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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. Ratnakar Kini (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Answer given below

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for posting your query.
I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you.

The answer for your questions -

Can the RUQ pain be a result of my liver adjusting to NO alcohol?

- NO


With abstinence, will my liver heal? How long?

- With abstinence, the liver will recover from steatosis in about 6 months.


Can you please help me understand what these blood test results mean?

- The liver panel and the test for pancreatitis (Lipase) looks normal.


Can milk thistle supplement help with this?
Since the liver panel is normal, you may not require milk thistle. Just abstinence from alcohol is enough.

RUQ can be due to other causes including peptic ulcer disease, alcoholic gastropathy etc. You can take Nexium for relief.


Let me know if you have any more questions.
Regards,
Dr.R.K

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Ratnakar Kini

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 2080 Questions

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

Brief Answer: Answer given below Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for posting your query. I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you. The answer for your questions - Can the RUQ pain be a result of my liver adjusting to NO alcohol? - NO With abstinence, will my liver heal? How long? - With abstinence, the liver will recover from steatosis in about 6 months. Can you please help me understand what these blood test results mean? - The liver panel and the test for pancreatitis (Lipase) looks normal. Can milk thistle supplement help with this? Since the liver panel is normal, you may not require milk thistle. Just abstinence from alcohol is enough. RUQ can be due to other causes including peptic ulcer disease, alcoholic gastropathy etc. You can take Nexium for relief. Let me know if you have any more questions. Regards, Dr.R.K