The position of the Liver in the upper, right, and central portion of the abdomen. Under the right part of the rib cage. Between the sixth and eleventh ribs, just below the diaphragm line and a little higher. Then the stomach, kidney complex – right adrenal gland and transverse colon. This article will give you a complete guide about where the Liver is located & all about the Liver.
The Liver’s position is functional to this organ’s role during the digestion process and when cleaning the blood that passes through the digestive system and the spleen.
A brief review of the Regions of the Abdomen
Table of Contents
Imagining to draw a 3×3 square grid (like the tic-tac-toe, the popular game), the human abdomen can be divided into 9 regions. Proceeding (from the observer’s point of view) from left to right and top to bottom. These 9 subdivision regions of the abdomen are:
- The right hypochondrium, the epigastrium, and the left hypochondrium, for the first of the 3 rows of the grid;
- The right lumbar region, the umbilical region, and the left lumbar region, for the second of the 3 rows of the grid;
- Finally, the right iliac fossa, the hypogastrium, and the left iliac fossa. For the third of the 3 rows of the grid.
Important note to get confused
The right hypochondrium, the right lumbar region, and the right iliac fossa are to the left of the observer of an abdomen. Therefore they reside to the right of the latter.
Conversely, the left hypochondrium, the left lumbar region, and the left iliac fossa are to the observer’s right. Therefore they are located to the left of the latter.
Where is the Liver located?
The Liver’s position, that is, the seat in which the Liver resides in the human body, is in the upper right and central part of the abdomen. Below the right rib cage section between the 6th and 11th ribs, just farther in the bottom of the diaphragm and slightly. Above the stomach’s so-called antrum, of the kidney right, the right adrenal gland, and the transverse colon.
Considering the abdominal regions, Where is the Liver located & the position of the Liver is such that they are involved:
- Almost all of the right hypochondrium;
- The epigastrium, for about half;
- The left hypochondrium, for a tiny portion;
- The right lumbar region, also for one small part.
- Therefore, the Liver’s position sees this organ distributed in 4 of the 9 areas of the abdomen: all 3 of the upper row and the left of the central row (remember that it is left for the observer).
Did you know that …
The Liver’s position means that this organ is second only to the intestine regarding the number of active abdominal regions.
The Liver: a brief anatomical and functional review
In an article dedicated, Where is the Liver located & the Liver’s position, it is necessary to review both the anatomy and the function of this vital organ for the human being.
The Liver is an unequal organ, weighing 1000-1500 grams, made up of particular cells, called hepatocytes. This regenerative capacity of the Liver is significant during liver transplantation. As it allows the transfer from a living donor and the passage of only a portion of the organ.
From the functional point of view, the Liver fulfills a series of fundamental tasks for the human being’s life. These tasks include:
- The production of essential proteins and hormones ;
- The regulation of carbohydrate metabolism (in particular, it directs the processes of gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis, and glycogen synthesis );
- The production of bile, a liquid containing water, electrolytes, lipids, proteins, and pigments that play a pivotal role in the digestive process (provides for the digestion of fats );
- The generation of coagulation factors ;
- The regulation of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood;
- The elimination from the blood of the so-called waste products, which can be: toxins, infectious agents, and catabolites (e.g., ammonia );
- The infusion of new energy into the body when there is a general energy deficit.
The position of the various lobes of the Liver
- The left lobe of the Liver occupies part of the left epigastrium and hypogastrium;
- The quadrate and causal lobes reside in the epigastrium.
Where is the liver located: Borders
The location of the liver means that this organ borders with:
- The diaphragm, above;
- A considerable part of the right pleura and a tiny part of the left pleura, anterolaterally;
- The transverse colon, the antrum of the stomach, the right kidney, and the right adrenal gland, inferiorly;
- The gallbladder (or gall bladder ), the stomach’s fundus, l ‘ esophagus, the vena cava inferior, posteriorly.
Position of the Liver and Rib Cage
The liver’s position is to guarantee the protection of the rib cage to this vital organ. The liver is a fragile organ, which would also suffer from minor trauma if it lacked the ribs’ protection.
Physiology: Where Is The Liver Located
The liver’s position is functional to the role that this organ plays during digestion and the purification of the blood from waste products.
- The liver produces bile and accumulates in the neighboring gallbladder, exploiting the so-called ducts bile, waiting for a meal (particularly lipid) to digest. If the liver’s location were different from what it actually is, the gallbladder’s accumulation would be much more complex and less rapid (it would take, for example, longer bile ducts ). The proximity of the liver to the gallbladder is essential to guarantee bile ready for use constantly;
- The liver receives, through the portal vein, the venous blood leaving the spleen and the digestive system, venous blood on which it must carry out a fundamental purification work for the survival of the organism (in this blood, in fact, there are products waste which can have, in case of non-elimination, a fatal effect for the other organs of the human body ). Therefore, following the purification work, it sends the blood in question to the hepatic vein, which flows into the vena cava, i.e., the vein returning to the heart.
In such a context, the position of the liver is decisive since it ensures rapid. And functional blood circulation to the needs of the whole organism.
If the liver’s position were different, the return to the heart of that blood passed through the spleen and digestive system would be slower and would not guarantee an equally rapid purification action.
Did you know that …
The alteration of the blood flows within the liver, for example, due to diseases. Such as cirrhosis of the liver or the ‘ alcoholic hepatitis, increase the portal vein’s blood pressure, triggering a hypertension portal condition.
Where is the liver located: Variants
In some individuals, the position of the liver and all the other abdominal and thoracic organs is the mirror image of the canonical one; this condition is called situs inversus totalis or situs visceral inversus totalis.
In people with situs inversus totalis, the location of the heart is on the right side of the chest (instead of the left), the location of the spleen is on the right mid-abdomen (instead of the left), the location of the ascending colon is on the left side lower abdomen (instead of right). The descending colon’s position is on the right lower side of the abdomen (instead of the left), the position of the liver is on the upper left side of the abdomen (instead of right), etc.
Surely many readers have heard of ” liver trouble “; this expression is used to indicate a painful sensation with variable characteristics. Which can be located exactly in the position of the liver.
Bad for the liver: Where Is The Liver Located
Liver trouble is a fairly common symptom, although diagnostic investigations often deny the problem’s hepatic origin. In fact, the patient normally speaks of liver trouble in the presence of pain localized to the right upper abdominal region. Known for its anatomical correspondence to the organ site (see figure).
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Pain in the liver and biliary tract
Most of the painful hepatic crises can be traced back to the biliary tract ( stones obstructing the ducts, acute or chronic cholecystitis, choledoocytes, papillitis). Pain in the liver is due to the hepatic lining’s distension, called the Glisson’s capsule (or Glisson’s capsule). Which produces a deep, dull, painful symptomatology radiating to the right and up behind the breastbone. Up to the level of the sixth thoracic vertebra. Moreover, in biliary colic, the painful sensations are carried posteriorly, going up towards the right shoulder blade without ever exceeding it.
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The increased tension of the Glisson’s capsule may be the consequence of inflammatory processes ( hepatitis ), but generally, it causes pain only when it occurs abruptly. In chronic forms, responsible for slow and progressive increases in tension, pain is generally absent. Unless the increase in the organ volume is such that it affects the parietal peritoneum that surrounds it. This is why liver pain caused by cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, and tumors usually only appear in the disease’s advanced stage. And consistent weight loss, anorexia (lack of appetite), tiredness, nausea, and vomiting.
A rather mild but continuous hepatic pain is typical of the so-called ” fatty liver, “better known as fatty liver. Once again, at the origin of the painful symptoms arises the organ’s volumetric increase, this time caused by the excessive accumulation of fat inside it. Fatty liver disease is characteristic of obese people and alcoholics; very often, it is completely asymptomatic.
“Pain in the liver”: extrahepatic origins
Pain felt in the abdomen’s center-upper right region can be caused by various abnormal conditions in the extrahepatic area. Such as pancreatitis, pancreatic tumors, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, duodenitis, and pyloric ulcers.
Pain in the liver and feeding
The link between over-abundant meals and a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen’s upper right center is common. The pain felt at the organ’s anatomical site has, more often than not, extrahepatic origins. Excessive gastric acidity, either due to individual predisposing factors or to stress or overeating.
Can, for example, inflame the walls of the first section of the duodenum. Another possible cause of “liver pain” gallbladder is stones in it or the biliary tract or excessive hormonal stimulation. Therefore, also due to other possible problems or the absence of an evident relationship. Between functional organ overload and liver pain. It is not easy to establish a direct link between the symptom and eating habits. However, to keep the organ healthy, it is advisable to moderate alcohol consumption, fried foods, and foods particularly rich in fat, especially if cooked.
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Liver pain and physical activity
During physical activity, blood is diverted from the digestive system to the muscular system; the digestive organs’ poor blood supply can accentuate liver pain associated with intra or extrahepatic factors.
Natural remedies for liver pain: Where Is The Liver Located
Food: no to frying, no to foods rich in fat, no to alcohol, coffee, and tea. Drink plenty of plain water. The liver is an excretory organ, like the kidneys, and as such, it needs heat. Therefore, keep it protected from sudden changes in temperature, blows of air, and cold drinks from the refrigerator. Always prefer water at room temperature or hot, detoxifying and draining drinks, which promotes the organ’s physiology. Let’s look at some herbal remedies that speak to the liver and gallbladder.
- The artichoke is rich in phenolic acids and cynarin. It has a significant protective action against harmful free radicals and stimulates the regeneration of liver cells. The story of cynarin is also cholagogue and choleretic. That is, it stimulates the production of bile and its passage from the gallbladder to the intestine. Detoxifies the liver, reduces cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Contraindications: The artichoke is instead not recommended for those who have undergone the removal of the gallbladder.
- How to use: we can take it in the form of herbal tea or hydroalcoholic extract in synergy with other remedies.
- Dandelion is purifying and anti-inflammatory. Rich in sterols, triterpenes, and bitter principles detoxifies the liver freeing it from digestive catabolites. Such as sugars, triglycerides, cholesterol, soothes inflammation, and stimulates diuresis.
- Contraindications: it is not recommended for those suffering from low blood pressure, for those suffering from gallstones and ulcers, because the bitter principles can irritate the gastric mucosa and stimulate the gallbladder movement.
- We can use dandelion both in herbal tea and in hydroalcoholic extract for a physiological effect.
- Milk thistle: a female plant rich in phytoestrogens such as silybin, which regulates women’s hormonal well-being. The high content of silymarin has a protective effect on the liver against damage caused by alcohol abuse. Toxic substances and regenerates the cells with anti-inflammatory effects. The milk thistle carries out a cholagogue activity. Therefore it stimulates the emptying of the gallbladder from the bile directing it to the duodenum.
- Contraindications: it is not recommended for people with hypertension due to the tyramine it contains.
- Mode d ‘ use: the herbal medicines may have the entire plant or just the milk thistle seed. You can use it in tisanes in both cases, leaving to brew a teaspoon of prepared for ten minutes.
We can mix these 3 remedies for a synergistic action :
- In equal parts herbal tea, we take 2 g of mixture per 150 ml of water in decoction 2 times a day.