Is liver pain caused by coffee physica... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Is liver pain caused by coffee physically possible?

farranccc profile image

Hi all - hope you’re all keeping well. I’ve not posted much for a few weeks but I have regularly been checking in to see how all are.

For anyone that has seen my previous posts I convinced myself I had a liver issue but after some clear bloods, an ultrasound and a fibroscan I was diagnosed with rib cage cartilage inflammation - which put my mind at rest a bit albeit I have remained off the booze and coffee which seemed to make things worse before.

I have been doing ok and the pain seems to be getting better BUT today at work I was given a coffee instead of tea which I drunk for the first time in ages.

Within an hour I had a defuse pain across my upper right abdomen and ribs (right up to about an inch below my nipple) that is still there now, about 8 hours later.

Is it physically possible that coffee can cause this type of pain to the liver?

I guess that caffeine gets into the blood and is then cleansed by the liver but can’t explain the pain given the liver does have the ability to feel pain? Apologies if I am totally off track!

Many thanks all! 😃

23 Replies

Hi farra - welcome back.!

Sorry but as you know I don’t know anything. But when the knowledgeable ones wake up I am sure they will give you some advice - as long as they don’t break the newly restated rules. See this morning’s newsletter!

All the best



farranccc profile image
farranccc in reply to

Miles - you’ve put your name on your reply. Please remove this personal information immediately! 😬

in reply to farranccc

Omg yes - sorry admin. Thx for r3minding me f*******c


Fag from B****s

in reply to

Or even flag - freudian slip?

When I was diagnosed with cirrhosis, I was told by my gastroenterologist to have as much coffee as I could. Not only does it not cause liver damage, it should actually help protect the liver and reverse any damage already occurred. There's plenty of articles online backing this up. Here's a link from British Liver Trust:

I'm still having at least 3 coffees a day. It's the only drug I'm not giving up 😊

farranccc profile image
farranccc in reply to

Hi KLDN, thanks for replying. I have read that coffee should help but for me it causes a lot of pain in the liver area.

Great that it helps keeps the liver healthy but I wonder if it could cause pain too as it processes it?

in reply to farranccc

I don't remember it ever causing any pain... I don't see why it would either. After all it's not a toxin like alcohol is. Sorry I can't be much help 😔

Hi there farranccc, l am a life long coffee lover. I have about 3 a day (buckets that is). So l really don't think coffee is the cause of your pain.

The liver doesn't have any pain receptors so it can't feel any pain, (which is really a good thing, as anything we took that was toxic, would hurt like mad). I should point out though that the liver is encased in a thin membrane sack that surrounds the liver. This does have pain receptors. So, in some people who have an enlarged, or swollen liver they can experience some pain or discomfort. Have you been checked for gall stones? Just a thought.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.

Take care.

Thanks Richard - that’s helpful.

Am I right in presuming that the liver can’t enlarge or swell and recede within a few hours or day?

I had an ultrasound for gallstones and all seemed ok but seems like a good suggestion

I think the liver trust has said coffee is good for the liver. Hooray something okay that good for your. That pain could be gallbladder maybe giving you a nudge. It squeezes and all sorts, perhaps you had a cream bun. 😂 Good luck

A cream bun?! Nope, just a coffee!

Does anyone know medically whether it is possible for a coffee to to cause liver pain or cause swelling of the liver for a few hours?

Thanks for the replies so far x

My Liver specialist actually recommended it!

4 cups a day he said, proper filter coffee he said, none of that instant rubbish.

I really don't think he'd have recommended it to me if it caused inflammation, when I was seeing him for alcoholic hepatitis in the first place.

You're such a worry wort farrancc!

Guessing decaf wouldn’t work? I suffer from anxiety so caffeine is not my friend.

You know, it's interesting to see all these replies to your post! My mom has cirrhosis, and coffee IS on the Do-Not-Consume list her doctors gave her (much to her dismay). I'm going to have to check out that link KLDN posted above and see what it says. If Mom can have coffee after all, that would probably brighten up her attitude a bit! :-)

As far as your original question goes - I have no idea. Do you put anything IN your coffee that might've set you off?

Everyone here is correct in that coffee is apparently good for the liver. I still am a bit confused if or not it's the caffeine or the coffee beans. Not sure if decaf would have the same benefits. But keep in mind caffeine affects everyone different. I cant drink coffee myself. One cup and my heart races I swear and feel stomach upset.

Sweat** not swear lol

Hello, yes I have had liver pain for 15 years, had all the scans and tests which I have occasional elevated bilirubin (apparently gilbert's) tea and coffee gives me heavy aching pain around the liver area, alcohol makes me really ill and eating meat regular makes me tired and painful in the liver area. Also foods with lots of fat or sugar can cause niggles.

I only drink warm water which is boring, every so often have a coffee and regret it. If I stay eating the wrong foods I get depressed, in constant pain and can get disorientated. As long as I stick to what I know I feel good and energetic.

Hope this helps someone.


Hi, I also get pain after coffee and too much sugar too. The pain is a inflammation and feels like all round the liver area presses into my rib cage. When the inflammation goes down the liver feels brused where is been pressing into the ribs. I don't drink alcohol as it makes me really ill too. Tea also makes me ill. This all started 15 years ago for me but has progressively got worse. I keep a food diary now to keep track. Had loads of scans and told cysts in liver, gilbert's syndrome, no help from docs as they say liver can't feel pain like it's in my head.

Its inflammation. Don't think they are that clued up on the liver.


Hi I read your post and I am having simular problems after drinking coffee I don't know if it's liver pain or pain near the liver.the only difference with me I my pain is right below the rib cage on the right side.i use sugar free creamer and stevia for sugar.i don't understand why coffee would cause this kind of pain.but I've had it for nearly 2 months and I couldn't think of anything except that I drink coffee I didn't drink coffee yesterday and didn't have any pain all I'm gonna continue and see what happens.but was wondering if you or anyone has heard what could cause this

Bribri44 profile image
Bribri44 in reply to Nevaeh5

I have pain in right upper abdomen after drinking coffee and feel sick. I have had my gallbladder out. Still the same symptoms. People act like its an impossibility including doctors which i cant even get to do any further testing on my liver after telling me my liver enzymes are high. I found this website trying to learn more. Apparently other people are experiencing this and also being told it cant be true. I feel somewhat better just getting a little validation on what i feel is happening to me. Thanks

Yes it is very possible I have the same condition with Coffee but not all Coffee the Keurig Cartridges seem to be the worst I can drink Nescafe Clasisco Dark Roast 2 table spoons per cup with no problem.I had my gallbladder removed recently which did not change a thing.

I have also noticed that some deep fried foods batter me also.

My doctor whom has passed away recently told me that he noticed that too much coffee can cause Cancer of the pancreas. My mother died of that and was also a serious coffee drinker.

My condition I have had for at least 10 years the pain does not seem to increase over time.

I also noticed that alcohol seem to do the same I find myself to drink about 20 % of what I used to do.

Sometimes the pain radiates into the back.

I hope this helps and now you know you are not alone in this mystery.

I forgot to mention that Milk Thistle Extract 300 MG made by NOW under the name Silymarin removes the pain it seems to help the liver I hope it helps

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to 54Dutchman

We have to be careful about advocating the use of herbal/alternative remedies. Many members on here with diagnosed liver disease have actually been told NOT to take milk thistle by their hepatologists as it can cause more issues than it helps. There is no scientific evidence to support the use of it only anecdotal evidence.

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