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Old 01-05-2005, 04:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Houston
Pain in the liver area.

So I'm jogging this morning, everything is fine, but then suddenly there is this sharp pain in my liver area. I remember having it few years ago. It usually happens when I'm really pushing myself and breathing hard and heavy. So I kinda figure it's gonna happen when I'm working really hard. But the question is, what is actually happening in there? Like, is my liver not recieving oxygen or something, (or is it actually my liver thats hurting). And secondly, is it dangerous in the long term for your health? Thank you for reading.
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
Observant Ruminant
Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
I'm no expert; have it looked at by a doc.

I know that I personally had some pain in that area years ago when I was doing heavy exercise, including a lot of abdominal work. It felt like something was being pinched. The doctor took a look at my liver and said it was enlarged, to the point where it extended below the rib cage. He said that all the flexing might be causing some discomfort or pinching to the unprotected part.

He took some tests and found no indication of liver problems, nor do I drink (which expands the liver). He said some people just have a big liver. Since then I've laid off exercises which call for extreme bending of the torso, and it's backed off. But every so often I bend the wrong way and get the pain.

It could be nothing, it could be something. But definitely _have it looked at._ Your liver is not something you want to mess around with.
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Old 01-05-2005, 07:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Houston
Thanks Rodney, yea I don't drink either, so I must either have a large liver or something. If the problem persists, I'll have it looked I guess.
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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crewsor's Avatar
Location: Maryland,USA
I used to get that all the time when I ran when I was younger. I believe its a fairly common phenomenon. I seem to recall reading a while back it is caused by something (organ) engorging with blood, and is fairly normal and benign. If you are concerned though you should consult your Doctor.
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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crewsor's Avatar
Location: Maryland,USA
I recalled that this was called a stich and did a search on Google. Y ou may find this interesting.


What have 70% of regular runners suffered from within the past year? Blisters... no, shin splints... no. Well I'll put you out of your misery - stitches. Stitches are a pain in the... well you know what I mean, and they are not confined to the running fraternity; in fact, just about anyone taking part in a sporting activity, be it swimming, team sports, aerobics or even just running for an occasional bus will have experienced a stitch at some point. There are many theories and quite a few old wives' tales about stitches, but now a couple of exercise physiologists based in New South Wales, Australia, have put together a list of the top 10 facts and fallacies.

1. Stitch occurs in both fit and unfit people, and research suggests it is are unrelated to training frequency, training volume or performance level.
2. Stitch is most prevalent among younger athletes, but older athletes can still suffer from the problem.
3. Yes you can get a stitch in the shoulder! It appears that when the diaphragm and neighbouring tissues become irritated they can refer pain to the tip of the shoulder.
4. Studies have shown that you are more likely to suffer from stitch if you eat before a run. Drinking before a run can also be a contributing factor, but less so than eating a meal. Obviously you need to eat and drink before exercise to ensure an adequate energy supply, but research and anecdotal evidence suggests you should avoid the following:
carbonated drinks and those with a high concentration of sugar and salt;
fatty foods;
apples, bananas and chocolate.
5. The risk of stitch may be increased by exercising at high intensity, failing to warm up and working out in cold conditions. Best not go for a really hard run on a cold day without warming up then!
6. The theory that stitch is caused by lack of blood flow to the diaphragm doesn't hold up for three main reasons:
it does not account for why pain occurs low in the abdomen;
it does not explain why stitches occur during activities that do not seem to require high levels of respiratory activity (eg horse riding);
it is not consistent with the evidence that neither lung function nor breathing is affected by a stitch.
7. One of the most widely-accepted theories that stitches are caused by stress on the ligaments that attach the abdominal organs to the diaphragm during jolting activities like running may also be false. If it were true, why would swimmers - whose sport is relatively free from jolting movements - experience stitches?
8. The tissue that may be responsible for the pain is the parietal peritoneum, which envelops the abdominal cavity, separating the abdominal organs from the stomach muscles. This piece of tissue is sensitive to movement when irritated, which would explain why rest quickly relieves the pain. Additionally, part of the parietal peritoneum extends up and under the diaphragm, giving rise to the referred shoulder pain when irritated. What could cause this tissue to become irritated? One obvious answer is that if you fill your stomach with food and drink it's going to get bigger, causing it to push against - and so irritate - the parietal peritoneum.

9. Some breathing techniques may help to alleviate the problem. These include:
taking deeps breaths;
grunting as you exhale;
holding your breath;
breathing by bloating your abdomen in and out (belly breathing).
10. Most sufferers experience stitch in the same place each time, and the pain is commonly described as sharp or stabbing when severe, and cramping, aching or pulling when less severe.

This article may have raised as many questions as it has answered. But the good news is that there seems to be a renewed interest in stitches - and one day we might get to the root of the problem and even find a cure!
We all have wings, some of us just don't know why.
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
cyrnel's Avatar
Location: In my angry-dome.
I had an interesting experience taking my mother to the ER for pain coming from that area. She described it as severe, and she's a trooper. What I learned, and I suppose it's obvious, was that most non-tumor liver problems are secondary, a symptom of the liver coping with something elsewhere. Her liver was enlarged because it as overworked. Though the ultrasounds showed obvious inflamation the ER guys didn't pick up what was going on, gave her pain pills, and nausea pills for the pain pills. It wasn't until her Internist sent the pics to other radiology staff and ordered a bevy of blood screenings that they found the problem.

I came out of the experience with the feeling liver problems can be a puzzle even to the most experienced healthcare workers. As always, each case is unique, but that doesn't mean you won't hear generalizations & platitudes when the staff is puzzled. It's an important area. I'd get it checked until you're comfortable a doctor has a handle on what's happening.
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