Pain Under Left Side Of Ribs

What Causes Middle Left Abdominal Pain?

Middle left abdominal pain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'serious' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose middle left abdominal pain, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "middle left abdominal pain" as a symptom.  Here are five possibilities:
  • Kidney Disease
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Possible Urgent Medical Need
  • Kidney Stones

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent nighttime urination
infrequent daytime urination
moderate right lumbar pain
severe abdominal pain
diuretic use
moderate chest pain
chronic night sweats
having excess body fat
severe right lumbar pain
short-term low-carb dieting
having foamy urine
severe stiff neck
... and more than 50 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of middle left abdominal pain:
Cause Probability Status
Possible Urgent Medical Need 97% Confirm
Pyelonephritis 16% Unlikely
Glomerulonephritis 1% Ruled out
Kidney Stones 1% Ruled out
Kidney Disease 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate abdominal pain unaffected by eating, abdominal pain reduced by eating or abdominal pain increased by eating, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
MIDDLE-LEFT abdomen: Do you experience discomfort or pain below your lower left rib?
Possible responses:
→ No / only after meals / don't know
→ Occasional mild discomfort
→ Frequent mild and/or occasional moderate pain
→ Frequent moderate and/or occasional severe pain
→ Frequent or constant severe pain
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate mild left lumbar discomfort, moderate left lumbar pain, significant left lumbar pain or severe left lumbar pain, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Pyelonephritis

The symptoms of kidney infection can include back pain, side pain and loin pain.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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