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Ache in abdomen and chest

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I have a dull, infrequent ache around stomach (left and right side at bottom of ribcage and in chest) which started about a year ago. It is not a "stomach ache" -- no diarrhea, gas or nausea. It is not sore to touch. Mainly noticed only when seated (which I do all day). Could be muscle related but feels deeper, like a back ache on the front side. Ache moves around through the day, but is mainly on the right side and more recently the chest. Never a sharp or unbearable pain. When standing or laying in bed it wasn’t noticeable. Doctor did a x-ray and CAT scan and found nothing. He told me I was constipated. Have been taking Metamucil and yogurt ever since. Ache has gotten noticeably worse in the past few months. I notice it most every day, sometimes lasting a minute or what seems like an hour. Seems to get worse as the day progresses until even standing doesn’t help. Foods don't seem to change it, but a full stomach does appear to apply pressure that makes it more noticeable. When riding in the car it is certainly noticeable. Tried almost everything OTC: laxatives, Ibuprofen, Beano, Prilosec, Pepcid. Gastro doctor ran some gallbladder tests that came back negative. Sitting up straight and wearing a lower back brace (belt) helps a little. I’m 40, 6’2” 170 pounds. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Chris
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First Helper sirhc86
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replied May 6th, 2009
Experienced User
I would get a second opinion. If the pain is also higher in your lungs, it may not have any thing to do with digestion. Do you have any other symptoms, such as a cough? Does anything make it better or worse?

It is possible it is your gallbladder. Ask your new doctor if you should have an abdominal ultrasound.

Also ask the new doctor if it could be a muscle problem or pleurisy (an inflammation of the lining of the lungs). The back brace helping makes me wonder if it isn't something like that. If your new doctor keeps focusing on digestive problems, take the tests he tells you to, but also ask what else it could be.

The most important thing is not to let the doctor dismiss your symptoms. Ask a lot of questions (make a list before you go see the doctor and make him answer all of them).
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replied May 7th, 2009
Thanks so much Lydia. I kind of felt my gastroenterologist was my second opinion after seeing my family doctor about this about a year ago. My gastro has done a gallbladder ultrasound and a HIDA (or HIPA) scan that both came back negative.

While I do have asthma, I don't seem to be having a problem breathing and I'm not coughing. I've not taken anything over the counter that has helped. Only standing, sitting upright, and wearing the back brace makes a slight improvement. When I feel it in my midsection it feels like there is a knot in there -- but the sensation will go away. When I feel it in my chest it feels like heartburn but no medication (not even ACIPHEX) helps.

I see the doc again in a few weeks. I never thought of pleurisy. I did wonder about a diaphragm tear or hernia. For muscles he got me to try NuLev, but maybe a stronger muscle relaxer would help.

Thanks,
Chris
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replied May 31st, 2009
Hi Chris,
Any good news or relief?
I have had identical symptoms for almost two years now. My pain started much like yours below front and right rib cage. For the past six months, Im noticing that the pain has moved to my back (not lower but in same region). A year ago, i swallowed whats is sometimes called a pill cam which takes photos of the insides of the abdomen and nothing was found. I also underwent endoscopy and nothing was found. Approx six months ago I had bone scan procedure and my doctor confirmed that there was little arthritis found. My PCP finally referred me to Rheumatologist where im currently perscribed anti-inflamatory and additional pill for pain. Needless to say, im getting very little relief. Please post if you have discovered any relief or causes.

Take Care,
Troy
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replied June 1st, 2009
Experienced User
Troy: Did you ask if it could be muscular, as well? Because of the pain, you may be carrying yourself and moving differently to compensate. You can really throw all of your back, stomach, and chest muscles out of whack and make them tighten up (I had that happen after I had pleurisy). Ask if going to a Physical Therapist might help. They can loosen some of the muscles and show you some stretches and stuff to do to make it easier. Seems like you are in too much pain for just "a little arthritis."

Also, have you had a chest x-ray and/or an abdominal CT to check to make sure there isn't anything else going on? Even when this first started? Ask if another test like that may not rule some other things out--although time has ruled out a lot of things (like pneumonia, etc).
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replied June 4th, 2009
My gastroenterologist has given up after the gall bladder tests didn't show up anything. He didn't want to give me muscle relaxers because they "might make me feel funny". So for now I'm wearing the back brace (belt) after work and trying Chamomile pills and magnesium citrate pills. I'm getting a new chair at work as my problem isn't so bad on the weekends.

I hope we both find some relief.

Chris
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replied December 1st, 2009
Diastasis Recti Possibility
Hey guys,

I also have a lot of the same symptoms and asked
my mother in law who is a contenance nurse and she advised me it is the Diastasis Recti. There is breathings exercises you can do to repair it and plenty of information out there to rectify it. It will take sometime to repair the damage but please try. Hope this helps. *Ab crunches of which I use to do a lot of affected this area. I do not do Ab crunches any more but focus on the inner abs. Good Luck. Great blog as assisted me with my diagnosis. Brian
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replied December 16th, 2011
hi ... i know this forum is old ... but i have the same symptoms ... the pain started on my lower left abdomen at 1 night ... i didnt give much attention as i thought it wud b ok ... the next morning i got the pain again .. i thought to let it wait for 1 day see if it helps ... it didnt ... apparently the pain got changed somehow ... it first it was coming n going in waves n it felt more when i was in a seated position or lying on bed ... now ive got stomach pain slight lowert abdomen pain n a slight chest pain ... totally bearable ... soft to touch ... im thinking it cud b muscular as i have been lifting heavy weights in the gym .. i don know if this is related or not but i was irregular for my workouts for the last 2 weeks ... could it b that sum muscle got pulled or sumthin ? ...

im 25 male .. never had any severe health problems before ... i drink alcohol from time to time .. mostly beer n wine ... any help .. i wud greatly appreciate it ..

n i had an ultrasound of my lower abdomen n it was normal .
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