Right Side Abdominal Pain 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!

Eating Out When Sober
Eating Out When Sober

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.

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.

liver pain after drinking

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 quit 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 neighboring 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 Expert online course and live quit drinking events.

right side pain after drinking

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. Quite 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 quit 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?

free quit drinking webinarYou 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 quit drinking and need some help. Click here to book your place on our next free quit drinking webinar.

The Stop Drinking Expert program has already helped thousands of people to get sober. Ready to be the next?


Liver specialist: Doctor Marsha Morgan FRCP

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  1. I’ve had this issue, I’ve been to three doctors and they’ve all dismissed it. I’ve had multiple blood tests and two ultrasounds. Both have shown nothing wrong with my liver or pancreas and no gallstones. Really don’t know what to do, it’s right side pain after that’s much worse after drinking.

      1. I have this pain. I had an ultrasound and it showed I had a fatty liver. I was worried, but my wonderful GP told me it was normal and nothing to worry about, so I didn't and carried on drinking. My liver tests were normal, so I didn't think it mattered that I had a fatty liver, and anyway my fabulous Gp said it was fine!! And so I carried on drinking, more even. Now 2 years later it became so much worse. I have now stopped drinking after listening to alcohol lied to me, which really hit home hard. What have I been doing 😳 the pain has near gone. I don't want to drink that poison ever again. Thank you Craig 😊

    1. Same here have had ultrasound and have gone to doctor multiple times because of the pain. They say there is nothing there. Blood test have also been done and come out good. Is there any other test that would pin point to the liver?

      1. Same I’ve had this pain on and off for 20 years. Last 1 year it’s almost permanent. 3 years ago ultrasound showed some fat intrusion in liver. Doctor said if you drink a little it’s normal we see this commonly. Last year when it felt like the pain wouldn’t go away the ultrasound showed the liver was all bright which meant heavy fat infiltration. Never any issues with liver enzymes. Almost 1 year of no drinking, and I had digestive issues which resulted in a chronic pancreatitis diagnosis. Nothing on the CT scan but the elastase test and the fat test suggest pancreatitis. I take my enzymes which fix the digestive issues but still the pain. I just read that even non-alcoholic beer is potentially very damaging to the pancreas when pancreatitis is present.

  2. My god I’ve needed this article. And I thank you so much for it. I’ve experienced this pain a couple of times, and I plan to ask for more tests soon. However, I’ve had blood tests say that my liver is fine. But as you’ve mentioned in the last comment, this pain only means one thing: to stop. The scary factor is my age of 21. Being so young and my liver potentially already being partly damaged. It’s frightening and I’ve wishes so many times that the pain was just a dream and all my worries were for nothing. Reality can suck at times but now I’ve got to make the best of it.

    My question is, if tests appear negative, will this become a more serious issue if not diagnosed now, later down the road? And this is with me ending my drinking career now.

  3. Hi & Thanls For this Article! Glad I’ve already made a commitment to stop recently! This just further confirms I made the right choice! I got that dull pain for the first time today! But like I said, it’s a recent commitment. Do I still tell my dr ? Or will simply abstaining do? Thank you again.

  4. So i have been looking for an article such as this for some time. I have had not had a dull ache but instead a ferocious sharp stabbing pain in the same area you have mentioned that last no longer than a few mins at a time usually only a few seconds. I have had blood test , ultrasound , and a overall chest scan at the Hospital = Nothing apparently wrong. I feel swelling on that side and wonder am I going mad as the doctors seem to think nothing is wrong the apparent professionals who just like to throw prescriptions in ones direction and told to go away!. Anyway i drink a bottle off red on the weekend and maybe 1 within the week on the rarer occasion. I had this pain before but when i cut down to just drinking on the weekend it went away but now it has come back. I obviously try to put it down to other things as i do have many other health complications and some other chronic illnesses so i have lots of excuses. I do not want to quit and i probably wont as I am depressed but why can not the doctors find anything when my body is obviously saying something is wrong.

  5. I got bad sick one night because of alcohol. I had the pain on my right side and I was sick for a couple of weeks. I had so many tests done and everything came back fine. I’ve been back several times because I still don’t feel like I’m okay. And nothing. I have stopped drinking because obviously it makes everything worse. I’m not going to give up though! Going to a new doctor on Tuesday!

  6. I had a pain in my right side 5 months ago and my blood test showed some liver damage. Tried not drinking for a while and this made the next blood test show a normal reading. Didn’t drink for 48 days but then stupidly went out for a few nights and had a moderate amount of alcohol. The pain came back so I can only assume the alcohol has caused it to return.
    I find it surprising that nearly 50 days was not enough to reset my liver back to ability to handel normal drinking.

  7. Hi Craig,
    Just found this article. I’ve had the dull ache for quite a while now. Blood test late 2018 showed the liver readings to be not great. Didn’t get a scan but probably should. Scared. I want someone to promise me that if I quit drinking alcohol that it’ll get better; silly I know. Do you have any trusted sources on liver health, restoring liver after abuse?
    Anyway, glad I found this.

  8. What do you think of this?

    The FAQ page is quite interesting too.

    I would support anything that aids people quitting

  9. I’ve had recurring right hand side pain for quite some time now, and a lot of what has been described here sounds very familiar. Although not a regular drinker, I foolishly binge at the weekend (sometimes half a bottle of Scotch – I did say foolishly), but usually its a bottle of wine (there’s no point in lying). I’ve had the similar round of blood tests and ultrasound, plus a spinal exam to check my vertebrae (just in case I haven’t actually grated my valuable and essential organs) . Anyhoo, great article. It’s given me a clear direction.

      1. I do not think that it is possible to be more damaging that real alcohol.

        Where did you find that information? Bear in mind that a lot of scare mongering happens whenever a new product like this is talked about. Vaping also had similar stories.

  10. Quit 70 days ago with no right side ache, but center pain behind sternum, testing showed high lipase. Diagnosed acute pancreatitis, no damage shown in EGD, EGU, nor MRI. Radical weight loss (185 to 160), and weakness. FEELS hopeless, doctors offer no end to suffering. Clear liquid diet purge excess lipase,with meds. Now, a diet of cooked green vegetables, and other low fat foods as I can find with protein. Every 4 days the pancreas swelling returns. Stupid to think 2 to 4 beer a night wouldn’t harm me. Thought I was particularly healthy and the liver was the only organ affected by alcohol and surely mine could handle it, wow was I wrong. No one could probably have convinced me before afflicted that it was hurting me. If one person reads this and considers the consequences of what may very well be a life sentence of constant pain and anguish, and maybe death to skip a day, then 2, then 3 etc….. good luck

  11. Ive quit drinking and even smoking for a 1 year now. I been in a straight edge lifestyle doing work outs and keto diet. I used to have those symptoms before and i found out that i already have a fatty liver until the infection affected my galbladder and needs to be removed. Now im doing clean living and im happy with it.

  12. I’ve had pains in my side for years and each time I got them I would stop drinking till they went away,now I’ve got them back again and my back also hurts . I have been to the doctors over years just for them to say all’s fine. So I just carried on drinking. Now I’ve read your website I actually realise that I need to change or die . I know it’s early days but I’ve stopped drinking and would like to know if there is anything else I can do to help my liver recover ?

  13. I’ve had acute pancreatitis and liver damage due to alcohol abuse, horrific 3 week stay in hospital!! Numerous scans, blood tests and out patient visits,alcohol free now for two years and feeling really good!

  14. I’ve had pain on my right side at times but my left seems to hurt a little more consistent the next morning after drinking, what would the pain in the left side mean?
    Also my family are big drinkers and they drink every night, is that normal for people to drink every night?
    Thank you!!

  15. I was hospitalized with severe pain. 2 major surgeries – had drains put in. ICU 10 days. Stopped drinking 67 days and have gone back. Have stopped again – listen everyday to your web. You have powerful insight. I know this will stick ( first time hospital and last time)

  16. I’ve had the same problem for about 2 years now. During lockdown, I stopped drinking for about 5 months and the pain stopped. I found a new job recently and have been trying out new organic wines. Been drinking a glass or 2 twice a week and then the pain came back again.

    I really suspect that it is the alcohol causing the problem even though my scans and blood tests shows that there’s nothing wrong with my liver.

    So now I will quit alcohol for good! Not cut down but quit it – it is the only way to get rid of my discomfort completely.

  17. I've had every test done. Ct, blood work, liver biopsy,ultrasound and everything comes back perfect. When I drink alcohol I have right pain that radiates to my back. No one can figure out why…

  18. My childhood friend who I hadn't seen in almost 45 years passed away with bleeding from the esophagus, a condition related to cirrhosis of the liver. She was only 53. Alcohol is related to so many health issues that are conveniently swept under the rug by vested interests, that it is just not worth it. Even a glass of wine a day increases one's risk of developing cancers of the stomach, liver or breast. With so many other uncontrollable risk factors for developing cancer, why engage in an activity that increases the risk? Living clean leaves you feeling better and with more energy to live your life fully.

  19. Your posts talk about free this and that (ebook, webinar), but what is the actual cost of your stop drinking program? I'm interested but want to know more before taking the next step.

  20. Thanks for sharing the helpful insights. This is the first time I have felt quite this type of pain and swelling. I absolutely agree I need to stop drinking. Thank you.

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