–The liver is liable to become deranged by many causes, chiefly indiscretions in diet. This will be found discussed under the heading BILIOUSNESS. The liver may also be the seat of Pain or Inflammation.
Liver, Pain in.–Pains under the ribs of the right side, shooting up into the chest, or downwards into the liver, and associated with pain in the space between the shoulder-blades, arise from the liver.
General Treatment.–If the pains are severe, rest in bed will be necessary, light diet, avoiding all rich or fat food. Application of dry heat to the part where the pain proceeds from.
Medicines.–(Every hour, until relieved.)
–If with the pain there is feverishness, restlessness, and an anxious frame of mind.
–Pressure, pain in the liver region (under the ribs of the right side), fulness and tension; pain made worse by movement and breathing; oppression of the chest; thickly coated tongue, white or yellowish, bitter taste in mouth.
–Pressure, pain not allowing patient to lie on the right side; bitter taste in the mouth; want of appetite; continued shivering.
–If the case drags, Sulphur may be given for a day or two.
Liver, Inflammation of.–When the above symptoms are present in aggravated form, and the fever is high, inflammation is present. The same treatment is applicable, and should be persevered in until medical aid can be obtained.
Inflammation of the liver, when following dysentery or Indian fevers, generally ends in the formation of abscess of the liver, which is an exceedingly dangerous disease. The ordinary inflammation which affects the capsule (the covering membrane) of the liver does not tend to form abscess. An exudation is thrown out on the surface, and the consequence of this may be adhesion to the abdominal wall. The symptoms of this are much the same as those described above under Pain in the Liver, and the same medicines, when the symptoms indicate them, must be given. In
Abscess the principal medicines are Hepar and Mercurius. When the abscess points externally, it will be necessary to treat the case surgically, and make an opening into the liver to let the matter out. See also JAUNDICE.