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Suggest treatment for elevated liver enzymes and fatty liver

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Posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Question: Yes, I have been a moderate drinker for the last 10 years with the last three being heavy. I never had any issues until a routine CBC showed elevated liver enzymes. That was two years ago. I never had any pain until about 7 months ago. A dull ache, full feeling, pressure under my rib-cage on the right side. Recently I can feel a small lump right around this area and it is tender and painful to the touch. I had a CT Scan 7 months ago which showed mildly enlarged fatty liver, no tumors, gall bladder normal. I used to be able to go for a few days without drinking and the pain would subside. Now when I go for days without drinking it is still there, although it does seems to get better after a few days, but is this cirrhosis, and if so, how long would I have to live, or if it is not, and I heal my liver, will I still never be able to drink again?
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (38 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
it's probably an indicator of liver toxicity

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

a painful liver can be a sign of liver toxicity, be it fatty liver or alcoholic hepatitis. The only way to find out for sure is by doing laboratory testing for the liver function tests including INR, total proteins and albumin. Alcohol is obviously detrimental for the liver and 10 years is a long time.

Progression to cirrhosis cannot be accurately predicted. Some patients may never progress to more serious liver injury while others progress sooner than most. A liver ultrasound scan may be helpful to exclude other conditions and confirm fatty liver. The truth is that the liver never heals. Although there is some regenerative potential, the newly formed tissue is spread all around without any architecture and thus it disrupts the liver's functionality. Drinking more and more will destroy what's left. Since the clinical problems arise when a big part of the liver is injured, the functional reserves would be limited thereafter.

I hope it helps!
Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3691 Questions

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Suggest treatment for elevated liver enzymes and fatty liver

Brief Answer: it's probably an indicator of liver toxicity Detailed Answer: Hello, a painful liver can be a sign of liver toxicity, be it fatty liver or alcoholic hepatitis. The only way to find out for sure is by doing laboratory testing for the liver function tests including INR, total proteins and albumin. Alcohol is obviously detrimental for the liver and 10 years is a long time. Progression to cirrhosis cannot be accurately predicted. Some patients may never progress to more serious liver injury while others progress sooner than most. A liver ultrasound scan may be helpful to exclude other conditions and confirm fatty liver. The truth is that the liver never heals. Although there is some regenerative potential, the newly formed tissue is spread all around without any architecture and thus it disrupts the liver's functionality. Drinking more and more will destroy what's left. Since the clinical problems arise when a big part of the liver is injured, the functional reserves would be limited thereafter. I hope it helps! Kind Regards!