Sharp pain in left rib cage

Well, this is a first. Scared the crap out of me. I was ready to go to the hospital if the pain did not subside. Granted this was after eating a very plentiful Thanksgiving day dinner and pie ( Sorry Brits. Just realized you probably don't celebrate this holiday). I got a very sharp pain in my left rib cage where I was afraid to breathe deeply. I could shallow breathe slowly, but not deep breathe without excruciating pain. It went away after about 5 - 10 minutes. Very scary. I thought I was dying of a heart attack. Anyone ever experience this? If so, what is it? I looked up could be gas in the intestines causing this pain even though up in my rib cage. If anyone can share a similar experience, I would really appreciate.

19 Replies

  • Hi,

    Sound horrid, scary pain.

    Quite possibly intestine pain which can travel & be felt a little further than true cause area.

    No Thanksgiving in the UK, but Christmas nearing (:.


  • Thanks jelly... That's what I read too. It could be my intestines. But, I was afraid to move. I told my husband if it didn't go away, to take me to the hospital. I was very scared. I don't like hospitals. Both my parents died in a hospital unexpectedly. My mom died within 3 weeks from colitis and wasn't even sick before she went in. My dad had perintonitis and appendicitis and was recovering and got a blood clot on the day he was leaving. I am terrified of going to the hospital. But, it went away. Thank goodness. I doubled up my digestive enzymes and took a probiotic today.

  • Hi Natural, I suffer with is occasionally especially after a large meal. I have my thoughts as to why it happens but not a doctor. Suffice to say that when it happens I take tablets for ibs, this then seems to settle it down. Hope you feel better soon

  • chandler....I did have a larger meal than I am use to. I usually eat small meals because of hiatal hernia. I was just surprised that the pain was in my rib cage. Didn't even think that was the connection. What are your thoughts as to why this happens? You can message me if its private. I would love to hear. Better today, but have to be more careful. I also ate dairy which I have stayed away from for 7 months. I couldn't pass up develed eggs and artichoke dip with crackers. Yum...Thanks...

  • Hi not a biggy really. I think it's caused by chostochondritus which is the swelling under the ribcage , this in turn in my opinion the squashes the intestines under neath. The ibs medicine just is a more focused way to reduce the swelling in that area. Again only my theory but on my head makes sense.

  • Chandler..thanks,yes, that seems to be the consensus. Not on IBS medicine. But, thanks for the info. Was just something new that scared me.

  • I often get sharp pains in left side of rib cage, which makes it painful to breathe. I was told it was chostochondritis - inflammation of the cartalige between the ribs. The first time I had it, it lasted 2 weeks and I thought I was dying it was so painful so I can empathise with how you felt. Now it seems to come and go randomly but still excrutiatingly painful. Rest and painkillers helps abit.

    I hope you find some relief soon


  • Thanksbelee...

  • I've had exactly the same and funnily enuf it was after a hearty meal, like u I was ready 4 the hospital, pain was so bad and cud only shallow breath. However, after about 20 to 30 mind it subsided and I think it was gas, I'm just very careful how much I eat and drink now and haven't had it since which is about 2 months x

  • Thanks Debra...think that is what happened to me too. Oh, holidays! I really didn't think I ate that much, but had Brussels sprouts, which are one of my favorites. They are very gassy. ha! Need to watch what I eat.

  • Hi, I've had that. Goes on for a ages sometimes. Don't know what causes it though.

  • Happy Thanksgiving, Natura!

    I too get this occasionally, and have been told it's costochondritis. It generally subsides after a few hours, especially if I stop and try to stretch out the area. First time it happened I too thought I'd broken a rib, but couldn't work out what I'd done. It's really painful. Ah, lupus . . . be well, lupies all.

  • Thanks carcrashgal..I started to rub area. Maybe thats why it eventually went away. It did feel like a broken rib kind of pain.

  • i had that some years ago and was so scared that i went to a&e . d dr said it was indigestion and gave me gaviscon. am glad u use probiotic.

  • Ijeasike...thanks....probiotic helped. Still have to resolve ibs issue. I know I prob have, just havent researched enough.

  • ?Hiatus hernia or severe indigestion.good luck.

  • Meggie...I think I do have a hiatal hernia. It feels like it. Two of my sisters have and on Prilosec.. I prefer digestive enzyme. Didn't take enough for that meal, ha! Thanks..

  • Hope you're feeling better - let me know if the probiotics help!

  • Probiotics aren't working as well as they use to when I was younger. I am really at a stop sometimes. Worried I am going to get peritonitis like my dad. Plus my mom had colitis. 10 years ago went to a gastro. Told him I had problems. He said you are only in your 40s. Whats the problem. Yelled at me because the gallon chalk stuff I drank didn't move everything in 24 hrs. I told him I didn't move well. Gave me a drug for 3 months which has been taken off the market for being unsafe. Great....Can't win. That is why I am my own advocate. I really hate doctors...most of them never listen and think we make things up.

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