19 years old, in good health, vegeterian, low fat diet & exercise. About 5 years ago (15yrsold) (I don't know when exactly it started or what triggered it) I started getting pain right under my left lower ribs, more to the side of my body rather than toward the front, esentially the left costal margin. At the time, i thought it was a werid heart spasm or something because it came on very suddenly and hurt intensely for usually about 5 min. I always told my parents they said not to worry as long as it went away - and it always did within about 5 min. It was triggered by nothing as I recall - incudling movement or eating. Just random pain that seemed to be coming from the left costal margin and going up towards my heart. 3 years later - 17 years old, I was in high school 2 years ago from now approx and I got the pain again, for no reason but this was the first time the pain lasted for an extended period of time. It was very severe at time - stabbing, sharp. Other times it was subtle, chronic ache and a very "unconfortable" feeling. I still thought it was my heart, but was unsure. I went to my doctor and they did extensive tests. They did an EKG, and felt my rib area a lot. It seemed at the time that my left ribs were MUCH higher than they had ever been. He assured me it was normal and the pain was probably just making it seem more swelled - i accepeted this and it may have been true. They did standard xrays and concluded it was nothing but perhaps chostrocondirites (inflamation of the ribs). Continued in the next reply -
So basically he said take anti-inflamatories and it would be on and off and flare up from time to time but it was nothing to worry about. Esentially, it was inconclusive though.
It went away after about 2 weeks.
It came for the 5 min intervals thoughout the past 2 years, but no long attack.
Now its 2 years later and its back and in full force. This time, I am older and smarter. The pain is not my heart. It defintely radiates from my left costal margin. The pain is sometimes stabbing, sharp where i can hardly walk (similar to severe GAS pains) but most of the time its just VERY uncomfortable aching pain, like it doesn't feel right - like an "empty" feeling in the area, like something is missing or swollen or just out of place.
Some facts :
I now realize it is trigged when i eat! Im not sure if it was before, but it is now. It hurts about 15 min after I eat (anything incudling the most healthy foods and plenty off fiber).
I get plenty of vitamins and minerals - i take supplments and i wasnt vegeterian when I got the pain 5 years ago so i know this isnt the cause.
When i was little, i clogged the toilet and my dad yelled at me. Ever since then i hated pooping. I always held it in. I also wanted to do it quick when I had to, so I always forced it out with my muscles rather than waiting naturally - obviosly a big mistake a possible cause of problems. So much gas im going to reiterate this again and again...
I suffer from moderate constipation - my poop is usually small, clumpy, but not escessively hard. It seems normal, but very small and varies in texture. I go small amounts at a time also. About every other day. Gas accompiues it mostly. Its mostly all gas actually.
This is one of my main problems - i suffer from SEVERE gas. Every day, i pass gas almost constiently. No matter what I eat, how slow (or fast) i eat or what digestive enzymes I take to help, i always have GAS to death. I hate it. I've tried everything. 3 years ago I fasted for about 5 days and I still had gas!!!! Never have I had an *hour* of my time where i didnt have to pass a LOT of gas. This is obvious a major problem for me i belive, and possible contribution to this main problem. Why do i have so much gas? I've tried beano, activated charcoal, simeticone & probiotics. No success. Incidentally, i dont burp, ever. Seems as though some digestive problem..
I rarely suffer from heartburn or indigestion. Mylanta and antacids do not help when i get this pain (which i have now)
The pain is very hard to describe, it almost feels like theres air or gas stuck somewhere, or perhaps even a penny stuck in my organ. Its "unconfortable". No positions get rid of the pain nor do they aggravate it... Also, of notice is the fact that when i apply pressure to the area, or hold it with my hand, which i do constantly, it feels better , more secure and it gives me a better sense of well being. Weird eh? Also of notice is that when i laugh, the pain tends to fade a bit. Perhaps a muscle down there helps shadow the pain...
I just dont get it. I am 19 (very young) and am very healthy.
The last thing I am going to admit (even though I prefer not to but I know I need to reveal all) is that for the past year I have had binge eating disorder. i eat when Im sad, angry or whatever until im overly full. I dont puke, but im sure this is very bad for my digestive system. But you must remember, this pain started WAY before this, so i think at the moment its unrelated. Just thought Id mention it though.
I really want to add more stuff but Im not sure what else. One thing is that last week, i stopped bingeing. I started eating only until im full, and not overly full. This seems to be a benefit, but also seems to be about the time the pain came back. Doesnt explain 2 years ago however.
Please help me anyone, my insurance ran out this past year and I'm living in subsidized housing with food stamps. I cant afford anything right now. Any help is appreciated :(
I am so sorry that you are suffering so. As you can see by this forum, many people here struggle with problems that seem to have no solutions. Can you talk to your state people and see if they can't help you out with this? (such as state med. insurance?) You really do need to see a Doc about this. The only other thing I can suggest is that you do your best to eat healthy and perhaps take some sort of fiber supplement to help keep you regular. Drink plenty of water too. I know it is frustrating, my own problems did not show up until I really started eating healthy and drinking a lot of water and such. Read thru the other posts here and you may find some other suggestions to try. I am sorry that I have nothing to offer you except "common" sense stuff. I hope you feel better soon.
I know when I was young and had no insurance I could go to the local health department for anything I needed. I'm think perhaps you have some kind of bacteria. If your gas has a very bad odor. Enough to clear a room. I know guys are proud of that, but that is a sign. See if you could be tested for that. They'd need a stool sample. Another thing is pancreatitis. This would be if you felt like this is the worst stomach ache you've ever had. For someone like you who gets the pain on and off. You wouldn't always show signs. It does cause a lot of gas. Although in my case I couldn't pass the gas. To be tested - it be best to have it done while you are in pain. Chronic pancreatitis sometimes doesn't show in a blood test.
Why don't you have health insurance? I'm guessing you have a job. When I was your age. I thought I didn't need it. I went without for a long time, because I thought it was a waste of money. I ended up needing emergency surgery - $10,000 later I wished I could of done things different. Don't be a fool!
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