Swollen liver symptoms

Updated April 17, 2017

A swollen or enlarged liver is usually a sign of another health issue. Treatment for this health problem should be immediate.

Liver Functions

An adult liver is about the size of a small football. It is the largest gland of the body and is located under the diaphragm. The liver is part of the digestive system and plays a vital role in the vascular system.


There are often no obvious symptoms of a swollen liver, but the Mayo Clinic reports that symptoms can include tenderness in the area of the liver (under the diaphragm), abdominal pain or jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin.


An enlarged liver is not an illness, but rather is an indicator of a more serious health issue, such as hepatitis, congestive heart failure, Epstein-Barr virus, alcoholism or cancer.


Treatment for a swollen liver ranges from medication to a liver transplant, depending on the diagnosis. Your doctor will address the underlying cause first, to help reduce swelling of the liver.


If you suspect that you or someone you know has an enlarged liver, seek medical attention immediately. The sooner the underlying cause is addressed, the better chance of a healthy recovery.

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About the Author

Narielle Living is a professional writer of both fiction and nonfiction works. Her short stories have appeared in the "York County Public Library Juried Literary Competition" compilations. Living received a degree in therapeutic massage from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy and attended Albertus Magnus College for two years to pursue a degree in philosophy and religion.