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I had a MRI that showed my liver was normal

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Posted on Wed, 27 Mar 2019
Question: I had a MRI that showed my liver was normal in size and signal a year ago. I still drink very often and heavy, how fast could cirrhosis form? Could my liver go from normal to bad in a year? I have some intermittent pains in my upper right abdomen is why I ask.
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Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (17 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Somewhat between 10 to 20 years.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for choosing 'Ask a Doctor' service for your query.
I've read your details.

coming to your query directly, as per standard textbooks, about 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers usually develop cirrhosis after 10 or more years while 80% of chronic drinkers may take as long as 40 years to develop full-blown stage 4 liver disease.

Generally, drinking 80 grams of alcohol daily for 10 to 20 years is required to develop cirrhosis which is equal to about one liter of wine, eight large-sized beers, or one-half pint of hard liquor each day.

This could further be postponed by taking Potent liver rejuvenators like Milk of thistle or silymarin.

Following a high carbohydrate and lean protein diet with minimal fat also slows down the process.

As MRI is normal. Very likely cause of right-sided off and on pain is gastritis related to drinking. Prilosec 40mg is unlikely to help. Take Nexium 40mg twice daily. Along with it take activated charcoal tablets an hour before drinking.

Not to worry.
In case you need any other answer do feel free to follow up.
Regards


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar (41 minutes later)
What I'm really asking is the MRI showed all normal but i still have pain in upper right abdomen, with gallbladder problems ruled out, so could it have been wrong? or could i have formed cirrhosis within a year of the MRI? i have been drinking about 8-10 a night regularly for 8 years.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (27 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Since the MRI is normal no point of cirrhosis.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

Yes, that pain is likely to be due to severe gastritis caused due to excessive consumption of alcohol. Gastritis means inflammation of the stomach and usually presents with epigastric pain or right-sided upper abdominal pain.

No, MRI is a highly sensitive test it can't be wrong. Even an Xray can detect gall stones. MRI can't miss it.

No, you can't develop cirrhosis directly within one year. Firstly, it would be a fatty liver after that at least 10 years required to develop cirrhosis.

Thanks.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 2462 Questions

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I had a MRI that showed my liver was normal

Brief Answer: Somewhat between 10 to 20 years. Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for choosing 'Ask a Doctor' service for your query. I've read your details. coming to your query directly, as per standard textbooks, about 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers usually develop cirrhosis after 10 or more years while 80% of chronic drinkers may take as long as 40 years to develop full-blown stage 4 liver disease. Generally, drinking 80 grams of alcohol daily for 10 to 20 years is required to develop cirrhosis which is equal to about one liter of wine, eight large-sized beers, or one-half pint of hard liquor each day. This could further be postponed by taking Potent liver rejuvenators like Milk of thistle or silymarin. Following a high carbohydrate and lean protein diet with minimal fat also slows down the process. As MRI is normal. Very likely cause of right-sided off and on pain is gastritis related to drinking. Prilosec 40mg is unlikely to help. Take Nexium 40mg twice daily. Along with it take activated charcoal tablets an hour before drinking. Not to worry. In case you need any other answer do feel free to follow up. Regards