I am 42 years old and a heavy drinker. I have had in the past, over many, many months small bouts with upper right abdominal pain and nausea. I attributed that to the previous days drinking and drinking the next day usually resolved it. (sounds bad, I know). Anyway, after a long period of very heavy drinking, I felt so bad (very bad nausea, couldn't eat (the eating part was only a day or two) I decided to quit. After a few days the nausea cleared up, withdrawal symptoms cleared up and I felt really great again, except for I started getting more pain in my back and shoulder when I moved in certain ways, some of it very sharp and some feeling like one big pulled muscle. it is only on the right side where my liver is. I have no pain in the front, but it is sensitive if I apply pressure. The first half of today I thought it might have "worked it's course" and was going away, now it is very painful to move in certain ways (pushing the toilet flusher with my left hand hurt my right side).
I have no other symptoms of liver cancer except for the pain, although I'm certain I have done something to it. What are the odds it's cancer with no other cancer symptoms? Or is my liver just really mad at me?
As I finish this, the sharp pains seem to have eased a bit as I twist and move, but the duller pulled muscle pain feeling still exists - I just got up and did a test left hand toilet flush with no problem :)
I'm writing you because I'm out of the country and it will be at least another week before I can see my Dr.
Muscle pain can be an explanation for the symptoms, but imaging studies should be considered to exclude a GI etiology.
I would consider blood tests to evaluate liver function and the bacteria H Pylori, as well as an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan. If those tests are negative, then you can consider a musculoskeletal cause.
Specialized GI tests can be considered, including an upper endoscopy, if the pain continues.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Kevin Pho, M.D.
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