Liver Pain

Learn the details about liver pain.

Liver Pain

Liver pain can be caused by a wide variety of ailments. The pain is felt in the upper-right quadrant, usually underneath the rib cage. Liver pain location may vary slightly, and in some cases can be felt in conjunction with back pain. It can be sharp, but typically is felt as a dull ache.

Medical causes

There are many potential causes of liver pain. Some possibilities are mentioned below, and you can select one from the list to read more about that particular disease or condition:

Bearn-Kunkel syndrome
Chronic hepatitis
Dubin-Johnson syndrome
Fatty liver disease
Heart failure
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Liver abscess
Liver cancer
Liver failure
Peptic ulcer disease
Toxic overload
VLCAD deficiency
Weil syndrome


Other symptoms may accompany liver pain. The following are some of the possibilities (some of these, found with liver discomfort, may indicate a serious condition):

Portal hypertension; breathing troubles; eating disorders; exhaustion; itching; jaundice; pain when breathing or coughing; right shoulder pain; swollen testes


Liver pain and abdominal pain in general are sometimes confused with each other. For reference purposes on this site, all upper-right abdominal pain is considered as potentially being liver pain. A doctor or medical professional may be able to determine the difference between particular types of pain in the abdomen, and whether they are related to the liver itself. Kidney pain is distinguished as it is located below the liver. Pancreas pain is also distinct, as it is also underneath.

Excessive drinking, or alcohol abuse, is commonly associated with liver pain. However, such pain as a symptom after drinking may also imply another underlying cause (such as hepatitis), which could itself be caused or worsened by the alcohol.

Diagnosis and treatment

A doctor may use some of the other present symptoms to assist in making a diagnosis of the liver pain cause. Treatment methods that may be used vary based on the diagnosis of the underlying cause. You can learn more about the particular potential causes mentioned on this site. Liver pain treatment methods may also include symptomatic options to relieve the pain and other symptoms experienced by the patient.

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