4 Ways To Manage Liver Pain: Complete Guide 2024
The upper right-hand area of the abdomen houses the liver, a vital organ in our body. This reddish-brown organ weighs approximately three pounds.
This organ located above the stomach and intestines has more importance than we can even fathom. The liver aids in processing chemicals and metabolites, errors that can lead to digestive and kidney diseases.
Further liver conducts the processing of nutrients derived from the small intestine. Bile secreted by the liver helps the digestive system to reach its full functional potential. Hence a crucial organ like this needs to stay fit.
But many factors can make it affected or diseased, causing pain, among other symptoms. Read here to explore causes and treatments for liver pain.
What is Liver Pain?
The liver lacks pain receptors or nerve fibers equipped to sense pain. So cutting or burning the organ never causes any feeling of pain.
So, what gives liver pain? A tissue layer surrounding the whole liver contains pain fibers. When the liver gets inflamed or injured, the layer becomes stretched and thus stimulates the pain fibers present. And in this way, you experience liver pain.
What Causes Liver Pain?
This condition is inflammation of the liver brought about by viral pathogens. Hepatitis types and hepatitis viruses, which are given below, are the same.
- Hepatitis C, B, A, C and E
Irrespective of the type, the hepatitis virus rarely causes distinct symptoms in the initial stage. But as the infection progresses, affected individuals can feel pain in the upper abdomen where the liver is located.
Excess alcohol drinking can bring life-threatening impacts. Alcohol damages hepatocytes and thus hampers liver actions. Further, heavy drinking leads to inflammation of the mentioned organ.
Importantly, drinking habits replace the liver cells with scar tissue. The increase in the severity of liver tissue scarring leads to decompensated cirrhosis.
Thus the affected organ fails to process wastes and toxic substances. And unrestrained alcohol consumption can lead to liver failure.
Notably, you get alcoholic hepatitis due to liver inflammation caused by high alcohol intake. This type of hepatitis cause pain and tenderness in the abdominal wall.
Several factors like diabetes, fat gain, or high-fat foods lead to the deposition of fats in the liver. Excess fat accumulation can also happen due to high alcohol intake.
You get fatty liver disease due to high fats in the liver. The disease causes no prominent symptoms. But when it does, it brings pain in the area of the liver and abdominal discomfort.
Being one of the largest organs in the body, the liver has a greater area to get affected by accidents or falls. Liver injury causes pain and swelling in the area of the abdomen.
Also, you may experience bleeding in case of severe injuries.
Further side effects of medicines can also cause liver injury. And that brings our attention to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medicines are associated with rare yet known causes of liver damage and injury.
The gallbladder, being situated underneath the liver, can influence the feelings associated with the liver or its location. Gallstones can give pain that you may mistake as pain generated from the liver.
This pain may spread from the abdomen to the shoulder areas.
Liver cancer causes pain in highly-progressed final stages. The pain associated with liver cancer can occur in places other than your abdomen.
This liver disease carries life-threatening impacts. Liver tumors or cancer can cause chronic liver failure, for which you may need liver transplantation. If you feel any severe pain and a lump in the abdomen or liver location, you need to contact doctors.
Liver Abscess or Cyst
Abscess refers to a pus-filled pocket. And fungal, parasitic, or bacterial infections can cause a liver abscess. This may induce a feeling of pain or discomfort in the abdomen.
On the other hand, cysts are pockets filled with body fluids. These occur without any infection. And when these bleed, you feel intense pain in the liver.
Problems in Kidney
The functions of the kidney and liver are synchronized owing to both their involvements in waste removal.
So kidney disease heavily hampers toxin removal, which in turn puts pressure on the liver. And thus, you may get pain resulting from the affected or diseased liver.
When the immune system attacks liver cells, you develop autoimmune hepatitis. This causes inflammation in the liver, causing pain as one of its symptoms.
Several genetic causes can affect the liver resulting in pain and other symptoms. Wilson disease, a recessive inherited disorder, causes copper accumulation in the liver. This disease includes liver transplants to bring a cure.
Other genetic diseases affecting the liver include “alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency” and hemochromatosis. These diseases cause liver injury, for which you may need a liver transplant.
How Do I Know If I’m Having Liver Pain?
People have different sensations and thresholds for pain severity. So, you can feel the pain in different ways.
Commonly, affected people feel pain in the said organ as a “dull throbbing.” In severe cases, you may feel a sharp pain or consistent stabbing.
Most often, the pain can migrate to other body parts. You can feel discomfort in your back region or shoulder blade.
But, you may confuse the organ’s pain with general abdominal pain. So, check for associated symptoms like loss of appetite and high blood pressure or portal hypertension.
Further, you can look for the presence of spider-like blood vessels, another sign caused by liver disease. The appearance of spider veins happens due to fat deposition in the liver, which slows blood flow.
Also, pain in the liver, happening due to hepatic diseases, can come with discolored or rough skin. Opt for a complete diagnosis to confirm your case.
Where is Liver Pain Normally Located?
It mostly occurs in the right part of the upper abdomen. But other tissues or organs may also cause pain in the same region.
However, it’s important to note 82% of people with cirrhosis report pain in the upper-right side of the abdominal wall. So, major cases of pain in the abdomen bear a possibility of liver pain.
Moreover, pain from the mentioned organ can spread to other body parts. You may experience pain in the shoulder blade which is coming from the liver.
Associated Risk Factors
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Family record of liver diseases
- Taking prescription drugs excessively
- Lack of healthy diet
- Unprotected sex
- Use of shared needles during blood tests, transfusion, or injecting drugs
- Exposure to harmful aerosol sprays of paints, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides
- Unsupervised use of widely available health supplements
- High Cholesterol
When is Liver Pain Serious?
You can eliminate the pain by stopping alcohol drinking or developing a healthy lifestyle. And that type of pain happening occasionally or not frequently can be considered mild.
But, liver pain can be considered serious if it shows any or each of the aspects given below.
- Develops too quickly
- Continues for a longer time
- Too intense to tolerate
- Makes it difficult to perform daily work
But despite the intensity of the pain, you need the involvement of doctors to remediate the damage already caused.
Diagnosis of Liver Pain
Liver pain is not a disease or illness. But it can be a symptom of many liver diseases. If you are experiencing liver or abdominal pain, your doctor will attempt to relate the pain to diseases. Health experts conduct a physical examination to detect fluid buildup and changes in skin texture and color.
Precisely, doctors opt for three diagnostic methods for the diagnosis of liver diseases. These methods include blood tests and imaging tests like MRI and CT scans.
Also, tests like MRI can evaluate pressure in the portal vein. Liver disease can affect the portal vein, and thus the vein pressure can be used for diagnosis.
Further, doctors may carry out a liver biopsy by examining a small sample of affected liver tissue. They can use a specialized ultrasound to determine the level of scar tissue and fat in the liver. Doctors may also use complete blood count to measure red blood cells, which may get affected by liver disease.
How is Live Pain Treated?
Severe pain in the liver necessitates taking urgent medical help. On the other hand, natural remedies can resolve mild or moderate pain to a greater extent.
But, irrespective of the pain severity of the liver, it’s wise to consult a doctor. Oftentimes, the best bet is to combine natural remedies with medicinal ones and supplements. Read on to explore the various treatments for liver pain or diseases.
1. Non-Medical Treatment/Home Remedies
American Liver Foundation tags “healthy diet” as a significant lifestyle change to help your liver stay active and healthy. And that includes cutting excess fats and salts from your diet.
Further, unhealthy foods create stress on the liver, preventing the organ from reaching its maximum potential. So once you start eating healthy, you make your liver free from the buildup of toxic metabolites and excess fat.
Moreover, eating well helps to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. And maintaining a healthy body mass prevents the rise of diseases that may deteriorate liver function.
Experts recommend regular exercise to have a healthy and functional liver. Moreover, many studies have highlighted the power of exercise in giving you a fit liver.
As a study shows, aerobic exercise may protect the liver from the inflammation caused by alcohol. Further, any aerobic exercise, including running, gets special important for improving the health of organs, including the liver. Aerobic exercises improve blood oxygenation and thus promote the better transfer of oxygen to the liver and other organs.
Further, exercises help in preventing obesity, a factor with too much potential for causing liver diseases. But patients with cirrhosis or severe liver pain may not seem fit for exercise.
However, recent evidence highlights the benefits of exercise in patients with cirrhosis. The best measure is to evaluate the suitability of your fitness level with the complexity of your selected exercise. Consult with doctors and fitness experts if you have liver disease and want to exercise.
With that being said, exercises act as the best strategy for preventing chronic liver disease in otherwise healthy people.
Stress affects every organ, including the liver. Notably, anxiety or depression can worsen the condition of liver disease and further deteriorates overall health. And thus, you get an increased risk of death or liver failure.
Further stress negatively impacts blood flow and thus affects liver health. Importantly, stress sends your immune system on high alert, causing liver inflammation.
These bad effects of stress on the liver necessitate proper stress management. The presence of stress is evident but how you deal with it makes a difference. Thankfully there are many inexpensive ways to stress management.
Learn to take breaks and write down your thoughts and negative emotions. Make time for things you like and practice positive self-talk. And thus, you can make way for having better liver and mental health.
Not many medicines are available for treating liver disease. The liver aids the processing of medicines which itself exposes the organ to drug reactions. And that reduces the medicines available for treating liver disease.
Further, when you have liver disease or pain, you need to be careful about the type and dose of medicines.
Notably, the medicines vary based on the cause of liver disease or pain. For example, doctors use antivirals like lamivudine to treat hepatitis B. On the other hand, Harvoni is used for curing hepatitis C.
Further, you need medicines to address non-pathogenic causes of liver troubles. Doctors use acetylcysteine for treating acute liver failure if you have an acetaminophen overdose.
Also, the liver can suffer from undesired high levels of metabolites or physiological intermediates. Lactulose reduces the ammonia overload in the liver, followed by its effective removal. Also, rifaximin helps to treat patients with hepatic encephalopathy, which results from the liver’s failure to process toxic substances.
However, medicines may not be always effective for treating severe liver disease. In extreme cases, you require dialysis or a liver transplant.
3. Supplements for the Liver
1. Best Supplement To Support Liver Function: Organifi Liver Reset
This herbal supplement comes in the form of capsules. The formulation of the product includes natural ingredients like dandelion root, Triphala, artichoke extract, and milk thistle.
These components aid in maintaining the healthy functions of the liver. And thus, the formulation boosts the natural cleansing mechanism of the said organ.
Moreover, the Organifi supplement improves overall metabolism, which positively impacts liver cells. So you get a well-knit mechanism of having good liver health thanks to the product’s well-balanced and natural components.
Full Article: Organifi Liver Reset Reviews 2024: Does it Really Work?
2. Targets The Overworked Liver and Restores Optimal Function: Reliver Pro
This supplement comes in the form of capsules. The formulation of the supplement contains raspberry, turmeric root, jujube seeds, and sylibum-marianum, which help in treating liver damage.
Further, the supplement contains berberine which promotes well-maintained fat metabolism in the liver. Thus, the product helps in preventing the accumulation of fats.
Moreover, the ingredients in the supplement impart the goodness of antioxidants. Thus the natural composition of Reliver Pro prevents toxin build-up in the liver and protects the organ from cellular toxicity.
Full Article: Reliver Pro Reviews 2024: Does it Really Work?
3. Maintains Healthy Liver Function and Facilitates Detoxification: Bridport Health Liver Support
Another supplement in our list, Bridport liver support, contains a blend of plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals. The unique formula of the supplement helps the liver to acquire its maximum functional capacity.
Moreover, the inclusion of natural components cleanses the liver without imparting any ill effects. Notably, the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant actions of the supplement constituents give you healthy liver tissue.
Also, the supplement helps in safeguarding the liver from damage from alcohol-related liver disease. Importantly, the Bridport supplement helps maintain the proper function of the bile duct. And that aids in maintaining good health of the liver.
Thus with the Bridport supplement, you get full support in having a fully functional, healthy liver.
4. Advanced Liver Support Formula: Triple Health Liver Support
This supplement focuses on the cure of abdominal swelling and discolored and itchy skin, the hallmarks of serious liver damage. And the natural extracts present in the supplement aid in restoring the healthy activity of the liver.
Speaking about natural extracts, we need to focus on the well-balanced and effective ingredients present in the product. The presence of yarrow, chicory, and jujube seeds blesses your liver with optimum protection and protection from free radicals.
Specifically, the supplement helps to improve the condition of hepatocytes, the cells which make up 90% of the liver and carry the organ’s main functions. And this is how the Triple health support supercharges the overall liver health.
Moreover, the supplement contributes to the detoxification of the liver. And that aids in eliminating the risks of liver damage resulting from alcohol abuse and toxic metabolites.
Full Article: Triple Liver Health Reviews 2024: Does it Really Work?
5. Top-Selling Liver-Nourishing Supplement: Vitapost Liver
This is available as capsules. The supplement contains all-natural ingredients to establish efficacy for supporting liver function. Further, ingredients like chicory root, beetroot, yarrow, and artichoke aid in improving the actions of the liver.
Also, another component of the Vitapost Liver, chanca piedra, creates a suitable micro-environment for the liver that prevents its malfunctioning. And this protects the liver from cellular damage.
Importantly, the Vitapost safeguards the liver from the side effects of medicines and high-sugar and high-fat diets, and alcohol abuse. But that never implies you will continue with alcohol consumption, prescription drug abuse, or an unhealthy diet while having Vitapost supplement. People wanting to recover from the ill effects of drugs, unhealthy foods, or alcohol can use this supplement.
4. GuideBook for Liver Treatment
Holistic Liver Disease Prevention: The Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Solution
This eBook offers a holistic program for healing the damaged liver. The included program comes with lucid instructions and time-based guidelines.
Precisely, the program given in the book carries three simple steps and 28 days guidelines. And that lets you easily integrate the program into your routine.
Notably, the eBook mainly sheds light on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. And it helps you to understand fatty liver conditions well, thereby promoting better management of liver damage.
Further, being devoid of a strict diet and impossible health standards, the eBook gives a detox diet. By following the diet, you can shed extra fat from the liver. Also, the given exercises help in fat burning, which improves the health of organs like the liver.
How To Prevent Liver Pain?
- Include foods high in antioxidants like blueberries, walnuts, grapefruit, and artichokes
- Say no to smoking and drinking
- Include exercise and develop a plan that you can maintain
- Not having unprotected sex
- Watch out for the level of hygiene practiced while getting haircuts, tattoos, or body piercings
- Consult your doctor before taking any supplement
- Don’t exceed the dosage of prescription drugs
- Stop taking drugs
Even if you inject drugs, don’t use shared needles, which expose you to the body fluids of other people.
Further, stopping any addiction, whether it involves alcohol or drugs, is not easy. To promote an easy recovery, talk to addiction support groups or mental health experts.
Many causes can produce pain in the liver, one of the important organs in the body. However, not all causes are directly linked to the liver. You can feel pain in the abdomen or liver’s location due to gallstones or kidney troubles.
Risk factors for pain in the liver include unprotected sex, obesity, and unhealthy foods. And causes include both non-pathogenic ones (alcohol) and pathogens (hepatitis b). Genetic causes also lead to liver disease and pain.
In severe cases, liver disease leads to liver failure, showing ineffectiveness in processing waste. Remedies for liver disease or pain can involve a liver transplant.
To keep your liver healthy or its protection from harmful substances, you can use natural supplements. Taking help from an eBook also sounds fine and effective.
Liver Pain FAQs
Does severe pain in the liver always indicate liver disease?
Many causes contribute to liver pain. So, the pain most often indicates a disease that may or may not stem from the liver. You can get liver pain due to hepatitis, cirrhosis, abscess, or excess alcohol consumption.
Further, cholangitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the bile duct, can cause liver pain. Most importantly, extreme liver pain occurs during near-end-stage liver disease.
Does abdominal pain always refer to liver pain?
In most cases, people feel abdominal pain that stems from liver problems. But causes not involving the liver also lead to abdominal pain. You can experience abdominal pain due to kidney stones and infection and bladder infection or inflammation.
Further, ectopic pregnancy can lead to pain in the abdomen region. But causes like these are occasional or situational. So if you feel discomfort or pain in your abdomen regularly, you need to consult your doctors.
How to detect whether you have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
Nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases encompass liver diseases in people who don’t drink alcohol. These usually come with no early symptoms in the initial stage.
But, these diseases or conditions can cause pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. Since pain is common in many health conditions, check for other aspects like swelling or skin color changes.