Person clutching his side from experiencing severe liver pain

Have upper abdominal or liver pain? Here's what it could be

Today, we want to discuss a topic that is often overlooked — upper abdominal pain, sometimes referred to as “liver pain” and its potential causes. As one of the largest organs in the human body, the liver is responsible for many vital functions, including filtering toxins from the blood, producing bile to aid digestion, and storing energy.

Unfortunately, due to diet, medication, and underlying medical conditions, the liver can become inflamed and painful, which is a cause for concern.

Let's explore the potential causes of liver pain and how to address it.


What causes liver pain or upper abdominal pain?

Upper abdominal pain, which people may describe as “liver pain” can have many causes, and identifying the underlying reason is the first step toward finding the right treatment.

  • Liver disease. One common cause of upper abdominal or liver pain is liver disease, like hepatitis or cirrhosis, which can result in inflammation and damage to the liver.
  • Infection. Another cause of upper abdominal or liver pain may be an infection, such as mono or a parasite.
  • Cancer. In some cases, liver pain can be a symptom of cancer in either the liver or abdominal organs like the pancreas that has spread to the liver.
  • Gallstones and pancreatitis. Harden deposits of bile called gallstones can obstruct the bile ducts and cause liver pain. Likewise, pancreatitis, which can cause inflammation and swelling in the pancreas, may also extend to the liver.
  • Muscle strain. A muscle strain in the abdominal area can cause liver pain, as the liver is located right beneath the rib cage on the upper right side of the body.

Seek medical attention at your local CityMD urgent care if you are experiencing any discomfort or pain in the area near your liver. The underlying cause may require treatment to prevent further damage or complications.


How to differentiate gallbladder and liver pain

Gallbladder and liver pain can feel similar. Both organs are in the upper-right quadrant of the abdomen. However, some key differences can help differentiate between the two conditions.

Gallbladder pain typically occurs in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen and may radiate to the right shoulder or back. It is often described as a sharp, stabbing pain that may worsen after eating, especially fatty or greasy foods.

In more severe cases, gallbladder pain may cause nausea, vomiting, fever, or jaundice.

On the other hand, upper abdominal or liver pain may feel more like a dull ache or pressure in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. It may also be accompanied by fatigue, weakness, or general discomfort. Liver pain is often associated with liver disease or inflammation and may get worse with alcohol consumption or by taking certain medications.


What STDs cause liver problems?

Several sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can affect the liver.

One of the most well-known is hepatitis B, caused by a virus that is commonly transmitted through sexual contact. Hepatitis B can lead to liver inflammation, which can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

Other STDs, like syphilis and HIV, can also potentially affect the liver if left untreated, although this is less common. It's important to practice safe sex and get tested regularly to prevent the spread of STDs and catch any potential infections early on.


STDs and liver pain

STD testing may not directly address liver pain or upper abdominal pain, but it's essential to maintain your overall health and well-being. Many sexually transmitted infections can cause liver damage or inflammation, such as hepatitis B and C. By getting tested for STDs, you can identify and address potential infections before they cause more health problems.

At CityMD, we offer comprehensive STD testing, including screening for hepatitis B and C. Our providers can also recommend treatment options and referrals to specialists for further care. Our friendly and professional staff can help guide you through the STD testing process and answer any questions that you may have.

Remember, taking care of your sexual health is essential to maintaining overall wellness, and CityMD is here to support you every step of the way.


Address liver pain at CityMD

At CityMD, we understand that liver pain can be concerning and uncomfortable, and we're here to help.

Whatever the cause, CityMD's providers are here to evaluate your symptoms, perform necessary tests, and develop a personalized treatment plan to address your liver pain.

Walk right into any of our urgent care locations if you experience any liver pain or other medical concerns.

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Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.