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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Upper Right abdominal pain

04/21/2004

Question:

I have been experiencing a dull non-specific pain in my upper right abdomin. (this is the area I`d assume is my liver. I have had this dull pain for about 10 years... never too strong, but usually there. Lately it has become a little more accute. About 8 years ago my doctor did a test for gall bladder problems. These came out negative. He advised me that I might have some deferred pain associated with my stomach (or duodenum). I have an annual physical and all my liver enzymes come back just fine. I am (have been) a heavy drinker. I recently have quit, in part because of my liver pain. I know the consequences of excessive alcohol and guess I just chose to ignore it. In this light, my question: -Is it possible to feel liver fibrosis, or cyrosis? -If it is possible, how long should it take for the pain to go away if I have completely stopped? Thanks.

Answer:

Hello,

Yes, patients can feel liver pain. You cannot tell how extensive the liver damage is. You should see your doctor. Be sure you have a test done called a GGT. It is most sensitive to liver disease from alcoholism. It is a blood test. You should then tell your doctor your symptoms to see what she/he wants to do further. The pain going away would of course depend on how much damage the alcohol has done.

I would also refer you back to the intro for this web site (see link below) to read the definitions of alcoholism and abuse. If you are honest with yourself and have alcoholism, I would recommend AA and consider seeing a specialist in addiction medicine to further direct your care for this disease.

Thanks for your question.

Related Resources:

Addiction/Substance Abuse Introduction

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Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University