The liver is a glandular organ that performs many (hundreds!) vital functions in the human body. This is one of the few organs that are able to regenerate: instead of the lost tissues, new ones slowly "grow up". However, liver disease is extremely dangerous and can have a fatal outcome. The organ is located in the abdominal cavity, under the diaphragm, on the right. Normally, the lower edge of the liver does not protrude below the border of the lower rib. There are two parts:
• Left - it is smaller;
• The right one - it's bigger, it has a tapering ending;
We have already said about the ability of the liver to self-repair. However, it is important to emphasize that a limited number of divisions are provided for each hepatocyte. In other words, regeneration is not infinite, but only to generate tempered resource. In addition, this is a long process, requiring considerable energy costs. And pathologies often develop faster than the recovery, and significantly weaken the body.
There is not a single process in our body in which this body was not involved anyway. However, we distinguish four most important functions:
1. Detoxification of toxins - the blood enters the liver, which is "chemically treated" here. As a result, life-threatening substances are transformed into harmless substances or pass into a form that is most easily excreted from the body.
2. Excretory - the liver produces bile, which by special channels enters the gallbladder, from which it is excreted into the intestinal lumen. This is the most important secret, ensuring proper digestion of food.
3. Energy - in the liver there is a synthesis of glucose, which is the main source of energy for the body as a whole and, mainly, for the brain. Also, glucose accumulates here in the form of a special compound.
4. Depot - the liver is a "storehouse" for a variety of substances needed for metabolism. In addition, in the blood vessels of this organ there is always a considerable amount of blood. With a sharp loss of blood, spasm (contraction) of these vessels occurs - and blood is thrown into the bloodstream.
We can distinguish such pathologies:
1. Hepatitis - inflammatory processes in the liver, with acute or chronic course, caused by various causes.
2. Cirrhosis is the "degeneration" of the liver tissue into connective tissue, which by no means performs the functions of this organ. It can be caused not only by the abuse of alcoholic beverages, but also by any other pathology of the liver, autoimmune reactions (when the immune system "attacks" its own organs).
3. Infiltration - accumulation in the tissues of foreign inclusions. An example is fatty degeneration of the liver, in which fat is stored in hepatocytes. This significantly weakens the function of the hepatic tissue. 4. Cysts - proliferation of connective tissue, compressing liver tissue and interfering with its functioning.
5. Parasite infestations - some parasites, for example, echinococci, opisthorchia may live in the tissues of the liver, bile ducts.
6. Hematological problems - various violations of blood supply to the liver, hemangiomas and so on.
7. Oncological diseases - liver cancer is often found. Predisposing factors are any other pathologies of this organ (listed above).
Also, it is necessary to mention diseases of the bile duct and bladder, which, also, are located in the liver. The most frequent inflammatory processes (cholecystitis) and cholelithiasis. One of the most painful manifestations of the latter can be hepatic colic.
First you need to figure out the liver pain location. This, of course, is the area of the right hypochondrium, the epigastric region (just below the center of the chest, at the "junction" of the chest and abdomen, behind the xiphoid process), as well, the entire abdomen, lower back, right shoulder blade, shoulder, collarbone.
But rarely a sudden liver pain comes. Practically always at first the person feels heaviness in the right part under ribs or hardly below. These sensations can appear or intensify after:
• abundant fatty meal, overeating in general;
• taking alcohol or drugs that adversely affect the liver;
• physical activity.
Most patients of gastroenterologists and hepatologists can recall periods when discomforts appeared and passed, and then became permanent.
In parallel, the following symptoms appear:
• general weakness;
• disability, sleep;
• decreased appetite, weight loss;
• yellow shade sclera (eye proteins), nail platinum, skin;
• occurrence of small hemorrhages;
• plaque in a yellowish tongue;
• burping "rotten eggs";
• a feeling of nausea;
• staining the urine in a dark color, and feces - in a light color.
Any of these phenomena, especially their combination, should make you consult a doctor. After all, many liver diseases are reversible and are not amenable to treatment at the early stages.
Biliary colic is a condition that causes stones in the bile duct and bladder. When they damage the walls of these organs, they clog their lumen - there is colic. It feels like an intense pain that compresses or expands the right hypochondrium. With severe liver pain, nausea and vomiting are possible. The duration of colic is from a few minutes to several hours.
What to do in liver pain?
We only superficially indicated the possible causes of discomfort and pain in the liver. Their detailed research is engaged in the field of medicine - gastroenterology.
It is important for any person to know about the main symptoms of liver trouble (we told about them above) and immediately contact specialists if at least one of them appears. Feelings of heaviness in the right side, general poor health, plaque in the language - is already enough for a visit to the doctor. If you do not have the opportunity to visit a doctor right away, stick to a diet that will help reduce the burden on the liver:
• Exclude fried, fatty, red meat;
• Eat mashed vegetable soups, sour-milk products, dry white bread, chicken, turkey, stew or steamed fish.
• Drink jelly, more pure water.
What not to do in liver pain?
Self-activity against your own liver is dangerous! You should not "clean" it with popular methods. A healthy liver does not need our help. And for a weakened organ such manipulations are unacceptable. Do not heat or cool the right side. When the doctor determines the cause of the liver pain, he will tell you whether the heat (or cold) is useful in your case. Do not take painkiller and generally self-"appoint" you a cure. Again, if you start treatment at an early stage of the disease - the liver can fully recover. But while you drown out discomfort and pain - the pathology will move to a more difficult stage.