The liver is one of the largest organs you have in the abdomen. It sits under the ribs the size of a football, and it is one of the most important organs for metabolism. Everything you eat and drink goes through the liver before reaching your heart and being conducted to the rest of the body through the circulation.
The liver has thousands of enzymes and metabolizes body chemistry in many ways. It is where energy is stored for long fasting periods. Interestingly, the liver does not have pain receptors, but you can feel liver pain when this organ is severely damaged. Inflammation and injury to the surrounding tissues give us distinct pain that we can detect and delimitate.
In this article, we present the most important facts about liver pain, when to go to the doctor and what you can do to relieve the symptoms.
Liver pain area
Liver pain is usually located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. This type of pain is dull and difficult to pinpoint because the liver is very large and does not have specific pain receptors. Instead, the peritoneum receives the sensation of pain, which is the inner lining of the abdomen. Pain receptors in this area are triggered by inflammatory cytokines, other inflammatory substances, the pressure of swollen organs, and more.
Thus, pain in this area can be caused by liver conditions and other organs that share the same space—for example, the ascending and transverse colon, the gallbladder, and sometimes the stomach. Sometimes liver pain can be felt in the front center of the stomach instead of the upper right quadrant. Thus, recurrent, persistent, and severe abdominal pain, in general, should be carefully investigated to find out its true source.