Upper Left Abdominal Pain: What’s Causing Pain Under My Ribs in the Upper Left Abdomen?

Upper Left Abdominal Pain: What’s Causing Pain Under My Ribs in the Upper Left Abdomen?

What organ is in your upper left abdomen?Is left upper abdominal pain serious?When should I go to the hospital for upper left abdominal pain?Where is the pain of pancreatitis felt?What are the warning signs of pancreatitis?What does pancreatitis pain feel like?When should I worry about pain under my left rib cage?

Upper Left Abdominal Pain

Indigestion, a stomach ulcer, acute gastritis, or an infection caused by a virus are some of the potential causes of pain located in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen. However, you can have a problem with your lungs, such as pneumonia. Talk to your physician if the symptoms do not improve.

Pain in the upper left abdomen symptoms

Are you feeling pain in your upper left abdomen? Because the abdomen can be divided into four quadrants, it is much simpler to localize the specific area that is causing you pain. On the other hand, there is a good chance that it will be resolved on its own.

The upper left part of the abdomen contains several structures including:

  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Diaphragm
  • Left lower rib cage
  • Left lower lung
  • Left lobe of the liver
  • Left kidney
  • Left adrenal gland
  • Upper left sections of the large intestine
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Life-threatening causes

Heart attack

If you think you could be having a heart attack or another type of medical emergency, you should call 911 or the emergency number for your area as soon as possible.

Tightness, discomfort, hurting, pressure, or squeezing in the chest or arms is one of the most typical symptoms of a heart attack. Other symptoms include nausea and shortness of breath. There is a possibility that it will extend to your jaw, back or neck.

Other typical signs of a heart attack include the following:

weariness sudden dizziness

symptoms such as queasy stomach, indigestion, heartburn, or pain in the abdominal region

a rapid shallow breath with a chilly sweat

It’s possible that you just have one or two of these symptoms, but if you encounter any of them and are concerned that you could be suffering a heart attack, you should phone 911 or the emergency number for your area as soon as possible.

Relieving symptoms of a heart attack

Hospitalization is required for the treatment of heart attacks. Medications and surgical procedures are among the therapy possibilities, including the following:

drugs that thin the blood

medication for pain such as aspirin

inhibitors of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) that are nitroglycerin-based


inserted through surgical surgery involving stents to bypass the heart


Pain in this region may also be caused by angina, which is another illness related to the heart. Angina is brought on when there is a lack of oxygen in the blood that is flowing to the heart of the patient. Because of this, you can experience tightness or pain in your chest, jaw, back, shoulders, or arms.

The following are other symptoms:

a feeling of difficulty breathing


nausea \sfatigue \ssweating

The condition known as angina is not a disease of the heart. Rather, it is a sign that there may be an underlying problem with the heart that has not yet been identified, such as coronary heart disease or coronary microvascular disease.

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Treating angina

Treatment choices for angina are determined, in part, by the underlying etiology of the condition. Among the several treatment possibilities are:

Medications, such as blood thinners and beta-blockers; changes in lifestyle to lower the risk of additional heart disease; surgical procedures, such as stent placement or bypass surgery.


The inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart is the root cause of pericarditis. Thepericardium is the name of the membrane that surrounds the heart, which can also get inflamed.

Pericarditis can take one of four different forms. The length of time that symptoms are present is used to

the condition. These four categories are as follows:

Acute conditions are those that last for less than three weeks.


The symptoms continue to manifest themselves over a period of four to six weeks.

Recurrent illness is characterized by the reappearance of symptoms between four and six weeks after the conclusion of a prior episode of the illness.

Chronic conditions are those that endure longer than three months.

The symptoms can vary widely depending on the type and could include the following:

a stabbing pain in the center or left side of your chest that may get worse when you inhale a general feeling of being unwell, weary, or weak coughing that is uncommon for you unusual swelling in your abdomen or thigh shortness of breath while lying down or reclining heart palpitations

mild fever

For the treatment of pericarditis

Treatment is dependent on the type of illness, what caused it, and how severe it is. Among the choices are:

if it’s caused by an infection, drugs like aspirin, corticosteroids, and colchicine antibiotics may be prescribed.

pericardiocentesis is a surgical treatment that removes excess fluid from the pericardium around the heart (usually only in a complication called cardiac tamponade)

a pericardiectomy is a surgical technique that removes a stiff pericardium. This procedure is used to treat constrictive pericarditis.

Digestive causes

Compressed gas

When gas moves through your digestive tract more slowly than normal or is unable to move at all, you may experience symptoms of trapped gas. Foods or situations affecting digestion can bring on this syndrome. The following are some of the signs of trapped gas:

excruciating cramps

a feeling like there are knots in your stomach passing gas

abdominal bloating

Processing of the entrapped gas

Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but it can be a source of pain for some people. There are a few ways that trapped gas can be treated:

making adjustments to your diet, including decreasing or getting rid of things that can induce gas, such as foods heavy in fiber, dairy products, and fried foods.

beverages with carbonation

Altering your eating routine by chewing more slowly and consuming fewer calories will help you lose weight.

avoiding habits such as gum chewing, the use of straws, and the consumption of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such as Beano, GasX, and Mylanta

If you have persistent problems with trapped gas, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician to determine whether or not the problem is caused by a digestive disorder.

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If you have fewer than three bowel movements per week or if your stools are firm and difficult to pass, you may be suffering from the condition known as constipation.

In children, the most prevalent cause of abdominal pain that can be attributed to a reliable source is constipation. The following are some symptoms of constipation:

stools that are difficult to pass feeling like you cannot empty your bowels despite your efforts to pass stool

Having the sensation of a blockage in the bowels, which prevents bowel movements, and the need to press on the belly in order to pass feces

Providing relief for constipation

The following are some potential treatments for constipation:

making adjustments to one’s lifestyle, such as increasing the frequency with which one exercise

not holding it in when you feel the need to have a bowel movement when you have the urge to

increasing one’s fiber intake through food and supplements

using laxatives and other over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

undergoing treatment to both strengthen and relax the muscles in your pelvic floor

It’s possible that surgery will be required for some people who suffer from chronic constipation.


Heartburn is a frequent illness that can cause varying degrees of discomfort in the chest, from mild to severe. It is estimated that more than 60 million people in the United States suffer from heartburn on at least a monthly basis. After eating is when most people experience heartburn symptoms.

In most cases, this condition is caused by acid that travels backward from the stomach into the esophagus. Your chest will begin to feel uncomfortable and start to burn as a result of this. The pain may be described as being piercing or scorching, or it may feel like there is a constriction in the chest.

Burning that travels up around their neck and throat is another symptom that some people experience when they have heartburn. Some people may also describe the discomfort as being placed behind their breastbone.

The treatment of acid reflux

Heartburn might linger for two hours or more, depending on the underlying cause of the condition and the treatment you choose. You might be able to control your heartburn by doing the following:

shedding some pounds

putting down the cigarette and eating fewer foods high in fat

meals that are acidic or spicy should be avoided.

Medication, such as antacids, can also be used to manage heartburn that is not severe and only occurs sometimes. Get some antacids right now.

However, if you are using antacids many times per week or more, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician. It’s possible that heartburn is just a symptom of a more serious issue, such as acid reflux or GERD.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Heartburn that happens more than twice per week may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), often known as acid reflux. This ailment is diagnosed when stomach acid travels back up into the esophagus.

Additionally, the following are possible symptoms of GERD:

hoarseness caused by acid regurgitation

discomfort in the chest and the throat

a hacking cough, foul breath, and difficulty swallowing

The treatment of GERD

The intensity of your symptoms will determine which therapy choices are available to you for GERD. Alterations to one’s way of life are typically combined with pharmacological intervention as part of these treatments.

Alterations to one’s way of life that can help improve symptoms of GERD include the following:

shedding some pounds

quitting smoking

reducing one’s use of alcoholic beverages

putting a pillow under your head while you sleep, eating fewer but more frequent meals

without lying down for at least three hours after a meal

Medications that treat GERD include the following:

proton pump inhibitors, antacids, H2 receptor blockers, and other similar medications (PPIs)


In extreme circumstances, when drugs and changes in lifestyle are not effective, or when concerns arise, your doctor may consider surgery as an additional treatment option.

Syndrome of the irritable bowel (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a chronic disorder characterized by a collection of intestinal symptoms that frequently manifest all at once. The severity of the symptoms as well as how long they last vary from person to person. Among the symptoms are:

bloating or gas abdominal pain or cramping, typically accompanied by diarrhea or constipation feces that contain a white mucus a difficulty to finish a bowel movement or the sensation that you can’t finish

Treating IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome can’t be cured. The treatment focuses on relieving symptoms while also managing the illness. Examples of this could be:

consuming more fiber, adopting a gluten-free diet, experimenting with a low-FODMAP diet, ensuring adequate sleep, engaging in consistent physical activity, lowering stress levels, and either taking medication or probiotics may help.

Taking part in relaxing activities, such as meditation or practicing mindfulness

Disease of the inflammatory bowel (IBD)

The disease of the inflammatory bowel, abbreviated as IBD, refers to any condition that results in inflammation of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two of these illnesses that are diagnosed most frequently.

The following is a list of possible IBD symptoms:

weariness or fatigue

a high temperature, cramps, and pain in the abdominal region

bloody diarrhea and loose stools

loss of weight for no apparent reason

lack of hunger and appetite

Treating IBD

IBD patients have access to a variety of treatment choices, many of which can be combined in order to achieve the most beneficial management of their condition. Some treatments are as follows:

modifying aspects of your lifestyle, such as your eating habits, exercise routine, and approaches to managing stress, amongst other things.

consuming pharmaceuticals, such as the following:



immunosuppressants \ssupplements

antidiarrheal medicine

pain relievers

obtaining nutritional help in the form of a feeding tube, if necessary undergoing surgery that may include removing the damaged portion of your digestive tract or removing all or part of your colon, utilizing alternative treatments such as acupuncture, and so on and so forth.

Kidney stones

Waste that accumulates in the kidneys and then crystallizes can lead to the formation of kidney stones. This is because there is an inadequate amount of water moving through. The following are some of the common symptoms of kidney stones:

vomiting nausea abdominal pain back pain when you urinate blood in your urine acute pains in your abdomen and back pain when you urinate

Managing treatment for kidney stones

Treatment options for kidney stones are contingent on the severity of the condition as well as the size of the stone. Some possible treatments are as follows:

taking medication to treat one’s pain

increasing the amount of water that you consume undergoing a surgical procedure such as shock wave lithotripsy, which involves the use of sound waves to break up the stone; ureteroscopy, which involves the use of a small scope inserted into your ureter to remove the stone; percutaneous nephrolithotomy, which involves the use of a small scope that is inserted through an incision in your back to remove the stone; and


Inflammation of the pancreas can lead to a condition known as pancreatitis. Both acute and chronic forms of pancreatitis can affect a person’s quality of life. The symptoms are different for each individual.

Some of the signs of acute pancreatitis include:

a discomfort in the abdomen that radiates to the back

stomach tenderness that is worse after eating fever vomiting and nausea increased heart rate abdominal pain that is worse after eating

Some of the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include:

discomfort in the upper region of your abdomen

unexpected weight loss that results in feces that are oily-smelling and appear.

Pancreatitis care and treatment

The following are some of the potential treatments for acute pancreatitis:

pain medications temporary fasting fluids through a tube inserted into your vein (intravenous line, or IV) surgical procedures that may involve removing the gallbladder, draining fluid from the pancreas or removing obstructions in the bile duct pain medications temporary fasting fluids through a tube inserted into your vein (intravenous line, or IV) pain medications temporary fasting fluids through a tube

All of the treatments that are available for acute pancreatitis may also be choices for chronic pancreatitis patients, in addition to the following treatments:

alterations to one’s diet

pancreatic enzyme supplements pain treatment

Enlarged spleen

There are a number of disorders and conditions that can lead to splenomegaly, which is the medical term for an enlarged spleen.

One of the most typical reasons for a spleen that has become larger is an infection. An enlarged spleen is another symptom that can be brought on by issues with the liver, such as cirrhosis or cystic fibrosis.

Having an enlarged spleen may cause you to experience the following symptoms:

feeling full even after eating very little left-sided back discomfort back pain that goes up to your shoulder an increase in the number of infections you have in your body feeling full even after eating

a feeling of fatigue and shortness of breath

There is also the possibility that you will not experience any symptoms despite having an enlarged spleen.

Managing the symptoms of an enlarged spleen

The treatment for a spleen that has grown in size is contingent on the underlying cause. Some possible treatments are as follows:





Other causes


A person can have pneumonia if they have an infection in either or both of their lungs. It may be caused by a number of different things, including fungi, bacteria, or viruses. The following is a list of the most typical symptoms associated with pneumonia:

aches and pains fever cough with mucous chills and fever headaches

tremendous fatigue, shortness of breath, and intense chest pain during coughing or deep breathing

Managing patients with pneumonia

In many cases, pneumonia can be treated successfully at home with the guidance of a medical professional. These treatments can be done at home and include:

while taking in more fluids and resting

taking antibiotics

taking medicine to bring down one’s temperature

In cases of severe or persistent pneumonia, hospitalization is required for treatment, which may include the following:

antibiotics, IV fluids, and other treatments to assist with breathing and oxygen intake


A person with pleurisy has inflammation not only on the interior of their chest wall but also on the membrane that surrounds their lungs. The following is a list of possible symptoms of pleurisy:

You get pain in your chest whenever you cough, sneeze or breathe.

coughing fits feverishness and difficulty breathing

In the treatment of pleurisy

The following are some of the potential treatments for pleurisy:

anticoagulants, or medications to break up any blood clots or large collections of pus and mucus antibiotics, prescription pain and cough medication, bronchodilators via metered-dose inhaler devices, such as those used to treat asthma bronchodilators via metered-dose inhaler devices, such as those used to treat asthma

drugs available over-the-counter for the relief of pain and inflammation

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Collapsed lung

When air enters the area between the lung and the chest wall, this can lead to a condition known as pneumothorax, which is another name for a collapsed lung.

As the lung fills with more air, it is pushed against by the expanding air, which can eventually cause it to collapse. It may be difficult to take full breaths because of the pressure that is being caused by the air that is being trapped.

The following is a list of the most prevalent symptoms:

chest pains that are intense, a bluish cast on the skin, a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, exhaustion, and an increased pace of shallow breathing are all symptoms of angina.

The treatment of a lung that has collapsed

If the collapse is only a little, then your doctor may decide to do nothing more than wait to see if it gets better on its own. In such cases, possible treatments for a collapsed lung include the following:

oxygen treatment is a surgical procedure to remove the extra air


When the cartilage that links your rib cage to your breastbone becomes inflamed, a condition known as costochondritis can develop. It is possible for it to have symptoms that are comparable to those of a heart attack.

The following is a list of symptoms that are associated with costochondritis:

pain in more than one of your ribs pain that is sharp feels like pressure or feels achy pain that gets worse when you breathe, or cough pain that is located on the left side of your chest pain that becomes worse when you cough or breath

Costochondritis treatment and management

Treatment for costochondritis may include the following:



drugs that stop seizures that also help with pain control

antidepressants to assist in the management of pain

Broken ribs

In most cases, broken ribs are the result of a serious or life-threatening injury. On the other hand, if you suffer from osteoporosis or another condition that weakens your bones, even a relatively little injury could cause you to break a rib. These are some of the symptoms:

chest pain that is severe becomes worse with breathing, and makes it difficult to take complete breaths; pain that lasts for an extended period of time, perhaps weeks at a time; discomfort that makes it difficult to take a full breath.

Treating fractured ribs

The following are the typical treatments for broken ribs:

pain relievers

Exercises requiring deep breathing

coughing, to avoid pneumonia hospitalization


Endocarditis is an infection of the lining that lines the inside of your heart. Endocarditis may present itself with the following symptoms:

failure of the heart to beat fever heart murmur fatigue unexpected loss of weight

a dull discomfort in the abdomen and a sense of fullness even after eating a little meal

Endocarditis treatment and prevention

Antibiotics and surgical procedures are also potential courses of treatment for endocarditis.


Inflammation of the appendix can lead to a condition known as appendicitis. Even though the appendix isn’t physically positioned in the upper left abdomen, it can occasionally be the source of discomfort in that region. These are some of the possible symptoms:

Pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen, which may or may not be painful to the touch in extremely unusual circumstances

According to a Reliable Source, the pain was located in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen.

Appendicitis is treated by performing an appendectomy, which is a surgical procedure that removes the appendix. This is done in the majority of instances.

When to see a doctor

As can be seen, the reasons for pain in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen can range from something as insignificant as heartburn to more serious conditions. Nevertheless, you have to make an appointment with your primary care physician if the discomfort is brand-new, lingering, and severe.

In the event that any of the life-threatening symptoms described in this article are present in your condition, you should immediately contact either 911 or the emergency services in your area.

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