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Painful Liver
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Painful Liver

For the past few months my liver has been hurting. I am 22 yrs old and I am relatively small 5'1, 117 lbs and so maybe it’s because I am skinny, but you can feel my liver...a big lump when you push where I say it hurts. You can find it easily and it hurts to touch it. Not excruciatingly, but enough to make me uncomfortable all day. It gets "big" and hurts for a few days to a week, then goes away for about a week. It’s almost like a balloon that fills up slowly...hurts...and then goes down, and the cycle just keeps repeating. My doctor did an MRI and liver function panel and everything seems to be fine. I did have elevated bilirubin on one test but not enough to be concerned. The MRI also showed that I did not have kidney stones or gallstones (I had my gallbladder removed earlier this year.)

My doctor says you can only feel it because I am skinny and it’s easy to find. I don’t have a problem with that...what I have a problem with is that it hurts!! The only test I haven’t had is for hepatitis and that’s because the doctor said my liver tests were fine so most likely I don’t have hepatitis.

The doctor basically said since the tests aren’t showing anything, until it gets worse or I have more symptoms to deal with it. Ouch.

I don’t drink alcohol and never have...maybe it’s my diet? Any other suggestions/diagnosis?
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I agree with the tests thus far.  A normal MRI and liver function tests would be liver disease less likely.

Blood tests can be done to exclude hepatitis.  

If there continues to be concern about the liver, you can consider an ultrasound as the next step.  

If negative, liver disease would be increasingly unlikely given the workup you had thus far.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patients education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
www.kevinmd.com
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