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costochondritis diagnosed causing weight gain and depression

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Hi my name is Sam, and about 6-7 months ago I was diagnosed with costochondritis. The doctor said to just use anti-inflammitories, and a heating pack and it should eventually just go away in a few weeks. This was of course after doing a few tests including x-rays, mris, and an ekg, and then having a prescription of steroids. I have gone to multiple doctors for this and after they had nothing more they could give me they just said it was costochondritis and it would clear up in a few weeks. Like I said this was like 6-7 months ago and now im really getting tired of this pain. It has caused me to gain weight to the point where none of my cloths fit me anymore, and it also has caused me to be in and out of depression on almost a daily basis. I was wondering should I still just go with this diagnosis and just hope that it clears up (if it ever does) or is it a wrongful diagnosis, and I should seek more help or get re-checked? I just want to be able to lift weights and feel good about myself again, please help.
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First Helper sthomps
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replied January 28th, 2008
nothing to add from anyone?
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replied April 2nd, 2009
Hi sthomps,


I was wondering if the pain has lessoned at all? Could you describe your symptoms more clearly? I have been suffering for the past 4 months -- I have not been diagnosed with costo yet, however, I am fairly certain this is what I have. My doctor is in the dark after a battery of tests, xrays, etc. and I am at dead ends. All the information I read about this is very depressing. I'm 28 years old and am worried about dealing with this daily, chronic pain for the rest of my life.
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replied April 2nd, 2009
htigerfish wrote:
Hi sthomps,


I was wondering if the pain has lessoned at all? Could you describe your symptoms more clearly? I have been suffering for the past 4 months -- I have not been diagnosed with costo yet, however, I am fairly certain this is what I have. My doctor is in the dark after a battery of tests, xrays, etc. and I am at dead ends. All the information I read about this is very depressing. I'm 28 years old and am worried about dealing with this daily, chronic pain for the rest of my life.



Well it's kind of hard to describe the pain atm, because eventually I did break free of it all. Not to say it won't come back (i believe I am actually pretty likely to have a similar diagnosis in the future) but for the moment I am fine. Anyway the pain I can remember feeling was around the front of my ribcage to my sternum. It was a tight pulling pain that felt like it could be muscle/tendon/cartilage that is just tight to the point where it hurts to breath. That is one thing that I noticed with mine, most days it would only hurt a little bit with regular breathing, and a lot if I took a deep breath, but some days it would hurt Really bad to just breath at all. It wasn't to the point where I set off my asthma because of decreased breathing (yeah my asthma didn't help matters either) but it was very unpleasant and I would only be able to sleep on my back when normally I kind of sleep on my stomach and side at an angle.

Yes the information is pretty depressing, as you notice I was pretty depressed myself for a while. Oh and normally a case like mine isn't normal. Your case shouldn't last over half a year like mine did, trust me did all the reading myself as well and talked with a couple doctors and physical therapists Smile so try not to get too down. Also mine stayed going on for over 9 months, but it did eventually break so just know if it is costro it will for you too.

Regardless if your doctor is stuck maybe suggest that a common non-lethal diagnosis such as costro is maybe possible and see how he reacts, and also if he hasn't come to a similar conclusion already, maybe get a 2nd opinion.

Very Important here. He will prob give you prescription grade IBprofein. It didn't work for s**t on me, but I also have a strong immunity to most drugs, it would have taken something along the lines of 2 doses of morphine and heavy muscle relaxant to reduce pain, but for you the prescription should probably work. Also make sure to invest in a nice re-usable heating/cooling pack. Something that can REALLY help is going through cycles of heating up the pad and throwing it on your chest over and over for a few hours while watching TV. Any kind of physical labor that you do, unless its ungodly mandatory, don't do it. If you can get someone to lift up to over 25lbs for you really do it. Pain is increased and healing is decreased when you cause your body to do work force, even things simple as contorting your upper body cause an issue. So no lifting, try not to stretch your torso, and no carrying things for long periods of time.


I know its long but i hope it helps
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replied April 3rd, 2009
Hi Sam,

Thanks so much for your reply. I am so happy to hear that you are doing better. Although, I too have been doing a lot of reading and research on this, and it seems that the healing time for something like this is anywhere in the window of 3 weeks to 3 years (if any).


Your pain seems similar to mine. Mine started back in early December 2008, at first I thought it was a pulled back muscle, as the pain radiated from my back, near my left rib area, but now it also affects the front near my chest and the pain runs along the bottom of my left rib cage. It is a constant, deep pain that is sometimes hard to describe. Most days, it doesn't bother me too much with regular breathing, however, any deeper breathing or strenuous activity causes the pain to increase a whole lot and I cannot do even simple exercise much anymore. The doctor had diagnosed it as an inversion of one of my back muscles, and I have been seeing a physical therapist on a weekly basis for the past 2 months. While massaging of the area seems to help reduce pain at the time, I notice that later in the day the pain comes back very strong, and I am worried that manipulation of the area only makes it hurt more, which should not be the case if it were a muscle problem.

Anyway, at this point I am going to seek a 2nd opinion and hopefully get a diagnosis. As far as pain meds, during the first month of my pain I was taking hydrocodone, a fairly powerful pain reliever that only mildly lessened my pain. I am wary of taking too much acetaminophin or other NSAIDs long-term because of side effects, so after the first month I have been trying to cope with the pain in other ways. At this point I am usually able to get through most days without needing meds, but on some days when its really painful I will take a few Advil.

Its still very depressing not being able to exercise or do any outdoor types of activities which I loved, however, your situation has given me hope. I'm going to continue in my research on this and hopefully one day it will get better.

Thanks again for your response.
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replied May 19th, 2009
I had a prancreatist attack 1yr and2 months. I was just diagnosed with with this disease. Well, my chest has been hurting ever since. I have been using ibuphrophen off and on for a yr. and has not done anything. they say this goes away after a few week.. It has been for a yr. go figure...what is longest case for this.....
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replied March 24th, 2010
I am 26 yrs old and have been dealing with costochondritis since Sept. 2009. At first I thought I was having a heart attack, got that checked out and they said it was chest wall inflammation. It is on my left side. For some reason it seems to get worse of an evening. I am an occasional smoker and find that makes it worse. I have some swelling on the left of my chest. I have read that would be called Tietze syndrome, though no Doctor I have talked to has heard of it. There has been a couple of weeks during this time when I thought it had gone away but returned. I got an ulcer from taking so much Ibuprofen and have not taken anything for over 4 months. I use a heating pad almost daily. I have good days and bad days. I hope this will not last the rest of my life.
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replied September 8th, 2010
Chronic Costochondritis
I have had Costochondritis since 1997- It has never gone away- Very painful condition. From what I have read there is no cure- and I suffer with it and don't take any drugs- because of the harmful effects of long term use. I have learned to live with it- but still get surprised by what feels like a heart attack - I have been to the emergency room several times - since 1997 thinking I was having a heart attack. It can be that painful, or it can just be moderate, or dull and achy, and also extreme and sharp. I find that I can do most moderate exercise including running. What really gets me is using my arms to fold laundry and other household chores- If I have had a long day working that way, it seems to inflame my ribs and chest on the left side only. It is not fun to live with- but apparently doesn't present any disease process or the like. Thankfully. I have other joint pains- this by far is the worst. I brace myself when I sneeze- or take a deep inhale. I sure do wish it would go away. It doesn't seem likely.
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replied March 22nd, 2011
Costochondritis
Hi there..I was just diagnosed with Costochondritis too...Im in so much pain and can hardly function. Have any of you tried a Chiropractor? Im going next week. Ive also been diagnosed with several dislocated ribs. So Maybe that is the root of the problems. time will tell. I have been through so many test! Xray, cat scan, MRCP, ekg....and showed nothing but a hiatal hernia...I finally went to a new doctor and he diagnosed the Costochondritis.....so motrin and ice packs for me. Im in week 5 of agony...its making life hard...Ill keep you posted on my Chiropractor visit!
thanks
LK
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replied March 29th, 2011
Costo
Hi I have visit AE& twice into years thinking I was having a heart problems. I have seen 4 doctors at my local GP practice, and on the 5th occassion seeing a new docotor I was diagnosed with Costo. Its not so much the pain its the tiredness I find the most hardest has anyone else found this a problem.

Rich
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replied October 27th, 2013
chostochondritis pain and fatigue
yes I am suffering terrible tiredness now after 2 years of this pain just recently been diagnosised with costochondritis
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replied January 29th, 2014
Costo problems
I have been diagnosed with costo about 2 months ago it goes away for a week and then comes back and hurts really bad. I ice and take ibeprofin and it seems to make it better. I hope that it goes away completely I don't want to live forever with the pain. It helps reading about it and talking about it with people. I thought I was dieing at first from a heart attack but I had blood work,EKG, and a chest x-Ray and it all came back good. Pressing on my sternum hurts some days really bad. I stopped lifting weights and now just walk or jog on the treadmill. Stress I think has a lot to do with it. When I feel it coming on I try to take some deep breathes and relax. My doctor said it is like spraining your ankle and that it takes a while to fully heal like 6months to a year to fully heal. Thanks for listining, hopefully I fully recover soon.
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