Also I've been having pale stools off and on for 6 months.
And the itchyness happens mostly after eating or drinking (non-alcoholic stuff, including water)
If you've been having problems for two years and have gone to the ER and a doctor, had tests done that may have shown changes in liver function, if you told the doc you were a heavy drinker but did not change your drinking habits until a month agao, it's possible that the docs may have felt they could do little until you made changes in your lifestyle. If you're serious about trying to take care of your health and you intend to discontinue alcohol intake, go back to your doc and discuss the problem openly.
It may or may not be cirrhosis, but the only way to figure it out and figure out what to do about the current symptoms is to be seen and figure out what your next steps will be. This should be done by your private physician, since the ER will probably simply do a CBC, give you some PPIs or other meds to tamp down the symptoms, tell you to see your doc and escort you to the door. They're really not there to diagnose anything unless you're in a state of emergency or in an immediate life-threatening condition which your symptoms do not seem to suggest.
The doctor to see would probably be a gastroenterologist.
Thanks for the response CalGal, but I need to clarify somethings - the doctors never said I was a heavy drinker, I said that, they never told me to quite drinking, that was my decision, and I seriously doubt whether they felt they could change my lifestyle would affect their diagnosis, as that'd be malpractice.
> They're really not there to diagnose anything unless you're in a state of emergency or in an immediate life-threatening condition which your symptoms do not seem to suggest.
What are you basing this on? Being jaundiced is not life-threatning? My understanding is that if I have Cirrhosis that there's a good chance I'm going to die. Is that not correct?
That itching skin can sometimes mean something is wrong with the kidneys, which I think the yellow also indicates same thing. A urine sample will detect any problem with that. I don't think a kidney problem is life-threatening. The kidneys are located at the back of the body, on either side of the spine, at the level of the waist, so could be the lower right back and right shoulder pain you felt was coming from the right kidney.
But you also said the sonogram suggested a sluggish gall bladder. It's located higher up, in the front of the body, to the right of center. That might also account for your pale stool, which comes from changes in bile, which the bile ducts are next to the gall bladder. Again, a goofed-up gall bladder or bile ducts probably won't kill you.
My suggestion is, if your tongue goes yellow and/or you feel pain again, and especially if you have a temperature, you can go to the ER, tell them about the itchy skin, yellow tongue, pale stool, and the pain in your lower back on the right and in your shoulder on the right, and the sonogram that said you had a sluggish gall bladder. They ought to go ahead and do a scan, which doesn't pick up everything, but is better than the sono for some stuff, and they ought to do a urine sample, which their lab will have the results immediately.
I also think you could just wait for the doctor appointment, and in the meantime, drink a lot of water, five or six glasses a day, to flush the kidneys. Water also helps constipation (alcohol dries you out). And just eat soft or bland foods, like rice, wheat bread, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, but don't eat heavy stuff like steak or french fries. You could also eat "Activia" yogurt, which has "good" bacteria in it to help break down waste. Also, a natural disinfectant for the bowels is pineapple, just don't consume that with anything else, and just eat a small bowl one time.
It takes a long time for the liver to give out, unless you've been drinking steady for twenty years. This is just general info, I'm no expert, I'm just telling you the little I know.
If you had Cirrhosis, you would have known way before any symptoms. Try to relax.