What can liver pain mean, and how do you deal with it?

Poor eating habits frequently result in liver pain, but it can also be a sign of something more serious, like hepatitis. Talk to your doctor if the pain in your liver gets worse, doesn’t go away, is very severe, or comes with other worrying signs like vomiting, fever, or jaundice.

The liver is a parenchymal organ with digestive functions and is essential for humans to function. It is made up of hepatocytes and divided into lobes, and its role is most commonly linked to the clearance of poisons from the body.

  • digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats,
  • production of bile, which helps in the digestion of fats,
  • production, including among others heparin, glycogen, plasma proteins, and blood coagulation factors,
  • storage of vitamins A, B, and D,
  • participation in the formation and destruction of red blood cells,
  • heat generation.

The liver, due to its functions, is very vulnerable to damage and diseases, e.g., hepatitis, diseases of the bile ducts, liver cirrhosis, or cancer.

Can the liver hurt?

The liver does not ache, but it does make itself known by spreading out and crushing the tissues and organs around it. Diseases can go on for a long time without being found, and are usually found at an advanced stage. The gallbladder is often affected.

Where and how does the liver hurt? Symptoms of liver pain

The liver is located in the abdominal cavity and can cause pain, stinging, and pressure on the right side of the epigastrium.

  • weakness, fatigue,
  • muscle aches,
  • fever,
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin, whites of the eyes, mucous membranes),
  • body itching,
  • dark urine
  • light stool,
  • diarrhea,
  • changes in blood clotting, and as a result, e.g. easy bruising, bleeding,
  • pain in the whole abdomen, 
  • leg swelling,
  • flatulence, heartburn,
  • digestive problems after fatty food.

The right side of the epigastrium may experience pain in addition to these symptoms. One of several issues with this organ can be detected based on the other symptoms and testing.

Causes of liver pain. What can liver pain mean?

The most common causes of liver disorders are a high-fat diet, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels. If you have recurring liver discomfort and other symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Hepatitis, cirrhosis, or malignant alterations can also cause liver disorders.


Hepatitis can occur as a result of:

  • viral infection (hepatitis A, hepatitis B or C),
  • excessive consumption of alcohol,
  • effects of toxic substances, including drugs,
  • disorders of the immune system (the body attacking the liver cells). 

Congenital hepatitis is more common in obese people with high blood pressure or diabetes, and can be caused by congenital defects.


Liver cirrhosis is caused by the formation of scar tissue and damage to the liver’s parenchyma, resulting in a decreased ability to function.

  • hepatitis,
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,
  • some congenital genetic disorders,
  • the action of some drugs, as well as toxic substances (e.g. mushroom poisoning ),

There is also cirrhosis secondary to heart failure.

Liver cancer

Liver cancer is an uncommon malignancy that usually strikes men in their fifth or sixth decade of life, classified into two types.

  • hepatocellular carcinoma – arising from the liver parenchyma,
  • adenocarcinoma – arising from the epithelium of the bile ducts.

The main cause of liver cancer is metastasis from other organs . However, it is worth remembering that the risk of developing liver cancer is increased by such factors as:

  • hepatitis B and C,
  • exposure to toxins (e.g. from mold),
  • excessive alcohol consumption,
  • smoking,
  • and liver infection with parasites.


Gallbladder stones are a disease that happens when cholesterol or bile salts build up in the gallbladder. This can cause acute cholecystitis and a sharp pain in the area of the liver. Other symptoms include vomiting, chills, and a high fever.

How do you deal with liver pain?

The most important details are that Diastolic medicine, painkillers, and a warm hot water bottle or heating pad can help relieve severe liver pain. Additionally, herbs for the liver, natural medicines, and preparations containing plant phospholipids can help a weakened liver. These preparations do not work right away, but when used regularly they reduce symptoms caused by liver overload.

Diet for liver pain

The liver diet is an easily digestible diet with a higher content of easily digestible protein and limited animal fats. It should provide 25-35 kcal/kg/day of energy per day to support the work of the liver.


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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