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Upper Right Abdominal Pain

I need your input.  I'm trying to figure out what is causing pain in my upper right abdominal cavity.  It is a fairly localized pain, radiating towards the back.  It started in December 2008.

The pain was off and on, kind of a dull aching pain, but has started to become more frequent and more painful.  I thought alcohol might be the cause (though I don't drink regularly - maybe two weekends a month, 5-10 drinks per weekend), but I took it easy and stopped drinking.  I hadn't consumed much alcohol in awhile, but then went to a party and consumed three strong beers, some whisky, and a few key lites and definitely noticed the pain in the next several days.  Last weekend I had three very strong beers on Thursday, rum on Friday, and a margarita and a few draft beers on Saturday.  This week I am in so much pain (not to mention it was a stressful week without much sleep leading up to the holidays - an anatomy exam, a biochemistry exam, three engineering assignments, and a speech).  What is the pain caused by??  The doctors haven't figured it out yet...

Other symptoms:
No nausea.
Softer, more frequent, and fouler-smelling stools compared to a year ago.
Maybe minor weight loss, without trying, but no more than 5ish pounds over a year.

Blood tests: high in bilirubin (but those have been high since Spring 2006 - doc thinks its just Gilberts, but I thought I'd mention it anyway)
Doc checked for pancreatitis: at the time blood tests and urinalysis results were negative (wasn't necessarily at time of pain/attack - maybe indicative enzymes weren't present?)
Negative CT scan (really??)
Referral to gastroenterologist - took stool samples, results negative for anything.

Could it be an allergy?  Would symptoms of an allergy to something in the drinks cause localized pain?
Could it be a GI blockage?
Could it be chronic pancreatitis, but they can't see it on a CT and the tests didn't find enzymes because it was too far removed from the time of attack?

What would you suggest?

Thanks so much for reading.  (Thanks in advance if you want to leave feedback!)
-K
2 Responses
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Avatar universal
Has your liver been checked, you are describing pain where your liver is, but also the kidney. Your doctor "thinks" it's Gilberts?  Do you get jaundice?  If not then it's not Gilberts. Have they checked you for mono, hepatitis, or ulcer?  An ulcer would be aggravated by the alcohol.  If you has a GI blockage...you'd know it!!!  You need an upper endoscopy to look at your stomach to see if there are ulcers or irritation. Good luck to you, I know how frustrating this is.
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Avatar universal
Hahah... oops!  I meant upper LEFT abdominal pain (I really can tell my right from my left, I promise)!  That's why we thought it was potentially the pancreas.

No jaundice - my doc said it was probably Gilberts and I think she's probably right.  But couldn't there be any chance that increased levels of bilirubin could be caused by something else, but not show the symptom of jaundice?

And kidney functions were tested via urinalysis, but again, this wasn't immediately after I'd been drinking... maybe they should be retested?

I previously had mono... and I'm not sure if they checked for hepatitis or an ulcer...

Thanks for your input!
Helpful - 0
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