Re: Pain and the liver
Hi Bob! "Upper Right Quadrant Abdominal Pain" is a common enough complaint with inflamed livers, due to drinking, fatty liver, etc. I'm not a doctor, but I've read enough about people suffering from this symptom to believe it does not mean your liver has turned to stone, but simply that it is swollen, inflamed, and perhaps a bit angry.
I had similar symptoms both before and after I gave up my daily/evening beerfest adventures, and I can tell you, "this too shall pass".
One thing you might look into is: Alcoholic hepatic iron overload. Alcohol increases dietary iron absorption and the liver is the primary site for iron storage in the body. Alcohol also causes "fatty hepatomegaly", or an enlarged fatty liver. These big alcoholic livers can hold lots of iron, but when you quit drinking and your liver starts shrinking back to normal size, relative concentrations of iron in the liver can increase, causing oxidative stress and inflammation.
I'll bet your doctor didn't include an iron study in your tests (as they rarely do) so you may need to request a test for "FERRITIN" which is a measure of stored iron. Don't let your doc switch tests and do "serum iron" as this is a poor indication of total iron loading.
The upper/normal limit for ferritin is set outrageously high in men (at 300), but OPTIMAL ferritin levels are really much lower. Mine was only 117 and I was still having symptoms (liver pangs!) until I lowered my stored iron through blood donation and a supplement called "IP6" or inositol hexaphosphate. Once I got my ferritin down around 40 my symptoms vanished and I felt much better.
Don't let your doctor tell you ferritin of 100 or more is "normal"... It's higher than "optimal", and bringing it down will make you feel better.
Congratulations on your new healthy lifestyle, and best of luck to you!