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What causes right upper abdominal pain while suffering from hepatic steatosis?

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Posted on Thu, 12 May 2016
Question: Good day to you. I was recently diagnosed with hepatic steatosis. I have no doubt that it has everything to do with drinking heavily on an almost every day basis for the last 17 years. Sometimes upward of a 12 pack of beer per day or two bottles of red wine per night. I have stopped all alcohol consumption (as of 2-12-16) and I am doing quite well with it. No cravings or desire for alcohol of any kind. I do drink a ton of water and hot tea however.

My question is multifaceted in that I had very noticeable RUQ abdominal pain. This is what led me to the local health clinic (PA, not an MD). I do not have health insurance at this time, hence the public clinic.

The RUQ pain did go away for about ten days after my initial alcohol abstinence. It is now back with a vengeance and is worse than before. Basically my liver is very sore to palpation. I also have started having a mild headache and just overall feeling horrible for the last 3-4 days. No fever, vomiting, XXXXXXX colored stool, etc but general mal-being.

With the following lab results in mind, here are my questions?

Can the RUQ pain be a result of my liver adjusting to NO alcohol?
If so what time frame am I looking at for it to subside?
With abstinence, will my liver heal? How long?
Can you please help me understand what these blood test results mean?
Can milk thistle supplement help with this? Hurt?


Here are the results of my ultrasound (2-16-16) and my bloodwork (2-12-16)

Comparison, abdomen CT 6-1-15.
Liver: Increased in echotexture without mass or cyst seen.
Common bile duct: 2.2mm
Right kidney: Normal.
Size: 11.6 x 6.3 x 5.5 cm
Ascites: None.
IMPRESSION:
Hepatic steatosis.


Feb 12, 2016     Total Bilirubin     
0.6 mg/dl
0.2-1.3     
Feb 12, 2016     Direct Bilirubin     
0.4 mg/dl
0.0-0.3     H
Feb 12, 2016     Aspartate Amino Transf (AST/SGOT)     
46 U/L
17-59     
Feb 12, 2016     Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT/SGPT)     
51 U/L
21-72     
Feb 12, 2016     Alkaline Phosphatase     
66 U/L
38-126     
Feb 12, 2016     Total Protein     
7.7 g/dl
6.3-8.2     
Feb 12, 2016     Albumin     
4.9 g/dl
3.5-5.0     
Feb 12, 2016     Lipase     
74 U/L
23-300
doctor
Answered by Dr. Hardik Sanghvi (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Alcohol abstinence don't cause RUQ pain.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, dear
I have gone through your question. I can understand your concern.
You have fatty liver changes due to alcohol.

Its very good that you give up the alcohol.


Alcohol abstinence causing anorexia, sleep disturbance, shaking of hand, disorientation etc. But RUQ pain is not due to alcohol withdrawal. It may be due to some other cause.

You should take healthy food and high protein diet. Regular exercise is most important in fatty liver.

It takes upto six months to get recovery from steatosis.

Milk and other protein supplements are helpful.

Your liver function tests reports like bilirubin level, liver enzymes, protein all are completely normal.
Your ultrasound abdomen is also normal except steatosis.

So don't worry about that. Just be relaxed.
You will get cured within short time.

Hope I have answered your question, if you have doubt then I will be happy to answer. Thanks for using health care magic. Wish you a very good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Hardik Sanghvi

Hematologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 7043 Questions

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What causes right upper abdominal pain while suffering from hepatic steatosis?

Brief Answer: Alcohol abstinence don't cause RUQ pain. Detailed Answer: Hi, dear I have gone through your question. I can understand your concern. You have fatty liver changes due to alcohol. Its very good that you give up the alcohol. Alcohol abstinence causing anorexia, sleep disturbance, shaking of hand, disorientation etc. But RUQ pain is not due to alcohol withdrawal. It may be due to some other cause. You should take healthy food and high protein diet. Regular exercise is most important in fatty liver. It takes upto six months to get recovery from steatosis. Milk and other protein supplements are helpful. Your liver function tests reports like bilirubin level, liver enzymes, protein all are completely normal. Your ultrasound abdomen is also normal except steatosis. So don't worry about that. Just be relaxed. You will get cured within short time. Hope I have answered your question, if you have doubt then I will be happy to answer. Thanks for using health care magic. Wish you a very good health.