Me duele el lado izquierdo del estómago debajo de la costilla: Causas y Tratamientos

Having pain on the left side of the stomach beneath the ribs can be worrying. Many people wonder, “Why does my left side hurt under my ribs?” This area of the body houses several important organs and muscles that can be the source of discomfort.

One common cause of pain beneath the left ribs is a problem with the digestive system. Issues like gas, bloating, or even an inflamed colon can create sharp or dull pain. It’s crucial to monitor any other symptoms you might have, such as changes in digestion or bowel movements, to help pinpoint the cause.

Another potential cause could be the muscles along the ribs. Strain or injury to the muscles around the ribs can produce significant pain that is often mistaken for something more serious. By understanding these common causes, we can better approach potential treatments and solutions to relieve discomfort.

Understanding Left-Side Stomach Pain

Sometimes, pain on the left side under the rib cage can be due to various reasons. Let’s explore some common causes and what they might mean for your health.

Common Causes of Pain Under Left Rib Cage

1. Gas and Indigestion:
When gas builds up in the stomach, it can cause sharp pain under the left rib. This type of pain is often temporary and relieved by passing gas or taking antacids.

2. Spleen Issues:
Problems with the spleen, like an enlarged spleen, can cause pain under the left rib. The spleen helps filter blood and fight infections. If it’s enlarged or damaged, it can cause discomfort or pain.

3. Pancreatitis:
The pancreas is located near the left side of the stomach. If it becomes inflamed (pancreatitis), it can cause severe pain that radiates to the back. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting.

4. Heart-Related Issues:
Though less common, heart problems can cause pain under the left rib. Angina or a heart attack might show as pain in the upper abdomen or below the ribs, especially if accompanied by shortness of breath.

5. Kidney Stones:
Kidney stones can cause sharp pain that starts in the side and moves towards the groin. If a stone is in the left kidney, the pain can be under the left rib cage.

6. Costochondritis:
This is inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. It can cause sharp pain or tenderness in the chest that spreads to the rib cage.

Each cause needs different treatments, so it’s important to understand the source of the pain. If you experience severe or persistent pain, consult with a healthcare professional.

Identifying Symptoms

When experiencing pain in the left side of the stomach under the rib, it’s crucial to identify symptoms that may indicate more severe underlying issues.

Recognizing Associated Symptoms

We should watch for fiebre (fever). It often means inflammation or infection.

Náuseas y vómito (nausea and vomiting) can signal digestive problems. They are common when there’s pain in the estómago (stomach). Dolor abdominal (abdominal pain) that spreads could be serious.

Look for hinchazón (swelling) and sudoración (sweating). They may be signs of issues like pancreatitis. Dificultad para respirar (difficulty breathing) might occur if inflammation presses on the lungs.

Lastly, experiencing mareo (dizziness) along with these symptoms might need urgent attention. Identifying these helps us know when to seek medical help.

Specific Conditions and Their Treatments

If you are feeling pain on the left side of your stomach under your rib, it could be due to various conditions. We’ll look at several common issues like gastritis, pancreatitis, kidney stones, and diverticulitis, along with their treatments.

Gastritis and Peptic Ulcers

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining, often caused by infection or prolonged use of certain medicamentos. Peptic ulcers are sores in the stomach lining or the small intestine. Symptoms include pain, bloating, and nausea.

  • Treatment:
    • Antibiotics for bacterial infections (like Helicobacter pylori).
    • Antacids to neutralize stomach acid.
    • Proton pump inhibitors to reduce acid production.
    • Lifestyle changes: Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and smoking.

Early diagnosis and proper treatment can alleviate symptoms effectively.


Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. It can be acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term). Common causes include gallstones, excessive alcohol use, and certain medications. Symptoms may include severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

  • Treatment:
    • Fasting: Let the pancreas rest by not eating for a couple of days.
    • IV fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • Pain management: Using appropriate pain relievers.
    • Antibiotics for infections if necessary.
    • Surgery: In severe cases, to remove blockages or damaged tissue.

Recognizing the symptoms early can prevent complications.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones (cálculos renales) are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. They can cause sharp pain in the back, side, or lower abdomen. Other symptoms include blood in the urine and nausea.

  • Treatment:
    • Drinking water: Helps flush out the stones.
    • Pain relievers: To manage pain while passing the stone.
    • Medications: To help break down or pass the stones.
    • Shock wave lithotripsy: Uses sound waves to break the stones into smaller pieces.
    • Surgery: If stones are too large to pass naturally.

Proper hydration is key to preventing kidney stones.


Diverticulitis occurs when small pouches in the digestive tract (diverticula) become inflamed or infected. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, fever, and changes in bowel habits.

  • Treatment:
    • Antibiotics for infections.
    • Liquid diet: To allow the intestines to heal.
    • Pain relievers: To reduce discomfort.
    • Surgery: In severe or recurrent cases, part of the affected colon may need removal.

Diet plays a crucial role in managing and preventing diverticulitis.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you are experiencing pain on the left side of your stomach under the ribs, it’s crucial to know when to seek medical attention. This guide outlines specific signs that may indicate an emergency.

Signs of Medical Emergencies

  • Intense Pain: If the pain is severe and comes on suddenly, it might be a sign of a significant problem, like a ruptured spleen or a kidney stone.

  • Chest Pain: Pain that radiates from the abdomen to the chest could indicate a heart attack. Immediate medical care is essential.

  • Difficulty Breathing: If you also have trouble breathing, it could be a sign of a serious condition, like pneumonia or a pulmonary issue.

  • Vomiting Blood: Seeing blood in your vomit is a red flag. It could indicate internal bleeding and needs prompt attention.

  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Rapid weight loss without trying might indicate a serious underlying issue, such as cancer or an infection.

  • Fever: A high fever accompanies stomach pain, especially if it persists. It can indicate an infection or inflammation like pancreatitis.

  • Dizziness or Fainting: If you feel lightheaded or faint, it could be a sign of shock or internal bleeding. It’s important to get help right away.

Knowing these signs and seeking medical attention promptly can make a significant difference in outcomes. Always err on the side of caution and consult with a médico if you are unsure.

Diagnosis of Left-Side Stomach Pain

When we experience pain in the left side of the stomach below the rib, correctly diagnosing the cause is crucial. Various tests and exams help us pinpoint the exact problem.

Imaging and Laboratory Tests

Imaging Tests:
We use imaging tests like X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans to get a clear view of the stomach and nearby organs. These tests help us see if there are any problems with the colon, kidney, lung, or other organs in that area. They also identify any signs of inflammation, infection, or abnormal growths.

Laboratory Tests:
Blood tests and urine tests are common. These can show if there’s an infection or other issues with the organs. For example, high white blood cell counts can signal an infection, while specific markers can point to issues with the kidneys or other critical areas.

By combining these diagnostic tools, we can accurately determine the cause of pain in the left side of the stomach.

Lifestyle Factors and Pain Management

Managing pain in the left side of the stomach under the rib can involve various lifestyle factors. Addressing diet and habits can make a big difference.

Dietary Changes and Habits

Certain foods and drinks can cause or worsen stomach pain. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, so we should avoid it. Smoking can also aggravate stomach issues, so quitting is important.

To prevent pain caused by gases, we should eat slowly and avoid carbonated drinks. Eating smaller meals can reduce pressure on the stomach. Rest after eating helps digestions, so relaxing for a short period can be beneficial.

Managing stress is crucial. Stress can cause the stomach to produce more acid, leading to pain. Techniques like yoga or deep breathing can help.

For a balanced diet, include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, and avoid spicy or fatty foods.

Understanding Pain Relief

When dealing with pain on the left side of the stomach below the rib, it’s important to know how different treatments can help. We’ll talk about what medications and home remedies might work best.


Pain relief often starts with medications. Over-the-counter analgésicos like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce discomfort. Ibuprofen also serves as an antiinflamatorio, lessening any inflammation that might be causing pain. If over-the-counter options aren’t enough, a doctor may prescribe stronger medication or intravenous fluids (líquidos intravenosos) to manage the pain and hydrate the body.

Home Remedies

Sometimes, home remedies can offer quick relief. Simple reposo (rest) and applying a warm compress to the painful area may help. Hydration is also key, so drinking plenty of water can support overall health. Herbal teas, like chamomile or peppermint, can soothe stomach pain. Light exercise, like walking, can also be beneficial if rest alone isn’t enough.

By knowing the right medications and home treatments, we can manage stomach pain more effectively.

Navigating Chronic Conditions

Finding ways to manage chronic conditions like long-term gastrointestinal issues can significantly improve our quality of life. It’s important to understand how to address symptoms such as those associated with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Managing Long-Term Gastrointestinal Issues

Living with chronic gastrointestinal issues often means dealing with symptoms like constipation, indigestion, and discomfort. Here are some strategies:


  • We can follow a balanced diet to relieve symptoms.
  • Foods high in fiber help with constipation.
  • Avoiding spicy foods and carbonated drinks may reduce indigestion.

Lifestyle Changes:

  • Regular exercise can aid digestion.
  • Staying hydrated is crucial.
  • Managing stress through activities like yoga can help.

Medical Support:

  • Regular check-ups allow us to monitor our condition.
  • Medications may be necessary for conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Consulting with a gastroenterologist ensures proper treatment.

Taking these steps can help manage chronic gastrointestinal conditions effectively, helping us lead a more comfortable life.

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