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Abdominal swelling from liver problems
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Abdominal swelling from liver problems

My husband is undergoing lots of tests for abdominal pain and they have so far found on a CT scan, a fatty liver. Now from what I have read, it should cause no pain, unless it progressed to liver disease already. Would liver disease show up on the CT scan? Or should he have a liver biopsy? He has, what looks like to me, severe swelling of the abdomen and his ankles swell alot of times and his face and neck look very swollen too. Any suggestions or advice would be very helpul. Thanks in advance......Tanya
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11 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
What were the results of his blood tests? Anything above the normal range?  
   What the medical people "see" on the scan is subjective.  A biopsy is the best way to find out what is wrong with the liver.
   Do some research on Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) or ask the doctors about it.  Sometimes it is called Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver disease (NAFLD)
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Avatar_n_tn
His liver enzymes were high,thats why they ordered the CT scan. Still doesn't explain the bad pain he has in his upper, middle abdomen though. Unless this would cause pain. I thought it sounded like panreatis but his pancreas showed up fine on the CT scan. We have a follow up on Monday with the doc, so I think I will bring up the liver biopsy to her. Thanks for your response!!
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28293_tn?1213140550
Ask the doctor exactly what they saw on the CT Scan.
Example:
Is his liver enlarged?
Is his spleen enlarged?
Did they see any sludge or stones in his gallbladder?

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Avatar_n_tn
I will do that, thanks for the suggestion. He had his gallblader (gallbladder) removed 3 years ago and thats when all of this pain started. He felt good for about a week or 2 and then he went downhill from there. Hopefully we can get some answers tomorrow. He seems to get short of breath very easily and his heart will race. He also has lower back pain so bad,that sometimes he can't stand up.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am finding alot of good information on this board, I also have been diagnosed with a fatty liver, and I'm still trying to learn about it.  My liver enzymes are mildly elevated, and I'm overweight, so I think my doctor strongly suspected fatty liver, and has said to wait to do a biopsy until 6 months pass by, and if my enzymes are still elevated then, I guess he will do one then.  My question is, do you definitely need a liver biopsy to diagnose fatty liver, and how do you know if you have just fatty liver, or the more serious type of fatty liver?  I don't really have any other symptoms besides being overweight, and all my other tests can out ok.  I did have a sonogram that said 'consistent with fatty infiltration of the liver'.  Is it normal to have elevated enzymes with fatty liver?  How serious is it?  I don't drink either.  Anyway, thanks in advance for any advice!!  Val
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Avatar_n_tn
Val....... I know your frustration because my husband and I had alot of questions too, after finding out he has fatty liver.I did alot of research on the inetrnet and asked our doc and from that, I found out that raised liver enzymes do go along with fatty liver and other problems, so she sent him for a CT scan and found he had fatty liver, she also said to wait a few months and then if his enzymes are still high, she will do a biopsy of his liver, that will show if he has Cirrhosis, a liver disease that can be caused by hepatitis(which my hubby tested negative for) and from having a fatty liver for too long. My husband also ahs high cholesterol, which his doc said probably caused his fatty liver. He is not over weight and does not drink.His low thyroid caused high cholesterol, which in turn caused a fatty liver. So, yes, you can have elevated liver enzymes from fatty liver and nothing more serious but the only way a liver disease will show up, is from a biopsy. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, thanks for the reply!  Yea, sometimes I read that it's very common to have elevated liver enzymes,and that it dosent' sound like it's that big of a deal, and then other times, it seems like a very serious thing.  Do you know if fatty liver progresses quickly to cirrosis (cirrhosis) or if it is a fairly slowly progressing disease?  I had a HepC test come out positive at the beginning, but there seemed to be a problem at the lab, and all my other tests since then have come out negative.  The GI doc seemed to think there was a problem with how this one lab did the PCR test, and the doctor's office has actually since gotten a different lab.  Anyway, the subsequent tests got down to a level of '5' (if you know what that means!) and it was still negative.  So, he strongly suspected that my liver enzymes being elevated were due to fatty liver, and that's where I'm at now.  But, when I was learning all about the HepC thing, I learned that it progresses very slowly, and actually most people in their lifetime would not progress to cirrosis (cirrhosis) with HepC.  I was wondering, I guess, if the same is true for fatty liver, or if that progresses quicker.  I was feeling very good that I probably did not have HepC, and that it was a fatty liver, and I hope fatty liver has a more benign course.  I am trying to loose weight, I am overweight, and then I am supposed to go back in six months, if I'm successful at the weight loss, and check the enzymes again.  Thanks again for the response, sorry for all the questions!!  Val
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Avatar_n_tn
I have read that it is a slow process but I don't know exactly how long it takes. My husband has probably had his fatty liver for years, as our old doc never checked the right things with him! Good luck to you, you sound like your on the right track!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, thanks for the response!  I actually just realized that I posted somewhere else on this forum, I don't mean to repeat myself!  All the different sites I end up on can be confusing!  Yea, I don't know how fast progressing fatty liver is, I am hoping that it's something I can reverse or at least halt.  I thought I had HepC at the beginning, so I was relieved to find out it was probably fatty liver, although that is still not for sure, but now that is sinking in also, and I am finding that it sounds like it's more serious than I thought.  My cholesterol is also sort of high, it is above 200.  I've been taking vitamin e each day cause I hear that's really good for scarring of the liver.  I don't take any mulitvitamins yet cause I'm not sure if that would be hard on the liver or not.  The one thing that is confusing also is whether or not I should have a diet that is high in protein.  I hear that meat, especially red meat and iron, is hard on the liver, but fatty liver is supposedly something that leads to diabetes, so if you go on the diabetic diet, that is something that is supposed to be high protein and less carbs.  Well, thanks again for any info!  I hope you're all doing well.  Bye, Val
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I wonder if anyone can give me some info on a swollen
abdomen?  I have a friend that I am worried about and HE
will not discuss anything with me, but I feel something is terribly wrong.  
He has been drinking straight whiskey(all kinds) for years!
Now his tummy is really swollen.  This is not like a spare
tire that most men get, he is swollen sorta high on his tummy
and all around in his abdomen area. (I hope I am explaing this
right) .....he has had sever indigestion at times and once said to another friend that he has colon cancer.  This was 2 1/2 years ago.  
He will not discuss it and of course we won't either.
  We figure he will tell us if he wants too, but I sense something is not right.  His tummy is real full looking sorta in the shape of an egg...the whole area like swollen in an OVAL
shape that covers his entire abdomen area.
   Could this be colon problems leading to this or is it more likely his liver, since he drinks like a fish on a daily basis...hard liquors?       I am sorry to be so long on this, but I worry about him.          He went to the doctor, but like I said.....none of us know.   We are not into his business, we
just worry, because whatever it is.....he is NOT getting
it treated.....:(    I guess what I am asking is WHAT would
normally cause swelling like that and In that fashion as the
entire tummy like in an OVAL shape? It is not a beer belly..  Thanks for reading........Lolly
     Lolly
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I wonder if anyone can give me some info on a swollen
abdomen?  I have a friend that I am worried about and HE
will not discuss anything with me, but I feel something is terribly wrong.  
He has been drinking straight whiskey(all kinds) for years!
Now his tummy is really swollen.  This is not like a spare
tire that most men get, he is swollen sorta high on his tummy
and all around in his abdomen area. (I hope I am explaing this
right) .....he has had sever indigestion at times and once said to another friend that he has colon cancer.  This was 2 1/2 years ago.  
He will not discuss it and of course we won't either.
  We figure he will tell us if he wants too, but I sense something is not right.  His tummy is real full looking sorta in the shape of an egg...the whole area like swollen in an OVAL
shape that covers his entire abdomen area.
   Could this be colon problems leading to this or is it more likely his liver, since he drinks like a fish on a daily basis...hard liquors?       I am sorry to be so long on this, but I worry about him.          He went to the doctor, but like I said.....none of us know.   We are not into his business, we
just worry, because whatever it is.....he is NOT getting
it treated.....:(    I guess what I am asking is WHAT would
normally cause swelling like that and In that fashion as the
entire tummy like in an OVAL shape? It is not a beer belly..  Thanks for reading........Lolly
     Lolly
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