Where is the liver located?The liver’s location is under the right side of the ribcage.It sits above your stomach,below your lungs and besides the pancreas, gallbladder, intestines.It is placed there because the liver is known to be a sensitive and fragile organ. It is in charge of processing and sometimes storing large amounts of blood. Once the liver bleeds, this can be a problem because it will be hard for the liver to heal itself once it is hurt. The ribcage protects it from being injured but once it happens, the person with a problematic liver will start to experience liver pain.
The Function of the Liver
All of our body’s parts are considered to function depending on what they are meant to do but there are some parts of the body that are essential to ensure that people will continue to live long and healthy lives. When the liver is not working, it can cause some issues with metabolism and people’s overall health.
There are different things that the liver can do such as the following:
- Clean the blood and get rid of toxins.
- Help aid in the digestion of food that is taken in.
- Store sugar because there are moments when the body needs it and there is not enough sugar to go around.
- It is responsible for getting all the nutrients that the body needs for food and then removes all of those that are not needed.
Based on the different things that are mentioned above, it is evident that the liver is very useful for doing so many things.
How Do You Know You Are Experiencing Liver Pain?
How will you know if you are experiencing liver pain? The pain is normally felt under the right rib cage then the pain may spread towards the back area. You need to remember that liver pain is not normal. The moment that you start to feel it, you need to go to the doctor immediately for evaluation. There are moments when the cause of the pain is something simple but there are also moments when the condition causing the liver pain is serious.
Some Symptoms That Come With Liver Pain
In order to know for sure that you are suffering from liver pain and not a different type of organ pain, you need to take note of some symptoms that will determine what you are experiencing:
- Dull aching pain that may start from below the right ribcage going to the back area.
- Hard mass that may be due to an enlarged liver when it is felt below the right ribcage
- Yellow skin and eyes
- Weight Loss
- Dark-colored urine
If you start to experience liver pain with any of the symptoms that are mentioned above, you know that you need to be evaluated by your doctor immediately.
You may be more prone to acquiring liver disease if you have done the following:
- Drug Use and Abuse
- Consumed Contaminated Food and Water
- Taken a vacation
- You have had a lot of sexual partners over a short period of time
- Blood transfusion
- Take different medications for other conditions
Supply the doctor with the needed information and make sure that you will be as honest as possible so that it will be easier to find the main cause of your liver problem.
Main Causes of Liver Pain
It should be noted that one of the main causes why people suffer from liver diseases is because of drinking alcohol. There are some who experience pain when the liver tries itself to separate the alcohol from the body. People normally experience pain a few hours after drinking.
Another possible cause for experiencing liver pain is when you drink a large amount of food and the food that you have eaten contains a lot of toxins. The liver may find it hard to filter out the toxins from the food. You will start to experience the pain around 2 hours after you have eaten. If you get pain minutes after you have eaten, this means that you are suffering from digestive pain and not liver pain.
You should remember that the conditions that cause liver pain are normally serious. You need to get yourself checked immediately the moment that you start feeling some pain.
10 Other Common Causes of Liver Pain
1.Hepatitis – The main type of virus that affects the liver is the Hepatitis virus. There are three types of virus that you have to be familiar with namely Hepatitis A, B and C.
- Hepatitis A – This is the type of hepatitis that is acquired through food, feces and contact with hand or mouth. This is considered to be a mild form of Hepatitis as people are able to recover from it. The liver pain may last from weeks to months depending on the treatment that the person will undergo to recover from the condition.
- Hepatitis B – This is the type of Hepatitis that is acquired through body fluids and sexual interaction. This is the type of Hepatitis that a person can experience for the rest of his life. Liver damage and pain is something that people with this type of Hepatitis have to endure.
- Hepatitis C – This is considered to be the deadliest form of Hepatitis. Those who are exposed to this virus normally develop various diseases such as liver cancer and liver pain.
2.Eppstein-Bar Virus – This is another type of virus that is normally acquired through sexual intercourse. A lot of people are usually diagnosed with strep-throat even if this is the main cause. This virus causes the autoimmune system to attack the liver for no apparent reason.
3.Medications – There are some medications that people are required to take that may be bad for the liver in large dosages. There are some medications that would require a liver test before being given to patients just to check if the liver will be strong enough for it. Some drugs that are toxic to the liver are as follows:
- Drugs that are meant to lower cholesterol
- Anti-fungal medication
- Anti-seizure medications
There are times when it is not medications that can cause liver toxicity but exposure to various chemicals that the liver cannot cleanse anymore. For example, pesticides can cause liver toxicity. Not all herbal remedies are as safe as they sound. Some may cause liver toxicity too.
4.Alcohol – There are a lot of people who drink alcohol whenever they are hanging out with their friends. Alcohol can come in different forms. As long as you drink moderately, you do not have to worry about liver damage at all. Those who drink alcohol heavily may start to feel pain after drinking. It is their liver’s way of telling them that they are drinking too much. Liver pain due to alcohol may be temporary if the person will stop drinking heavily but it may lead to more serious complications if it would be continued especially when mixed in with various medications.
5.Liver Cirrhosis – When the tissues of the liver become scarred, this is referred to as Liver Cirrhosis. The parts of the liver that have become scarred will not work or function anymore. The liver will begin to fail the more that the various parts of the liver become scarred. The main cause of this condition is alcohol abuse. The pain brought about by this condition can be very painful.
6.Ascites – This is usually the end effect of having liver disease. There are pockets of fluid that form in the abdomen. The liver is supposed to empty these pockets but since the liver is not working as well as it should, the fluids start to increase. The excess fluid causes problems to the other organs of the body. Those who are suffering from this condition are normally in extreme pain and the fluids should be removed in order to get rid of the pain.
7.Liver Cancer – This is considered to be one of the most painful types of cancer. A lot of times, the cancer does not start at the liver but comes from other portions of the body but spreads to the liver. The moment that people have this type of cancer, it may be fatal.
8.Trauma – If there is injury or trauma that is near the liver, this can be considered fatal. Some examples of trauma are the following:
- Gun shots
- Knife stabs
- Blunt force
Remember that all types of forceful action applied to the upper right portion of the abdomen can be deadly for a lot of people.
9.Fatty Liver Disease – When there is an accumulation of fat in the liver, this is known to be fatty liver disease. There are two types that are under this disease namely:
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – This may be caused by being overweight or having high cholesterol but there are not enough studies yet to prove that these are the only causes.
- Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – This is the type of Fatty Liver brought about by too much alcohol intake.
Those who get this type of disease from drinking too much alcohol usually notice that they experience pain after drinking heavily. Binge drinking can do this even if it is only done for a short amount of time.
10.Cysts of the Liver – There are times when cysts may form in the abdominal area and it will cause the liver to become enlarged. There are times when liver cysts can cause the upper abdominal area to swell up but they can go away over time provided that the cysts will not start bleeding. Once the cysts start to bleed, this is when the pain would start.
How to Prevent Liver Pain and Strengthen Your Liver
You may want to strengthen your liver so that you can prevent the onset of the different liver conditions that are mentioned above. There are a lot of natural ingredients that we can find in food that will be effective in removing the toxins from the body. The more toxins are removed, the easier it will be for the liver to function.
- Drink Water – Drinking water is said to be good for the body overall. It can help get rid of the toxins that have entered your body. When you drink enough water, you make sure that your whole body is hydrated and refreshed. It is not only your liver that can benefit from your frequent water drinking.
- Lessen Your Alcohol Intake – You know that drinking alcohol is one of the best ways for you to bond with your friends but some people use alcoholic beverages the wrong way. Some people drink alcohol because of depression or because they want to forget about their problems. Alcohol will not solve anything. In fact, it can even make people’s health worse. If you can avoid it, then avoid it.
- Improve Your Hygiene – There are some viruses that you may get because of your hygiene. For example, if you borrow the things of someone who has Hepatitis, you may become afflicted with this condition as well. Follow the given sanitary measures to prevent liver damage.
- Consume More Beets – If you want a type of vegetable that can be very effective in making you feel healthier, you can eat more beets. Beets are known to promote better blood health. They are also known to have antioxidants that can keep the body healthy overall. If you are not too fond of eating beets, you may substitute with some leafy greens.
- Garlic – If you want to make your liver stronger, you should consume more garlic. You can add the garlic to your diet through the food that you eat. This is effective in getting rid of the toxins that may eventually cause liver damage.
- Green Tea – This known to come with a lot of benefits and protecting your liver is just one of them. When you drink enough green tea, you can effectively boost your digestion. If you would drink a few cups a day, this can be good for you.
- Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamins Everyday – There are some vitamins that are needed to ensure your liver’s health. Make sure that you get Vitamins K, A and B1. One thing to remember: do not consume too much iron as this can cause problems with the liver in the long run.
What Are The Treatments for Liver Pain?
The treatment for liver pain is normally directed towards stopping whatever damage has already been done to the liver. At the same time, the treatments are meant to improve the liver’s function so that the person will feel healthier overall. The moment that a person becomes sick with liver disease, he will start to feel weaker.
There are some people with liver problems who are required to stay in the hospital for a certain period of time because they do not want to eat.
The treatments will depend on the condition that the person is suffering from. For example, there are some medications that can help get of the viruses that may be hounding the liver. The fluid sacs may be drained in order to get rid of pain. Surgery is sometimes needed in order to get rid of cysts that have formed in the liver.
The very last option available in order to get rid of all the complications of having pain in the liver is to get a liver transplant. This is only done when the liver of the person is not functioning anymore as this can be very tricky. There is a very big chance that the body will attack the new liver and this can do more harm than good.
It is evident that the various conditions that may affect the liver can be complicated and hard to deal with. For people who have taken medications that have caused liver pain, the pain will go away eventually. Even if the liver is afflicted with some mild and common viruses, the pain will also go away on its own. If the liver is suffering from a serious condition, there are treatments available that can help prevent the damage to the livers further. Those who undergo liver transplants successfully go on living much healthier lives. Prevention is always better than cure so take a look at your lifestyle right now and do the necessary changes.