Your liver is located on the upper right side of your abdomen, under the right ribcage. It sits above your stomach, below your lungs, and besides the pancreas, gallbladder, intestines. The liver is one of the largest and the most vital organs in the body. It provides a vital function for your body to clean the blood and get rid of toxins. It also help digest foods, stores sugar and excretes harmful substances.
The liver is so important, yet it is very sensitive and fragile. A lot of diseases and infections can cause liver pain. The pain may occur under the right rib cage then it may spread towards your back area. In order to get a better treatment effect, you’d better know the exact location of the liver and the common causes of liver pain. At the end of the article, we will discuss how to strengthen your liver naturally.
Where is Your Liver Located?
You can determine the exact location of the liver using the following three methods.
1. The surrounding organs
The liver is composed of left lobe and right lobe. Your liver location is on the upper right side of your abdomen, under the right side of the ribcage. It sits above your stomach, below your lungs, and besides the pancreas, gallbladder, intestines.
Your abdomen can be divided into four quadrants include left upper quadrant, left lower quadrant, right upper quadrant and right lower quadrant. Your liver is situated in left and right upper quadrants. You can find the bigger lobe in the right quadrant.So the liver pain mainly appears in this area.
The abdomen can also be divided into nine regions include left hypochondriac region, left lumbar region, left iliac region, right hypochondriac region, right lumbar region, right iliac region, epigastric region, umbilical region and hypogastric region.
Your liver is located in the left hypochondriac region, epigastric region, right hypochondriac region, and the right lumbar region. You may often feel the liver pain in epigastric or right hypochondriac regions.
The Function of the Liver
Doctors from WebMD say that the liver is a red-brown fleshy organ weighing about 3 pounds. Because it is protected by ribs, you generally cannot feel the liver. Your liver is located next to the pancreas, gallbladder and intestines. These organs work together to digest and absorb food.
The main function of the liver is to filter the toxins in the blood. The gallbladder under the liver can secrete bile. Bile can help break down fats and help the body absorb nutrients. In addition, the liver also plays an important role in providing protein, blood clotting and immune system.
Now that you know the function of liver and where the liver is located in the body, let’s look at the common symptoms and causes of liver pain.
Symptoms of Liver Pain
Doctors from Healthline say liver pain feel like a dull, throbbing or stabbing sensation in your upper right abdomen. Sometimes it starts from below the right ribcage and spread to your back or right shoulder blade. You may also feel chronic itching, nausea and fatigue with swelling, anemia, and weight loss.
If your liver pain lasts for a long time or the pain is severe and unbearable, see your doctor immediately.
12 Common Causes of Liver Pain You Should Know
1.Too Much Alcohol
One of the main causes people suffer from liver diseases is because of drinking alcohol.
According to doctors from the Healthline 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.
Some people may experience pain when the liver tries to separate the alcohol from the body. This usually occurs a few hours after drinking. Liver pain due to alcohol may be temporary if the person will stop drinking heavily.
2. Food Contains Toxins
Another possible cause of experiencing liver pain is when you drink a large amount of food that contains 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.
The main type of virus that affects the liver is the Hepatitis virus. There are three types of virus namely Hepatitis A, B, and C.
- Hepatitis A – This is a type of hepatitis that is acquired through food, feces, and contact with hand or mouth. It is 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.
- Hepatitis B – This is a type of Hepatitis that is acquired through body fluids and sexual interaction. This type of Hepatitis can become chronic that a person can experience for the rest of his life. You can also suffer from liver damage and pain.
- Hepatitis C – This is the most serious forms of hepatitis, which can develop to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.Tattoos, blood transfusions, sharing of needles, and unprotected anal intercourse are the main causes.
- Eppstein-Bar Virus -Eppstein-Bar Virus, also called mononucleosis, is often mistaken for strep-throat. This virus can cause the autoimmune system to attack the liver for no apparent reason.
You can take anti-viral medications to treat Hepatitis, this can help reduce the virus effects on your body.
Some medications may be bad for the liver in large dosages. They need a liver test to check if the liver will be strong enough for patients. Some drugs that are toxic to the liver are as follows:
- Some cholesterol-lowering drugs
- 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.
Liver cirrhosis occur when the tissues of the liver become scarred and lose its function. This is a permanent injury, the most common causes of cirrhosis are hepatitis B, hepatitis C infection and alcohol abuse. In addition, poor immune systems can also lead to cirrhosis.
The early symptoms of cirrhosis are not obvious, but as the disease aggravates, you may feel severe pain around the liver area. The pain caused by liver cirrhosiscan be very painful. Other symptoms of cirrhosis include nausea, yellow skin,itchy, tiredness, easy bleeding, weight loss, swelling of the legs and ankles.
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 pressure to the other organs of the body. You may feel extreme pain until the fluids be removed.
Liver cancer is one of the most serious types of cancer that can cause severe pain in the right ribs. Tumors can lead to the swelling of the liver and spleen. A lot of times, cancer does not start at the liver but comes from other portions of the body which spreads to the liver.
Common symptoms of liver cancer are yellow skin, swelling of the abdomen, pain in the right blade, weight loss and severe pain in the ribs.
If there is injury or trauma that is near the liver, this can be considered fatal. Some common trauma include gunshots, 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
Fatty liver disease refers to the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver. Fatty liver disease may cause pain in your upper right abdomen.This is the most common symptom of fatty liver disease.
In general there are two main types of fatty liver:
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) -This may be caused by virus infection, overweight, hypercholesterolemia or autoimmune diseases. But there is not enough research to prove the exact cause.
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) – The common cause of this condition is excess alcohol intake. The pain caused by AFLD often aggravates after a heavy drink.
10.Cysts of the Liver
Liver cysts is a small cystic fluid formed in the liver that can cause the liver to become enlarged and painful. The other symptoms include swelling and excruciating pain in the upper abdomen.
The cyst may also causes bleeding in the liver.The pain may disappear once bleeding stops. If the pain persists, you’d better go to the hospital immediately.
Hemochromatosis refers too much iron in the liver caused by some medical conditions. Although iron is very important for your health, but too much iron can cause the deposition of iron in the liver. This could cause the liver to swell and get damaged.
Hemochromatosis is a disease that is difficult to detect early, you may feel weak, joint pain, stomach pain, weight loss and liver pain.
Some illnesses such as gastric ulcer, GERD, pancreatitis, right lung problem, right spine problem, gallbladder disease can be mistaken for a liver issue.
The gallbladder is located just under the liver. It can secrete bile to digest food. You may have a high liver enzyme levels when you have a gallbladder disease.
How to Prevent Liver Pain and Strengthen Your Liver
Prevention is always better than cure so take a look at your lifestyle right now and do the necessary changes. There are a lot of natural ingredients in the foods that will help remove the toxins from your body.
Drinking plenty of water is very helpful for your health, it can helps clear the liver’s toxins and improve blood circulation. It also can help stimulates the secretion of bile to help the liver digest food.
Eight glasses of water a day can effectively help prevent liver pain and benefit your overall health.
2.Lessen Your Alcohol Intake
Excessive drinking can cause damage to the liver, as alcohol can disrupt normal liver function and cause alcoholic hepatitis and liver pain.
A study from the Journal of Hepatology found that even a small amount of daily alcohol consumption will increase the risk of developing cirrhosis and other diseases. Therefore, you should try to avoid heavy drinking.
3.Improve Your Oral Hygiene
According to the latest study, there is a link between your oral hygiene and liver disease. Good oral hygiene practices include regular brushing, using of natural toothpaste, good brushing methods. This can help remove bacteria from the mouth and prevent them from invading your body organs.
4.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 can help improve blood health. They also have antioxidants that can keep the body healthy overall. If you are not too fond of eating beets, you may substitute it with some leafy greens.
You can also try some natural diet to strengthen your liver.Here are 16 Foods that Will Cleanse Your Liver Naturally
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.
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.
7.Get Enough Vitamins Everyday
The health of liver need some important vitamins. Make sure that you get Vitamins K, A and B1. However, do not consume too much iron as this can cause problems with the liver in the long run.
8.A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can effectively enhance your liver function, prevent the damage from alcohol and bacteria.
- Reduce the consuming of sugar and eat more green leafy vegetables.
- Green leafy vegetables have an antioxidant function that can help clean the liver and reduce the toxins in the liver. At the same time, it can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and liver disease.
- Cruciferous vegetables such as kohlrabi, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli can help the body prevent various diseases.
- Eat more healthy foods such as seeds, beans, olive oil, fish, and seafood. These foods contain large amounts of Omega-3 which can effectively help reduce the impact of liver disease.