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Does hemochromatosis cause right sided upper abdominal pain?

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Posted on Fri, 13 May 2016
Question: I've been having pains in my upper right quadrant of my abdomen since 2012. My FNP dismissed this for 4 years until I had enough. Finally diagnosed with hemochromatosis. I've had a liver biopsy to confirm hemochromatosis, and have had 2 phlebotomy treatments so far. A CT indicated mild increased echogenicity about the liver with a focal hypoechoic area adjacent to the porta hepatis measuring 2 x 3 CM and is(suspected) to be focal fatty sparing. I do have an MRI scheduled in one week to confirm, however my question is would I be experiencing this pain due to this, or is it possible that I may have something more serious going on?
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Considerations

Detailed Answer:
Hello & thank you for submitting your question.

I am glad to hear that you were finally able to receive a diagnosis to account for your symptoms.

Hemochromatosis, as you are likely aware, results from accumulation of iron in your body usually due to a genetic mutation that affects how iron is absorbed. The symptoms of hemochromatosis can include upper abdominal pain, as well as joint pain and fatigue.

One of the complications of hemochromatosis is the effects it can have on your liver and on the heart. It is good you are having an MRI to confirm the findings on the CT scan.

It would be speculative at this point to assume that the MRI will detect an additional or "worse" process involving the liver. It is important to monitor the condition along with the pain, as I'm sure you're aware, with regular evaluations and laboratory studies.

I understand it is difficult to be completely assured with this limited information at this time, but hopefully once the MRI is performed you and your physician will have definitive information regarding the nature of the focus within the liver.

Wishing you great health and a great weekend,
Dr Galamaga

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Dr. Robert Galamaga

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Practicing since :2002

Answered : 2636 Questions

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Does hemochromatosis cause right sided upper abdominal pain?

Brief Answer: Considerations Detailed Answer: Hello & thank you for submitting your question. I am glad to hear that you were finally able to receive a diagnosis to account for your symptoms. Hemochromatosis, as you are likely aware, results from accumulation of iron in your body usually due to a genetic mutation that affects how iron is absorbed. The symptoms of hemochromatosis can include upper abdominal pain, as well as joint pain and fatigue. One of the complications of hemochromatosis is the effects it can have on your liver and on the heart. It is good you are having an MRI to confirm the findings on the CT scan. It would be speculative at this point to assume that the MRI will detect an additional or "worse" process involving the liver. It is important to monitor the condition along with the pain, as I'm sure you're aware, with regular evaluations and laboratory studies. I understand it is difficult to be completely assured with this limited information at this time, but hopefully once the MRI is performed you and your physician will have definitive information regarding the nature of the focus within the liver. Wishing you great health and a great weekend, Dr Galamaga