RUQ pain w normal blood test

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Hello group I am a 32 year old male. For about 2 years I have been consuming 6 to 8 drinks daily. Prior to that pretty minimal alcohol consumption outside of a few weekends here and there. About 1 month ago I began to have a dull ache in my right side under the ribs and on my side. It radiates slightly to my back. I have no other symptoms. The pain hasn't gotten better or worse. I have since reduced my alcohol consumption to 1 or 1.5 drinks per day. I did LFT test and everything was right down the middle including ALT, AST, Bilrubin, Alb, plat count. I have never used recreational drugs, havent taken any pain medication ever and am Hep C negative.

Would you focus on reducing alcohol consumption further or pushing for more tests quickly? 2 years seems quick to have developed severe liver damage but I sure have read some interesting stories and I admit to being a little health anxious. Thoughts on what could be causing my pain if it's not serious liver damage?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes you are drinking too much stay within the guudelines recommended
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply. For the last 2 weeks my consumption has been 1 to 1.5 drinks per day. My understanding was that men <65 were advised to stay below 2 drinks per day. I do agree maybe the next step needs to be not everyday. Do you have liver disease and if so was RUQ pain a symptom you encountered?

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  • Posted

    Hi.

    It's never a good idea to drink everyday, that's how addictions take hold. I watched my husband go down that route and it eventually lead to severe alcoholism which ultimately ended his life. Sorry to be gloomy but I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It's very encouraging that your LFTs are normal, I'm no Dr but I would imagine that rules out quite a lot as regards liver disease/damage. There are other things that cause pain in and around the ribs and back. Muscular problems especially when they involve the intercostal muscles in the ribs. If your very concerned then don't let your Dr fob you off. I suffer with a serious health anxiety myself and am currently concerned over my liver health to, although I'm teetotal! But I understand totally how anxiety can create and sustain health problems. Sometimes it's hard to communicate the way it makes us feel to people who think in a more logical way but I do hope you feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the information Lisa and I am really sorry to hear about your husband. I agree even though I have been successful in getting my consumption below the advised amount going a few days each week with 0.0 is probably the next best course of action. I am curious if you dont mind me asking was RUQ pain a symptom your husband experienced prior to his liver disease diagnosis?
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    • Posted

      Hello.

      I don't mind you asking at all. He suffered quite a lot of abdominal pain but it's hard to say if it was totally liver related as he had gastric ulcers as well that caused pain that radiated right across his abdominal.

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  • Posted

    Have you had an abdominal scan to see if you have fatty liver or gallstones as I think that would be your next step and yes I would lay of alcohol all together until you find out why you are getting the pain.
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  • Posted

    Liver pain is an enigma, as the liver has no pain transmitting nerves anywhere within the organ itself. There is however a capsule (Glisson's Capsule) surrounding the liver, which is supposed to radiate pain supposedly only when stretched, as with fatty liver.

    I drank 6-8/day for many years, & experienced a transient dull ache under my ribs on the right side, but nothing substantial enough to make me stop drinking as my enzymes were also always normal.  I eventually developed alcoholic steatohepatitis in my early 50s and had to clean up my act.  My right side "liver pain" actually got substantially worse during my recovery, which scared the heck out of me.  This subsided at around 90 days clean & sober.  

    I eventually got an ASH Fibrosure which came back clean (no fibrosis), so apparently my liver pain was not associated with advanced disease.  With your history, I'm betting you'll be fine if you can keep clean, or even within recommended guidelines. If your symptoms persist, or anxiety fails to resolve, ASH Fibrosure or Fibroscan should bring peace of mind.  

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  • Posted

    Alcohol is very bad for people with cirrhosis. Many who continue to drink die in a hurry. You should consider to stop before it's too late.

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