further damage and disease to you liver.

    Good Luck.

    Pat x

  • I don't drink normally at all but I am overweight. I've tried diets and things but never with keeping track of the pain. Maybe that is defiantly something I need to try! Thank you for your advice! Every and anything is appreciated!

  • Fatty liver isn't meant to be particularly painful. Did they actually do a biopsy of your liver? If they didn't, then it might be worth asking to be referred back to the gastroenterologist for that, just to confirm that it really is fatty liver and not something else. And if it really is fatty liver, then ask your GP if you can be referred to someone to discuss lifestyle changes (eg, should you be having a low fat diet, should you be avoiding alcohol, what medicines you can and can't take)

  • No, they did not do a biopsy of my liver. I am on a few meds for some different things, maybe I should ask about those?

  • Hi there, what you describe is something that I have been suffering with for a long time, I too have have had my gall bladder removed, and my liver function tests are not ideal either, I have been taking pain killers for other problems ie knee and hip, which have now been replaced, so i do not take the pain killers, then I noticed the pain you describe had come back, I was tested for H Pylori and found to have antibodies, given two types of antibiotic at the same time, this helped a great deal and I felt much better for a while. I realised that in my attempts to diet,( I am overweight and all ways have been), I felt much better and the pain almost dissapeared, In desperation I had some food intolerance testing done at a local health food shop, I was sceptical to say the least, but they told me to avoid wheat, gluten, cheese, wine, grapes, oranges, and quite a list of E number additives, but I thought I would give it a go as I had just spent £65 on the test, to my amazement, within a week, my bloated tummy, which I had not realised was bloated, had dissapeared, I was not running to the toilet 3-4 times a day, no need to carry immodium with me, and my back pain has dissapeared completely, I know that there are many reasons for back pain, and you should consult your GP, but diet changes have made a remarkable difference to me, more than I could have imagined, I was quite worried prior to

    changing my diet but I have not felt so good in years, my energy levels are better, and I sleep much better without the pain. It may help you to look into these tests, its not easy changing your diet of a lifetime, but worth it, my daughter saw the changes in me and follwed my lead without the tests, and she has remarked how much better she feels. Hope this has been of interest, and maybe some help.

  • along those lines, worth getting tested for coeliac disease, as that can cause pain in that area occasionally.

    Has costochondritis (inflammation of rib cartilage) been excluded?

  • Hi earthwitch, I have been thinking just the same as you, I am in the process of trying to sort out myself, I have just sent a blood sample to york laboratories for indepth testing, fore armed so to speak, before I go to my hospital appointment with my thoughts, I have suffered a long time with this and only by doing a bit of research on the net have come to the conclusion that I may be suffering with coeliac disease. Many thanks for your thoughts

  • I have never been tested for that nor do I know what it is.

  • I also run to the toilet a lot during the day, I always through it was because I had my gallbladder removed. I'm for sure going to try the new, better diet. Thank you for your help!

  • Possibly gall bladder or cholicistis of the gallbladder.

  • When they removed your gallbladder, was it inflamed or had stones in it? This should be documented somewhere. After gallbladder removal, the stones can still stick in the bile duct which remains in your body. If they are not stones, it may be biliary dyskinesia - a motility disorder of the bile duct.

    Fatty liver can be painful — discuss about the cause; fatty liver is reversible.

    Gas trapped in the colon can also cause pain under the ribs.

  • They told me that I didn't have gallstones and that it just wasn't functioning properly.

  • Hi, I really feel for you...it's no fun being in chronic pain. Have you seen an osteopath? I don't know how far under your ribs the pain is but could it be something to do with your ribs? Intercostal pain perhaps? Looking at all the tests they have done it doesn't look like they've investigated any structural problems. Do you know if the pain comes from within your abdominal wall or if it's in the wall itself? There are tests to determine whether it's exterior or interior. I'd start from there. Good luck.

  • I suggest that you start seeing the experts on muscle behaviour. Doctors and medical consultants know very little about how muscles behave. Muscle cramp is muscle cramp. The muscle needs to be untensed. You are in the realm of chiropractors, Alexander Teachers, masseurs, osteopaths and others who work with their hands.

    Muscle cramp does not show up on MRI scans or xrays.

    Various things in the body can cause pain as side effect, however this does not mean that you cannot seek advice on how to lessen problematic muscle responses.

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