Liver Pain: The possible causes and diagnosis

Liver Pain

The abdominal pains are not always a symptom of something serious, certainly when they occur at the height of the liver it is natural to worry a little. But you have to rest assured, because the cause is rarely of a hepatic nature. What can a pain in the upper right abdominal area mean? The harm to the liver is a common liver pain and more frequent than not, even if the dense often located at the height of this gland, which is in the upper right abdominal region, has no hepatic origin. So what does it depend on?

Pain in the liver

1.What is the liver

2.The possible causes of pain in the liver

3.Symptoms of pain in the liver 

4.Pain in the liver and feeding

5.The diagnosis of liver pain

6.The cure of  liver pain

What is the liver

The liver is a very large, oval-shaped gland. It weighs about 1-1.5 kg and is on average 25 cm long (obviously in adult men it can also be a little bigger). It is located in the highest part of the abdominal cavity, just below the diaphragm and near the stomach. It is supplied with blood carried by the hepatic artery and is connected to the digestive system. It performs numerous metabolic functions, from the production of bile to the digestion of fats, from the production of hormones to the storage of glycogen, iron, copper and vitamin B12. Despite being so important, both in terms of volume and role, he is a kind of gentle giant who falls ill easily. It is very sensitive to viral infections and intoxications (smoking, drugs, drugs, alcohol but also junk food).

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The possible causes of liver pain

The possible causes of liver disease , as I mentioned, often do not depend on the liver, simply the painful condition is reflected in that area of ​​the abdomen. You should also know that the most serious diseases related to this gland in most cases develop without painful symptoms. Here are the main risk factors:

Pain in the liver and biliary tract

The liver pain is almost always connected to the biliary tract and therefore to the presence of stones, acute or chronic cholecystitis, choledoocytes and papillitis. In the case of biliary colic you may also feel a painful sensation in the back, towards the right shoulder blade.

 Liver pain when breathing

You may have taken a deep breath and been in pain. What is that? If it turns into a constant, you need to see a doctor, as you may have gallbladder inflammation .

Liver cancer

Pain in the liver can be a symptom of cancer. When the gland exaggerates in volume, accompanied by severe weight loss, it can be uncomfortable. More than liver pain, we can talk about abdominal pain, which occurs in 95% of cases of cancer.

Extrahepatic causes

The causes of this disorder are mainly extrahepatic, that is, they have nothing to do with the liver. What are they then? It could be a symptom of acute colitis, gastritis, duodenitis, pyloric ulcers but also pancreatitis or pancreatic tumors.

Liver pain and diet

The power plays an important role in the functioning of the liver is the painful sensations that may occur in the upper right abdominal area. The causes in this case can be excessive gastric acidity or inflammation of the duodenum. The important thing is to follow a light diet, avoiding fatty foods, alcohol or foods that are difficult to digest.

Liver pain and sports

Playing sports is good for your health, but you must avoid overdoing it. Sometimes physical activity can cause blood to divert from the digestive system to the muscular system: a drop in blood can promote liver damage.

Symptoms of pain in the liver

Pain in the liver is obviously a symptom, but very often it is accompanied by other ailments:

  • nausea
  • bitter mouth
  • back pain and shoulder pain
  • abdominal bloating
  • jaundice
  • tiredness
  • fever
  • itching in the body, especially at night and in the hands
  • bleeding
  • hematomas

Liver pain and feeding

L diet is very important for the health of the liver, so you have to avoid high-fat foods (especially when cooked), grilled and fried foods, alcohol, junk food and anything that can create any acidity. Also be careful not to consume excess protein and carbohydrates. Instead, opt for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to cleanse your liver, and consume antioxidant foods, such as blueberries, oranges, spinach, artichokes and kiwis.


The diagnosis

The diagnosis can be addressed by your GP, who after listening to your symptoms and seeing you, may ask you for some tests to check your levels of bilirubin, liver enzymes ( transaminase GPT and GOT) and alpha-fetus-protein; liver ultrasound, endoscopy and biopsy are also indicated. He may then decide to recommend a specialist visit with a hepatologist, a doctor who usually specializes in gastroenterology with clinical experience.

The cure of liver pain

The cure for liver disease depends a lot on the cause. If you have done too much sport, it will be enough to rest a couple of days and resume low-intensity physical activity in moderation. In other cases of a pathological nature, obviously, a targeted intervention will be necessary, sometimes surgical, especially to remove any stones. Liver cancer is tackled on the basis of staging, if localized it could be operable, otherwise interventional therapies are used, such as thermal ablation chemoembolization (TACE), radioembolization (TARE or SIRT) or liver transplantation. What you can certainly do is try to lead a healthy life, eating well, doing some exercise, avoiding drinking alcohol or smoking and above all by taking medications only under medical prescription.

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