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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

What would cause pain under lower left ribcage after eating?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (9998 points ) June 16th, 2011 from iPhone

I’ve recently started to notice an aching that starts under my left ribcage after eating a meal and radiates to the area surrounding it. It’s not unbearable but it’s quite uncomfortable and I can’t ignore it anymore. Are there any vital organs that could be causing this issue? I think the gallbladder is on the right side so I assume it’s not that. I’ll add that I’m 27 weeks pregnant in case it has anything to do with that.

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22 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Sounds like heartburn! Ain’t it fun~

Amazebyu's avatar

I had this problem a couple of months ago. I went to the Dr. And it eneded up being air. I suffer from anxiety from time to time and according to the Dr I was inhaling more than enough air (sighing a lot).

In your case it might be different. You are pregnant and your body is going through changes.

Stinley's avatar

Think @MyNewtBoobs has it. I suffered from terrible heartburn both my pregnancies. It’s really common. You can take some medications but you need to ask your health professional to recommend. They’ll be used to it!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I do suffer from heartburn often but I always assumed the location of that pain was primarily in the chest and throat and caused a burning sensation. This pain is much lower than my usual heartburn area. Put your fingers on the edge of the bottom of your left ribcage…that’s where my pain is. Sometimes it even seems to spread around to my back.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs It’s more of an ache that gets more intense as time goes on. Then it starts to feel sharper.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I have no knowledge of the whole pregnancy/baby thing, so probably bring it up with your doctor, but that’s probably heartburn. I think it’s possible that the baby is pushing the heartburn to new places.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Could be! And that air thing @Amazebyu mentioned sounds like a possibility too.

Stinley's avatar

Most things turn out to be nothing but I know the health professionals do want to hear about all the things as they are best placed to diagnose.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Could this be gas?

Lightlyseared's avatar

A gastric ulcer can cause pain right after eating. It’s often described as a dull ache.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Lightlyseared Hmm is that something serious? Does it need medical attention?

Lightlyseared's avatar

It can be serious in extreme cases (but then so can a headache so I wouldn’t worry about it too much). I would definately mention the pain and the symptoms to your doc. If the doc does think its an ulcer then it can often be treated with a course of medication such as ompeprazole.

JLeslie's avatar

Your stomach is there. Your stomach lining might be irritated, or if you have been constipated you might get pain there. Or, could be gas too. Does it happen more with certain foods? Like sugary foods?

Everything is crowded right now in your abdomen, so it is not surprise you might have some digestive discomfort. Try eating small meals and eat some raisins every day to keep things moving.

keobooks's avatar

Heartburn is usually in the UPPER part of the rib cage in the center and can spread to the throat if it gets really bad. The LOWER part of the rib cage on the left side is where the liver, pancreas, spleen and gall bladder are. And for women, pain there can be a sign of an angry gall bladder. It doesn’t always mean gall bladder disease, but it could be a sign that it’s in your future.

When I turned 30 or so, I started feeling pain there and it was my gall bladder. My doctor didn’t do anything about it except to tell me to stop eating fried food.. She said eventually, I will likely need the gall bladder removed, but right now, I could control the pain with diet. She said to remember these tips about gall bladder disease.

F amily history of gall bladder problems
F orty years old or older
F ried foods
F at
F emale

The more F s you have, the higher chance you have of having gall bladder problems.

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks Most of the liver and certainly the gall bladder are right side, but of course pain can radiate. Heartburn is in the esophagus, her stomach is center left. Also pain from the colon can be felt up high also. anatomy of digestive system

Stinley's avatar

I just had a look at a trusted website and it says that the risk of forming gallstones increases with pregnancy so this might indeed be the problem. But please don’t take any risks and go to see your doctor.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I had gallbladder issues when pregnant…I also had severe heartburn. I never had experienced heartburn prior to pregnancy.

@ItalianPrincess1217 If Zantac doesn’t work, let the doctor know. If it does, you’ll want to continue taking it until the baby arrives.

JLeslie's avatar

See if some Mylanta (check if ok while pregnant with your doctor) helps, don’t agree to any invasive crazy tests.

gailcalled's avatar

During my second pregnancy, I had chronic heartburn due to the baby’s position and what she chose to push on. It was different from esophageal reflux.

furball11's avatar

Could be the spleen. Google what it says about the shape of the spleen- how it can trap gas.

litlbren's avatar

I had the same exact thing with both of my pregnancies. The Dr. assured me it was just a combination of gas and the body changing. During pregnancy, the ribcage expands and things shift around and get in the way, or compressed. You should definitely just ask your Dr. to take a quick peek at you, everyone is different. It shouldnt be the gallbladder, as most of your pain is on the left.

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