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What causes persistent pain in back radiating to front side?

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Posted on Mon, 16 May 2016
Question: I have had constant right side pain, starting in my back under the 2nd rib (approximately) and spreading to the right front, for four weeks now. I normally drink one glass of red wine at night but gave that up because it seemed to make the pain worse. I had a glass last night - the first in 3 weeks - and again, the pain worsened. What could be the cause of this pain? Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Could be liver or gall bladder problem.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I am sorry you are having this problem. The location you are describing, and it's correlation with alcohol makes me think this is a problem with the liver or gall bladder.

I have a few questions that might help me know more about what is going on:
Do you take a statin medication for cholesterol or any other medications?
Are you overweight? (I hope you don't mind this question)
Do you have any other health problems?
Have you had a recent infectious illness, diarrhea, or been out of the country?
Do you have fatty stools or more pain after a large meal that has a lot of fat/grease?

My guess is that your liver is inflamed by some mechanism. Without examining you and taking a full history this is hard to know for sure. But given your symptoms I advise you go in to your doctors office where he or she can percuss for the size of your liver and palpate your abdomen. Then, you should have a full liver function panel drawn. This is a blood test that looks at the levels of various enzymes the liver produces, as well as bilirubin level. It is also possible that you have a gall stone that is blocking the liver's excretion of bile.

Following the liver function panel, your doctor may want to get an ultrasound or other imaging test of the liver.



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3135 Questions

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What causes persistent pain in back radiating to front side?

Brief Answer: Could be liver or gall bladder problem. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, I am sorry you are having this problem. The location you are describing, and it's correlation with alcohol makes me think this is a problem with the liver or gall bladder. I have a few questions that might help me know more about what is going on: Do you take a statin medication for cholesterol or any other medications? Are you overweight? (I hope you don't mind this question) Do you have any other health problems? Have you had a recent infectious illness, diarrhea, or been out of the country? Do you have fatty stools or more pain after a large meal that has a lot of fat/grease? My guess is that your liver is inflamed by some mechanism. Without examining you and taking a full history this is hard to know for sure. But given your symptoms I advise you go in to your doctors office where he or she can percuss for the size of your liver and palpate your abdomen. Then, you should have a full liver function panel drawn. This is a blood test that looks at the levels of various enzymes the liver produces, as well as bilirubin level. It is also possible that you have a gall stone that is blocking the liver's excretion of bile. Following the liver function panel, your doctor may want to get an ultrasound or other imaging test of the liver.