Where are Your Kidneys and Liver Located?

In addition to understanding “where are your kidneys and liver located”, you’ll get answer to the questions, like:

  • Do both the kidneys like at the equal level?
  • How close are the liver and kidneys in your body?
  • Which is higher in position, the kidney or the liver?
  • How many types of filtration plants does your body have?
  • How are the kidneys and the liver related to each other?
  • If related to each other, why don’t they make a part of the same organ system?

Understanding the location of the kidneys and liver in the body can help you trace the origin of pain in your body. For example, based on this information, you can easily find out if you are suffering from a kidney disease or not. Similarly, it will help in the diagnosis of a liver condition.

Understanding Body Cavities – It’s Pertinent!

Before learning about the location of the kidneys and the liver in your body, you should make distinction between the thoracic and abdominal cavities. When combined with pelvic cavity to form abdominopelvic compartment, it forms the largest cavity in your body.

Located superior to the abdominal region, the thoracic cavity is enclosed by the rib cage. There is a visible partition between the two cavities. This partition is called the diaphragm that separates the two regions and forms the floor of the thoracic cavity.

While the thoracic cavity houses the organs like the lungs and the heart, the abdominal one contains the kidneys, the spleen, and various primary and accessory digestive organs. The digestive organs include the stomach, esophagus, small intestine, and large intestine. These are the main organs of digestion. On the other hand, the liver, pancreas, gall bladder, tongue and slavery glands are categorized at the accessory organs of this system.

Kidney location

Fig. 1: Kidney & Liver Location

Where Are Your Kidneys and Liver Located?

It is the abdominopelvic cavity – the largest cavity in your body – which houses both the liver and the kidneys. While there is no partition separating the abdominal cavity from the pelvic cavity, both can be easily distinguished from each other based on their location and the type of organs they contain. Located superiorly, the adnominal cavity houses the digestive organs while, located inferiorly, the pelvic region accommodates the reproductive structures.

Moving from top to bottom, the right lung, the liver, and the right kidney lie in a vertical line. Below you can read more about the precise location of each of these structures.

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There are two kidneys and one liver. One kidney is located on each side of the spine (spinal column). Each of these bean-shaped organs measures about the size of a large fist, i.e. 4 to 5 inches. The kidneys, unlike the other abdominal organs, are regarded as the retroperitoneal organs as they lie behind the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum.

Location of Liver:

Regarding their special arrangement, the liver lies superior to the kidneys. It sits above the right kidney while horizontally pointing towards the direction of the left one. Its location can be traced just below the diaphragm in the right upper quadrant of the abdominal region.

Do both the kidneys like at the equal level?

Though the extraordinarily efficient natural filters of your body may look to be similar in shape, size, and dimensions, they do not lie at the same level. Here it should be noted that the lift and the right kidneys do not weigh the same. Also, they vary in weight across genders.

The right kidney is about a centimeter lower than the left one. What does contribute to this spatial inequality? It is the liver, the army check post of your body, that sitting above the right kidney makes it get a bit lower than its counterpart to the left.

How close are the liver and kidneys in your body?

The kidneys do not lie at the same distance from liver. The right one lying just below the liver is closer to this accessory digestive organ than the left one. A wedge-shaped organ with four lobes of unequal size and shape, the major part of the hepatic organ lies above the right kidney. That is why, the right kidney gets lowered (about 1 cm) than the left one.

Which is higher in position, the kidney or the liver?

As already elaborated, the hepatic organ lies higher in space than the renal organs. Both the kidneys – one lying on each side of the spine – are located below the level of the liver. The right one is further pushed below due to the placement of the liver over it.

Varying in size across genders, the liver is larger than the kidneys in both males and females. It measures large in men than in women.

If related to each other, do they make a part of the same organ system?

Even though the kidneys and liver are somewhat related to each other in their function – that is, their role to help the body get rid of harmful substances – they do not make a part of the same organ system. While a kidney is a central component of the urinary system, the liver is grouped as an accessory digestive organ.

Here it is also pertinent to mention that the kidneys also contribute to the endocrine system of the body. Their endocrine function originates from the presence of the adrenal glands, one on the top of each kidney. These glands secrete a variety of hormones (such as adrenaline) and release them directly into the blood circulation.

Interesting Facts about Your Kidneys and Liver:

  • Both the kidneys and liver are located in the abdominal region which, when combined with the pelvic cavity (as abdominopelvic cavity), forms the largest body cavity!
  • The presence of the liver over the right kidney pushes it down about one centimeter than the level of the left kidney. It means the two renal organs do not lie at the same level along the horizontal line.

About the Author

Posted by: Ryan Jacobs / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar, Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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