Liver Pain Medicine
Which painkiller is safe for the liver? – Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol and commonly sold under the brand name Tylenol, is generally the recommended analgesic in patients with liver diseases like cirrhosis. This is because paracetamol, when given in recommended doses, has a proven safety profile.
It also doesn’t produce sedative effects, isn’t toxic to other organs (like the kidneys), and doesn’t carry a risk of addiction. The recommended maximum dosage for acetaminophen is reduced in people with liver failure. A patient with liver disease should take a maximum total dose of 2–3 grams per day.
By contrast, in people with healthy livers, up to 4 grams per day is considered safe. Keep in mind that the dose of acetaminophen is usually measured in milligrams — 2 grams is 2,000 milligrams. Overdose of acetaminophen can cause liver failure, so it’s important to ensure you stay within the safe range.
Other over-the-counter painkillers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are generally considered unsafe for people with liver failure. They can cause liver damage and also carry a risk of major side effects, including kidney damage and bleeding in the digestive tract. This group of medications includes common drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen.
Opiates are also considered to be less safe in people with liver damage. Because the liver normally clears opiates from a person’s bloodstream, it’s easier for people with liver failure to overdose. In addition, opiates can lead to hepatic encephalopathy, which can have severe effects on the brain.
- 0.1 Should I take paracetamol for liver pain?
- 1 Should I take ibuprofen for liver pain?
- 2 Why is my liver so painful?
- 3 How painful is liver pain?
- 4 Can the liver heal itself?
- 5 How do you treat an inflamed liver?
- 6 When should I seek help for liver pain?
What can I take for severe liver pain?
Abstract – Pain management in patients with cirrhosis is a difficult clinical challenge for health care professionals, and few prospective studies have offered an evidence-based approach. In patients with end-stage liver disease, adverse events from analgesics are frequent, potentially fatal, and often avoidable.
- Severe complications from analgesia in these patients include hepatic encephalopathy, hepatorenal syndrome, and gastrointestinal bleeding, which can result in substantial morbidity and even death.
- In general, acetaminophen at reduced dosing is a safe option.
- In patients with cirrhosis, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided to avert renal failure, and opiates should be avoided or used sparingly, with low and infrequent dosing, to prevent encephalopathy.
For this review, we searched the available literature using PubMed and MEDLINE with no limits. OTCA = over-the-counter analgesic; COX-2 = cyclooxygenase 2; CYP = cytochrome P450; FDA = Food and Drug Administration; GFR = glomerular filtration rate; HCV = hepatitis C virus; NAPQI = N -acetyl- p -benzoquinone imine; NSAID = nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; TCA = tricyclic antidepressant Cirrhosis is a substantial public health problem, accounting for approximately 770,000 deaths annually and, according to autopsy studies, affecting 4.5% to 9.5% of the global population.1 Pain management in patients with cirrhosis generates considerable misconception and apprehension among health care professionals.
- In patients with end-stage liver disease, adverse events from analgesics are frequent and can be severe.
- The most important and concerning complications include hepatic encephalopathy, acute renal failure, and gastrointestinal bleeding, which can lead to death in some patients.
- This article is a review (not a systematic review) of the available literature (using PubMed and MEDLINE with no search limits).
The greater the progression of liver dysfunction, the greater the impairment in drug metabolism.2, 3 Patients with asymptomatic chronic liver disease without cirrhosis do not have liver dysfunction, and thus analgesic metabolism is similar to that in the general population.
In patients with severe liver disease but not cirrhosis (eg, severe hepatitis), drug metabolism may be altered, and thus concerns and dose reductions, as discussed in this article, may be warranted.2 – 4 A patient with well-compensated cirrhosis and near-normal synthetic function will have impaired drug metabolism, but to a lesser extent than will patients with abnormal synthetic function or decompensated cirrhosis.
Decompensated cirrhosis can be a result of progressive liver dysfunction, worsened portal hypertension, or both. Such patients may have even greater restrictions on analgesic choice. This article pertains to all patients with cirrhosis (compensated or decompensated) and to patients with liver dysfunction (with elevated bilirubin levels and prothrombin time), whether they do or do not have cirrhosis.
The efficiency of drug removal by the liver relies on hepatic blood flow, hepatic enzyme capacity, and plasma protein binding. Cirrhosis affects all these processes and may also lead to formation of portosystemic shunts by which a drug can circumnavigate hepatic elimination.2, 4 Advanced liver disease and cirrhosis alter the metabolism and effects of many drugs through a variety of mechanisms, including changes in pharmacokinetic behavior, altered accumulation of free drug in plasma, and end-organ response.
Major categories of pain medications, including over-the-counter analgesics (OTCAs) such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as well as cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and opioids, are largely metabolized by the liver.
- Unfortunately, there are no endogenous markers for hepatic clearance that can be used as a guide for drug dosing, nor are there readily available tests to accurately estimate the extent of residual liver function.
- Moreover, there is a paucity of high-quality, prospective data that examine the pharmacology and adverse effect profile of many analgesics in patients with advanced liver dysfunction.
Drug metabolism in general occurs in the liver via 3 mechanisms: (1) oxidation, reduction, or hydrolysis reactions of the hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme system; (2) conjugation to glucuronic acid, sulfate, acetate, glycine, glutathione, or a methyl group; and (3) biliary excretion and elimination.3, 5 The pharmacokinetics of analgesic medications rely heavily on liver and renal function.
Drugs with high hepatic extraction (or first-pass metabolism), such as morphine or fentanyl, have low bioavailability in healthy people but higher bioavailability in cirrhotic patients. For drugs with a low hepatic extraction, such as methadone, liver disease does not impact bioavailability, but hepatic clearance may be altered substantially.
The ability to clear drug metabolites decreases with liver dysfunction, resulting in altered parent drug or metabolite bioavailability and increased toxicity in cirrhotic patients. Thus, if such drugs are administered to cirrhotic patients, the dose should be reduced and/or the drug used less frequently.2 Cirrhotic patients often have low serum protein and albumin concentrations.
If a drug is highly protein bound, a low albumin level can result in increased levels of free drug and consequent increased adverse effects and toxicity.2 In patients with severe cholestasis, the clearance of drugs with high biliary elimination, such as buprenorphine, may also be compromised because of dysfunction of basolateral and/or apical transmembrane transport systems in hepatocytes, requiring dose reduction or avoidance of use of the drug.4, 6, 7 Dosing of analgesic drugs with a predominant renal elimination may require adjustment in patients with liver disease ( Table 1 ).
Cirrhotic patients often have impaired renal function despite a normal serum creatinine level because of poor nutrition and reduced muscle mass resulting in less creatinine production. Therefore, in cirrhotic patients, creatinine clearance should be measured or calculated using the Cockcroft and Gault equation to better estimate the dosing of analgesic drugs that have preponderant renal elimination.2, 8 Because the creatinine clearance tends to overestimate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in cirrhotic patients, the dose of a given drug may still need to be reduced.
Should I take paracetamol for liver pain?
Paracetamol is a suitable first-line analgesic for mild to moderate acute pain in many adults with liver, kidney or cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, asthma, and/or who are older.
How does liver pain go away?
Causes and risk factors for liver disease – Liver disease has several different causes, including:
infectionimmune system problemsgenetic factorstoxic effect of medications cancer chronic alcohol abusefat building up in the liver
Factors that increase the risk of developing a liver disease or a related complication include:
heavy alcohol useinjecting drugs or sharing needlesunprotected sexexposure to certain chemicals or toxins diabetes obesity
Many conditions can cause liver pain, so it is important to find out which one is present. A doctor will carry out a physical examination and look at the person’s health history. Other testing options may include:
blood tests to assess liver function or identify specific liver problems or genetic conditionsimaging tests, such as CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds to assess for liver damagetissue analysis, which involves taking a tissue sample from the liver for a lab test
Sometimes, liver pain will go away after making some lifestyle changes, such as abstaining from alcohol, losing weight, or following a healthful diet. Other problems may require medication or surgery. If there is liver failure, a liver transplant may be needed. What are some other causes of abdominal pain? Find out here. To prevent liver disease, it is advisable to:
drink alcohol in moderationavoid risky behavior, such as sharing drug needles and having unprotected sexget vaccinated against hepatitis, if appropriateget screened for hepatitis, if appropriateuse medications wiselymaintain a healthy weight
Even if liver pain occurs, with proper treatment and lifestyle changes, individuals can lead a normal life.
Should I take ibuprofen for liver pain?
Can you take ibuprofen if you have liver disease? – For people with liver disorders, ibuprofen use has adverse effects. The medication could worsen liver disease since it impairs the liver’s ability to detoxify toxic compounds from the bloodstream. The time it takes for liver damage to manifest can range from days to months, so it’s important to perform frequent blood tests to check for potential harm when on ibuprofen medication.
Why is my liver so painful?
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.
Why does liver pain hurt so much?
Why Does My Liver Hurt? 10 Possible Causes of Liver Pain Medically Reviewed by on November 14, 2022 Your is a football-sized organ that sits under your ribs. It works as your body’s processing plant. Among its more than 500 jobs are to convert food from the small intestine into substances that help you absorb fat and fight off diseases, stockpile energy, and filter and clean your,
- Even though it’s the largest organ inside your body, it can be hard to pinpoint the pain from your liver.
- It’s easy to confuse it with pain from your, just to its left.
- Depending on the cause, a liver that hurts may show up as pain in the front center of your belly, in your back, or even your shoulders.
Your liver doesn’t actually have any pain receptors. Usually, the pain happens because the membrane that surrounds it is inflamed from an illness or injury. Viral is an of your liver. The three most common types are hepatitis A, B, and C. They’re caused by different viruses that infect your liver.
- It can cause pain in the upper right side of your belly, where your liver sits.
- Other signs of hepatitis include dark-colored pee, yellow skin or eyes (known as ), tiredness, nausea, or vomiting.
- Learn more about the types of viral hepatitis.
- Alcoholic hepatitis happens when too much alcohol overtaxes and inflames your liver.
Pain from alcoholic hepatitis may make your abdomen feel tender. You also likely will lose weight and your appetite, be nauseated, run a low-grade fever, and feel tired and weak. Read more on alcoholic hepatitis. Too much weight, diabetes, or a high-cholesterol diet can make too much fat build up in your liver.
Over time, that can scar your liver and keep it from doing its job. usually causes no symptoms. But it can make you tired or give you a constant dull pain either in the right upper part of your belly, or all over it. Learn about diet and lifestyle changes that can help fatty liver disease. Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome is a rare condition in women that causes sudden, severe pain in the upper right section of your belly that might spread to your arm and shoulder.
It’s a bacterial infection. It inflames the tissues around your liver (your doctor might call this perihepatitis) and can affect the lining of the stomach. You’ll also often have fever, chills, headache, and feel ill. Find out more on Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome.
- A bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection in your liver can form an abscess, or a pocket of pus.
- The top right side of your abdomen may be tender.
- Your doctor may be able to feel that your liver is enlarged.
- Usually, you’ll also have fever and chills.
- Are also pockets of fluid, but they aren’t usually infected.
If they are large, they may make you uncomfortable, mostly because you’ll feel “full” in your abdomen. Cysts sometimes can bleed, which can cause sudden, severe pain in your upper right belly and shoulder. Learn about polycystic liver disease symptoms, causes, and treatment.
- Budd-Chiari Syndrome is an uncommon disorder resulting from a narrowing of the veins that let blood and fluid drain from your liver.
- It can be caused by and swelling in your liver.
- Often, it’ll make the top right side of your belly hurt.
- Your portal vein is the vessel that brings blood to your liver from your,
But if a blood clot blocks the vein, you may feel sudden pain in the upper right part of your abdomen by your liver. You also may have swelling in your belly and a fever. Learn more about the different types of blood clots. Thanks to its size, your liver may get injured after accidents, falls, and other trauma.
- If your liver is bleeding, you’ll usually have pain and tenderness in your abdomen and right shoulder.
- You may also have signs of shock from blood loss.
- You normally won’t have any pain until your liver cancer has advanced to later stages.
- Once you do start to hurt, it can show up anywhere from your abdomen to your shoulder.
Your doctor may be able to feel a lump by pressing on the right side of your belly. You may also lose weight, feel itchy, have yellow skin or eyes, have a swollen stomach, and feel sick. Find out more on symptoms of liver cancer. Your is tucked right underneath your liver.
So – digestive juices that harden into nuggets – can cause pain that you might mistake as coming from your liver. You may have sudden pain that gets worse quickly. Gallstone pain may be located in the center or right side of your upper abdomen, between your shoulder blades, or in your right shoulder. See a picture of what the gallbladder looks like.
If your liver pain comes on quickly, hurts too much, goes on for a long time, or keeps you from carrying on with normal activities, get it checked out. Other signs that you need medical treatment right away include:
JaundiceFeverChillsNausea or vomiting
© 2022 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : Why Does My Liver Hurt? 10 Possible Causes of Liver Pain
Is paracetamol or ibuprofen safer for liver?
Paracetamol can be taken on an empty stomach, while it is best to take ibuprofen with food, or soon after. Abuse of paracetamol can cause damage on your liver, while abuse of ibuprofen can cause damage to your stomach or liver. It’s safer to take paracetamol if you are pregnant than ibuprofen.
How painful is liver pain?
Is cirrhosis painful? – Yes, cirrhosis can be painful, especially as the disease worsens. Pain is reported by up to 82% of people who have cirrhosis and more than half of these individuals say their pain is long-lasting (chronic). Most people with liver disease report abdominal pain,
Pain in your liver itself can feel like a dull throbbing pain or a stabbing sensation in your right upper abdomen just under your ribs. General abdominal pain and discomfort can also be related to swelling from fluid retention and enlargement of your spleen and liver caused by cirrhosis. Pain can come both from the diseases that lead to cirrhosis and/or cirrhosis can make the pain from existing diseases worse.
For instance, if you have non-alcohol related fatty liver disease and have obesity, you may also have osteoarthritis and cirrhosis makes your bone and joint pain worse. Cirrhosis also causes an inflammatory state in your entire body. Inflammation and your body’s reaction to inflammation can cause general pain.
What stage is liver pain?
Stage 3: Cirrhosis – Cirrhosis refers to severe, irreversible scarring of the liver. There can be several years—decades, even—between the second and third stages of liver disease, so act early if you have any reason to suspect you are at risk. During this stage of disease, symptoms become more noticeable: pain and discomfort, fatigue, appetite loss, fluid retention, jaundice, and an itchy feeling around the liver.
How many days does liver pain last?
What is alcoholic hepatitis? – Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that lasts one to two weeks.It is believed to lead to alcoholic cirrhosis over a period of years. Symptoms include of alcoholic hepatitis include:
Loss of appetite Nausea Vomiting Abdominal pain and tenderness Fever Jaundice Mental confusion
Is anti inflammatory OK for liver?
CONCLUSION – Aspirin was the first discovered NSAID. Dose dependent liver injury is accepted as the prevalent mechanism. Liver toxicity rate is very low currently since aspirin has been replaced by paracetamol and ibuprofen in pediatric patients and in various rheumatic diseases.
- Diclofenac is probably the most used NSAID in rheumatology.
- Severe liver reactions and diclofenac hospitalization rate are uncommon.
- An increase in ALT levels of 3-10 × ULN is observed in 3% of cases.
- Sulindac induced hepatotoxicity was documented more than fifty years ago.
- Liver damage occurrence was reported to be 5-10 times higher than that of other NSAIDs.
A hypersensivity mechanism of liver injury was the most prevalent liver reaction. Ibuprofen has the highest liver safety profile among NSAIDs and showed no severe liver injury in larger studies. Along with paracetamol and aspirin, it is considered one of the most common over the counter NSAIDs sold in the world.
Coxibs have currently replaced several NSAIDs due to safer GI profile. However, the high rate of cardiovascular events associated to rofecoxib is the main drawback related to drug marketing. Despite liver damage being a rare clinical situation, lumiracoxib has been discontinued in several countries due to severe hepatotoxicity.
Oxicams are associated with a well-documented hepatic safety profile. Uncommonly, piroxicam may cause severe hepatocellular damage. The clinical and histological pattern may be mixed or associated to clinical and biochemical prolonged cholestasis with or without ductopenia.
- Isoxicam and droxicam were only linked to liver toxicity in sporadic reports.
- The mechanism of liver damage appears to be an idiosyncratic one.
- Nimesulide was removed from the market in several countries due to severe liver damage described in clinical series, but various epidemiological surveys do not document these findings.
EMEA recommends that nimesulide should only be used for short periods at daily doses not higher than 200 mg/d in adults. In summary, neither documenting the possibility of the causative role of a drug when confronting liver damage in an individual patient nor determining the true incidence of NSAIDs induced hepatotoxicity in the general population, are easy tasks.
Rigorous data collecting, caution and clinical commitment are required when judging potential hepatotoxicity. The clinician always needs to critically evaluate the possibility whether other factors may play a role in the actual findings. Despite the shortage of well-designed epidemiological studies, there is evidence showing that most of the NSAIDs are safe drugs with low risk of liver injury (mostly ranging from 0.29-3.1/100 000 exposed individuals when recent based-population studies were analyzed).
Both sulindac and nimesulide have been linked to a higher frequency of liver damage. NSAIDs induced liver injury which might potentially lead to a fatal outcome or need liver transplantation. As in other forms of DILI, jaundice entails poor prognosis with 25% of jaundiced patients developing severe liver disease.
Which anti inflammatory is best for liver?
Is acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or NSAIDS (ibuprofen or asprin) safe for individuals with liver disease? Contrary to many peoples beliefs, acetaminophen can be used in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). Most experts suggest up to 2 grams of acetaminophen a day in non-consecutive days can be safely used.
- Acetaminophen is metabolized to the hepatotoxic reactive metabolite, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), rapidly conjugated by glutathione and renally excreted.
- Chronic acetaminophen use, malnutrition or active consumption of alcohol can deplete glutathione resulting in harmful NAPQI-protein adducts that can lead to mitochondrial liver damage.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not safe in those with cirrhosis. NSAIDs can impair renal function in these patients. Most NSAIDs are highly bound to serum albumin, increasing drug bioavailability and potential for toxicity in this population. Common pain relief drugs : Is acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or NSAIDS (ibuprofen or asprin) safe for individuals with liver disease?
Does liver pain come and go?
Liver Damage Symptoms Your Doctor Wants You to Know About Did you know that the liver is capable of repairing its own damaged tissues? This means that, in some cases, liver damage is reversible. However, liver conditions exist that can cause permanent damage, so it is critical that liver damage symptoms are identified and treated as quickly as possible.
- At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, we understand the value of early diagnosis when it comes to the liver and other digestive health issues.
- The following list provides you with common liver damage symptoms to watch out for.
- Decreased Appetite – Early-stage liver damage often causes nausea, weight loss, disinterest in food or a combination of the three.
Furthermore, the first stage of hepatitis can bring on flu-like symptoms such as an upset stomach. Be proactive and visit a doctor if you notice significant changes in your appetite or digestive health in general. Abdominal Pain – Cirrhosis-induced pain usually presents itself in the upper right abdomen, just below the right ribs.
The pain may be throbbing or stabbing, and it can come and go. If you experience this type of pain regularly, or if the intensity of it prevents you from functioning normally, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Abdominal Swelling – This can sometimes point to a liver condition called ascites, in which a protein imbalance leads to fluid buildup.
Swelling due to ascites is termed “potbelly” and commonly signals cirrhosis. In some cases, gravity pulls this fluid into other parts of the body, so swelling in the hands and feet may also occur. Persistent Vomiting – As your liver becomes less and less capable of filtering toxins out of your body, your digestive issues will likely become more intense.
This means that the nausea or loss of appetite you experience in early stages of liver distress can escalate to repeated unexplained vomiting. If you experience this symptom, it may be a sign that your liver damage is progressing, so seek medical care as soon as you can. Bruising – When your liver is damaged, it does not produce an adequate amount of clotting proteins, so you may bruise and bleed more easily than usual.
A number of conditions can lead to excess bruising, so be sure to check with your doctor if you notice this symptom. Lethargy – Sometimes, the stress of life can cause you to feel weak or tired, but it is important to pay attention to severe or prolonged exhaustion, as this could be a sign of low blood oxygen levels or waste accumulation due to reduced liver functions.
- Jaundice – This is perhaps one of the most well-known and equally startling symptoms of liver damage.
- If you notice a yellowing of your skin or eyes, or changes in the color of your urine or stool, visit your GI doctor or another medical professional as soon as possible.
- Mood or Personality Changes – The accumulation of toxins in your body due to ineffective liver function can infiltrate your blood and travel to your brain.
At first, you may experience confusion or concentration issues, but these can progress to changes in sleeping patterns, forgetfulness and even unresponsiveness. Promptly consult with a doctor if you begin to notice these issues. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, or you have any others that you find concerning, TDDC is here to serve you.
Does heat help liver pain?
Treatment – Initial treatment of liver pain should include a combination of simple analgesics and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents or COX-2 inhibitors. If these medications do not adequately control the patient’s symptomatology, an opioid analgesic may be added.
- Local application of heat and cold may also be beneficial and provide symptomatic relief of liver pain.
- The use of an elastic rib belt over the liver may likewise help provide symptomatic relief.
- For patients who do not respond to these treatment modalities, an injection of local anesthetic and steroid may be a reasonable next step.
If the pain is thought to be sympathetically mediated, a celiac plexus block is a reasonable next step ( Fig.79-11 ). This technique will provide both diagnostic and therapeutic benefit. If the pain is thought to be somatic in nature, intercostal nerve blocks should be the next step ( Fig.79-12 ).
- It should be remembered that pain of hepatic origin may be both somatic and sympathetic in nature and require both celiac plexus and intercostal nerve blocks for complete control.
- The major problem in the care of patients thought to suffer from liver pain is failure to identify potentially serious pathology of the thorax or upper part of the abdomen.
Given the proximity of the pleural space, pneumothorax is a distinct possibility after an intercostal nerve block. The incidence of the complication is less than 1%, but it occurs with greater frequency in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Can the liver heal itself?
At a Glance –
Researchers uncovered the roles that different cells in the liver play in organ maintenance and regeneration after injury. Understanding how these processes work could lead to new strategies to treat liver diseases and injuries.
The liver has a unique capacity among organs to regenerate itself after damage. A liver can regrow to a normal size even after up to 90% of it has been removed. But the liver isn’t invincible. Many diseases and exposures can harm it beyond the point of repair.
These include cancer, hepatitis, certain medication overdoses, and fatty liver disease. Every year, more than 7,000 people in the U.S. get a liver transplant. Many others that need one can’t get a donor organ in time. Researchers would like to be able to boost the liver’s natural capacity to repair itself.
But the exact types of cells within the liver that do such repair—and where in the liver they’re located—has been controversial. Some studies have suggested that stem cells can produce new liver cells. Others have implicated normal liver cells, called hepatocytes.
The liver is composed of repeating structures called lobules. Each lobule consists of three zones. Zone 1 is closest to where the blood supply enters the lobule. Zone 3 is closest to where it drains back out. Zone 2 is sandwiched in the middle. While hepatocytes in zones 1 and 3 produce specific enzymes for metabolism, the function of those in zone 2 has been less clear.
To investigate liver cells more closely, a research team led by Dr. Hao Zhu from the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center used 14 different lines of mice, 11 of which they created for the new study. Each mouse line was engineered to have different groups of liver cells express a fluorescent marker.
- Those cells could then be tracked over time, before and after damage to different parts of the liver.
- The study was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Results were published on February 26, 2021, in Science, Zhu and his team found that normal hepatocytes—not stem cells—in zone 2 did the bulk of the work of normal liver maintenance. They divided to replace liver cells in all zones that had reached the end of their natural lives.
- When the liver experienced toxin-induced damage, the researchers again found that normal hepatocytes originating in zone 2 proliferated to replace injured tissue in zones 1 and 3.
- Cells originating in zone 1 could also be found in zone 3 after cells in zone 3 were damaged, and vice versa.
- These findings show that which hepatocytes help in recovery after liver injury depends on the location of the injury.
Further work identified a specific cell-signaling pathway that appeared to drive zone 2 liver cells to repopulate damaged tissue. When the team shut down different parts of this pathway, the cells in zone 2 couldn’t proliferate. In the same issue of Science, a second research team from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology reported similar results using a different method for tracking the origins of new liver cells.
- It makes sense that cells in zone 2, which are sheltered from toxic injuries affecting either end of the lobule, would be in a prime position to regenerate the liver.
- However, more investigation is needed to understand the different cell types in the human liver,” Zhu says.
- Understanding how this regeneration works in more detail could lead to new treatment strategies to help repair a damaged liver.
—by Sharon Reynolds
How do you treat an inflamed liver?
Remedies for Inflamed Liver Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on December 04, 2022 An inflamed liver has become enlarged beyond the size of a normal organ of its type. It is typically a sign of a more serious health condition. Illnesses or diseases that lead to an inflamed liver could also produce other symptoms. Symptoms of an inflamed liver can include:
Feelings of fatigueJaundice (a condition that causes your skin and the whites of your eyes to turn yellow)Feeling full quickly after a mealNauseaVomitingPain in the abdomen
You can develop an inflamed liver because of excessive consumption of alcohol. The liver can also become swollen from processing too many other toxins, such as excess amounts of acetaminophen or other supplements and medications. Below is a rundown of some of the illnesses and diseases that can cause an inflamed liver: Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is the formation of scar tissue on the liver because of alcoholism or hepatitis.
An inflamed liver is one of the side effects of cirrhosis. The scar tissue makes it difficult for the liver to function normally. This illness can be life-threatening when it reaches an advanced stage. It’s difficult to undo the damage from cirrhosis, however, seeking help from a medical doctor may be able to limit further damage to the liver.
Amyloidosis Amyloidosis is a rare disorder of the liver caused by the buildup of an abnormal protein called amyloid. It prevents the liver from performing its normal functions. These aren’t commonly found in the body, but can form from a combination of other types of protein.
Symptoms of this disease include the presence of an inflamed liver. Liver Cysts Around five percent of the population have liver cysts, and only five percent of people in that group have symptoms like an inflamed liver. These cysts are fluid-filled structures with thin walls. Signs that you may have liver cysts include pain, discomfort, and feelings of fullness in the abdomen.
The cysts can start bleeding, leading to severe pains in the shoulder and upper body. Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove them. Alcoholic or Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Fatty liver disease occurs when the organ begins storing excess amounts of fat.
- While most people exhibit no symptoms, others may experience an inflamed liver as a side effect.
- You may also end up with fibrosis, where scar tissue forms around areas of damage on the liver and interferes with its functioning.
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease can result from heavy drinking, while nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may occur in those who drink little to none.
Inflamed liver treatment depends on the root cause of the issue. A medical doctor typically decides on the appropriate remedies for an inflamed liver depending on their final diagnosis. They usually perform a physical examination where they feel your abdomen to get a sense of your liver’s size, texture, and shape.
Blood Tests — A doctor may order blood tests to determine your current enzyme level. They may also check for any viruses present that could be causing the inflamed liver. Imaging — Tests like a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound allow physicians to get a better view of the liver. Magnetic Resonance Elastography — This is a noninvasive test that uses soundwaves to form a visual map that shows the current stiffness of the liver. It’s often done as an alternative to a liver biopsy. Liver Biopsy — Your doctor may perform a liver biopsy to get a sample of your liver tissue to send out for lab testing. The procedure involves inserting a long, thin needle into your liver through the skin.
Once your doctor understands what is causing your inflamed liver, they can figure out how to treat both it and the disorder that’s causing the issue. For example, amyloidosis is often treated with chemotherapy, heart medication, or targeted therapy drugs like () and ().
A condition like fatty liver may be treated through lifestyle changes that include losing weight, cutting back on alcohol, and taking vitamin E. Surgery may be recommended to remove benign cysts on the liver. Because remedies for an inflamed liver can vary so much, you should see a doctor if you find yourself experiencing inflamed liver symptoms.
When you begin experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms associated with an inflamed liver, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare professional can help you determine what the root cause(s) of your symptoms may be and can recommend the proper treatments for you to undergo. © 2022 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : Remedies for Inflamed Liver
When should I go to the ER for liver pain?
When to Contact a Medical Professional – Contact your provider if you develop symptoms of cirrhosis. Get emergency medical help right away if you have:
Abdominal or chest painAbdominal swelling or ascites that is new or suddenly becomes worseA fever (temperature greater than 101°F or 38.3°C)DiarrheaConfusion or a change in alertness, or it gets worseRectal bleeding, vomiting blood, or blood in the urineShortness of breathVomiting more than once a dayYellowing skin or eyes (jaundice) that is new or gets worse quickly
When should I seek help for liver pain?
Key points about acute liver failure –
Acute liver failure happens when your liver suddenly begins to lose its ability to function An overdose of acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure Acute liver failure causes fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, discomfort on your right side, just below your ribs, and diarrhea Acute liver failure is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention If medical treatments are not effective, you may be a candidate for a liver transplant