Hello, Whilst I was searching for an answer for my problem I came across a discussion on this site which detailed the exact same symptoms I am experiencing. This discussion is now closed but I was wondering if anyone is reading this who has had the same thing and has found a resolution.
I am due to see a Consultant in about a months time. I have had this problem for about 5 years and at that time it was put down to various food intolerances. However, it has continued over the years but has got progressively worse in the last 2 years and it only seems to appear when I have over-indulged in wine drinking - which I have been doing a lot of in the last two years. Usually the pain (and associated abdo swelling) goes within about 4 days but this time it hasn't despite not having drank any wine. I have had it now continuously for about a month. As with the other people, it feels like something is lodged in my abdo, 1" down and 4" to the right of my navel. If you press at this point the pain is really bad but generally without touching it is just a dull ache. This extends to my back at the same point and into my hip which tells me something is swelling up and perhaps pressing on my sciatic nerve as this is what it feels like - the hip is very stiff. The rest of the abdo feels like it is cramped up slightly although not overly painful, just uncomfortable. I have had every test under the sun including ultrasound but nothing. The doc did say one time that she thought she could feel my liver was swollen but that was at the top of my abdo where it didn't hurt at all! I think its either gall bladder or pancreas but its peculiar that it only comes on after wine drinking - as with the other people. I am female, 48 years old, 20lbs overweight, and have drank alcohol all my adult life and probably too much (although not so much that I have a drink problem!). I had ovarian cancer aged 34 followed by total hysterectomy with no recurrence. I suffer with stress and depression and am on anti-ds (which keep me sane!) but that said, this pain is driving me nuts! Any suggestions? Thanks
I should also mention that I have normal unchanged bowel movements although the waste matter is a little paler in colour since the continuous pain. I also take Statins for high cholesterol which don't agree with me. Have tried to 2 so far and am on my 3rd and I've started to get the same symptoms with this one now which start with breathlessness and then go on to virtual seizure - every bone and muscle in my body aches and hurts making it difficult to even move. I also suffer with a lot of excess stomach acid but I think I've linked this to the stress as its not been so bad since taking the anti-d's and calming down a bit. Coincidentally since the continuous pain, I have developed horizontal vertigo - probably totally unconnected but I just go dizzy when I lay down or turn over in bed - no symptoms with vertical movement however which I find odd. I also have a hiatus hernia. Other than all that - I'm quite healthy really!!!
1. The pain 1" under and 4" right to the navel for me is exactly under the right rib cage, but you said "it's not so high" (when doctor examined your liver). (?)
2. The pain is only after wine (so not with distiled beverages or beer)?
3. With swelling of abdomen, you mean bloating (gas) or a fluid in abdomen?
Right upper abd. pain and pale stool (less bile excreted due to bile flow blockage) speak for gallstones. Increased cholesterol is a risk factor for gallstones. Pain after a fatty meal would support the diagnosis. Negative ultrasound does not exclude gallstones. HIDA scan quite often shows decreased gallbladder function despite negative ultrasound of gb.
Long term drinking often causes fatty liver (enlarged, painfull liver). Liver enzymes would be increased. Overweight is another strong trigger of fatty liver.
Pancreatitis causes pain in the middle or on the left side of upper abdomen and pancreatic enzymes in the blood would be obviously increased.
Duodenal ulcer pain is worse on empty stomach, after skipping a meal, at night. Stool test for blood would probably be positive.
Horizontal vertigo is caused by alcohol, anxiety, depression and some drugs. This should be diagnosed by a neurologist or ENT.
About wine: I don't know, but allergy to wine, red-wine headache (RWH), and wine as irritant (as any other food which can be irritant in IBS) is all what I have come accross so far.
- HIDA scan for gallbladder
- Blood test for liver enzymes and for pancreatic enzymes.
- Stool test for occult blood
- Neurologic test for horizontal vertigo.
Thanks for that. I have had a panc blood test but this was days after what could have been classed as an attack and was neg. Had liver and kidney function tests also - all normal. Scan showed all was normal.
3 years of statins are causing me big problems - breathlessness, fibromyalgia, 28lbs weight gain - all the worst side effects you've ever read about but I've finished with them now - I've had enough. At 48 (and an ex fitness teacher) I feel like a 90 year old invalid but that's another problem!
I don't get pains after eating particularly and I keep to a very low fat, healthy diet in any case (save for the wine!). No salt, no sugar, little fat, no processed foods - all fresh and boring (due to previous food intolerances). It just seems to come on after drinking wine. I don't drink enough of other spirits or beer to bring it on so I don't know if its alcohol generally. I drink all wine, red, white and rose and haven't noticed one being worse than the other particularly. The pain is not under my rib cage - the epicentre is definitely mid way between my navel and groin area to the right hand side although occasionally, I get a pain in the left side which is closer to my waistline. I have also been peeing a lot lately. The swelling is of course bloating which sometimes is so bad I look 8 months pregnant. Not always gas though, more fluid retention.
Statins and alcohol don't mix at all. Have you had a liver test, or did the ultrasound include your liver? How much wine have you been drinking the last two years (on average)? -you mentioned that you'd been drinking more.
It's possible that the statins and alcohol combined have really taxed your liver. If you can lay off both for awhile, you may see improvement.
Swelling of abdomen - if it is from fluid - it is mostly from liver disease, which causes increased pressure in the portal vein, what slows down the fluid uptake from the intestinal veins - so the fluid leaks out from the veins into abdominal cavity. When all the fluid is reabsorbing back into the veins, you urinate a lot.
Overweight and alcohol are strong factors for fatty liver. I'm not sure how much (an if) your liver is enlarged, so I can't connect your pain "4 inches right" with the liver. But it is ascending colon there, not sure how wine would cause pain in the colon though.
Well, I've had a bit of breakthrough. I stopped taking the Statins and the pain went away within 3 days!!!. I've had 2 x half a bottle of wine this week and got away with the first one (Tuesday) but feeling a bit of discomfort today from the second one (last night) but not nearly as painful as before. I still think there's something slightly amiss down there but I'm now convinced these rotten Statins are eating my liver as well as my muscles, bones and everything else.
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