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Slight swelling with discomfort, drink alcohol. What can this be due to?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I have had a constant slight swelling on my left side just below my ribs for a few months. It does not cause me pain just a little discomfort especially after a night of drinking. Yes I am a heavy drinker. What is this?
Posted Thu, 31 May 2012 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 21 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.

Given your history of heavy alcohol intake and swelling on left side just below the ribs, it is best to get an ultrasound or CT abdomen at the earliest as there is a possibility of hepatomegaly(liver enlargement) or splenomegaly (spleen enlargement) due to cirrhosis liver as a result of long term alcohol intake.

Alcoholism may cause cirrhosis liver which is characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis, scar tissue and regenerative nodules and even spleen enlargement. You need to get even your liver enzyme levels checked apart from ultrasound/CT upper abdomen. Please consult a physician and get it checked at the earliest.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Slight swelling with discomfort, drink alcohol. What can this be due to? 22 minutes later
Thanks, also I have given up drinking recently, is the damage reversable if I continue a more healthy diet?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 10 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for writing back to me.

Damage to the liver is definitely reversible provided alcohol is completely stopped. The liver has a great capacity to regenerate itself even is a small portion is left undamaged. I will suggest consulting a hepatologist and getting an ultrasound/ CT scan done.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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