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Abdominal discomfort after alcohol, subsides after eating

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Hello. I am 31, 5'6", 160lbs and have had no major illnesses or surgeries. Recently, I have had pain or discomfort in my upper right abdomen, just below the ribs. It occurs most often after drinking alcohol. Anything more than one glass of wine or one beer causes this the next day. However, the pain will go away after i eat, then return a few hours later. I don't feel hungry, but I try to eat something to make it subside again. This last one or two days, then is gone, until I dare to have that second drink. I don't know if i should be worried or just abstain completely and let my body recover from whatever is stressing it. And advise is appreciated. Thank you.
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for writing to us.

The pain in the right upper abdomen just below the ribs specially after drinking alcohol and subside after food intake suggest few conditions such as

1. Peptic ulcers/gastritis - Alcohol and spicy food can induce gastritis / ulcers.
2. Liver or gall bladder inflammation - Alcohol intake produces stress on the liver causing mild damage which in turn produces this mild pain.

It is advisable that you abstain from alcohol for some days and get some tests done such as
a) Liver function tests done to detect any related pathology like fatty liver.
b) Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
c) Ultrasound examination will also be helpful in detecting any hepatic pathology and will rule out other probable causes like renal disease or gall bladder calculus.

You may discuss about these option with your primary doctor. Perhaps consulting a 'gastroenterologist' might also be useful and you may get the above tests under their guidance. Some medications such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors and liver supportive drugs will help in treating the problem and preventing further damage.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.


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