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Xiphoid Process? (Page 1)

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For 10+ weeks now I have been suffering from an unusual health condition. The region of my xiphoid process has seemed enlarged/swollen (more so than normal) and it is extremely sensitive/painful to touch. It seems that pain radiates outward through my arms and especially to my back from that one spot. I had a very similar condition for three weeks last fall. I had a CT scan last fall that showed nothing significant. Fast forward 8 months later and I am hit with the same condition once again. I notice that when it initially hits I have symptoms similar to that of a heart attack. This time round I have had multiple tests done (EKG, multiple blood tests). All of these turned out normal. I also had a ultra sound and hydascan done on my gallbladder this past May. They determined that my gallbladder wasn't working properly and they advised me to get it removed. I did just that. The surgeon informed me that the gallbladder was pretty inflamed and that he thought that THAT was the source of my problem. However, the same debilitating problem in the xiphoid region remains (though a bit more tolerable than it use to be). I have also had an endoscopy and colonscopy done to check for ulcers or other issues that may contribute to my problem. They all turned out normal.

So, here I sit. I've discovered that taking pain pills, drinking hot tea, and wearing ice packs helps (even back massages from my wife helps). But every day I look down at my xiphoid process region and it continues to appear and feel swollen, and it still sends radiating pain throughout my body. I am scheduled to see an internal medicine doctor on Monday. I may suggest getting an MRI done. But I am doubtful how this would be helpful since the CT scan last fall showed nothing significant. I have seen a chiropractor who took x-rays of my spine which revealed that my spine was kinda messed up. But I want to rule out more serious issues before I continue on with a chiropractor.

Anyone suffer from something similar or any idea as to what it may be?
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First Helper HelpfulChris
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replied July 17th, 2009
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hi i looked into this and only found xiphoidalgia..its inflammation of the brestbone and may hurt when you cough, or breath deep and chest movement.
anti inflams or anesthetic injections,or steroids have been known to help. treatment is not usually necessary as its unknown why this happens.
an mri may help evaluate your spine better as xrays do not give true reading of nerves or underlying issues.
think your already doing what would be recommended according to info i found and treatment does improve it in time.
hope this helps we are not doctors but can advise you on finds that we research..
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replied October 31st, 2009
been dealing with the same issue for about 8 months and have finally seen a surgeon who is going to remove my xiphoid tip as he feel it is damaged and maybe broken. Hope this fixes it. It is weird how the syptoms radiate throughout the body, my xiphoid actually pops when I rub or push it and I too get numbness in my hands with back & neck pain and headaches when pain is at its worst. went to the hosptal 3 times and was treated for everything from heartburn to depression with no relief. My surgery is Tuesday 11-3-09, I will post the results soon after. The xiphoid seems to be the last thing most doctors suspect.
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replied April 4th, 2012
How did the surgery go? Did it help?
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replied March 17th, 2014
gp1967---so been some time since you have been on here, but my husband has been suffering with his xiphoid for almost a year now and is in severe pain.we live in colorado and no doctor in this damn town knows anything about this and how to fix this problem.can I ask where you live at? or had your surgery done and the name of the doctor who did it. I am will to do what I have to at this point to get some kind of relief for my husband.he has been to the E.R several times and his primary care doctor said it was just heart burn.He has even been to E.R for what he thought was a heart attack.They have done several test, like the ultra sound, CT Scans,EKG and they have found nothing.They think he is a hypo condriac or a person looking for pain pill and no doctor will even give him any pain pills for the pain.He suffers everyday with severe pain,any information you can help us with will be greatly appreciated.Lately they have told him it was his xiphoid and that he needs to go for injection, so he did and nothing is helping. We think it needs to be removed or fixed some how.Also my husbands xiphoid is also popping.Please,please help us with any information you can give.
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replied November 3rd, 2009
well I had the surgery this morning, it took about 2 hours and I have a 3 inch incision in the middle of my stomach just below the sternum. surgeon advised my xiphoid was damaged and point inwards so if not removed I'm sure this issue would have plague me for years. I feel sore from the surgery but already feel better internally. I have only taken one vicodin post surgery (perscribed 1 every 4 hours) so if you have been diagnoised with this problem I would not fear removing it. I found it interesting that most of the nurses and staff was curious as to how I damaged it as it was the first they heard of somebody getting it removed that didn't break it during CPR. I never had CPR done on me and the only thing I can recall was working on a car back in Feb.09 and used my chest as a 3rd hand to push in the axle while changing the bearings, no pain that day but within a few days of that my problems started and I never thought that was it in the begining. I will post more results once off all meds.
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replied October 26th, 2011
My 16 year old daughter has had pain for over a year after being hit by a car while running cross country. She fractured a rib but has not healed since that time. A recent ct scan showed her xiphoid process was deviated and after looking online a lot of her symptoms seems to be the same as though people have listed. My problem is I'm not sure what Dr. to contact about this problem. We have actually seen a thoracic surgeon who was unfmailiar with xiphoid and I would like to be able to take her to somebody who is familiar and has performed the surgery so she can get a thorough analysis. Can you please help point me in the right diretion? We are located in Texas but at this point are not scared to travel. Thank you so much!
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replied October 19th, 2012
hello - have had 3 years of swelling and pain around the sternum area..had two trips to india, and the excessive vomiting has caused the problem..it took 3 years to get there though (saw a wide variety of docs, many blood tests, gastro / colonoscopy, ct scan, ultrasounds..all blank)..i finally managed to see a rheumatologist who sent me for a bone scan and found a "hot spot"right on sternum..was sent to pain specialist and received cryotherapy, freeing of the nerves around the xiphisternum...the pain is gone, however, the over riding sense of injury and discomfort, inflamation, swelling still exists..so i feel the root cause has not been addressed..gut instinct says surgey is on the cards...the problem can be known as costochondritis or tietze's syndrome. hope this helps
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replied September 7th, 2012
Xiphoid Process curving in towards heart
Mine too was tender and seemed to interfere with breathing. It stuck out a bit, also, so the did the xray and told me it was turning inward and had to keep a watch so it doesn't puncture heart. They gave me an anti-inflammatory Meloxicam which I later stopped, and then realized it was helping for the pain. My Doctor told me the Xiphoid process pain usually happens when lifting heavy objects and twisting agravates it.
All the nerves in the thoracic area from T7 down to T12 seemed to have become impinged. I wonder if the Xiphoid Process can cause back trouble in rhomboloids and a bit higher? There is a constanst pain, that feels like a chiropractor could adjust it, but I am afraid of the pain on the xiphoid as I lie down on tummy for manipulation.
I am glad you had the procedure, but what precautions must you now take?
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replied December 26th, 2009
Xiphoid Region and rib pain, uncomfortable aches, pains
Hi, I am glad to be reading this because something weird is going on in my body as well...Seems to have started believe it or not after rotator cuff surgery...Pain and swelling in the xiphoid region but now pain has gotten worse around my ribs, especially upon waking up in morning...I have a constant full feeling in the middle of my entire lower chest region with dull aches and pains...if you took the area where the xiphoid process is and wrapped a 3 or 4 inch in width band around my entire body, that is where it mostly is...even now in my back ribs as well...what can I do when doctors are baffled? get a new doctor?
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replied April 4th, 2012
I am like you. I have lived with this for 13 years. No one in the medical community will allow me to have surgery. As soon as I tell them where the pain originates, they brush me off. I am unable to get the medication I need to suppress. My agony is a level 10 pain 24/7 with the chest pain entering into my dream sleep. There is no escape. HELP Tom Atlanta GA
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replied July 28th, 2012
Hey Tom, did you ever find out what was causing the pain?
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replied May 26th, 2013
Yes I did. It was a detached Xiphoid Process, and it was protruding out the front of my chest. Yet, even with all this doctors still can not conceive the insurmountable pain that is caused by this affliction. I just do my best with Ultram, yet no doctors will allow me to have Fentanyl Patch that has been the best pain suppression, and worked wonders for 5 years. After the surgery, the head, stomach, arms, hands, and spine all got much better. However, I am still in continual pain and at a loss how to find a doctor who treats Chronic Pain as real...
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replied December 28th, 2009
xiphoid is fully healed now with no pain but have since also been diagnois with a bad gallbladder so will probably have it removed at some point as I am having discomfort under my right rib cage that spreads to my upper abdomin and spreads to my back. My doctor sent me to have a hiada scan done which showed my gallbladder is only working 12%, normal is 60% and anything under 35% is considered bad. trainer33 has your doctor sent you for any gallbladder tests? I first had an ultra sound but showed no gall stones then sent for hiada scan. the sysmptoms you discribe seem more like a bad gallbladder than xiphoid. good luck and if your current doctor does not send you for testing then I would get a new one.
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replied April 4th, 2012
You may have just saved my life. I have been in pain for 13 years ever since a fall off a table. The RN during the first year. Pushed my Xipoid. The pain I felt was unbelievable!!

I am at this time taking Ultram every 6hours at 100mgs. I am using a 50mg Fentanyl Patch every other day to piggy back the pain. No doctor has yet to believe me about the pain I am in and where it originates!!!

Today I make an emergency move to get some more RXs as I have run out. My pain covers my entire upper body, into my head, and down my spine. But the hell cat is this thing in my Chest.

I have had 3 MRI's a CT and PET and Nuclear Medicine with not one understanding me. I also have a direct linking pain in my back at the same height as the front. I hope to GOD or whatever Demon gave me this that there is a way to turn it off!

13 YEARS I have endured level 10 pain. It is so strong now, it enters my dream sleep. Will come back after I tell the doctor there is another with my condition and he was cured!
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replied June 4th, 2012
I'm so glad your feeling better, my 15 yr old daughter is having the same problem she is a soccer player and and has had every test ran and all has come back normal. Wheni go back to the sports Dr. I will be telling your story thanks!
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replied June 4th, 2012
I'm so glad your feeling better, my 15 yr old daughter is having the same problem she is a soccer player and and has had every test ran and all has come back normal. Wheni go back to the sports Dr. I will be telling your story thanks!
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replied December 28th, 2009
Xiphoid Pains
I have had an abdominal sonogram which was normal, an MRI without contrast just the other day of the xiphoid region...I have trouble laying down without this weird internal pain and pain which feels like my ribs hurt...I have an upper endoscopy scheduled for this week but nobody has mentioned those other tests to me at all...not yet anyhow....I also have this pain to the touch at the xiphoid process and next to it by the lowest rib...There also seems to be a swelling or puffyness in that area....My stomach also feels distended....I did have a Shatzki's ring when I was about 19 which is a narrowing of the lower esophagus as it enters the stomach which needed to be widened....I feel after I eat that the area (xiphoid or behind it) gets a dull ache or pain...I think that the doctors may be thrown off because I have had a constant cough for over a year now and they have treated me with heartburn meds as well as an Advair inhaler but I think I have more than one problem going on...I dont know where to turn, maybe I should go to a hospital for a battery of tests....I havent been blood tested for specific problems, only your typical CBC.
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replied December 30th, 2009
I'm feeling slightly better than I did before I read this post. I found this pain on my Xiphoid area when my puppy was laying on my chest and moved around. I felt the pain & found this bump, or dare I utter the word "lump"? Well I uttered the word lump when, after 3 days & it was still there, I searched for explaination on the internet and the 1st 100 results were "CANCER, BREAST CANCER, METASTISIZED!!!" SO after a very depressing day of feeling like I should review my will (mind you I'm only 29), I sat down now and searched for the name of the tip of the sternum, then searched Xiphoid Process and you beautiful people are now making me feel slightly less like I'm dying. So I have a Doctor's appointment On Tuesday (SEVVVVEN DAYS), because, naturally, My Doc's in Vegas until Monday (which, to me, is a pretty dang long Vegas trip!)...so I'll let you know what happens.

FOr the record, since I just reviewed my post and it pretty much says nothing lol...My pain is definitely in the Xiphod Process...right on top of the flexible cartilage, ONLY hurts when I palpate (press it)...does not radiate anywhere else...I do feel full quite easily, compared to previously (I'm a 250lb firefighter in pretty good shape...so usually no problem eating!)...I have a pretty significant curvature of the spine when not conciously standing up straight (to the point of looking into getting it fixed)...and, well I guess that's it...just wanted people to be able to compare to my stats on this issue.

Will Let you know when I hear something from Dr. Vegas
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Users who thank mhitch for this post: geotep 

replied May 5th, 2010
Enlarged Ziphoid
I also am happy I found this blog. I found my xiphoid process enlarged and painful a few days ago. It started out just painful to the touch, but has progressed to hurting when I twist or lay on my stomach. I just a lumpectomy in my breast that turned out benign. I''m glad it appears as if this is not a grave condition. I have a call into my Dr. for a routine checkup and will bring it to his attention. In the mean time I will take motrin and ice when the pain is too much. Thanks!
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replied May 11th, 2010
Everyone wondering about cancer/cyst''s, that is the xiphoid bon
The more you rub and touch it the more it is going to bother you as it''s a very sensitive area. Give it a few days without rubbing or pressing on it and see how you feel. It is normal to be golfball size or larger on some people, it may give some people discomfort if you overeat or have gas and need to burp. Whatever you do, don''t freak out because that "thing" down in the middle of your ribs right below your breastbone is totally normal. Smile
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replied April 4th, 2012
I have lived with level 10 pain for 13 years. The first time I told an RN about the xiphiod process, she pressed it hard, and pain shot through my neck and down my right arm! Searing burning lead pain, as if some had a wire inside me and made it 3000 degrees.

I am in fear for my life. I messed up my pain suppresion, and now no one will fill it. This is the only medication to suppress mine. I have used street drugs as the pain is unlike any horror I keep feeling.

If only they would acknowledge what has been written here. I may not live much longer, I am with out my ability to control the sensations. If I had the surgery, I might be cured too. Living in fear.
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replied May 11th, 2010
Everyone wondering about cancer/cyst''s, thats the xiphoid bone
The more you rub and touch it the more it is going to bother you as it''s a very sensitive area. Give it a few days without rubbing or pressing on it and see how you feel. It is normal to be golfball size or larger on some people, it may give some people discomfort if you overeat or have gas and need to burp. Whatever you do, don''t freak out because that "thing" down in the middle of your ribs right below your breastbone is totally normal. It is not cancer, it is not a tumor or a cyst so everyone searching for this just calm down and take a deep breath. You are most likely okay. Check with your doctor if you really want to be sure. Smile
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replied May 12th, 2010
Yep, that is my plan. I was alarmed but then read the posts on this forum. I do have standard blood work I have done and then usually visit with my doctor. I will be sure to update you all on anything out of the ordinary. OH..and yes, mine does radiate to my back right lower rib cage. That area has been a hot spot for over 25 years. It comes and goes. I always described as it felt like I had a "bruise on my ribs." I was tested way back then to no avail. I'm not worried about either any longer now that I know one can be related to the other. (The size of mine is like a peach, not golf ball, it is rather large, however not as painful as last week.)
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replied May 24th, 2010
xiphoid pain
I just returned from Winipeg after seeing a thoracic surgeon who was willing to remove my xiphoid which has been causing excruciating pain for the last 7 years. I've had numerous steroid and lidocaine injections which didn't help and even made the pain worse! He suggested I try a pain clinic for nerve blocks and as a last resort, surgery.I've had every test in the book and everything comes up normal. A chiropractor did say my xiphoid is broken. So now I have to decide on surgery or pain clinic. I researched nerve blocks and they are the same injections I,ve been getting. I think I might go for the surgery even though he said the pain can get worse. I told him it COULDN'T get any worse.
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replied April 4th, 2012
Did you ever get the surgery? Are you even still alive? After 13 years, I will take the surgery, if it gets worse, kill me.
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replied May 25th, 2010
Regarding surgery
I suppose if the pain is debilitating you must do something. I have not had that much difficulty. My pain is sporadic. It hurts a lot when it does hurt, but is not really inter fearing with my day to day activity. I would get a second surgical opinion from a teaching hospital as well speak to others who have had the procedure done. I read a post where it didn't make a difference, the pain remained.
Good luck.
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replied July 28th, 2010
I've been hurting just the last couple days. The only thing i can compare it to is labor pains only in my chest not stomach... starts in the middle and wraps around... its sporadic but getting worse every day.
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replied August 2nd, 2010
Swollen Ziphoid Process
I've had a swollen Xiphoid Process for a couple of months. There is no pain involved, but it is definitely swollen. The only cause I can think of is that I've gained 40 pounds in the last year and a half. I was too thin before, but 40 pounds is too much for me. I'm thinking that overeating and the distended stomach caused this. I had my gall badder out five years ago so that can't be the cause.
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replied August 15th, 2010
mhitch this may help, I've read from other posts people complaining about spinal problems who also have their xiphoid processes swollen, one posted he was diagnosed with SCOLIOSIS and this is what i found on it. I too have a swollen xiphoid and will go to the doc for a second time but at least now i know what questions to ask.
good luck

Scoliosis: What You Need to Know
By: Peter F. Ullrich, Jr., MD
The term scoliosis is used to describe an abnormal curvature of the spine, but it is not in itself a disease or a diagnosis. The curvature of the spine from scoliosis is from side to side and may develop as a single curve (shaped like the letter C) or as two curves (shaped like the letter S).

Scoliosis usually develops in the upper back (thoracic spine) or area between the upper back and lower back (the thoracolumbar area of the spine) It may also occur just in the lower back (lumbar spine).
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replied August 18th, 2010
Swollen Xyphoid
I checked with my Dr. I have had spasmodic and sporadic pain in my lower right anterior rib since I was 23. It was diagnosed as Costal chondritis. I'm 48 and when I showed him my sizable zyphoid process and described the symptoms, he said it to is part of the costalchondritis. I treat with anti inflammatory meds.
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replied October 7th, 2010
My agony!
Hello, I am also glad to have read this post and have found others with the same problems. Everytime I go to the ER or my doctor, they look at me like Im insane when I say my xiphoid hurts. My pain is so bad now that I walk around most of the day with constant nausea and sometimes vomiting, the band of pain from my xiphoid into my back is soo bad now that I can barely move. I have just taken the pain for years because I have been to so many doctors all over the US and they all just b.s. me and give me a GI cocktail and send me on my way. I just read an article that relates the pain to diabetes and blood sugar. ?? Anyone heard of this?? I am just eager to get rid of the pain. I am 30, and to pick up my two year old causes me extreme pain. When I was pregnant with him, I almost died from pancreatitis, (or so they say)...and I never drink!! But thanks for the blog, because now at least I know that I am not insane. Why dont MD's understand that everyone knows their own body, and I know when my hurts and when something is swollen!
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replied October 12th, 2010
Xiphoid Process pain with other joint/bone pain
Hello, I am a 47 year old female-133 pounds, 5 feet 9 inches tall. I am so glad to have found this site. I also have been having Xiphoid Process pain for a few months now, off and on pain, but has been very painful to the touch and seems to be getting worse. The bone/cartiledge feels mishapened, and also feels as though it is growing to the left side and no longer symetrical. I remember getting kicked in the ribs as a child by a horse, and I also have been very active throughout my life doing a lot of labor outside...

I remember having pain when sleeping about 6 weeks ago, and couldn't sleep on my left side. I also remember having pain after eating, burping a lot, and a feeling of being full, and not being able to eat for the rest of the day. Now, for the last month, my symptoms have worsened. I have been having joint pain in my rt knuckle, worse at night, and when I bend it it actually locks in the bent position. Now I have a rt thumb knuckle bone that is sticking up and hurts to bend or touch. Sometimes, I can just be sitting still and I can feel the pain deep in my bones, like an ache. That is scary...My elbows hurt to bend and touch and my wrists also feel very weak and hurt to touch and do anything that requires strength. I thought all of this was related to my strenuous lifting and working on the farm where I live now and take care of my elderly father, but the Xiphoid Process pain is the clincher according to all these entries.

I also have to add that I have been having severe muscle cramps in my legs and feet and ankles at night. I stretch, rub, etc. and nothing helps. Sometimes the cramp is so bad, you can see indentations in my exterior calf area...very, very painful to wake up to, and just bending my toes wrong in bed can bring it on. I am going to my doctor in 2 days to have my regular checkup, but this will be my first time seeing this doctor in the area I live now, so I hate to give her all these symptoms at once...please post any information you may have that may help me with this, and what else this may be related to. Thank you so much...
NFY
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replied October 22nd, 2011
Although I came to site to read about my xiphoid hurting the symptoms you describe are very similar to mine when I found out I had Rheumatoid arthritis....I've had it for ten years and they have some great medicines out there for it. RA also messes with your bodies vitamin levels for some reason and for your muscle cramps a simple increase in potassium like eating bananas should be beneficial.
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replied March 10th, 2012
RA is a common knee jerk diagnosis...less obvious, unless you have Hypothyroidism and a good Endocrine specialist is the possibility of calcium depletion coupled with a need for Vit D. An injection of D and kick up the volume on your calcium intake, dark green leafies, dairy, could be a miracle cure...but not quite as fast...month or two. So, check for that, or those, possibilities, 1. calcium depletion, 2. Hypthryroidism T3 T4 imbalance. Best wishes!
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replied March 10th, 2012
RA is a common knee jerk diagnosis...less obvious, unless you have Hypothyroidism and a good Endocrine specialist is the possibility of calcium depletion coupled with a need for Vit D. An injection of D and kick up the volume on your calcium intake, dark green leafies, dairy, could be a miracle cure...but not quite as fast...month or two. So, check for that, or those, possibilities, 1. calcium depletion, 2. Hypthryroidism T3 T4 imbalance. Best wishes!
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