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Drinking lately... liver or hypochondria?

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Old 07-02-2005, 02:19 PM   #1
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Location: Jacksonville, AL USA
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siren1024 HB User
Drinking lately... liver or hypochondria?

I have a tendency to have health anxiety, so I need some advice here. I have gone through a stage for the last month or so where I will have drinks probably 5 days out of the week. I only drink wine or liquor (liquor lately) and will have 3 glasses of wine or mixed drinks (usually equals anywhere from 3-8 shots) a night when I drink. The last couple weeks I've been experiencing a mild discomfort under my right rib cage and a feeling of "fullness" there. The feeling is more obvious when I lie down or sometimes I can feel it when I breathe deeply or move my arms. Other times I will feel the slightes throbs or twinges. I don't take acet at all with alcohol b/c I'm paranoid. I have a chronic pain condition that I took acet for off and on for the last couple years, but I never drank with them and I haven't been taking it for months before I started this drinking.

Keep in mind that I have a tendency to worry about my health and dwell on every little twinge my body makes. So I don't know if my anxiety has "created" this ache feeling since I've been drinking, or if it's something I should really worry about. I haven't ever been a serious drinker, I'm only 24, and I'm not at all overweight. I know my drinking is getting to a level I'm not comfortable with and will have to stop. But do you think I have anything to worry about? Am I damaging my liver with this short term heavy drinking?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 07-02-2005, 09:01 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
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happyelf HB User
Re: Drinking lately... liver or hypochondria?

Hey Siren1024- It's good you don't do acet w/alcohol--you know that is bad news. I don't think the short term drinking is doing major damage--but cutting back is always a good thing. Short term-it may be raising your liver enzymes, b/c anything we ingest or breathe raises them...but that can be reversed easily. The liver is amazingly regenerative--it can and will bounce back to normal ranges when the offending substance is eliminated. You're young, so you haven't been drinking like this for years and years and years...cut back now and you'll be fine.

Now, if you've been a heavy drinker for yrs and yrs and yrs-and have irreversible cirrohsis because of it, that's a different story. Alcohol is a foriegn substance and anything in excess will do damage over a long period of time. And, as always, if you think you need to cut back, you're doing the right thing.

Abt the fullness and pain--do you think it is gallbladder related? In some ppl that is affected by alcohol consumption. Just a thought. It's in the same vicinity. Hang in there-you should be fine.

And let's not call you "paranoid"--lets say you're very "in tune with your body"...
Hope this helps you!!

Old 07-04-2005, 12:13 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: central florida
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TheHappyMan HB UserTheHappyMan HB User
Re: Drinking lately... liver or hypochondria?

Happy Elf is right, - if you think that you are drinking too much maybe it's a good idea to cut back on it....
You will enjoy it a whole lot more if you dont feel guilty about it or feel that you may hurting yourself.....

And you can always get a blood test (without a doctor) just to reassure yourself everything is all right.

Old 07-05-2005, 04:26 PM   #4
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siren1024 HB User
Re: Drinking lately... liver or hypochondria?

I was still having the pains, and I noticed they were worse after eating. So I went to the doctor. The ultrasound looked perfectly normal of my liver, pancreas, gall badder, and my enzyme levels weren't raised at all, which is remarkeable when you I realize the ammount I had been drinking. I was going through a pint of vodka every couple days. They basically said they couldn't find anything wrong with me, but this dull ache keeps coming and going behind my ribs.

Now I have a bigger dull ache that has developed in my lower back and radiates across. Totally feels like kidneys to me, but the tests were all normal. The weird thing about this ache is that is gets worse and turns into a throb when I smoke????

Do you think this may all be bowel related? I had a terrible bout of diahreah last night with the pain, and that's why I went in. Maybe the drinking was irritating something in my excretory system?

Thanks for your help!
Married 09/28/2002
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005

Old 07-06-2005, 01:45 AM   #5
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meatball HB User
Re: Drinking lately... liver or hypochondria?


Just because your gallbladder showed no gallstones on the ultrasound, doesn't necessarily mean that it is functioning correctly. Many people still have pain in their gallbladders and have no stones found, but a hida scan can show the level at which your gallbladder is working at.. if you are still having pain under the ribs I would mention this to your gastro.. just a thought...

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