Hello, I'm a 34 year old female and have been suffering from this pain for so many years, I don't even remember how old I was when it first started. I used to only get an attack once every couple years. But in November of 2008 I had another attack and til this day the pain does not go away. 2 years of constant pain. I had been living of of anti-inflammatory pills, taking 800mg every 4-5 hours and the pain was still never. Nothing ever really takes it away.
My pain is the exact same as most of you have described, however, sometimes it starts right in the middle of my chest, then moves to my right lower rib area, then moves to my back right rib area, then moves up to my right shoulder area...THEN goes all the way down to my lower back area, where your kidney's would be. This severe pain is constant and lasts for one week, until it calms a bit, but never really goes away.
The other thing that I would like to address, but have not read here as most of your symptoms is that I am constantly struggling to take a breath because inhaling IS SOOOOO PAIN FULL!! I am not able to cough, sneeze, burp, laugh, and finish a normal sentence without running out of air and struggling to take a breathe to finish speaking. Forget walking...I'm slumped over and can't stand up straight, and because it hurts so much to take a breath, any physical activity is too painful. I have also found that laying down is also very painful, I have to be in a seated position in bed and very still for me to find any comfort. There is no way I can even lay on either side during the attacks...too painful. Although I have found that when I apply pressure to the area (on my right lower rib cage) the pain does subside a bit.
Another symptom I always have with the attacks that I again haven't read here is that I also get a fever, I haven't really taken a temperature during this time...but I get really really hot and very weak and fatigued. I've also noticed that I get hungry very frequently, I know it's odd but it's been my observation.
Here is another finding, I started taking 500mg capsules of L-Carnitine around May this year, and after about a couple weeks of taking one a day I started to notice that it was helping relieve my pain. I don't know if there is a direct scientific link, but that was the only thing that I had changed in my diet and noticed it helped.
I'm sorry this is so long, but there is so much to write about this topic and YES everyone around me is tired of hearing that I'm sick AGAIN. I feel like such a useless person and that the whole world is living, working, being active and enjoying life while I'm in bed completely immobile in pain...it is depressing.
About the whole gallbladder connection...here is my story...in July of 2009, while visiting Mexico, I had another attack and a friend of mine dragged me to their hospital (my first visit regarding this issue because I know they never find anything so why bother, right) anyhow, after giving all my symptoms they did an ultrasound and found that I had stones in my gallbladder and everything I was describing was a direct result of it. Leaving there relieved that it was nothing really serious and with some GREAT pain meds, I came back to the states and still in pain (it had become chronic by now) I decided to go to one of my US emergency room and see if they have the same findings. Well, after about 6 hours of waiting for results of blood and urine tests, they said that everything came back "normal" . I asked them to do an ultrasound, because obviously SOMETHING was NOT normal if I am having pain...right?! Well, they didn't do it because there was nothing abnormal in my test results. So I contacted a gallbladder specialist dr, and took my x-rays and dr. reports and records that I had done in Mexico with me, he was so excited that I had PPO insurance that he didn't even do his own tests and went on the "word" of the reports from Mexico and scheduled me for surgery to remove my gallbladder. Needless to say, I was excited that I was going to be relieved of the pain (pain=stones in my gallbladder) YEAH RIGHT!! I had surgery August 3rd...and before the month was up I had another attack....SAME PAIN! WTFFF!!! I was so upset and so depressed, everyone told me to call my surgeon and tell him that THAT wasn't the problem and to help find what it was. I never did. I don't want to be a guinea pig and a money making machine for our health care system or professionals. The only thing that I have gotten after removing my gallbladder is acid reflux/heartburn...don't know which is which but it's very bad in the mornings and if my first meal in the day is fatty/oily I HAVE to run to the bathroom within 20-30 min with crazy diarrhea...sorry if that's TMI :) Dr. told me that those will go away as my body heals from the surgery, but it's been over a year and I now have 2 more things I suffer from!! And after searching and searching for some self diagnosis, I found that the closest definition to my condition is Pleurisy, and that concludes my research...sadly.
I so do apologize for this post being very long, but I just want to know if there is anyone else out there with these exact symptoms.
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
If you have pain under your right rib then there could be a liver infection, pancreatitis, or a gall bladder problem. Gall bladder was removed and still the pain did not subside. Get a liver function test, ultrasound or CT of abdomen, and pancreatic enzymes. Chronic pancreatitis too presents this way. It can also be due to acidity and duodenal ulcer. Take a late night snack. Raise head end of bed. Take Omeprazole empty stomach in morning and an antacid gel at bedtime. Refrain from smoking, alcohol, fuzzy drinks and spicy food. Walking around also helps clear gas. It could also be costochondritis, which causes pain and tenderness at points where your ribs attach to your breastbone. The inflammation around the joint area gives sharp pain on taking a breath. This can also cause tenderness on pressing the area which pains. An orthopedic doctor can diagnose this for you. Generally there is no cause. However it can be due to infection, blow, injury, or fibromyalgia. It usually goes away on its own. Otherwise it can be treated with muscle relaxants, and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Pain under right ribs with gas can be due to any inflammatory bowel disease like Celiac or Crohn’s, IBS or due to food intolerance. If all these are ruled out, then laproscopy should be done. Such an undiagnosed pain is usually due to adhesions and cutting the adhesions takes care of the pain. Pain under right rib case can also be due to pleurisy, asthma, or any other lung problems. Usually this is accompanied by lung related symptoms like breathlessness, cough etc. Since a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net please discuss with your doctor once. Hope this helps. Take care!
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