Body aches are a common symptom for many known conditions. However, pain under the left breast could cause a lot of worries, but until you see a doctor, then can you be sure of what is going on.
The left side of the body houses a variety of vital organs, including the stomach, the heart, large intestine, and the spleen. However, under the left breast, you will find the left lung, and the left kidney, which sits higher than the right one.
In this article, we will discuss the causes and the available treatments for pain under the left breast. With that said, some of the pain can be managed at home, while for other types or causes of pain under the left breast, you need to consult a doctor.
Doctors typically classify pain under the left breast into two categories:
From your human anatomy classes, the heart is located slightly to the left of the upper body’s midline. Pain under the left breast could be a heart-related complication.
Studies from the American Heart Association, pain due to a heart attack happens towards the center of the chest. The heart attack pain lasts for only a few minutes, and it can come and go.
Heart attack pains are severe and strong; crushing pressure sensation, uncomfortable, and sometimes, it can feel like heartburn. However, for people with diabetes, older people, or women, they experience mild to no pain in the chest in case of a heart attack.
If you experience the above symptoms alongside the pain under the left breast, you should immediately call an ambulance. While you wait, sit down and rest. On top of this, if you are not intolerant to aspirin, you should take an adult doe tablet, which is at least 300 milligrams to thin out the blood.
Other treatment options will depend on when the symptoms started and how soon you can get medical attention. If a doctor finds out that the pain is due to a blocked coronary artery, he or she will recommend a procedure called angioplasty.
This syndrome is prevalent in teenagers and young adults. The precordial catch syndrome occurs when the nerves of the chest wall get irritated or pinched. This happens due to a chest injury, bad posture, or a growth spurt.
This condition can mimic the signs of a heart attack, but it is harmless. It can resolve on its own, and many of the people with the condition outgrow it by the time they reach 25 years old.
The symptoms include:
The doctor will prescribe over the counter medication. However, you can save the consultation fee and manage it at home. This includes:
This is a condition caused by the lack of oxygen to the heart muscle. Angina’s associated symptoms include:
Unfortunately, Angina is a symptom of underlying heart disease. The only treatment option would be to seek medical attention immediately. In a majority of the cases, the doctor will prescribe beta-blockers, aspirin, statins, or ACE-inhibitors.
The pericardium is a thin, layered membrane willed with a fluid that surrounds the heart for protection. In case of an infection, the pericardium can become inflamed. The inflammation can also be because of the body’s immune system attacking itself.
Acute pericarditis shows the following symptoms:
A doctor would typically start you on OTC anti-inflammatory medication, for example, ibuprofen. You should also rest until the feverish symptoms dissipate.
However, if there is acute pain, the doctor may prescribe a steroid, for example, prednisone. If the condition is far more severe, hospitalization is an option for close monitoring.
With that said, acute pericarditis is not preventable. Your best option is to get treatment as soon as possible and sticking to the prescribed treatment plan will reduce your chances of developing acute pericarditis reoccurring or becoming a long-term condition.
The pain in your left breast could also be due to digestion related problems. These include:
Inflammation of the stomach wall lining is known as gastritis. Some people will not experience any gastritis symptoms, and the condition can go untreated for years. However, the symptoms include:
You can manage gastritis at home by changing your dietary and lifestyle choices to ease the pain under your left breast. You could also get OTC medication such as antacids to reduce the gastric acid.
Other home remedies include:
Gastritis can also be caused by the presence of a bacterium called Helocbacter Pylori. In such a case, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics and medicine to reduce the production of gastric acid.
This is inflammation of the pancreas, and the symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:
If you do not seek treatment, the condition can become chronic. The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are:
With that said, pancreatitis treatment options include pain management, use of increasing dosages of medication, as well as surgery, if the pain under the left breast is getting worse.
Heartburn is the burning sensation caused when stomach acid travels up the food pipe. The burning sensation can be felt in the throat and mid-chest. However, heartburn can sometimes manifest as pain under the left breast.
The heartburn is a symptom of stomach acid issues or indigestion. The symptoms include:
The treatment options for heartburn include:
You can also get over the counter medication such as antacids.
Other than the digestive and heart-related problems causing pain under the left breast, other causes include:
Pleura is a protective layer surrounding the lungs. If the pleura surrounding the left lung is infected and inflames, you will feel pain under your left breast. The pain cans also are caused by lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
A common symptom of pleurisy is sharp stabbing pain when taking a deep breath. This symptom can also be accompanied by:
The pain gets worse when you sneeze, cough, or walk around.
A physician in most cases will recommend rest, preferably lying on your side to induce pain relief. If the pain under the left breast is particularly severe, you should seek immediate medical attention.
The doctor may prescribe pain-relieving medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In some occasions, the doctor may need to draw blood to run tests. He or she may also suggest doing a chest X-ray, and CT-scan.
On top of this, they may need to extract a pleural lung tissue sample to conduct a biopsy. With that said, if the pleurisy is due to a viral infection, it will get better ion a few days. However, a bacterial infection requires that you undergo an antibacterial therapy.
If the pain under your left breast is due to lung cancer, then the best cause of action is to go for regular screening and early intervention.
An enlarged spleen can cause pain under the left breast. If it bursts and releases its juice, it will also cause pain. Underlying conditions such as recurring cirrhosis and chronic liver disease may interact with and affect the spleen.
Each of these cases has distinct symptoms. The following symptoms characterize an enlarged spleen:
A burst spleen, on the other hand, has the following symptoms:
If you suspect a busted spleen, you should seek medical attention immediately, since the chance of bleeding to death are very high if left untreated.
For an enlarged spleen, the doctor will examine your stomach and may recommend further tests. This includes an MRI or CT scan, or an ultrasound.
The doctor will prescribe medication if the splenic or liver disease is manageable with medical therapy. However, if detected too late, the doctor will suggest you undergo surgery.
You can also damage the spleen during high impact sports. This makes it necessary that you wear protective equipment. You should also wear a seat belt when in the car in case of an accident.
Liver cirrhosis is another cause of spleen issues and so, cutting down on alcohol consumption is recommended.
This condition occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. This causes acid reflux, and since the stomach is on the upper left portion of the abdomen, it will be accompanied by pain under the left breast.
The symptoms of hiatal hernia include:
However, there you might not experience any symptoms.
The doctor might prescribe medication to reduce, neutralize, or to reduce the production of stomach acid. In an extreme case, the doctor will recommend surgery to reposition the stomach back into the abdominal cavity.
Smoking and obesity are high-risk causes of hiatal hernia. To prevent hiatal hernia, cut back on smoking with the intent to quit and lose weight if you are on the heavier side of the weighing scale. You should also cut back on consuming huge amounts of acid producing foods.
Pregnant women can sometimes feel pain and soreness under then left breast during pregnancy. This is a result of the pressure from the top of the uterus as it expands and grows, or when the baby kicks.
This pain can get worse, especially when the expectant mother leans forward. As the pregnancy grows, the muscles and tissues will stretch and make the pain under the left breast worse.
With that said, the pregnant woman’s body is changing, and as the womb expands, it will push the internal organs out of place. On top of this, the woman will experience a chemical imbalance in the body.
This creates a plethora of reasons why she might experience pain under the breasts. Other causes of pain under the left breast during pregnancy include:
If you or a loved one is experiencing pain in the chest, especially under the left breast, you should seek immediate medical attention. The above might not be an executive list of the causes of pain under the left breast, but you should see a doctor if you experience the following:
The chest houses vital organs for life and pain under the left breast should not be left to chance. The chances are that it might not be a heart attack, but the pain can become unbearable.
Pain under the left breast can be managed with medication as well as making dietary and lifestyle changes.
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