GERD (Acid Reflux) Community
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1661778 tn?1307049902

occasional dull pain in left ribs under breast

Hello, I am a 28 year old male, overweight (5' 10'' and 210 lbs.) , have high blood pressure (not on meds for the bp at the moment), non smoker, very rarely drink alcohol. I was a huge caffeine addict, but I quit that cold turkey just days before all this started.

Over the last month I have had a strange list of incidents I have never experienced. It started out with gagging in the morning before I ate. That went away.

Then I had a cough, which also went away. Then I got acid reflux, which I would have in the morning, and always got a worse case of while at work (I am a machinist, so therefore do a lot of lifting, bending, stooping, etc.). It would make me have to clear my throat a lot.

After a good week and a half of reflux every day, I went to the doctor and he didn't seem very concerned about it. He said because I recently gave up caffeine, my reflux could be related to that. He also suggested I do the 14 day treatment of Prilosec OTC and see how I fare after that.

My throat cleared up on the medication, but a few days into the treatment I started to feel a dull ache in my ribs just under my left breast. It is a very tolerable feeling. It comes and goes, never lasts very long, and sometimes radiate to my right side in the same location. It is also exacerbated at work. Occasionally, I also get an itching sensation in the same area.

I finished the 14 day treatment, and have yet to have reflux, but the pain in my ribs still shows up occasionally. I also belch a lot during meals but never really after or in between. I get gas pains in my lower abdomen, but that is nothing new to me since I believe myself to have IBS.

I have no loss of appetite, no bloody/tarry stools, no nausea/vomiting. No change in bowel habits either. If I have eaten a large amount of food, I am more liable to feel the ache. I have had some weight loss, but I chalked that up to a recent change in diet (less fast foods, more vegetable and fruit, lower sodium intake, more grains, less soda).

My stomach also makes loud gurgling noises, usually at night when I am either in bed or relaxing on the couch. This is very depressing to me, as I wonder if there is something seriously wrong with me. Does this sound like something to be concerned about?
10 Responses
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi...since u get worse symptoms when u lift or strain, this could be a hiatal hernia...did ur dr do testing to find the root of ur reflux?

Stopping nething cold turkey is going to have an effect on ur body....even if the end result will be good.

Weight loss overall will help u....hands down, but ne change in weight a gain or loss will also cause a flare of reflux.

U need to modify ur diet and lifestyle...u need more fiber, water.....like u r trying to do....

No lying down for 3 to 4 hrs after eating, sleep with the head of ur bed elevated at least 6"s.......there r ways u can help urself feel better.Stress is not going to help..try to stay positive.

What has ur Dr said in regards to ur IBS issues?

Do u drink something with ur meal?...if so, try a glass of water 30 mins b4 and nothing while u eat.....u need the acids to break down ur foods.....see if that helps.

Good luck and do post updates : )

1661778 tn?1307049902
The doctor I went to didn't dive to deep into the root of my reflux problem, probably because of my age. This was not my normal doctor though. I went on a Saturday because my reflux was so terrible I could not stand it. My normal doctor is not in on the weekend, so I was forced to go to the "EZ Care" clinic.

I do have an appointment coming up on May 2nd for a physical examination with my normal doctor, so I plan on bringing this all up to her then. I hope she checks into the problem more then the other doctor did.

As for the IBS question, I've never once brought up my concerns about it to a doctor. I've been experiencing it since I was a teenager, so I always more or less felt like it was normal for me. Maybe it's time I do bring it up to a dcotor though? Never know, could have a food intolerance, such as Celiac Disease.
620923 tn?1452915648

  There r sooooooooo many reasons u could  have IBS and it could be diet, dehydration....all types of things that do not point to disease...but since u have it this long, it may be ur body's way of absorbing fluids....and when they absorb too much, the bowel can not move, it hardens, until there is soooooo much u end up with the runs, most of which runs past the dried impacted fecal matter.

Drink plenty of water, eat plenty of fiber, and do not over do it and seeing ur dr will be a help.It could just be an imbalance.....

U deff need to see ur PCP and then a GI dr for further testing...a 14 day trial of meds is not enuff to help as it just begins to show it's effectiveness at that point.


1661778 tn?1307049902
I have an upate!

I finally got to go to my doctor today, and I was diagnosed with GERD right off the bat. She prescribed Omeprazole for 30 days and also gave my Lisinopril for my high blood pressure (two things being finally properly medicated in one fell swoop!) She also ordered 3 lab blood tests. 1 for heliobacter pylori (because of my epigastric pain dealing with my ribs), one for cholesterol, and one for diabetes (my father had type 2).

I do not have the results back yet for the labs but my doctor said she would call me later today when the results came in. Hopefully those come back good, but I have a suspicion I will be positive for h pylori.

I have a follow up appointment in a month to see how the GERD is responding to the medication. She said if it was still more or less the same, they would then check for stuff like hiatal hernias. VERY HAPPY to see everything going in the right direction towards an answer to my problems!
620923 tn?1452915648

  Congratulations!! Glad u got to a GI dr and a dx and testing...it is the best way to go to figure it out and get on the road to feeling better.

Please keep us posted

1661778 tn?1307049902
Had a follow-up appointment today with my doctor. I told her I have not felt any burning reflux in my throat since being on the Omeprazole 20mg, but I still feel a "pressure" just below my sternum, along with increased belching. Also told her my rib pain occurrences have decreased, but since they are still there I was a bit worried.

She told me to start taking the Omeprazole 20mg twice a day instead of just in the morning to see if that makes a difference. I was told to also start writing down foods that cause my pressure and rib pain, so she could see if they are acidic foods or fatty foods. She told me my pain could be caused by gallbladder inefficiency, and she wants to see if that is the case.

I also convinced her to order an endoscopy, to rule out hiatal hernia, gastritis, or peptic ulcer. She said usually they do not scope a GERD patient after only a couple months of symptoms. They usually wait approx. 4 years to do so. She agreed to it anyway, so I am very pleased about that.

Also, finally found out my blood test results were normal (CBC, H. Pylori, Cholesterol, Diabetes). I actually had two CBCs done within 2 weeks of each other and the only thing that was slightly odd was the first test had normal white blood cell count, and the second test had slightly elevated white blood cell count. I was told this could be due to an infection or even something as simple as stress.

Now just waiting to see what happens when I take the Omeprazole twice a day, and to get the endoscopy done. Hope everything goes well!
620923 tn?1452915648

  HI....Thanks for the update, I hope the increase in the meds helps......

Keeping a journal is a great idea, as many of us can be eating foods considered safe for patients with GERD, but it could be an issue for u...checking is the best way to get to the bottom of it all.

1661778 tn?1307049902
Hello once again. I had my endoscopy done today and found out everything is more or less normal! I do indeed have GERD  (Lvl. 2), and they took a biopsy of my esophagus, even though it looked normal, "just to be safe". Well that is excellent news to my ears! I went in expecting the worst and came out all smiles!
620923 tn?1452915648

I am so happy for u....I pray u continue to get good news and feel better : )

1661778 tn?1307049902
Well, I developed pain between the shoulder blades recently that radiated sometimes into the right shoulder blade, sometimes the left. It even has radiated into the right shoulder itself before. I went to the doctor today (ER to be exact, since the pain is an everyday occurrence).

They ran a bunch of tests on me for the possible reasons as to why I could feel this pain:

Ultrasound on Kidneys, Liver, Gallbladder - All normal.
Blood tests (CBC/Blood Thickness/Liver function/Pancreatic function) - All normal
Urine test - Normal

Nothing. Not one reason for the pain. The ER Doctor did mention that an inefficient gallbladder can cause symptoms similar to a gallbladder attack, and suggested that I make an appointment with my GI Doctor for a HIDA scan. He said GERD can also be responsible for pain that radiates to the back between the shoulder blades.

Could also just be wear and tear from work that is just conveniently occurring at the same time as my digestive issues. So, it was suggested that my family doctor take x-rays or my back in the near future. All those tests, and I leave with a prescription for vicodin.

I'm happy nothing seriously wrong was found with me, but it leaves a person confused a little. Anyway, if the HIDA scan comes back ok, have you heard of GERD pain radiating to the back? Even when your on medication that seems to control the reflux well?
You were doing an amazing job keeping us posted! (Most people post and then disappear.) So what happened?
I have discomfort under the left rib. Occasional discomfort in middle back. And some nausea/ tummy pains. No heart hurn etc. They say they think it's GERD or gastritis and put me on omneprozol. I did a lot of tests. So far nothing. Endo in a few weeks. I'm not over weight. I Don't eat perfectly but better than most. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Etc. Just kind of looking for answers.
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