As the largest glandular organ of the body, liver is responsible for performing many vital functions every day. It removes toxins and other harmful substances from the body. Every organ in the body is supported in some way by the liver and a person cannot survive with a failing liver.
Due to the number of activities performed by the liver, it is susceptible to diseases. Liver ailments can cause complications and be fatal as well. Conditions which affect the liver can cause liver pain. When the pain occurs, many people may doubt whether it is liver pain or pain from other parts of the body, because liver is not in an obvious position such as heart or stomach.
Where Is the Liver Located?
Where Is Liver Pain Located?
Besides knowing "where is the liver located", it is also important to know where the liver pain location is. Therefore, your doctor can make correct diagnosis. The pain is felt in the upper right quadrant of the abdominal cavity, just below the rib cage. The pain is also called as hepatalgia and is usually vague and dull. The pain can become severe and sharp accompanied with a back ache.
Liver is covered with a capsule on which pain receptors are placed, and when pressure is exerted on them, liver pain occurs. Liver pain can be easily confused with kidney, stomach or back pain.
The other types of pain which occur in the upper right quadrant are abdominal disorders, pancreatitis, intestinal pain and formation of gall stones. Sometimes liver pain can also manifest as right shoulder pain.
What Are Liver Pain Associated Symptoms?
There are various symptoms associated with liver pain, though a person may not experience all of them. These symptoms can indicate presence of serious liver problem as well. Some of the commonly seen symptoms are:
Pain in the abdomen, back and shoulder
Dark circles around eyes, itchy and yellow eyes
Discolored skin which is associated with liver spots or jaundice
Bad breath and body odor
Red palms and soles which cause itching
What Causes Liver Pain?
Liver inflammation caused by viral infection or Hepatitis
Accumulation of fat in the liver causes inflammation, which causes liver pain. This is called fatty liver or steatosis and can be caused due to excess consumption of alcohol
Alcoholic liver disease or hepatic cirrhosis caused by excess intake of alcohol
Gall stone disease
Irritable bowel syndrome
Problems in the bile duct
Pneumonia of the right lower lung
High acidity which causes inflammation of the intestine
Ascites, which causes fluid accumulation in the abdomen
Hepatic fibrosis, in which the liver scarring occurs
Hepatic cysts, which cause pain but are usually harmless
Toxicity caused by side effect of prescribed drugs, such as Acetaminophen which is a medicine for head ache and sinus congestion
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, which is a chronic disease affecting the bile ducts present inside and outside the liver
Genetic disorders like Hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease can cause liver disorder and lead to liver failure
What Are the Treatments for Liver Pain?
One of the primary functions of the liver is removing the toxins from the body. When the liver is not functioning properly, the toxins accumulated in the body due to improper digestion can cause further liver damage. One of the best methods to keep the normal functioning of the liver is performing a liver detox or cleansing by lifestyle and dietary changes.
Avoid alcohol, spicy and oily or sugary foods and stimulants like tea and coffee. Spicy and oily food causes inflammation of the liver lining and alcohol causes toxins which further damages the liver causing pain.
Choose simple food which does not put pressure on the liver. This will remove the accumulated toxins and makes the system clean and helps in improving the digestion and overall liver functioning. The following foods which help keep your liver healthy are recommended to be added in your diet:
Green leafy vegetables, sprouts, bitter gourd, cabbage and fruits like papaya should be consumed. Garlic has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties which help in improved liver functioning and digestion. Buttermilk, cow’s or goat’s milk reduces the heat in the body. Aloe vera juice is also said to be beneficial for liver health. Plenty of water should be consumed to cleanse the liver.
Getting adequate sleep and not staying up late is also recommended as it improves digestion process. Exercising also helps digestion and should be taken regularly.