What's That Pain?
Alcohol & That Pain In Your Right Side
Back when I was a heavy drinker I would constantly feel a dull ache in my right side – not really that painful but uncomfortable and enough to make me start to worry that I had done some serious damage with my drinking.
The crazy thing is, I spent most of my time on Google trying to prove that it wasn’t my drinking (because I didn’t want to have to stop drinking alcohol).
If you are asking the question ‘is the pain in my right side being caused by alcohol‘ then the answer you probably don’t want to hear is almost certainly yes.
It is essential to get this discomfort checked out. Some people can consume alcohol in small amounts and not have any problem but around 20% of people are genetically designed to find alcohol highly addictive and start drinking on a daily basis.
Extreme intake of alcoholic drinks (drinking every day) can cause inflammation of the liver (liver disease), which can present with a dull pain in the right upper portion of the abdomen. Other symptoms to watch out for would be yellowing of the skin or eyeballs, darkening of the urine, or a pale color to the bowel motions.
"The good news is if you stop drinking the pain will go away and you will prevent it developing into something serious"
Likewise, alcohol intake can aggravate gall bladder health or create stones, which can also give discomfort in this area. Other symptoms might be nausea or vomiting and diarrhoea or fatty bowel movements with foods.
Alcohol intake can also be linked with pancreatitis, which can present with severe or more persistent abdominal pain situated in the middle of the stomach, occasionally going to the back. Finally, alcohol consumption can cause gastritis, an irritation of the stomach lining, which can cause discomfort and heartburn symptoms.
I recommend getting looked at as soon as possible by your primary care doctor to identify what may be happening and whether further workup of your discomfort might be required.
Here is the good news, I can tell you from personal experience and from dealing with thousands of problem drinkers who also reported this pain in their right side – if you stop drinking the problem will often go away on it’s own – but only if you stop before you do some serious irreversible damage.
For help and advice on stopping drinking click here for more information.
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