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Old 07-29-2012, 12:51 AM   #1
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Pain under lower left ribcage

Hey.
Not sure if this has already been discussed but for the past week i have been experiencing a nagging pain under my lower left ribcage (almost like ive been kicked in the ribs).
It came up out of nowhere and is aggrevated by lifting, dragging etc and coughing to the point where it becomes extremely painful.
It is accompanied by lower back aches and not entirely comfortable...

Any ideas??

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:45 AM   #2
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Re: Pain under lower left ribcage

The area of the lower left rib cage is rather unique in that there are not a lot of organs there to become symptomatic other than the spleen or perhaps the ribs themselves.

It's possible you've pulled intercostal muscles or damaged cartilage in your ribs, which would be aggravated by lifting, dragging and coughing; but if the pain is definitely inside/under your ribs the spleen is the only thing there.

An angry liver can cause an enlarged spleen, but so can infection and a few other more scary prospects like leukemia and lymphoma. You shouldn't be able to feel a normal spleen with your fingers by pushing about under the ribs, but a doctor or perhaps even you might be able to feel an enlarged spleen this way. An enlarged spleen will also sometimes "click" or rub against the lower margin of your rib cage when you lean to the left and then back upright from a sitting position.

A blood panel would rule out some of the more scary stuff, and an ultrasound would confirm whether or not your spleen is enlarged, as well as some possible hepatic/liver causes. Both these diagnostics are quick, cheap, easy and not painful (unless you've got needle issues), so a doctor shouldn't mind ordering these.

If you think it is possible your pain is actually coming from your ribs, it should be safe to suffer through a couple more weeks to see if this gets better, but if you feel like this pain is really inside your abdomen, a trip to the doc would be wise.

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Re: Pain under lower left ribcage

The last two ribs on bottom are "floating" attached to the ribs above by cartilage. Sometimes the cartilage gets inflamed or even separated by trauma or heavy exertion and can hurt significantly. Some anti inflammatory med like ibuprofen would help if that were the case. The other thing to consider since you have some back pain there would be something with the left kidney. I would notice if you have any urinary symptoms at all and get that checked by Dr if so. Also previous post about spleen is good and unless it is clearly rib related, I would see Dr. Rib pain would cause tenderness with pressing on ribs where it hurts. If it feels deeper, inside, needs medical attention.

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
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Re: Pain under lower left ribcage

When I had lower left rib pain the doctor told me that it was intestinal spasms. Now the pain has shifted more to the right side of the left ribcage. After reading the responses you have gotten from others I am becoming worried. It is more of an uncomfortable pressure not a stabbing pain. Also, at times it goes away. Is your pain constant? Doctor never mentioned spleen or liver and now anxiety is starting!

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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Re: Pain under lower left ribcage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacy56 View Post
When I had lower left rib pain the doctor told me that it was intestinal spasms. Now the pain has shifted more to the right side of the left ribcage. After reading the responses you have gotten from others I am becoming worried. It is more of an uncomfortable pressure not a stabbing pain. Also, at times it goes away. Is your pain constant? Doctor never mentioned spleen or liver and now anxiety is starting!
I also have been having issues with a 'fullness/pressure' feeling under my lower left ribs. I have some diarrhea issues, and my appetite is down, as well. I had some lab tests done yesterday that came back with my AST down to 10, my bilirubin up at 1.09 and indirect bilirubin up at 0.96. I used to sleep on my left side all the time, but the fullness bothers me, so I now sleep on my right side which is really odd to me. I don't have actual pain, a dull achy pain I guess is what I would describe it but the fullness/pressure feeling is mainly my issue. What could this be? I am anxiety ridden now thinking it could be related to my pancreas?

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: Pain under lower left ribcage

I don't think there is any significance to a low AST. Many labs use a low limit of 5, so 10 is fine. It is only when it is high that it indicates a problem. The elevated indirect bilirubin could mean you are breaking down RBCs faster than usual (hemolysis). It can also be elevated in some people, usually males, with Gilbert syndrome, a benign condition that causes minimal elevations in bilirubin and no treatment is required. Since the spleen is where RBCs are broken down, and that is where the discomfort is, I would make sure your spleen is checked by physical exam. An ultrasound can be helpful as well as a Coombs test to see if you are making antibodies against your RBCs, causing faster breakdown. You can also ask your Dr to check an amylase to check out the pancreas.

 
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