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Enlarged Liver - pain, possibly gall bladder -- what is it? Could it b...
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Enlarged Liver - pain, possibly gall bladder -- what is it? Could it be my birth control pills?

Hi,
I'm a fairly healthy 28 year old female - don't smoke and only drink on occasions (3-14 drinks a month).  I recently had some abdominal pain in my liver/gallbladder area.  In Sept 2005, I went to my primary doctor with these same symptoms.  That is when I first experienced any sort of abdominal pain.  I had an ultrasound done, CT abdominal scan, MRI and blood tests for liver functions.  Everything came back ok, except the ultrasound showed my liver was enlarged.  There were no signs of tumors or hepatitis.  What could this be caused from?  I completed stopped any caffiene or alcohol intake for about 2-3 months and took herbal supplement, Milk Thistle.  Sometimes the pain was still there.  Over the course of the last 2 years since i first experienced the pain, i've probably had pain that lasted 1-2 weeks (sometimes longer) 4-5 times.  

I notice when i eat anything containing sulfites, like onions, garlic, wine or champagne, it becomes more inflammed.  Sometimes higher acidic foods, like strawberries, peppers and chili will do it.   I've been taking pepto bismol tablets with LOTS of water.  Sometimes this seems to help.  Could this be an acid reflux problem?  The only thing is, that i don't have any esophagus problems or pain or any burning sensation in my throat.  That is all fine.  The pain is really in the gall bladder and liver area. I don't think it is an intestinal issue either... my stool is normal.

This all started to act up again about 10 days ago.  I was out in Las Vegas with some friends.  Believe me, i'm not too proud of this, but it happened.  I did have a couple vodka drinks and had some champage afterwards (mixing with my body never works) with little to no food in my body.  I actually vomited about an hour after drinking the champagne and noticed the pain started within the day and has been consistent since.  Although, alcohol has not always been the factor in my attacts - only probably in 2 cases.  Usually food has had something to do with it.  I don't drink very much, at least now-a-days I don't... only in weird instances, like Vegas, do i have more than 1-2 drinks in a day.  Although spending 4 days in Vegas, I probably had 10 drinks all together.  

Also, my dad told me that Gilbert's Disease runs in my family.  It's a disorder that affects the way bilirubin is processed by the liver.  It has symptoms of jaundice - which i don't have symptoms of this.  

My father, my grandmother and my uncle have all had their gall bladders removed.  I'm not sure if this could be related to the liver disorder.  Does an enlarged liver mean there are issues with my gall bladder?  I don't have any severe symptoms like vomiting or SEVERE pain, so i would have to rule out gall stones.  But maybe my symptoms are early signs of a gall stone?  Not sure.

Also, i've been on the birth control pill, Yasmin, since 2002.  I've heard this could be one of the side affects -- liver disease.  My friend who is an ob/gym said that it could be the pill and to get off of it.  I'm meeting with my doctor next week to discuss this.  Have you heard of woman with enlarged livers due to their birth control pill?  Is there a connection?  Maybe switching to a different pill would help?

Another thing to note, I have food allergies to all tree nuts, peanuts and dairy.  I've been completely off of dairy since 2003 after i had allergy tests done to determine this allergy.  Instead, i use a lot of soy products.  I read somewhere that soybeans that could be contaminated with fungi product aflatoxins, which can greatly increase the risk of liver cancer.  I wonder if my increase use of soy products has brought this on over time?  Could my symptoms be liver cancer?

By the way, here are all of my symptoms.  Any advice would be much appreciated.
-fatigue
-dull pain, enlarged live/abdominal pain in liver and gall bladder area
-Sometimes the pain in worse on certain days after foods with onions or spices in them
-Nausea, but no vomiting
-Slight headaches, but not all the time
-Burping, slightly more gasy than normal -- maybe due to the foods
-normal stools, no diarrhea or constipation
-lack of motivation
-hurts when sitting all day at work -- better when i stand or sleep
-normal breathing
-normal appetite, sometimes not as hungry with full feeling during pain

Thanks for your input, i appreciate any knowledge you may have on this.  I've done a bunch o research on my own.  I think i tend to overreact to the information i find -- everything is pointing to liver cancer or gall bladder issues.  I do have an appointment made with a GI specialist as well as my GP.

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
AimeeK

Do you have any updates on your condition?  I have a very similar situation.  The only exceptions are that I have no history of liver issues, I don't eat dairy or meat, and I do consume tree nuts.  Everything else you described sounds identical to my situation.  

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Avatar_f_tn
What are your symptoms?  I been looking for a diagnosis for about a year.  i have had numerous tests: cbc, liver blood work, ekg, chest x-ray, even went to see a breast specialist (originally the pain felt as though  it was in my breast) tried tums and prevacid, motrin.  Pain is on the right side, come and goes.  Pain radiates to the back.  Had a baby 11 1/2 months ago and have had the pain for about 11 months.  Other symptoms are fatigue, weight loss (although this has subsided even though I eat anything and everything)  Let m now hpw you make/made out.
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Avatar_f_tn
has anyone had weight loss as a symptom of gallbladder disease??????
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Avatar_n_tn
I have discomfort just under my rib cage on the right side.  The discomfort ranges from hardly any to slight pain/extreme discomfort.  At times, I will feel the discomfort and then experience pains in my shoulder blades and chest.  I'm also experiencing nausea but no actually vomiting.  The latest CT scan shows a mildly enlarged liver.  However, my blood work is near perfect.  At this point, the doctor is waiting to see if the discomfort just disappears on it's own.  I'm going to start a daily log to see if I can find a correlation  between diet and/or exercise and the level of discomfort.  

I've never given birth. I'm 33 years old, and in good physical shape.  As I mentioned before, I don't eat meat or dairy.  I do drink (mostly just socially), but I don't smoke.  I also take Yas birth control pills.

OH...and I'm also experiencing  a lot of fatigue.  I've slept more in the past 3 weeks than in the past 3 months.  

Any thoughts?  See any correlations?    
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Avatar_n_tn
I am experiencing all of these symptons as well. My doctor said I have an enlarged liver as well as a spleen but my tests came back perfect. I have been experiencing this pain for almost 10 years, I am only 25 years old. I don't drink, but smoke socially. I experience pain in my stomach and liver area which radiates around my side to my back at least once a month and it lasts about 10 days. I have tried to keep track of what I eat vs. the pain but have never found a common link. Since the tests came back fine, the doctor did not do any furthur testing, and basically said maybe my liver causes pain because i am a small person and it has no room, to me this is dumb, my liver is cramped therefore it hurts? I doubt that. I have a history of ulcers but the tests came back fine on that, no bacteria at this time. I also have frequent naseau (no vomitting either) and kidney pain. I have never been on hormonal birth control, I do not like to take any medicines that aren't completely necessary, my body always reacts negatively. I also experience fatigue but not extreme, plus i have a high stress job which could cause that. I have no weight gain/loss and I am very regular with my bowels (ew!). I have never had any health issues, but I feel there is something causing this but do not have an answer for what it is. Should I get a second opinion or is this normal?
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Avatar_n_tn
Me too!  I have had discomfort for several years but everything was fine until about 3 months ago when my liver enzymes came up high.  No Hepatitis C, vacinated against Hep B, doubt it was A due to no nausea or anything.  I have fatigue, depression, kidney pain, feeling of fullness, neuropathy starting in my feet, headaches (probably due to high blood pressure), high blood pressure is higher than 'normal', and heart palpitations.  They said it was a 'fatty liver' after an ultrasound, but what?  I have little fatty tumors all over my body also.... and I wonder if all of this is related.  I am obese and can't seem to lose weight either.  I am on medications for high chloresterol, depression, and high blood pressure.  I also take Glucophage though I am not diabetic (to help with weight loss.)  Any ideas?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes me too.  I have recently noticed a link between meat and my liver/gall bladder pain.  The pain I have experienced has been significantly reduced since I did the liver and gallbladder flush.  Although I haven't had severe symptoms of gall stone, just pain, I have so far done the flush twice and passed nearly 400 stones, some atleast a cm long many the size of jellybeans.  I have decided to stop drinking alcohol altogether and this has substantially improved my moods/feelings of fatigue, So I am starting to see this problem must be a variety of factors.

The bile of the gallbladder is also important in flushing the sinus area so I have stopped drinking dairy also to try and relieve the congestion I have begun experiencing.  

My liver/gall bladder pain became worse after the birth of my son, I haven't had any tests yet, but I'm planning on that this week so I'll let you know
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318529_tn?1201904896
what type of flush did you use?  i have had my gallbladder removed but have issues with stones & sludge still.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ask your Doctors to ANA, AMA to see if you have sort of autoimmune liver disease. Liver function tests go up and back to normal with these illnesses.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi AimeeK, you may have liver adenomas or focal nodular hyperplasia. Both are benign tumors but can be problematic. I am having surgery to remove my adenomas next month. Check out ******************** for a community forum there about this issue.
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Avatar_f_tn
about 8 months ago i started to take this Yasmin and yesterday i went for ultrasound of my liver and gallbladder and it appears to be fatty liver.  my emzymes are really high and i have no history of drinking or smoking so the fatty liver has to be coming from the birth control.  i always feel tired and have a once in a while pain in the liver area.  i havent stopped taking this medication but i think that i have convinced myself that this is what is causing this problem.  i hope that its not to late and that my liver functions will go back down to normal.  If anyone has a similar problem please respond and let me know that im not alone.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi i went today and they said i have fatty and enlarged liver. i drink alot on weekends. do you think it could be cirrohis. i am scared i am only 26. please give me advice on what to do. i am obese my blood pressore is 170 /105. is that bad. what should i do. i have been so tired and my back is killing me all the time. i am also insulin resistant. i had a baby 4 months ago.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi guys :) i am a 17 year old girl and i am also experiencing the same symptoms you are describing. I don't drink, don't smoke, not on birth control, healthy diet, and good weight. I am infected with Lyme Disease (you can learn about it here: http://www.aldf.com/lyme.shtml ). I also have a couple co-infections with this. Babesiosis (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/780914-overview) and Bartonella
(http://www.lymeinfo.net/bartonella.html). My doctor said that most of the symptoms i have (the ones your describing) are caused by Bartonella. so it could be that, idk, just a thought. whatever it is i hope you guys get better!  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am experiencing similar symptoms to some in the recent posts on this topic about the liver as well as a internal swollen feeling, almost like a huge bloat or balloon on the right side under my rib cage. The pressure as I type is so extreme, if I slouch in my seat it feels like I might bust, therefore I have to maintain perfect posture as I type my comment. I have been so fatigued lately, but I donot smoke or drink. If anyone has any thoughts on this please help!

Hope everyone feels better!
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Avatar_m_tn
For about 10 months now I have seen almost seven doctors for what was thought to be my back or my ribs or a gallbladder issue and keep getting referred to other doctors. I have had an ultrasound, 2 mri's, many x-rays and a gallbladder hida scan all of which are apparently normal. I still constantly all day every day have a full feeling under my right rib cage and moderate to very severe chest rib and back pain but only on the right side. I may cave in and do a ct or try to get other liver tests/scans done. It's pathetic that the patient should have to push for more testing to get something done but that's how it goes I guess. My symptoms are swollen dull and sometimes sharp pain in the front. Tender ribs on my side and sharp pains on my back in my ribs. I hope they figure this out soon before I go crazy.
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Avatar_f_tn
You have responded to an old, outdated thread from 2007.  The people who originally posted these comments may very well have moved on.  Rather than reply to an old thread, we recommend that people start a new topic to discuss the subject anew.  To do that, please click on the green "Post a Question" button at the top of the page.  This will get your post the attention it deserves.  Thank you.
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Wow... Same symptoms no results. I was hoping to read diagnosis from your doctors... Mine darted almost 2 years ago while using a weight resistance ab machine at the gym. Almost immediate pain about 2-3 inches below my sternum. For weeks afterward, I still had pain, through to my back sometimes, belching, and eventually severe (what felt like) contractions in that area. Bowels had always been normal before then, but since go between constipation and loose/frequent bm's. Had ultrasound, C/T, CBC, and HIDA scan within in few weeks. Ultrasound was negative, first radiologist read C/T as an enlarged liver, second opinion of same C/T read normal. HIDA scan showed abnormal Gall Bladdar function at 14% secretion. ER doctor attributed my pain to Gall Bladdar. Since then I go months with no symptoms and am otherwise healthy, then have "attacks" which I take Bentyl for anti-spasming relief. Sitting and bending over hurt. And pressing on the area just beneath my sternum is painful. A few months ago I began having anxiety in my chest (which is normal for me), progressed to severe pain in my chest, back, and shortness of breath. A visit to the ER the next morning yielded no results. Dr. said Gallbladdar attack after I told him of my HIDA and Endoscopy (which were negative) results. Spent days afterward feeling like I couldn't breath, and wearing anxiety on my sleeve. Eventually got better, and have been symptom free until yesterday. Working around the house, picking up toys off of the floor, and I started having the fullness/pain under my sternum again. Belching, pain through to my back, and feeling of shortness of breath again. No correlation of spicy/fatty foods to pain. But the pain went away yesterday evening and last night. Woke up feeling good this morning, then sat in the floor to play with my daughter. Showed her how to do a gymnastics move on the balance beam (using my abdominal muscles) and instantly the pain is back, tender to touch, and belching almost constantly. Pain is only relieved by laying flat on my back or standing. Sitting and bendibg over are painful. Oh, and most times, following the pain is frequent loose bowel movements.  Debating going to the ER (it's Sunday) for another CT to rule out enlarged liver, while I'm having symptoms. Oh, failed to mention my Grandfather died at 61 from Binary Cancer of the Liver. Diagnosed and lived 5 weeks. Since this has been going on for a few years I doubt it is something as serious, but the causes of an enlarged liver are all serious.  And the possibility of Liver problems has not been addressed since the CT two years ago that was basically 50/50 chance it was enlarged. Please post any diagnosis related!! I'm desperate,  planning on a CT and if CT is negative having my Gallbladdar removed ASAP if for no other reason than to rule it out. (which I have been against for 2 years)...  I'm mommy to three precious children, 27 years old and need to be healthy to take care of and be able to play with them! This has gone on long enough...
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow... Same symptoms no results. I was hoping to read diagnosis from your doctors... Mine darted almost 2 years ago while using a weight resistance ab machine at the gym. Almost immediate pain about 2-3 inches below my sternum. For weeks afterward, I still had pain, through to my back sometimes, belching, and eventually severe (what felt like) contractions in that area. Bowels had always been normal before then, but since go between constipation and loose/frequent bm's. Had ultrasound, C/T, CBC, and HIDA scan within in few weeks. Ultrasound was negative, first radiologist read C/T as an enlarged liver, second opinion of same C/T read normal. HIDA scan showed abnormal Gall Bladdar function at 14% secretion. ER doctor attributed my pain to Gall Bladdar.

Since then I go months with no symptoms and am otherwise healthy, then have "attacks" which I take Bentyl for anti-spasming relief. Sitting and bending over hurt. And pressing on the area just beneath my sternum is painful. A few months ago I began having anxiety in my chest (which is normal for me), progressed to severe pain in my chest, back, and shortness of breath. A visit to the ER the next morning yielded no results. Dr. said Gallbladdar attack after I told him of my HIDA and Endoscopy (which were negative) results. Spent days afterward feeling like I couldn't breath, and wearing anxiety on my sleeve. Eventually got better, and have been symptom free until yesterday.

Working around the house, picking up toys off of the floor, and I started having the fullness/pain under my sternum again. Belching, pain through to my back, and feeling of shortness of breath again. No correlation of spicy/fatty foods to pain. Tthe pain went away yesterday evening and last night. Woke up feeling good this morning, then sat in the floor to play with my daughter. Showed her how to do a gymnastics move on the balance beam (using my abdominal muscles) and instantly the pain is back, tender to touch, and belching almost constantly. Pain is only relieved by laying flat on my back or standing. Sitting and bendibg over are painful. Oh, and most times, following the pain is frequent loose bowel movements.  

Debating going to the ER (it's Sunday) for another CT to rule out enlarged liver, while I'm having symptoms. Oh, failed to mention my Grandfather died at 61 from Binary Cancer of the Liver. Diagnosed and lived 5 weeks. Since this has been going on for a few years I doubt it is something as serious, but the causes of an enlarged liver are all serious.  The possibility of Liver problems has not been addressed since the CT two years ago that was basically 50/50 chance it was enlarged.

Please post any diagnosis related!! I'm desperate,  planning on a CT and if CT is negative having my Gallbladdar removed ASAP if for no other reason than to rule it out. (which I have been against for 2 years)...  I'm mommy to three precious children, 27 years old and need to be healthy to take care of and be able to play with them! This has gone on long enough...
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello There,
I was wondering if I could email you a few questions about possible Lyme Disease? My doctors suspect I might have it and I am going to be tested soon. My symptoms all mimic Lyme but I just had a few more questions for you, I was hoping you can help me with?
If so, can you please email me at ***@****
It would be greatly appreciated, thanks alot!
Kelly
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
30 year old female
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Avatar_n_tn
did you have your gallbladder removed? and if so did it help? I am desperate as well. Thanks
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