Possible causes of liver pain, or pain in the right side under the rib cage, include chronic hepatitis, liver abscess, fatty liver disease and liver cancer, according to Healthgrades. Conditions that put pressure or irritate the liver and cause liver pain include gallstones, gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Liver pain typically occurs when an individual suffers swelling or liver enlargement, severe inflammation or expansion of the liver’s surface, states Healthgrades. Other injuries that add pressure on the capsule covering part of the liver may also cause liver pain. The liver’s pain receptors are found in the organ’s capsule; thus, putting pressure on the capsule produces pain.
Ascites, or fluid accumulation in the abdomen, and pneumonia are disorders that result in liver pain, says Healthgrades. Pneumonia may cause pain in the lower section of the right lung. Pain coming from the liver is often felt in the right shoulder.
In some cases, liver pain is mistaken for general abdominal pain, explains Healthgrades. Pain that originates from the upper right abdomen sometimes results from abdominal disorders, such as pancreatitis.
Anyone who experiences severe symptoms, such as confusion, hallucinations, memory problems and fatigue, should contact a medical professional, as the symptoms may indicate hepatitis complications, notes Healthgrades. Other critical symptoms of a serious condition include breathing difficulty and itchy skin.