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Abdominal Pain on the Right-Side and Alcohol

So often I get emails from people complaining of a dull ache in their flank. They want to know if this right-side abdominal pain could be due to their alcohol use!

Before we go any further let me say that this website is not a replacement for professional medical assistance. It is essential to get this ache looked into by your doctor.

Some people claim that alcohol, when consumed in small amounts or socially, can have health advantages and is not hazardous to the body. They are wrong, but that’s a subject for another article.

The whole red wine is good for you line was just an off the cuff comment made on a TV news program. Liver pain after drinking is not a sign of your body relaxing in the healing glow of Merlot! 

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The truth

Substantial consumption of alcohol can trigger swelling of the liver organ (liver disease), which can reveal itself to you via a dull ache in the right upper section of the abdomen. Other signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for would be yellowing of the skin or eyeballs, discolouration of your urine, or a pale shade to stools. Likewise, heavy alcohol use can intensify gallbladder stones, that can also present discomfort in this sensitive area of the body.

Other signs could be queasiness and dysentery or oily faeces that are difficult to flush.

Alcohol usage may be connected with pancreatitis, which can present with serious or persistent stomach discomfort, positioned at the centre of the tummy, in some cases heading around to the back as well. Lastly, drinking can cause an irritation of the gut lining, which can trigger discomfort and heartburn (pyrosis) indicators.

I advise getting seen asap by your medical care physician to identify what may be taking place and if additional workup of your discomfort may be required. 

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Don’t assume

Back when I was a drinker, I developed this right-side abdominal pain too. However, because I was scared that someone would tell me to stop drinking, I delayed seeking medical attention for nearly three months.

I was so in denial about my drinking that I even replaced the mattress on my bed before I went to see my GP.

If you drink every day and you are experiencing discomfort on the right side of your abdomen or the right flank, then you really need to stop searching Google and take some action.

Right side abdominal pain which frequently emanates around to the back suggests that the pain is being created because of substantial misuse of alcohol. 

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The source of your pain

Often the pain is created in the abdominal areas of liver organ or pancreas. Side pain as it is referred to as typically happens in the right stomach area and it could be the indicator of numerous disorders or conditions. Although it is tricky to pinpoint the reason for the discomfort to be due to regular alcohol use.

All I can tell you is when I stopped drinking the pain went away. If I had not stop drinking at that point, perhaps I would not be here to write about this subject matter. 

The liver is an impressive organ

The liver removes poisons from our system as well as repairs itself if harmed a little. Although our livers can take care of a little alcohol, there is a limitation on just how much abuse it can take. If alcohol use is excessive, then the liver gradually deteriorates in its functionality and ultimately fails.

Greater than 20,000 men and women are waiting for a liver transplant in the USA. 

Don’t wait for serious pain!

The liver has no linking nerve endings, the dull ache in your right side specifically does not originate from the liver.

The dull ache in the right side of the mid-section develops as the liver begins to become bloated from fat accumulation. The irritated liver begins putting pressure on the nerve endings of the other neighbouring delicate abdominal systems. If you are a problem drinker and you have a dull ache on the right side of the abdomen. Often the reason is that your liver has enlarged and is applying pressure to the nearby organs.

As you can imagine, if your liver is so swollen that it has the girth and size to press hard enough on other areas of your body to cause pain. You are way past the point of thinking about seeing a doctor.

Heard enough? If you are ready to kick the attractively packaged poison out of your life. Click here to find out more about the Stop Drinking Online programme. 

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Right Side Abdominal Pain & Liver Pain After Drinking

If your liver is completely ruined by alcohol, then a transplant is the only chance you have to avoid a fatal outcome. The problem is the waiting list for a liver transplant is much longer than the life expectancy of someone with liver failure. Stope simply the math will kill you on this one.

Sometimes physicians discover that the explanation for the right-side abdominal ache is not because of liver cirrhosis, but because of mild scarring inside the sides of the liver. This condition may be managed without needing to undertake any challenging surgical treatment.

I know you may not want to hear this but the only solution to this problem is to stop drinking. Let’s be clear, not to cut back on your drinking but to stop completely. 

What Are the Signs That Say That Your Liver Is Impacted?

You might frequently choose to just disregard this right side abdominal pain since you may believe that significant harm will definitely create severe pain and the discomfort would not be referred to as a dull ache.

Sometimes you might not experience any discomfort at all but then discover that something is amiss through scans and blood tests.

If you are finding it difficult to sleep on your right side because it feels like there is a lump in the bed. Take my advice on this – don’t be silly (like me) and assume it’s just the bed. Take your head out of the sand and make an appointment with your doctor. 

If you are ready to stop drinking and need some help. Click here to book your place on our next FREE Online Session where we discuss how to stop drinking?


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Liver specialist: Doctor Marsha Morgan FRCP


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