This community is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people who drink and are trying to quit. The forum covers topics ranging from Health Issues, How to Quit, Reasons to Quit, Relapse Prevention, Friend and Family Support.
I've been drinking heavily and most weeks daily for about 4 years (approx. 1 to 1.5 bottles of wine a night). Before that I was a moderate or occasional binge drinker with friends for about 6 years. I decided to stop for awhile to make sure that I could and to improve my health. That was 4 days ago. The past few days my upper right side (liver, I guess) has been tender. I've read other people's posts mentioning this, but what seems strange to me is that it didn't occur until a day or so AFTER I stopped drinking. Is this normal? It's scared me enough to realize that I certainly do need to continue not drinking, but I would like to know if this might mean I have liver disease or if maybe it's my liver trying to repair itself? I have been taking SAM-E for depression (and possible liver benefits) and milk thistle.
I've got the same issue - it actually seldem hurt if I was drinking nightly, but when I cut back to only a couple of days per week, it woud begin to hurt a day or two after drinking. It's what finally made me stop, and it took about 6 weeks of sobriety to go away. In my case, I got some blood tests and all of them came back normal. When the pain persisted, my doctor ordered a CT scan and it indicated a fatty liver. Most heavy drinkers have a fatty liver (I've read)- it can go away with time (I'm told), but I don't know how long it takes - I was diagnosed in Feb. I'm supposed to get another image in June. Your liver itself cannot feel pain, but there are nerve receptors around it, and if it is slighlty enlarged it can feel pain. I've also read other posts from people with fatty liver who say they feel pain. I don't really hurt any more, but I still feel a "twinge" in there somewhere.
Go get a blood test and follow your docters advice. If he tells you not to worry, then give it some time. If the pain does not leave you, than you can get a CT scan or a sonagram to have a closer look. It's good that you're scared - it's the only thing that made me stop, and I think it was in the nick of time. Fatty liver sets the stage for more serious liver issues.
Thank you so much for your reply, I feel a little more at ease knowing that this has happened to you as well and that it happened after you lessened your drinking. Here's hoping that the pain is 'good' in that it means the liver is trying to recoup. From my readings, I assumed a fatty liver as well, and the advice seems to be mostly quitting drinking and exercise to get the blood moving through there and reduce the amount of fat in body. I do regularly exercise, but hopefully the sobriety will fix it with time. I can't go to a doctor right now (no insurance) but will abstain and if after 6 weeks it doesn't go away, I'll bite the bullet and get to the doctor. If you don't mind, perhaps you could let me know your results in June.
Feel free to check in with me with a note or something at that time. I'd like to talk to someone who had a diagnosis of fatty liver and is in full "remission". I don't know how long it takes to go away. My internet reading acts as if it will go away within 4-6 weeks, but my CT scan was 6 weeks after my last drink and I still got the diagnosis.
like jacker said the liver doesn't feel pain....but when you stop drinking as you are getting healthy again your liver is shrinking and this causes pain in many folks...so you should feel good cuz your most likely getting better...try to stop though ...a good wake up call....your body is telling you something.....it will only get worse and harder to quit with more damage that can't come back...this pain could last for months but most likely weeks...good luck...billy
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