Read below about pain below the ribs, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain below the ribs from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Epigastric pain
Upper abdominal pain

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Pain Below the Ribs

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced pain below the ribs. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

    Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort in the stomach after eating. In some cases, indigestion also causes heartburn, burping, and nausea. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a very common complaint. Every year, about 1 in every 4 people will experience an episode of dyspepsia, of which most cases do not have a serious underlying cause.

    These symptoms are likely to resolve, if they persist you should discuss this with your primary care physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, stomach bloating, dyspeptic symptoms, bloating after meals, vomiting
    Symptoms that always occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    dyspeptic symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    vomiting (old) blood or passing tarry stools, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Stomach Ulcer

    A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach or the first part of your small intestine (the duodenum), which causes pain following meals or on an empty stomach.

    2-4 weeks with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, moderate abdominal pain, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
    Symptoms that never occur with stomach ulcer:
    pain in the lower left abdomen
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Gallstones

    Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver.

    Curable with surgical treatment, but not necessary unless symptoms begin

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right abdomen, vomiting
    Symptoms that always occur with gallstones:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with gallstones:
    abdominal pain that improves after passing stools
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Acute Gastritis

    Acute gastritis is the sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, and/or upper abdominal pain that's caused by inflammation of your stomach lining. If it doesn't go away, this can become an ulcer. Causes include taking a medication that affects the stomach, an infection by a bug called, "H. Pylori", or your immune system reacting to yourself.

    Prognosis is great with the appropriate treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, nausea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, mild abdominal pain
    Symptoms that never occur with acute gastritis:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  5. 5.Normal Variation of Constipation

    Constipation is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by difficulty passing stool, or passing stool less often. Commonly it is linked to not eating enough dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or not getting enough exercise. Some medications can cause constipation as well.

    Variable, but can resolve in days to weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, constipation, constipation
    Symptoms that always occur with normal variation of constipation:
    constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with normal variation of constipation:
    vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Viral (Norovirus) Infection

    Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    Usually resolves within 2-3 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    diarrhea, vomiting or nausea
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    severe abdominal pain, throbbing headache, severe headache, tarry stool, vaginal bleeding, alertness level change
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Gall Bladder Infection (Cholecystitis)

    Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder holds bile (a digestive juice). Gallstones can form when the bile gets thick, and these stones can block up the gallbladder and cause inflammation.

    Indefinite without surgery

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation
    Symptoms that always occur with gall bladder infection (cholecystitis):
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with gall bladder infection (cholecystitis):
    pain in the upper left abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Acid Reflux Disease (Gerd)

    Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus. The most common symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation.

    With proper treatment, symptoms may be relieved within days & at most several weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, sore throat, pain below the ribs, cough with dry or watery sputum, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain Below the Ribs

  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Q.How would you describe the nature of your abdominal pain?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pain below the ribs symptom checker to find out more.

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Pain Below the Ribs Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain below the ribs have also experienced:

    • 13% Nausea
    • 6% Diarrhea
    • 6% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • People who have experienced pain below the ribs had symptoms persist for:

    • 41% Less Than a Day
    • 34% Less Than a Week
    • 11% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pain below the ribs were most often matched with:

    • 44% Stomach Ulcer
    • 44% Gallstones
    • 11% Indigestion (Dyspepsia)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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