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What causes pain on your left side below your rib cage?

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Quick Answer

Pain on the left side below the ribcage may be caused by an enlarged spleen, according to Mayo Clinic. The pain may also radiate to the left shoulder and may be accompanied by easy bleeding, anemia, fatigue and a feeling of fullness after a small meal.

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What causes pain on your left side below your rib cage?
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Full Answer

Several conditions can cause an enlarged spleen and the attendant pain, notes Mayo Clinic. The patient may have a viral or bacterial infection. These include infections such as mononucleosis, some sexually transmitted diseases or endocarditis. An enlarged spleen can also be caused by parasites and cirrhosis of the liver.

Hemolytic anemia can also cause an enlarged spleen. This type of anemia is caused by red blood cells being destroyed earlier than they should be, explains Mayo Clinic. Leukemia and lymphomas can also cause the spleen to enlarge. The patient may also be suffering from a metabolic disease, or there may be pressure on or blood clots in the veins that serve the spleen or liver.

A ruptured spleen is also a cause of pain in the left side below the ribcage, according to Mayo Clinic. Rupture can be a complication of an enlarged spleen or the result of a trauma such as a car accident.

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