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Liver & Pancreas Disorders Message Board

Liver & Pancreas Disorders Board Index

Happy to have found this forum. There are so many results on Google which are just sites trying to scare people into buying cures for things, and a lot of the other results are medical sites which diagnose issues way too vaguely.

I'm a man in my 30s. 2 months ago I went to the ER for what turned out to be a kidney stone. Very painful, a few days later it passed (it was tiny), and there are no others. I've always been fairly healthy and have since then tried to improve my diet with more fresh foods, additional fiber, more water and less sodium. I don't have a perfect diet but I do eat reasonably well compared to most Americans.

In the past few weeks I had what felt like a "tightness" in the same vicinity as the right kidney (which the stone came from). I went back for a follow-up, thinking it might be another stone but the doc said that was unlikely, re-checked the CAT scans from the ER visit and also did an ultrasound check. He said the kidney looks perfect and the only thing he noticed was some fatty spots on the liver from the CAT scan. He suggested I see a gastrointestinal specialist.

I've made an appointment with one but I don't know how to trust whatever he'll tell me - I'm in a part of the country (LA) which seems to host a lot of greedy doctors (my ER costs were unbelievable, even with insurance coverage, not to mention how insane the charges were for an in-office ultrasound which lasted less than 30 seconds). I want to make sure I'm making informed decisions so that I don't get a doctor to scare me into doing expensive procedures. Everyone gets concerned about their health so I want to be realistic about the symptoms I'm feeling.

I almost think that maybe this was triggered by the ER visit. I almost never take OTC meds, am not on any prescriptions meds, but in the ER they juiced me full of lots of hydromorphone type drugs to make the kidney stone manageable, then I was on hydrocodone (basically vicodin) & ibuprofen for a few days until the stone passed. I've not taken anything more than 2 tylenols once since then when I had a bad headache. I think this may have been triggered by all those drugs being pushed through my liver, but I'm not sure.

My skin & eye color is normal, I don't have any fever or symptoms of illness, no cough, and my urine & stool all seem reasonably normal. The blood & urine tests in the ER showed normal, but that was about 1 month before what I'm feeling now & have been feeling for the past few weeks.

What I feel is: A tightness in my liver area, just below my right ribs. I also feel like my upper abdominal area is slightly bloated. I feel much better when I haven't eaten in a while, especially when I wake up and wait a while before having breakfast. I can't describe the tightness exactly other than to say it feels like it's "stiff" and stuff inside is pushed together too tightly. Very minor soreness around the bottom edge of my right ribcage. My abdominal area has felt slightly "bloated" the past couple years but it was minor and possibly that I wasn't going to the gym as much. But this I never felt before and it doesn't feel right.

That's the totality of my symptoms. It's worse when I sit slightly slouched for extended periods. I have been more stressed recently due to economic reasons (an expensive medical issue didn't help) and not sleeping as normally as I would like, but not "nervous" stress, just everyday stress.

Am I being overly concerned? Can a doctor diagnose what this might be without expensive tests? Lab tests are one thing but it seems like every time a doctor uses any kind of machinery to scan or view the body, it's a multi-thousand dollar bill. I don't want to go all crazy on this if it turns out all I need is a prescription for some innocuous issue.

Thanks for any feedback.

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