Pain in Liver: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Pain in Liver could be occur due to many reasons. Liver pain is primarily felt in the right quadrant of the body, just below the rib cage. The location of pain may vary a bit and in certain cases it could be in conjunction with the back pain. In most cases, its a dull acing pain but in certain cases it could be sharp pain as well.

At times it is difficult to identify whether the pain in upper right quadrant is because of liver or something else. It could very well be abdominal pain, pain due to gallstones or intestinal disorders. So, a physician has to figure out exactly where the pain is located. Kidney pain can be easily be distinguished by the doctor as it is located slightly below the liver. Even the pancreatic pain can be distinguished with ease as its also located slightly underneath the liver.

Alcohol abuse or excessive drinking is generally associated with pain in liver. However, surfacing of pain after drinking may also imply some other underlying cause (like hepatitis), which could be worsened by alcohol.

Causes of pain in liver

Usually, pain in liver is associated with multiple causes. In certain cases it could occur due to swelling, enlargement of liver, scarring, liver fibrosis or distention of the abdomen. In some cases it could be due to inflammation of liver’s surface. It could be sudden inflammation or flare-up of a long standing condition. Pain could also be triggered by an injury that puts pressure on the organ.

Some of the disorders which may cause pain in liver are:

– Hepatitis (inflammation of liver)
– Ascites (fluid buildup in abdomen)
– Cirrhosis (scarring of liver which can cause severe dysfunction)
– Hepatomegaly (enlargement of liver)
– Autoimmune disease
– Liver Abcess
– Liver Tumor
– Liver failure

Symptoms accompanying Liver pain:

Liver pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, which may differ based on the underlying cause of the pain. These symptoms include:
– Swelling in abdomen region, bloating or distension
– Appetite loss
– Diarrhea
– Nausea
– Pale/clay-colored stools
– Chills/fever
– Yellowing of skin and eyes
– Discoloration of urine
– Joint pain
– Fatigue
– Excessive weight loss

Some severe symptoms that may indicate life threatening condition:
– Mental impact or change in behaviour, hallucinations, delusions, confusion etc.
– High grade fever (101 degree or higher)
– Rapid heart rate
– Blood in vomiting
– Shortness in breadth, trouble in breathing, choking
– Severe pain

Diagnosis and Treatment of pain in liver:

Liver pain is a just a symptom that may indicate some underlying disorder or problem associated with liver. A doctor may use other symptoms along with the pain for the diagnosis of the underlying cause or disorder. The treatment methodology would vary based on the diagnosis of the underlying cause. Based on the seriousness of the cause, the complexity and duration of the treatment may vary. The treatment methods could include symptomatic options to relieve or control the liver pain and other symptoms shown by the patient.

Pain in liver is a symptom which could be due to various kind of disorders, some of which could be serious as well. While the liver pain is not easy to distinguish from other related pains in the region, it is always advisable to check with your physician and identify the root cause of the pain in liver.


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