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liver pain
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liver pain

Does anyone experience liver pain? Is there anything that can be done to reduce/stop it? What is the pain caused by?  I am geno 2 stage 1. Over the past year I have had minor discomfort, a endoscopy and no relief.Now it is getting worse.I begin treatment in 3 months.

Thanks
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30 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Liver pain is unusual at stage one which is normally asymptomatic,
The liver itself has no nerve endings and does not generate pain.A swollen lver can cause pain from the liver capsule or from other sites but your case is a bit of a mystery.Others may have ideas though.
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561705_tn?1234549759
Thank you for the response. According to the GI, the ultrasound shows that my liver is of normal size. Hopefully others will have some info.
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree with HCA that it's a little bit of a mystery why you would have liver pain at stage 1, but basically the pain comes from swelling of the liver. For what it's worth, I don't think the ultrasound is very relevant. I had liver pain at stage 2/2 but my ultrasound showed a normal sized liver.

There are other sources of upper right quadrant pain, for example the gall bladder. I'm no expert, but it's not necessarily the liver. My hunch is that if it becomes sever it's likely something other than the liver. Is it worse after a meal or when you eat fatty food?
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179856_tn?1333550962
I would presume this is something other than "liver pain" as well because technically there are no nerves inside your liver to cause it "pain".  When we have a biopsy they put the needle straight in and you don't "feel" anything because there is nothing to "feel".

I would try looking at other things that could be causing you discomfort - GI issues that have some relevance.  Something like IBS perhaps?  Also...although this is going to sound really stupid when I was first diagnosed I kept poking myself all of the time - does this hurt my liver? Is my liver swollen? Poke poke poke.  THAT ended up hurting me because I was so concious of the fact that something was wrong with my liver I drove myself crazy.



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Avatar_f_tn
Poke Poke Poke -  LMAO -  I did the same thing.  Why do we drive ourselves nuts like that?  I have experienced some pings and pangs and still have an occasional twinge but my enzyme numbers are way low -  completely normal so I think I had myself convinced my liver was going to explode at first.  OCD -  that's me!
Trin
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Avatar_m_tn
nygirl - I did want to respond to something in your post. It's a myth that there is no pain associated with HCV. It's true that the liver itself has no nerve endings, so for years doctors would say you can't be feeling pain or it's all in your head or something like that. But in fact it is fairly common for someone with HCV to complain about upper right quadrant pain. The source is swelling which pushes on the capsule around the liver. And if you don't think that capsule has nerve ending, oy, let me tell you. I had a biopsy where they hadn't sufficiently numbed the capsule. When the needle went through, it was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. It is quite possible that Shupeg is experiencing pain associated with HCV.
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179856_tn?1333550962
Marc

Believe me nobody numbed my capsule or anything in fact I've never heard of such a thing in my entire life - so you were luckier than most that they tried to do that however you ended up in pain for some crazy reason and ended up unluckier!

I know the concept about capsule swelling but I'm not sure how much of it I really believe though.  It would seem to me then that everyone with a stage 3 or 4 diagnosis would have an absolutely horrible time with pain/biopsy and then when treating with 'shrinkage' when the liver went back to normal size would be atrocious!  An occasional pain here and there would make sense but if you think about it...why it would be total agony if everyone had to go through something that traumatic to internal organs with nerve endings attached and transmitting to the old brain!

However most of the people in here have had relatively no pain associated with biopsies whatsoever (when the capsule should be huge at that point) so it doesnt' seem to make sense that a stage 1 would be that bad when most stage 3s don't even notice anything except the needle pinch? I mean certainly it's not a comfortable experience at all but I've had MUCH more pain with other things (ie: child birth - lets ask a woman if she'd rather have the pain of childbirth or a couple biopsies and i bet you they'll pick the biopsy every single time!  ;)

It's just my opinion of course but I think this person here is having some other issue that I hope they can find.  Even IF there is capsule pain all over the place a person who's stage 1 - and not even treating yet - really shouldn't have that big a problem and I'm just trying them to encourage them to look elsewhere.

Still - take it from the source and I'm the poke poke poker who convinced herself her liver was ready to blow when in reality...there was nothing wrong except a stage 3 diagnosis and mid-200 liver enzymes, nothing treatment couldn't help to cure.
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220090_tn?1379170787
Pain from a biopsy is usually felt as referred pain in the shoulder.  I had 4 of them and never felt any pain in the liver.

Perhaps it is the gall bladder that is causing the pain.
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561705_tn?1234549759
Thanks for the posts and the good laugh over poking. I hope that I can find out what it is because it is like having a brick stuck inside my ribcage. I have had 2 biopsies and never felt pain but what I am describing is more like a dull constant discomfort pain.
I will ask my GI or primary to keep looking...
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Avatar_f_tn
shu,

I'd had had pangs & pinches, in the area that I would associate with my liver. I attribute mine to stress...I had another medical "issue" up in the air (recently resloved w/clean bill).  Strangely enough, shortly after we cleared up the above thing, all pings, pangs & pinches all stopped....imagine.  **
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412873_tn?1329178055
Alright-I'll be the lone dissenter :-)  

Before I was diagnosed, I was having problems with generalized inflammation.  I first noticed the pressure my bra put on my ribs seemed to cause upper right quadrant pain.  Then it was jeans or wearing a belt  Anything that put pressure on my abdominal/chest cavity caused a good amount of discomfort in the upper right quadrant-leading me to think it was liver pain.  Like a tennis ball between my ribs and liver.

It was bad enough that I was wearing only elastic waisted pants.  (tragic, I know-going to work in yoga pants)

All I know is that now I am in week 8 of tx-- my "liver" pain is gone-as well as all joint pain-and I am wearing my jeans again :-)  

Knowing that the liver has no nerves didn't help me at all...something still hurt.  I'll add that I had absolutely no pain at all from my biopsy.  So, go figure :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
It was interesting reading about some of your biopsy experiences. It's just what I needed to read about. I was thinking about posting about that topic and was going to ask if anyone cared to share their biopsy experiences. I need to get one and I dread getting it done. I think about it too much and have not even scheduled it yet. You all probably felt the same. Anymore feedback or anyone else will like to share? Thank you in advance.
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412873_tn?1329178055
The worst thing about the biopsy is the anticipation.  Mine lasted about --less than a minute.  Then I spent the rest of the day relaxing in a riverfront hospital room watching the boats go by.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I have just recently been having discomfort in the right upper quadrant as well. I have not checked it out yet. Let us know what the Docs say it may be and feel better.
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Avatar_f_tn
Mine was a cake walk...Keep in mind, it's the first time I'd ever been in the hospital...for ANYTHING. They rolled me in, numbed the surface, explained that they were going to take 3 samples (I did NOT look at the needle) and wheeled me out.  They made sure I ate something before leaving.  Bx probably took 5 minutes, max.

THIS part is ez.
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Avatar_f_tn
it is most likely the membrane that is around the liver, sometimes it gets inflamed.  it can be common, but it is not the liver,  Some pain in that area can be the gall bladder.

I have had it before, but NY is right,  the liver has no nerve endings.  

Think you are panicking for naught.  

But would ask GI if you have gall bladder symptoms, they are very  usual. Will drive up liver panels.

Deb
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412873_tn?1329178055
LOL!  Definately the easy part!
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow..sounds like you were on vacation. I guess like anything else, the fear of the unknown is worst. Thanks again.
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't plan on looking at the needle either. A piece of cake, huh? I've only been to the hospital once and that's when I had a C-section. I had pain everytime I laughed and coughed. So I should think that this is not as bad. But 3 samples?  I only want 1! Who's decision is it as to how many samples?  
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Avatar_f_tn
More than one sample is preferable as they take samples from different parts of the liver, more representive.  Really, you'll hardly feel any of it.  Seconds for each extraction.  The thinking about it really is the worst part.. unless someone is dumb like me and lifts heavy things in the days following it.. then I caused my own discomfort.  

shupeg .. I had abdominal discomfort a great deal in the many months before heading into treatment.. for a good year or more and before I was diagnosed with Hep C.  I just realized the other day that I don't have any more abdominal pains, I'm on Week 29 of treatment.. however last time I saw my treatment doc and he did a physical check of me, he felt my liver area and it caused me discomfort and he turned to my trial nurse and said "liver pain" for her to note it.  So I dunno, eh?   I also think part of my abdominal pain came from my running .. tensing up my abdominal muscles.. I used to get  semi frequent charley horses in my abdomen and I haven't gone running since the first week after I started treatment and haven't had any charley's for awhile now.  There IS an abdominal muscle and sometimes it causes pain so maybe something to do with that?  Other than that.. I'm Stage 1 Grade 1 and it seems that I've had abdominal pain for awhile and my doc says liver pain still... so there you go Isobella.. another voice in your choir.  :)

Trish

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Avatar_m_tn
Well, I definitely experienced "liver pain" before, and after my biopsy(and it was an ultrasound guided biopsy). In fact had pretty strong persistent pain(none in my shoulder) for at least 2 weeks post biopsy, even went to the emergency room 4 days post for pain, was xrayed and given an a ok..So go figure...Occasionally even after svr and with enzyme levels of alt 23/ast24, I still get a heavy feeling/pressure in the area of my liver...and that is without "poking" (g)..
pro
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179856_tn?1333550962
First off - its a good thing you mentionned having a section because I thought you were a guy judging by your name!  ;)

I need to get one and I dread getting it done.

We ALL dreaded it and just couldn't believe that it wouldn't be tremendously painful. Believe it or not it's like getting a needle - if you don't look it won't kill you. The anticipation IS the worst part because your mind just will NOT believe it's not going to hurt! Make sure you get an ultrasound guided biopsy - that is important.

then you'll have to lay in a hospital bed for 4 hours or so just to make sure there is no bleeding or anything like that.....and they'll probably give you some pain meds but really there ws no pain from the thing at all.

it's REALLY important that you get the biopsy so you know exactly where you stand with this disease.  I thought I would have no problem at all because I never had any symptoms whatsoever. When the doc told me my ultrasound was fine I thought it meant my liver was fine. Wrong. I was already stage 3 and had no clue about it. That really did help me to stay the course on treatment and I managed 72 weeks. I've been cured for almost two years now. Just knowing I had that much liver damage already at 44 or 45 years old really did help me to fight a hard fight.

AFter you go and get it let us know how it went...usually it's something like "wow I couldn't believe that you guys were right...but you were!"
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630100_tn?1222460107
All I can say is that I have had the "upper right quadrant" pain and I had hep c before they were even calling it that, and the doctors told me I was simply imagining that I had that pain, because naturally, the liver doesn't have nerve endings.
Things changed a lot and doctors realized that people with HCV do get this associated dull pain in this area. My new doctor, when I said that I assume he wasn't going to believe I felt pain in my liver (so to speak) actually seemed surprised that I would think he would have a hard time believing that. Things have changed from the late 80's when doctors thought it was ll in my head.
I also had a biopsy recently and both the biopsy and the following two weeks involved pain - but the biopsy is mostly fear -
Now I have a new doctor and I just told him that I am still having a dull and uncomfortable pain in my URQ since the biopsy, and what do yo know, he tells me that it is impossible because my ultrasound came out ok.
I just have to say, it's irritating hearing people tell you that you aren't experiencing the pain that you are.
I never thought that a biopsy had residual pain. I thought it was a same day procedure and that would be it. It certainly wasn't hyped up in my mind. It's just been the experience, and many, many HCV sufferers have this URQ pain for various reasons, but all related to the disease.
Period.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you ladies for easing my mind. I am to get a CT scan guided biopsy. I hope it's just as good as an ultrasound. Congrats to those who have cured and to those on treatment or not ready for treatment.. wishing you well. I'll keep you posted!  
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92903_tn?1309908311
"I first noticed the pressure my bra put on my ribs seemed to cause upper right quadrant pain."

I know what you're talking about there sister! Then I started wearing it outside my clothes. That helped alot.  
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Avatar_f_tn
ROFLMAO - Please send me some of your sense of humor.  I think you must have consulted with Dody Goodman (Mrs. Stimler) from the movie Splash.  
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412873_tn?1329178055
I'm gettin a visual of you out on your sex drives. :-0

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Avatar_m_tn
I had a biopsy about ten years ago, had been told by two doctors that I had HEPC.  Biopsy was neg.  Did not hurt at all!  They gave me something prior to make me kinda woozy, they use a pretty big needle though, the doc. Fust felt around a little and he marked the spot with a sharpie, with an x and poked it in and pulled it out and it was over that quick!  Does anyone know what my results really mean?  The doc just said that I had been exposed at some point, but my test was neg.  He said that there was some scarring,  but told me to quit drinking, been sober 8 years next mo.!  8-18-04.  How could have I not gotten it?, sharing needle with an old girlfriend who was positive HEPC?  I hope someone finds this info. helpfull !
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766573_tn?1365170066
Hi Lou. I am unclear whether you have (or had)  HCV or not. If you had been exposed at some point but were negative that likely means you cleared the virus on your own.

Why did you have a biopsy?
The presence of scar tissue, or fibrosis, is an indication of liver damage however slight it may be. Unless the virus were detected or perhaps another condition was suspected I am thinking a doctor would have little reason to perform a biopsy. Yet you mention the presence of scarring. A Biopsy report would evaluate the level of scarring and equate it to a stage of fibrosis - even if the stage is 0.

I may be missing something here as it sounds if you may have cleared the virus on your own however I do not understand the reason for your biopsy and the results.


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