Medical Specialty >> Neurology

Doctors Lounge - Neurology Answers

Back to Neurology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Strange sensation under left ribcage

 lint_magnet - Fri Dec 24, 2004 2:02 pm


My name is Leah, and I will be 19 years old in January. During my last year of high school, I battled with terrible difficulty sleeping. I was somehow able to fall asleep for very short periods in the afternoon, but at night time, I often could not lull myself to sleep until 2, 3, sometimes even 4 am while I was forced to wake up at 6:15 am for school. At first, it was nerves that would not allow me to sleep, but then I started having a really bizarre sensation under my left ribcage that has subsided, but never really gone away, and prevents me from sleeping at night.

I went to college and the feeling was not gone, but manageable at night, but now that I'm at home, it seems to have returned again. I feel like there's air under the left side of my ribs. It feels like there's much more pressure than under the right side, and I can often hear and feel air moving around. When I inflate my left side a certain way, I can hear and feel airy, even sometimes sloshy noises under my left side. It is very uncomfortable and often prevents me from sleeping. It doesn't really hurt, it's just very uncomfortable and is only on one side. During the day, I hardly notice it, but when I lie down, it is much more bothersome.

Does anyone have any explanation for what this could be?

Thank you.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Dec 24, 2004 2:19 pm

User avatar Hi Leah,
The symptoms you describe appear to be related to stress and apprehenesion more than anything else. The picture does not suggest heart disease nor does it match pleuritic pain (inflammation of the lining of the lungs). It could be stress and or muscular strain. Either way, if this continues for any significant period of time then I would suggest you get examined.
Best regards and Merry Xmas!
 lint_magnet - Fri Dec 24, 2004 3:00 pm

Thanks for the quick reply.
I figured it was stress-related, but I'm not quite sure what I should do about it.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Dec 24, 2004 6:06 pm

User avatar Sometimes the knowledge itself that it is stress related is enough to cause the person to stop worrying about it and the symptoms start to go away. However, you should consult a doctor for a direct medical examination should your symptoms persist or increase in severity.

Best regards,
 tabitha708 - Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:19 am


I have had the exact same feelings. Only, I get them around the same time every day. Usually a couple of hours after I eat, and sometimes even when I don't eat, I get this weird tingling pressure sensation under my left breast in the left rib cage area. I have no I dea what it is, but if you are having the same thing, it must be effecting something in our bodies and for a reason. Also, I have had unexplained weight gain that I can't seem to get control of. I am now 40 and I never had a weight problem in my life until about 3 years ago and it has just recently gotten really bad.
 sleephead - Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:13 pm

I had the same thing and then after many months i started to hear a crackling sound which after going to the hospital many times they gave me a x-ray which showed i had plurral efusion which means the lining around my lungs touch and i have water around my lungs(and iam 21!).so regular check ups are`important as my x-rays were normal many times but i never gave up. i am not saying you have this problem its just important you get all these things ruled out!
i strongly think you should see your doctor to run tests and if there fine then maybe they could send you to someone who could help with your mental issues.
its very important you go for regular checkups and i think onece you do that you could relax and understand your situation moreand be in control which can do wonders.
not knowing whats wrong with you can be stressing itself so my advice is see your doctor as soon as possable and get the profesional advice you deserve.
my advice is just an opinion as i am not a doctor or a helth profesional, I just want to help
good luck

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us