When you're told you may possibly have a liver condition, more than a few questions about the possiblity of liver pain immediately come to mind. The first is logical: what's the cause of my liver pain? But you'll also want to know where will it hurt if it happens? How severe will it be? How long will it last? We'll spotlight the answers to these questions in this article.
Not everybody experiences liver pain to the same degree. Some persons characterize it as powerful and even incapacitating. Others claim their liver pain isn't sharp at all, but is rather a dull, aching tenderness or soreness in the vicinity of the lower rib cage. These persons say they feel slightly swollen or bloated.
Pain in the liver area is mostly in the right front side of the trunk, around the bottom of the chest. For some people however, the pain occurs in the region of the right shoulder. It can hurt to breathe or cough.
Liver pain can be linked to a problem with the liver itself, but there can also be secondary liver pain caused by a problem elsewhere in the body, particularly the gallbladder, blood vessels or bile ducts.
If the pain is actually coming from the liver itself, it is frequently because of some kind of inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most usual causes of pain in the liver.
If pain in the liver area does not come directly from the liver, it may instead be caused by an obstruction in the bile duct by a stone. This sort of liver pain, also known as biliary colic, ordinarily occurs rapidly and can go on as long as several hours. Tenderness starts in the upper middle quadrant or right upper quadrant but could also occur between the shoulder blades or shoulders.
Pain in the liver from biliary colic is most likely to materialize after eating a calorie-rich, fatty meal.
Additional causes of pain in liver area can be cholangitis, or inflammation of the bile duct, gall bladder disease, hepatitis, and liver abscess. At times liver cysts also result in liver pain.
Generally, certain medications are effective in relieving pain in the liver region. These include NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that limit symptoms of swelling and pain, meperidine (also known as Demerol), and morphine. Your doctor will prescribe the most appropriate medication for your liver pain depending on his or her diagnosis of the cause and the magnitude of distress.