Liver Pain

Learn the details about liver pain.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a form of inflammation which hits the pancreas. The condition can appear in two different ways: acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. Liver pain is one of the possible symptoms that can be caused by pancreatitis.

Symptoms

Pancreatitis symptoms may vary in individual cases and patients. Some potential symptoms may include the following:

Abdominal tenderness
Elevated heart rate
Elevated respiratory rate
Fatty, foul smelling stools (steatorrhea)
High blood pressure (with pain) or low blood pressure (if dehydration or internal bleeding are at play)
Indigestion
Internal bleeding
Nausea
Pain in the liver area
Pain radiation to the back
Upper abdominal pain (may be severe, may increase after eating)
Vomiting
Weight loss



Causes

Pancreatitis has different potential underlying medical causes. Some of these causes might include:

Acute hepatic porphyrias
Autoimmune pancreatitis
Certain medications
Elevated calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia)
Hereditary pancreatitis
High triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)
Pancreas divisum (congenital malformation)
Small blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis) in the pancreas
Trauma (abdomen or other location)
Viral infections (mumps and other coxsackieviruses, for instance)


Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of pancreatitis is done by a doctor or other medical professional. Generally, two out of three distinguishing features should be present for a diagnosis: abdominal pain distinct in acute pancreatitis, CT scan distinguishing features, and blood lipase and/or amylase levels greater than three times the upper normal limit.

Pancreatitis treatment depends upon factors such as the patient, the severity and stage of the pancreatitis, as well as others. Pain relievers may be given for symptomatic treatment. Fluids and salts may be replaced by IV in some cases. Oral intake may be limited in order to avoid potential infections and stimulation of the pancreas. Additionally, complications of the pancreatitis and the treatments given may also be checked.

Return home to read about other potential causes of liver pain.