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What are the underlying causes for fatty liver?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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My husband has been having pain on his right side. He drinks a lot of beer and has for many years although enzyme tests for the liver all come back normal. However, recently when he went to his gastroenterologist, they did CAT scan and did not find much except that it did say he had a fatty liver. While his doctor said nothing about it, I have a friend with a fatty liver and she had pain in the same area. He has noticed a difference in the pain since he stopped drinking but it has not gone away completely. Any suggestions?
Posted Sun, 9 Feb 2014 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 25 minutes later
Brief Answer: Detailed below. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. Fatty liver does not cause any pain. It can stay hidden for a very long time without no symptoms at all. So this is not a reason of his symptoms. Upper right abdominal pain can be caused by gallstones or pancreas inflammation. Gallstones are usually invisible in abdominal CT, ultrasound should be done. Gallstones give pain which radiates to the back, nausea and vomiting can appear. The pain usually appears after a meal or alcohol. Pancreas chronic inflammation gives upper right pain witch is severe and not intense. Diarrhea and fatty stools can appear. Sometimes stomach peptic ulcer can give upper right abdominal pain. I suggest your husband to: - have abdominal ultrasound to rule out gallstones - if no gallstones, gastroscopy should be done - have cholesterol level and pancreas tests checked - modify diet: avoid fatty foods, spicy foods, alcohol Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.
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