What’s Causing Pain Under My Left Ribs?
Your left ribs are like your heart and stomach. There can be injury, infections, or an underlying condition that causes pain in this area.
If you have chest pain, you should be aware of a serious condition. It is true that pain under your ribs can be a symptom of a heart attack, but it is not always related to your heart.
Left rib pain can feel dull and throbbing, depending on the cause. Many people feel pain in this area because of a benign cause. If you are having chest pain, it is best to see a doctor or healthcare professional to make sure it is not serious.
There are possible causes of left rib pain.
Chest pain can sometimes signal a medical emergency, such as a heart attack. If you’re feeling pain in your left ribs, it’s best not to ignore it.
Heart attack symptoms
- “It’s usually in the middle or left side of your chest.”
- There is pain in your neck, jaw, shoulders, arms, back, or above your belly button.
- The breath was very thin.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- lightheadedness or dizziness
- irregular heart rate
If you think you might be having a heart attack, call the emergency services.
There are 24 ribs in your rib cage, with 12 on the left and 12 on the right. Their function is to protect your organs.
On the left side, this includes your heart, lungs, and kidneys. Pain can be felt under and around your left rib cage when any of these organs are injured. It is possible to hurt your ribs.
Costochondritis refers to inflammation of the cartilage that attaches your ribs to your breastbone. This condition doesn’t always have a clear cause. It can happen for several reasons, such as:
- An illness.
- An injury.
- There was a lot of coughing.
Costochondritis causes a sharp pain that is usually felt on the left side of your rib cage. It may get worse when you cough, sneeze, or press on your ribs.
A forceful blow or injury to your chest is the most common cause of bruised or broken ribs.
If you have a bruised rib, you will usually feel pain in your chest when you breathe or move.
“The pain from a broken rib is likely to be severe. It may make you feel like you can’t breathe. There are sometimes serious consequences from broken ribs.”
- a collapsed lung
- injuries to your blood vessels or organs, such as your spleen
- flail chest, which is a medical emergency that happens when you have many fractures in your ribs
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are two different digestive conditions. The causes of IBS and IBD aren’t fully known.
IBS and IBD both cause persistent, long-term pain in your abdomen, which is the area from your chest down to your hips. It’s possible for IBS or IBD to cause pain under your left ribs. These conditions also cause digestive symptoms, such as constipation, diarrhea, and gas.
Symptoms may come and go. IBS symptoms tend to improve after you have a bowel movement. IBD is a more serious condition that causes physical changes to your intestines. A doctor can see these changes using imaging tests.
Your pancreas is a gland located near your small intestine, on the left side of your belly. It makes insulin, which your body uses to turn sugar into energy. It also releases digestive juices into your small intestine to help break down food you’ve eaten.
Pancreatitis refers to inflammation of your pancreas. It can have many causes, including:
- long-term heavy alcohol use
- They have gallstones.
Pain caused by pancreatitis can happen suddenly (acute pancreatitis), or it can slowly get worse over time (chronic pancreatitis). Additional symptoms of pancreatitis include:
- There is a high degree of fever.
- fast heart rate
- weight loss
- There is a problem of jaundice.
It is important to treat pancreatitis to prevent serious problems.
Your spleen also sits in the left side of your body, near your rib cage. This organ is an important part of your immune system. It produces white blood cells that fight infection, and it processes other parts of your blood.
An enlarged spleen, also called splenomegaly, can cause symptoms such as:
- It is either pain or discomfort.
- It was bloated.
- After eating a small amount of food, you feel full.
There are a number of things that can cause an enlarged spleen.
- viral infections, such as mononucleosis
- bacterial infections, such as syphilis
- parasitic infections, such as malaria
- Blood diseases can be caused by a number of diseases.
- There are diseases of the liver.
Trauma can cause your spleen to tear. You should get medical attention immediately if you have a medical emergency.
The area might feel tender if you touch it. Other signs and symptoms can include pain.
- low blood pressure.
- blurry vision
More rarely, a splenic infarct happens when a portion of your spleen necrotizes or “dies.” This happens when the blood supply is lowered or stopped, usually as a result of An injury. or conditions that affect your blood.
Gastritis refers to inflammation of the lining of your stomach, which is also near the left side of your rib cage.
“It doesn’t always cause symptoms, but there are possible symptoms.”
- There is pain in your abdomen.
- feeling full after eating only a small amount of food
The causes of gastritis are listed.
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Heavy alcohol use for a long time.
Your kidneys are part of your urinary tract. They’re located on either side of your spine, but when they become inflamed or infected, the pain can radiate to the front of your body. When your left kidney is involved, you might feel pain near the left side of your rib cage.
Kidney stones are hardened calcium and salt deposits that form into stones. They can cause a cramping pain as they move out of your kidneys and make their way toward your bladder. In addition to pain in your left rib cage, kidney stones can also cause:
- There is an urge to urinate.
- bloody or cloudy urine
- The pain is in your side and in the front of your body.
Kidney infections occur when bacteria from your urinary tract make their way into your kidneys. This usually happens due to a bladder infection. Additional symptoms of a kidney infection can include There is a high degree of fever. and nausea.
It is important to see a doctor if you have symptoms of a kidneys problem. You can get a diagnosis and start treatment.
Your heart is surrounded by a fluid-filled sac called the pericardium. Pericarditis refers to inflammation of this sac. This can cause a dull ache or a stabbing pain that’s usually worse when you’re lying down. Pericarditis can also cause a high There is a high degree of fever..
“It happens after you have a viral infection, but researchers don’t know why.”
If it is not treated, it can lead to more serious problems.
Pleurisy happens when the tissue that surrounds your lungs becomes inflamed. Causes of pleurisy include:
- There is a clot in your lung.
- cancer that has spread from another part of your body to the tissue surrounding your lungs
- cancers that specifically affect the tissue surrounding your lungs, such as mesothelioma
Pleurisy on your left side may cause pain under your left rib cage, but the main symptom is a sharp, stabbing pain when you breathe. Be sure to see a doctor if you experience any intense chest pain while breathing.
A doctor will give you a physical exam that will include feeling the pain in your rib cage. This will help them check for signs of swelling or inflammation that might be caused by a condition such as costochondritis.
If they suspect the pain could be due to a heart problem, a doctor might use an electrocardiogram to measure the electrical activity in your heart. This will help to rule out any serious underlying condition.
Next, they may take blood, stool, or urine samples for testing. Analyzing these results can alert a doctor to signs of kidney problems, pancreatitis, or gastritis.
If the cause of your rib cage pain is not clear, you may need an exam.
- The baby is being examined by a doctor
- A computed toms (CT) Scan is performed.
- The X-ray was taken.
- The procedure of examining the body.
This will give the doctor a better idea of what you have.
What kind of doctor should I see for left rib pain?
There are many possible causes of pain around your left rib cage. A primary care doctor can usually help you determine the cause. If needed, they can refer you to a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor who treats bones, muscles, and joints.
If you need help finding a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
If you think you might be having a heart attack, call the emergency services right away.
What is causing your rib cage pain is up to you. If it is related to inflammation, the doctor will recommend taking NSAIDs to reduce the pain. In some cases, you may need an antibiotic to clear up a bug.
If there are no problems, broken ribs will heal with rest.
You may need surgery in rare cases. If a large stone is too large to pass through your body on its own, a doctor may need to remove it.
It is not uncommon to feel pain under the left rib cage, because of the number of organs in the upper left part of your body. It may be a very easy condition to treat.
If you have pain that lasts more than 24 hours, is associated with serious symptoms, or is worse over time, you should get medical treatment immediately to rule out any underlying conditions.