Severe Pain Underneath Rib Cage Along With Trouble Breathing


Asked by Amanda

Severe Pain Underneath Rib Cage Along With Trouble Breathing

Last night my husband experienced severe pain (due to what he said was just cramping and nothing to be concerned about) that seemed to be centered directly under his rib cage, on both the left and right side of his body. He also mentioned having difficulty breathing during this episode. I'v tried to look his symptoms up online, but I'm finding it could be anything from abdominal ulcers to gas. My main concern is that it could be warning signs, or even symtoms of a heart attack. I didn't want to insist on him going to the emergency room to find out it was gas.


I can understand being hesitant to go to the emergency room for fear it will just turn out to be something minor because I've felt the same way.   On the other hand, wouldn't it be better to take that chance than to possibly risk his life?

I don't know of any way, other than seeing a doctor, that you can tell if pain in or near the chest and shortness of breath could be heart related.   Here's an article that might be helpful: Should I worry about this chest pain? and The signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Even if the pain has stopped, I would encourage your husband to see his doctor as soon as possible for a check up.   They'll be able to tell if it was a mild heart attack.   And even if it wasn't, something caused the pain and it would be best to find out what it was.   Pain is our body's way of telling us something is wrong.   And if he has a similar pain again, I would absolutely get him to the emergency room.   It's just not worth taking a chance.

Answered by Karen Lee Richards