Why is my liver enlarged?

So, you’ve found yourself in a bit of a pickle. You’re experiencing pain and discomfort on the right side of your abdomen and – lo and behold – a doctor has told you that your liver is enlarged. What the heck?

Well, fear not my friend! Your trusty online pal is here to explain what could be going on inside that wondrously large organ of yours.

What Even Is The Liver?

Ah yes, let’s start with some general information about this underrated piece of machinery. The liver is actually one of the largest organs in your body (1). It sits nestled under your rib cage on the right-hand side and plays an important role in maintaining everyday bodily functions such as filtering out toxins from our bloodstream and producing bile for digestion.

Table Time: A Snapshot Of Our Marvelous Livers

Let’s take a look at these nifty facts about our fantastic livers:

Largest internal organ Weighing up to 3lbs/ 1.5kg
Filters blood Removing harmful substances
Metabolizes nutrients Such as carbohydrates, proteins
Responsible for detoxification Breaking down drugs/alcohol

Wowzers! Isn’t it amazing how much goes into making sure we can function day-to-day?

Now though, onto bigger things; why might my liver be trying to show off its full size potential by enlarging beyond normal parameters?

The Potential Culprits Behind An Enlarged Liver

There are several factors ranging from mild cases to serious conditions which can cause enlargement (2). Here’s a breakdown:

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Disease

Ever had too many donuts or couldn’t resist those deep-fried calamari rings at last weekend’s party? Well then, you might just meet the criteria for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (3). This causes excessive fat build-up in our over-eager livers, leading to inflammation and enlargement. Oopsies!


Nope, it’s not just something your mom reminds you to get a shot for before backpacking around Asia; hepatitis is a serious liver disease that can cause major complications if left untreated or ignored. Yikes! It’s usually caused by a viral infection but can lead to extreme damage and possible lifetime complications such as cirrhosis (4).

Alcohol Abuse

Yes, unfortunately all those late nights partying with friends finally caught up with your hard-working organ (5). Continuous drinking puts an enormous amount of stress on one’s liver which leads it to expand beyond its usual size.


Without trying to sound cliché here, cancer really isn’t anything to joke about. Liver cancer is no exception and requires swift treatment options from qualified medical professionals (6).

Symptoms You Might Be Experiencing:

Besides the obvious bump sticking out awkwardly from under your rib cage area – what are some physical symptoms you might be facing?

Abdominal pain A dull ache or stabbing sensation
Fatigue Feeling more tired than usual
Nausea/vomiting Has been more prevalent
Weight Loss Unintentional weight loss

An Interesting Fact

It’s actually quite common for mild cases of an enlarged liver condition to have little to no symptoms at all (7) – talk about living life on the edge!

‘Help I Think I Have One Of These’

Yeah yeah we know hearing this news initially sounds pretty daunting but there’s hope yet my companion! The next section will cover how to get your liver back into shipshape condition.

How To Get Back On Track?

No one wants an organ the size of a small football, but what are some ways that can help reduce its inflamed state?

Diet Changes

First and foremost it’s time to say our farewells (well for a little while at least) to all those delicious fast food restaurants and sugar-laden desserts (8). Incorporating more greens like kale or spinach in your diet as well as protein options such as tofu or lean meats like chicken lessens calorie intake while providing essential nutrients.

Foods That Should Be Avoided:

  • High-Calorie Junk-food
  • Alcohol
  • Too Much Salt
  • Refined Carbohydrates


In moderate cases where swelling is persistent, medication could be given by medical professionals (9).

It’s important not just jump on any drug bandwagon being advertised online; always seek out advice from trusted healthcare providers who have high-level knowledge of prescription drugs and their potential side effects.


As scary as this sounds – it really isn’t so bad! In serious conditions where dietary changes or medicinal efforts aren’t effective surgical procedures might be taken into account (10).

Now hold on – we’re nearing the end folks!

The Bottom Line

Though having an enlarged liver sounds frightening there are many helpful solutions available for managing and reversing these conditions (11). From minor lifestyle adjustments to surgecial intervention; treatment depends upon individual circumstance backed by professional doctor recommendations.What’re ya waiting for then? Go ahead take care of that invaluable organ today!

Goodbye and stay healthy!

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