Swelling under left lower ribs

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Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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Content updated on May 23, 2022


The area below the left lower tends to be where the spleen or pancreas lies. Other possibilities may include the colon (part of the large intestine).

When to See a Doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Swelling under left lower ribs

Possible Causes

  • Cirrhosis of the liver

    A condition where normal liver is permanently damaged and replaced with scar issue. There are many different causes including infections, alcohol abuse and diabetes.

  • Multiple myeloma (MM)

    This is a cancer of a type of white blood cell in the blood, called a plasma cell. Cancerous cells multiply and "crowd out" other healthy, normal cells. Risk factors include positive family history, older age and male sex.

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

    An autoimmune disease, caused by the body's own immune system attacking organs and cells in the body. The exact cause is unclear, but risk factors include female gender, childbearing age, and heredity.

  • Adult Still's disease

Related Serious Diseases

  • Acute HIV infection

    Acute HIV infection is the initial period (1 month) post-HIV infection. The virus multiplies rapidly and attacks your CD4+ cells (a type of immune cells). The viral load and the risk of transmission is high. Risk factors include sharing needles, having unprotected sex and pricks by contaminated needles (e.g. via tattoos, blood transfusions or needle stick injuries).

  • Infective endocarditis

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Does the area below your left lower ribs feel stretched or swollen?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Have you lost weight recently?

  • Do you have abdominal pain (stomach ache)?

  • Do you have any joint pain?

Other Related Symptoms

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Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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