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Pain in the abdomen, swelling, weight loss. Taken alcohol for weeks. Could it be due to liver failure or cirrhosis?

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I had a couple of big weekends recently on alcohol and the day after i had sharp pain in the upper right abdomen area, a few days latter it become a mild annoying dull pain in same spot and my stomach was swollen. Ive definitely notice a big difference in stomach but haven't put on any weight at all, if anything ive lost weight. Im 24 year old male have drunk a fair bit in the last few years just on weekends. Could i have liver failure or cirrhosis, i feel fine mentally, am eating well, do not feel fatigue or lethargic or sick, no sign of jaundice or red hands or swollen feet, just an unusual size stomach and pain in upper right side. Do most people with cirrhosis feel sick and unable to eat and does jaundice appear straight away. If someone has stomach ascites from cirrhosis does this mean that the liver is dead or could it still be partly working. Please could someone give me some advice on this really scared..
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 6 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query

Pain abdomen and abdominal prominence after an alcohol binge could be due to -

1) Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas) - This usually is associated with severe pain initially associated with some abdominal bloating to constipation. There may be some vomiting and respiratory distress. This usually settle and rarely may continue to have a vague abdominal discomfort for a while. The prominent stomach could be because of distended intestines and fluid in severe cases.

2) Alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation of liver) - This usually causes dull aching abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant. Abdominal bloating may be due to intestinal dysmotility and some times fluid. Severe alcoholic hepatitis if associated with continuing alcohol intake may lead to cirrhosis which is irreversible damage to liver.

3) Alcoholic gastritis (inflammation of stomach)

A proper examination and relevant test such as liver function test, serum lipase and an ultrasound abdomen can be done to differentiate between the 3 conditions. I encourage you to consult your symptoms are varied in cirrhotic patients. Ascitis and jaundice is also not a must in all cases of liver cirrhosis. And Liver failure occurs when liver worsens further from the stage of cirrhosis.

Hope my answer is helpful. If there are any further queries, I will be available to address them.

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