Upper Left Abdominal Pain Under Ribs: Causes and Treatments


What’s Causing Pain Under My Ribs within the Upper Left Abdomen?

Pain in your upper left abdomen under your ribs can have a spread of causes. This is often because there are several important organs during this area, including the:

  • spleen
  • kidney
  • pancreas
  • stomach
  • colon
  • lung

Although the guts aren’t within the upper left abdomen, they can refer pain to the world.

Some causes of pain within the upper left abdomen could also be treated reception, but others are often life-threatening. So it’s important to contact your doctor if your pain is unexplained, persistent, or severe — albeit you don’t think it’s serious.

Read on to seek out the possible causes and symptoms of this sort of pain, and what you ought to do.

Life-threatening causes

Heart attack

If you think you’ll be having an attack or medical emergency, call 911 or dial your local emergency number immediately.

One of the foremost common symptoms of an attack is tightness, pain, aching, pressure, or squeezing in your chest or arms. This might spread to your jaw, back, or neck.

Other common attack symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • sudden dizziness
  • nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or pain in your abdomen
  • shortness of breath
  • cold sweat

You may have all or simply one or two of those symptoms, but if you experience any of them and think you’ll be having an attack, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Treating an attack

Heart attacks must be treated during a hospital. The treatment choices incorporate prescriptions and medical procedure, for example :

  • blood thinners
  • aspirin
  • pain medications
  • nitroglycerin
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • beta-blockers
  • surgically implanted stent
  • heart bypass surgery


Angina is another heart-related condition that will cause pain in this area. When the blood venturing out to your heart doesn’t contain sufficient oxygen causes Angina. This might cause tightening or pain in your chest, jaw, back, shoulders, and arms.

Additional symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • sweating

Angina isn’t a disease of the guts. Rather, it’s a symbol of a possible undiagnosed heart issue like a coronary heart condition or coronary microvascular disease.

Treating angina.

The treatment options for angina depend upon the underlying cause. Treatment options include:

  • medications like blood thinners and beta-blockers
  • lifestyle changes to scale back the risk of further heart condition
  • surgical procedures like stents or bypass surgery


Pericarditis is brought about by the expansion of the film around your heart. This layer, which additionally gets bothered, is named the pericardium.

There are four sorts of pericarditis. The sort is decided by how long the symptoms last.

These four types are:

  • Acute: Symptoms last but 3 weeks.
  • Incessant: Symptoms are continuous and last 4 to six weeks.
  • Recurrent: Symptoms reoccur 4 to six weeks later with no symptoms between the prior episode.
  • Chronic: Symptoms last longer than 3 months.

The symptoms vary slightly for every type, and should include:

  • Sharp pain within the middle or left side of your chest will worsen once you inhale
  • An overall sensation of being wiped out, depleted, or powerless
  • cough
  • unusual swelling in your abdomen or leg
  • shortness of breath while lying down or reclining
  • heart palpitations
  • slight fever

Treating pericarditis.

Treatment depends on the sort, cause, and severity. Options include:

  • medications, like aspirin, corticosteroids, and colchicine
  • antibiotics, if it’s caused by an infection
  • pericardiocentesis, a surgery that drains excess fluid from the pericardium (usually only during a complication called cardiac tamponade)
  • pericardiectomy, a surgery for constrictive pericarditis during which a rigid pericardium is removed

Digestive causes.

Trapped gas.

Trapped gas occurs when gas is slow or unable to maneuver through your alimentary canal. It is often caused by food or digestive conditions. The symptoms of trapped gas include:

  • painful cramps
  • a feeling of knots in your abdomen
  • passing gas
  • abdominal bloating

Treating trapped gas.

Gas may be a normal part of the digestion process, but it can cause discomfort. Trapped gas is often treated by:

  • making changes to your diet
  • reducing or eliminating foods that will cause gas, such as:
  • foods high in fiber
  • dairy
  • fried foods
  • carbonated drinks
  • changing your dietary patterns by eating increasingly slow more modest parts
  • stopping gum chewing or employing a straw
  • assuming control over-the-counter (OTC) meds like Beano, GasX, or Mylanta

If you experience chronic trapped gas, it’s an honest idea to ascertain together with your doctor to see if it’s being caused by a digestive condition.


Constipation occurs once you have fewer than three bowel movements per week or have stools that are hard and difficult to pass.

In children the most trusted Source of explaining abdominal pain is Constipation. Symptoms of constipation include:

  • hard stools
  • straining to pass stool
  • feeling unable to empty bowels
  • feeling a blockage preventing a movement
  • needing to continue the abdomen to pass stools

Treating constipation.

Treatment options for constipation may include:

  • making lifestyle changes like ensuring you often exercise
  • not delaying once you have the urge to possess a movement
  • consuming more fiber in foods and supplements
  • taking OTC and prescription medications like laxatives
  • getting treatment to fix and extricate your pelvic floor muscles

For some people with chronic constipation, surgery can also be needed.


Heartburn may be a common condition that involves mild to severe pain within the chest. It’s estimated that quite 60 million Americans experience heartburn a minimum of once a month. Heartburn usually occurs after eating.

It typically happens when acid comes copy from the stomach into the esophagus. This creates a copying uproar and inconvenience in your chest. The torment can feel sharp or consuming or cause a fixing sensation.

Some people can also describe heartburn as burning that moves up around their neck and throat, or as discomfort located behind the breastbone.

Treating heartburn.

Contingent upon the reason and your strategy for treatment, acid reflux can last at least 2 hours. You’ll be ready to manage your heartburn by:

  • losing weight
  • quitting smoking
  • eating fewer fatty foods
  • avoiding spicy or acidic foods

Mild, infrequent heartburn also can be treated with medications like antacids. Buy antacids now.

Notwithstanding, in case you’re taking stomach-settling agents a few times or more each week, your PCP ought to assess you. Heartburn could also be a symbol of a much bigger problem like acid reflux or GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly called acid reflux, may be a condition that happens once you experience heartburn quite twice hebdomadally. The symptoms of GERD can also include:

  • regurgitating acid
  • hoarseness
  • chest pain
  • throat tightness
  • cough
  • bad breath
  • trouble swallowing

Treating GERD.

The treatment options for GERD vary counting on the severity of your symptoms. They also generally include a mixture of lifestyle changes and medications.

Lifestyle changes that will help relieve GERD include:

  • losing weight
  • quitting smoking
  • limiting alcohol consumption
  • elevating your head while you sleep
  • eating smaller meals
  • not lying down within 3 hours of eating

Medications for GERD include:

  • antacids
  • H₂ receptor blockers
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • prokinetics

In severe cases, when medications and lifestyle changes aren’t effective, or when complications occur, your doctor can also recommend surgery.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be a chronic condition involving a gaggle of intestinal symptoms that typically occur together. The indications fluctuate in seriousness and span from one individual to another. Symptoms include:

  • stomach torment or squeezing, as a rule with looseness of the bowels or obstruction
  • stools with a white mucus
  • bloating or gas
  • an inability to end a movement or feeling such as you can’t finish

Treating IBS.

There’s no cure for IBS. Treatment is aimed toward symptom relief and condition management. This might include:

  • increasing fiber intake
  • following a diet
  • trying a low-FODMAP diet
  • getting enough sleep
  • exercising regularly
  • reducing stress
  • taking medications or probiotics
  • practicing relaxation techniques, like mindfulness or meditation

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes any disorder that causes inflammation in your alimentary canal. The foremost common of those conditions is colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Symptoms of IBD may include:

  • exhaustion or fatigue
  • fever
  • cramping and pain in your abdomen
  • diarrhea
  • bloody stools
  • unintended weight loss
  • loss of ap

Treating IBD.

There are a variety of treatment options for IBD, many of which may be combined for the simplest condition management. Treatments include:

  • making lifestyle changes, like changes to your diet, exercise regimen, and stress reduction techniques
  • taking medications, such as:
  • antibiotics
  • anti-inflammatories
  • immunosuppressants
  • supplements
  • antidiarrheal medication
  • pain relievers
  • getting nutritional support within the sort of feeding tube, if necessary
  • having surgery which will include removing the damaged part of your alimentary canal or removing all or part of your colon
  • using alternative treatments like acupuncture

Kidney stones.

Kidney stones happen when waste develops in your kidneys and remains together. This is often thanks to not enough water passing through. Common symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • sharp pain in your abdomen and back
  • pain once you urinate
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • blood in your urine

Treating kidney stones.

The treatment for a urinary calculus varies supported by the severity and size of the urinary calculus. Treatments may include:

  • taking pain medications
  • increasing your water intake
  • having surgery such as:
  • 1. shock wave lithotripsy, which uses sound waves to interrupt up the stone
  • 2. ureteroscopy, which involves employing a small scope inserted into your ureter to get rid of the stone
  • 3. percutaneous nephrolithotomy, during which a little scope is inserted through an incision in your back to require out the stone



Pancreatitis occurs when your pancreas is inflamed. There are two kinds of pancreatitis: intense(acute) and ongoing(chronic). The symptoms vary for everyone.

Acute(intense) pancreatitis symptoms may include:

  • abdominal pain that spreads to your back
  • abdominal pain that’s worse after eating
  • stomach tenderness
  • fever
  • vomiting and nausea
  • increased pulse

Chronic(ongoing) pancreatitis symptoms may include:

  • pain in your upper abdomen
  • unintentional weight loss
  • stools that smell and appear oily

Treating pancreatitis

Treatment options for acute pancreatitis include:

  • pain medications
  • temporary fasting
  • liquids through a cylinder into your vein (intravenous line, or IV)
  • surgical procedures which will involve gallbladder removal, draining fluid from the
  • pancreas, or removing obstructions within the common bile duct

Treatment options for chronic pancreatitis may include all of the treatments for acute pancreatitis, also as:

  • dietary changes
  • pancreatic enzyme supplements
  • pain management

Enlarged spleen

An enlarged spleen, or splenomegaly, is often caused by a variety of diseases and conditions.

Infections are one of the foremost common causes of an enlarged spleen. Problems together with your liver, like cirrhosis and CF, also can cause an enlarged spleen.

Symptoms you’ll experience with an enlarged spleen include:

  • feeling full even after eating little or no
  • back pain on your left side
  • back pain that spreads up to your shoulder
  • an increased number of infections
  • shortness of breath
  • tiredness

You can likewise encounter no manifestations with an augmented spleen.

Treating an enlarged spleen

Treatment for an augmented spleen relies upon the hidden reason. Treatments may include:

  • antibiotics
  • medications
  • surgery
  • rest

Other causes


Pneumonia is an infection that happens in one or both of your lungs. It can have different causes including organisms, microbes, and infections. the subsequent are the foremost common symptoms of pneumonia:

  • chills
  • fever
  • cough containing mucus
  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • sharp pain when coughing or breathing deeply
  • extreme tiredness

Treating pneumonia

Pneumonia can often be treated in reception under the direction of your doctor. These at-home treatments include:

  • resting
  • increasing fluid intake
  • taking antibiotics
  • taking fever-reducing medications

Severe or persistent pneumonia requires treatment within the hospital, including:

  • IV fluids
  • antibiotics
  • treatments to assist breathing
  • oxygen


Pleurisy is an inflammation of the membrane around your lungs, also as on The within of your chest wall. Symptoms of pleurisy may include:

  • chest pain once you cough, sneeze, or breathe
  • cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath

Treating pleurisy

The treatment options for pleurisy include:

  • antibiotics
  • prescription pain and cough medication
  • anticoagulants, or medications to interrupt up any blood clots or large collections of pus and mucus
  • bronchodilators via metered-dose inhaler devices, like those wont to treat asthma
  • OTC anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers

Collapsed lung

A collapsed lung, also called pneumothorax, can occur when air gets within the space between the lung and therefore the chest wall.

As the air grows, it pushes against the lung, and ultimately the lung may implode. The pressure from this trapped air also can make it difficult to require during a full breath.

The most common symptoms include:

  • sharp chest pains
  • a bluish tint to your skin
  • fast heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • increased rate of shallow breathing
  • cough

Treating a collapsed lung

If the collapse is mild, then your doctor may want to observe to ascertain if it resolves. Otherwise, treatment for a collapsed lung may include:

  • oxygen therapy
  • draining the surplus air
  • surgery


Costochondritis occurs when the cartilage that connects your skeletal structure to your breastbone becomes inflamed. It can have symptoms that are almost like an attack.

The symptoms of costochondritis include the following:

  • pain on the left side of your chest
  • sharp pain seems like pressure or feels achy
  • pain that increases once you breathe or cough
  • pain in additional than one among your ribs

Treating costochondritis

Costochondritis could also be treated with:

  • anti-inflammatories
  • narcotics
  • antiseizure medications to assist with pain control
  • antidepressants to assist with pain control

Broken ribs

Broken ribs are regularly brought about by a serious or awful physical issue. However, if you’ve got osteoporosis or another condition that affects your bones, you’ll get a broken rib from a minor injury. The symptoms include:

  • severe pain
  • while breathing pain got worse
  • pain that creates it difficult for you to require a full breath
  • pain that lasts for an extended period of your time, sometimes weeks

Treating broken ribs

Broken ribs are usually treated with:

  • pain relievers
  • deep breathing exercises
  • coughing, to avoid pneumonia
  • hospitalization


Endocarditis is a contamination of your heart’s internal coating. The symptoms of endocarditis may include:

  • heart failure
  • fever
  • heart murmur
  • fatigue
  • unintended weight loss
  • dull abdominal pain
  • feeling full even after a little meal

Treating endocarditis

The treatment alternatives for endocarditis incorporate anti-microbials and medical procedures.


Appendicitis occurs when your appendix is inflamed. Although the appendix isn’t located within the upper left abdomen, in rare cases, it can cause pain within the area. The symptoms may include:

  • abdominal pain that’s usually within the lower right quadrant
  • the abdomen is tender to the touch
  • in very rare cases trusted Source, abdominal pain within the upper left section of the abdomen

Treating appendicitis

In most cases, appendicitis is treated by appendectomy surgery to get rid of the appendix

When to ascertain a doctor

As you’ll see, the explanation for upper left abdominal pain varies significantly and should be from something as minor as heartburn. However, if the pain is new, persistent, and severe, you ought to visit your doctor.

If your symptoms include any of the life-threatening symptoms mentioned during this article, you ought to call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.


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