pain in left side under ribs


If you feel pain in the lower left ribs or in the upper and left abdomen that worries you, read more.

Many of the pain you feel under the left ribs is harmless, uncomplicated, and transient and will go away on its own, but be aware that some of the pain you feel in the lower ribs may be a serious threat to your life. We will further acquaint you with the causes of pain under the left ribs or pain in the upper and left abdomen. Let us start by saying that if your pain is a vague and indescribable pain or pain that is constantly increasing in intensity and is repeated many times, you must see a doctor for a better examination.

In the upper and left side of the abdomen, in other words, under the left ribs, there are lower limbs:

  • Heart
  • Left lung
  • The spleen
  • Part of the pancreas
  • A very small part of the liver
  • Stomach
  • Above the large intestine
  • Left kidney



Causes of pain under the left rib

Diagnosing the cause of pain under the left ribs

When should we see a doctor?


Causes of pain under the left rib

Threatening conditions that may be associated with lower left rib pain include:

  • Heart attacks:

If you have chest pain, if you have shoulder or left jaw pain, if you have chest pain that spreads to the neck and back, if you have shortness of breath, you have cold sweats, or if you have lightheadedness and dizziness, be sure to call the emergency room as soon as possible.

  • Pancreatitis:

Inflammation of the pancreas, called pancreatitis, can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early. If you have severe abdominal pain that is accompanied by nausea and vomiting or if you have anorexia, you should go to a medical center immediately.


In the following get acquainted with other causes of pain under the left or upper ribs and the left side of the abdomen:


  • Rib fractures:

Impacts and injuries to the ribs can cause rib fractures, sometimes in the elderly, the slightest trauma can cause rib fractures.

  • Inflammation and infections of the lung tissue or pneumonia:

Viral or bacterial infections, and in People with immunodeficiency, fungal infections of the lung tissue can lead to pneumonia.

In these cases, in addition to fever and cough, there is usually pleurisy

Pleurisy is chest pain that is exacerbated by deep breathing


  • Problems and inflammation of the muscles, bones, and cartilage at the junction of the ribs to the sternum

Doctors call these conditions musculoskeletal causes

Doing hard exercises that are accompanied by hand and arm movements, heavy work, lifting a heavy body, etc. can cause focal and regional pains.

Inflammation of the cartilage at the junction of the ribs to the sternum is called costochondritis, which causes limited, limited pain in the chest, but can sometimes be confused with myocardial infarction.


  • Splenomegaly or the presence of a large spleen:

Some liver diseases, such as cirrhosis of the liver, and some inherited disorders, such as cystic fibrosis and some blood problems, may cause the spleen to enlarge or splenomegaly.

The large spleen can cause pain under the left ribs


  • Left kidney stones
  • Infections and inflammations of the inner layer of the heart called endocarditis


Diagnosing the cause of pain under the left ribs

Your doctor will use the following diagnostic aids by asking for a detailed history and necessary clinical examinations, such as hearing lung and heart sounds, abdominal examinations, and more:

  • Laboratory tests
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • MR
  • Endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Sigmoid flexible


When should we see a doctor?

If you have the following symptoms, you should go to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible:

  • Vomit
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Pain in the upper and left abdomen that is getting worse
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pleurisy
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling of heaviness or pressure on the chest
  • Chest burning
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shoulder pain, neck and back pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting


It is noted that left pulmonary embolism can present with severe and sudden pain in the chest and lower ribs, shortness of breath, or increased number of breaths.

In case of any of the above demonstrations, you should not waste time going to the emergency room


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