The liver is a large organ in the upper right abdomen, just below the rib cage. It is responsible for a few important functions, that include manufacturing proteins, filtering toxins from the blood, producing bile, and regulating blood sugar levels. Because the liver performs so many critical functions, it is susceptible to different diseases and conditions that can cause liver pain.
Liver pain can be a confusing symptom. It is often described as a dull ache in the upper right abdomen, just below the rib cage. But sometimes it can be more severe and feel like a sharp, stabbing sensation. It is important to note that liver pain is not always felt in the same location. In some cases, it can be felt in the upper left abdomen, just below the breastbone.
In addition to pain, there are a few other symptoms that can be associated with liver pain. These include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, jaundice, and abdominal swelling. Individuals experiencing liver pain must see a doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible. They will likely perform a physical examination and order tests, including blood tests, ultrasound, CT scan, and biopsy to identify the cause of liver pain.
For most people, the liver is an organ that goes unnoticed until something goes wrong. It’s only when we start to experience symptoms like pain in the upper right abdomen, fatigue, or yellowing of the skin and eyes that we realize just how important this humble organ is. And for people with viral hepatitis, liver pain is an all too common occurrence.
What exactly is viral hepatitis? Viral hepatitis is a group of viruses that primarily affect the liver. These viruses can be classified into five main types: hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A and E are typically acquired through contaminated food or water, while hepatitis B, C, and D are usually transmitted through blood or other body fluids. Regardless of how they’re contracted, all types of viral hepatitis can cause liver inflammation and damage. In severe cases, viral hepatitis can even lead to liver failure.
Liver pain is often one of the first noticeable symptoms of viral hepatitis. This pain is usually felt in the upper right abdomen, just under the ribcage. In some cases, the pain may be mild and go unnoticed. However, for others, the pain can be quite severe and may interfere with daily activities.