Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Left side chest/rib pain/swelling

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 37 Replies
  • Posted By: the_one
  • November 1, 2006
  • 07:37 PM

Since July this year I've been having problems, it started as nauseas, weakness, lightheadedness, after a few months I was diagnosed with diabetes but we don't know how long it has been going on since most of the symptoms have actually started about a year ago. My problem, though, is that on my left rib, right below the breast I've been experiencing pains, it started as a pinning kind of pain, then it felt like pressure and after that it was a constant pain so bad i couldn't sleep on that side , at that point I noticed my left rib was sticking out as if it were swollen, it still sticks out and it still hurts at times, for example when I over eat or when I lay on that side and sometimes just randomn pains, sometimes it also feels as if my insides were spasming on that area, could this have something to do with the diabetes or could it be the spleen? I really have no idea what it could be. I talked to a doctor about it and he said it could be a lot of things, that underneath the ribs there's a lot of muscles, tendons, veins etc and could be just anything that is sore, but could this happen for so long? like i said its been going on since around july when I had my first ER visit. I've had chest and torso xrays and none of them showed anytning out of the ordinary but this discomfort continues.

I also want to add that I have usually pretty bad anxiety, just about anything but I don't take any medication for it. Any ideas? If you need more details feel free to ask.

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37 Replies:

  • I forgot to mention that my diabets has been untreated and up until I found out my blood sugar was high I was eating A LOT so I assume in that time my glucose level was very high, i still have an overall sick feeling all the time even though i'm taking glyburide now, I still get nauseas when I eat most of the times, usually it starts as i start to eat and doesnt go away until later on.
    the_one 39 Replies
    • November 1, 2006
    • 07:45 PM
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  • I think there might be two things here (correct me if I am wrong!). Firstly, you are feeling ill when eating and secondly you have a pain in your side. I think you need to make this clear to your doctor rather than just saying you have a sore rib. There are still a lot of possible causes. It sounds like it could be related to your digestive system (not sure why you thought the spleen) but your doctor is the best person to talk to since he will know your history, etc. It might well be that this is nothing more than a temporary blip, but it is better to get it checked out again still. I think the golden rule is that if your anxiety is causing you genuine problems with your life, it is worth speaking to your doctor about it (but not at the same time as about your side, otherwise he will link the two). If it is just because you like to worry, then it is not worth bothering about. If it is because you live in constant fear irrationally (like the house falling down or something similar), then you should see your doctor. Only you can decide because what you call anxiety might be very different to someone else's definition. I would say though that I think it is better to stay off the medication unless it is really necessary.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 1, 2006
    • 08:31 PM
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  • Well I mentioned the spleen because it is the only thing I can think of that would cause me to feel as it something was spasming inside of me but it really could be anything, from the beginning though, I've thought it is something related to my stomach or digestive system too, maybe it has something to do with the blood sugar being out of control for so long. I'll try and be more specific next time i see my doctor though. By the way the only medication I'm taking is for diabetes and it was prescribed by this same doctor so I don't think I should stay off of it.What I mean by anxiety is i usually get very nauseous when even the smallest event is coming up, i get insomnia very often too, i get choked up when i have to talk to someone i dont know or that i know but i'm not close to, also makes me sweat a lot in these occasions. But as you said i will talk to my doctor and maybe he can refer me to a therapist.
    the_one 39 Replies
    • November 1, 2006
    • 09:47 PM
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  • I have a niece that was 6 when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Her spleen gets enlarged quite often too. Usually the doctor increases her insulin injections. I would definitely tell the doctor if I was you. He should be able to find out if that is what it is. And whatever you do,.....Don't quit taking medication for diabetes. My niece is just lucky she is alive because when they found out her count was 1097,...yes 1097 not a typo there,....the hospital told my sister she should have been in a coma or dead. If there is one medical condition I know quite a bit about it is diabetes,....my mother,sister,niece,grandmother all had it. Best of luck to you and please let the doctor know about the swelling and pain you are experiencing.
    Dana77535 8 Replies
    • November 2, 2006
    • 00:22 PM
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  • I just came back from my doctor, I want to make it clear that the place I'm getting treated at is a free clinic so it's not the best of all, but at least I get some treatment. He said I've been doing good but needed to double my medication because my blood sugar was still a little high but when i mentioned to him that I've been having nauseas when I eat and that I still have the pain in my side he said it could be because i'm still not used to the lower levels and it needs a little time, hopefully the nauseas subside with the medication but I will have to wait on this other thing until i have my residence here and can get some type of medical insurance. He really doesn't pay much attention to it and keeps saying I shouldn't worry, so I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope it's nothing.Did your niece have any symptoms from her enlarged spleen Dana? or did she ever complain that she felt some kind of fullness or something under her ribs?
    the_one 39 Replies
    • November 2, 2006
    • 04:54 PM
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  • Yes she did. She had nausau,pain, and it was so enlarged they wanted to hospitalize her. It can be serious with diabetes. Hope this helps. Hopefully since they corrected your medication it will solve this problem. let me know how it goes. I know it is hard to find a GOOD doctor now days. Believe me. :) Yes she complained with a feeling of being full,....enlarged on the left side. Hope that answers your questions. Best of luck.
    Dana77535 8 Replies
    • November 2, 2006
    • 05:21 PM
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  • Yup that is exactly what i feel too, especially if i eat a little too much but most of the times it feels as if there was a ball inside of me pushing my ribs out, I will try to find another doctor as soon as possible and hopefully find out what this is.
    the_one 39 Replies
    • November 2, 2006
    • 05:41 PM
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  • Hi,Im a 22yr old male and get the exact same feeling as well. Ive been feeling it for about 1 year on and off. I feel like something swells under my left rib and i see it bulges and feel alot of pressure (not really pain). It happens kinda randomly but more when i overeat or sometimes dont eat like you said. It got so bad several months back that i went to the ER and while i was their they just checked my vitals, did blood work and gave me a gastritis pill and after a few hours send me home and told me to go to my doctor. I was kinda dissapointed consider they charged like $1k and just gave me a pill and told me i had gas. So i started looking online and checking for the symtoms at and started to get anxiety not knowing what was wrong with me and thinking the worst. I also blacked out one day at work, i dont know if it was from axiety or from the pressure, but when i was taken to the doctors he admitted me to the hospital for 3 days for tests (catscan, bloodwork, upper GI, ultrasound, and heart tests and head tests) alot more money and NOTHING! everything came back ok and doctor says not to worry. Months later i went in for another catscan at a different hosptial with a different doctor also NOTHING! and the doctors tell me if I want i can get a endoscopy (i am afraid of doing this procedure though). I still worry because i know its not a normal feeling.Let me know if u find out what it is, its been 1 year with this feeling and its really bothering me that its still comes and goes. I just fear the worst is going to happen.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • samestuff13927, I understand completely how you are feeling because I did the same thing, i went to the ER several times from the pain/pressure and they ran all the same tests: heart, catscan, bloodwork, upper GI... and nothing! I thought maybe it was a hiatal hernia but that came out negative in the upper GI test, the thing is, those type of tests do not test for regular stomach hernia so that could always still be a possibility, my mom told me she once had a stomach hernia and she felt the same way about overeating, eating acidic foods, etc. and that's what makes me think it could be one but I dont know what to do about it because she says you just have to wait until it's sticking out of your gut for doctors to be able to diagnose it and treat it.I also thought it could be an ulcer because of the pain worsening when I don't eat, maybe you could try having your doctor test for that or mention to him the possibility of a hernia and see if there is any type of test or something that could detect it before it gets worse. I even tried a chiropractor thinking maybe it was a misalignment of the bones since the pain sometimes seems to be on the bones but i still have that pain that feels like it is inside. I wish you the best of luck,the one
    the_one 39 Replies Flag this Response
  • I also have similar attacks, about 4 times a month. When it happens it seems to happen after eating and usually at night. I get a burning skin feeling around my left rib under the breast. at the same time I get a very lathargic feeling come over me like my body slows down or something almost like i cant feel myself breathing...I also get a very sick feeling when it happens. I was just diagnosed with wheat and milk allergys and have been avoiding these things for about three weeks but the attacks are still happening and they last a couple of hours. I have also been having swelling in my arms and fingers for about 8 months. could it be associated with ovulation or menstration? my belly is bloated at the ovaries. any ideas?????!!!!
    stacky 52 Replies Flag this Response
  • On trying to find more answers than those I have so far got from my doctor, I was browsing web pages just to face the lines written by "THE_ONE", which look as though they had been written by me! I also (precusely since end of July 2008) have been having some unusual (minor) health problems. It started as nauseas, weakness, lightheadedness, then evolved to pains in all articulations and bones, and the most severe symptom has started mid august, when a very intense pain started on my left rib, right below the last rib. I thought at first it was a slight problem with one of the smaller ribs, as I had recently started going eveyrday to the fitness club, so I skipped a few lessons, went back to the gym, just to find out thast the pain persisted whatever I did. I havent been able to sleep properly since then. I believed it could have something to do with a suddenly defective spleen... went finally to see the doctor and all blood and X ray tests she has had me undergo so far seem to say there is nothing clinically wrong with me, and so she is now sending me to do some more tests (ecocardiogram, electrocardiogram and more specific blood analyses...) and in the meantime is treating me for muscular tension. I really have no idea (and my doctor doesnt seem to have a clue either) what it could be. Pain is constant, no relief even with mild pain killers, and increases if I fall asleep on the left side or if I try walking at used to be my "normal" pace or if I walk over 10 minutes without straining myself at all. IF any "Dr. House" sort of qualified person is out there that might enlighten us on this, I would really appreciate.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 29, 2008
    • 02:25 PM
    • 0
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  • On trying to find more answers than those I have so far got from my doctor, I was browsing web pages just to face the lines written by "THE_ONE", which look as though they had been written by me! I also (precusely since end of July 2008) have been having some unusual (minor) health problems. It started as nauseas, weakness, lightheadedness, then evolved to pains in all articulations and bones, and the most severe symptom has started mid august, when a very intense pain started on my left side, just below the last rib. I thought at first it was a slight problem with one of the smaller ribs, as I had recently started going everyday to the fitness club, so I skipped a few lessons, and then went back to the gym, just to find out that the pain persisted whatever I did. I havent been able to sleep properly since then. I started "studying" the matter and believed it could have something to do with a suddenly defective spleen...as one of my grandfathers died of sudden leukaemia and as I read this might be a sypmtom, I even for a couple of hours feared the worst, so I decided to finally go see the doctor. All blood and X ray tests she has had me undergo so far seem to say there is nothing clinically wrong with me at all, but as symptoms persist and my stomach is also very sensitive too, she is now sending me to do some more tests (ecocardiogram, electrocardiogram and more specific blood analyses...) and in the meantime is treating me for muscular tension. I really have no idea (and my doctor doesnt seem to have a clue either) what it could be. Pain is constant, no relief even with mild pain killers, and increases if I fall asleep on the left side or if I try walking at used to be my "normal" pace or if I walk over 10 minutes without straining myself at all. IF any "Dr. House" sort of qualified person is out there that might enlighten us on this, I would really appreciate.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 29, 2008
    • 02:34 PM
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  • I have been having all the same symptoms, and was diagnosed with artritis in my ribs, he had some formal name to it...however, when I took the meds, there was no relief. Has anyone found out what this is yet??It's good to know I am not crazy and other people are experiencing the lightheadedness, the horrible pains on the left side...it's good to know I am not alone, but scary to know that noone knows what it is!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 26, 2008
    • 04:31 AM
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  • Does it seem to anyone else as if it is worse after having laid down on your stomach for a while? that really hurts for me. Also when I don't eat I get a sharp pain. But at the same time it seems as if it was on the rib themselves and not inside. I still have the bulging thing inside that pops out if i touch it the right way.Kristina E: Do you mean rheumathoid Arthritis? that arthritis can cause deformities in your bones anywhere, arms, legs, spine (which causes the rib deformities) from what I have heard, but I still haven't got a doctor that wants to give me the right tests to see if it is arthritis or if it is in my spine. I went to a chiropractor, helped a little, especially with the neck pain I have as well.Another question I have is, has anyone noticed weakness in their left shoulder/arm/hand? this has been on for a loooong time so i really doubt its heart related, besides i've had many heart test come back good.
    the_one 39 Replies
    • December 27, 2008
    • 03:52 AM
    • 0
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  • You said that your rib was sticking out.Is it really or do you just feel as if it is?If it's sticking out at all,then you probably have either a dislocated rib or costochondritis neither of which is dangerous ,just uncomfortable;and,it would not show up in an x-ray.It's diagnosed by placing the hand(actually fingers) over the painful area and pressing down on it.Did anyone do that?This has nothing to do with your spleen.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • December 27, 2008
    • 02:17 PM
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  • My left rib is swollen and sticks out I'd say about 1/4 inch farther than the right rib...It's so noticeable that my husband and family members have seen it and made comments. I was diagnosed with costochonritis, but I researched it and it's only supposed to last about 1-2 weeks--at least from what I have read. I first noticed the uncomfortable and nagging pain when I was pregnant with my 3rd child about 3 yrs ago. But, it recently has flared up and caused me to be extremely uncomfrotable after I eat or drink.I am very concerned about this, I don't have insurance and am hoping it's not something that has to be treated or it will get worse.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 28, 2008
    • 07:05 PM
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  • It sounds as if you've developed a separation between the rib & the cartilagesince simple costochondritis isn't this persistent.Can you wear a rib belt for comfort and to get both ends to line up so that it can heal?
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • December 29, 2008
    • 01:18 AM
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  • i feel the same after eating alot. tis like pressure like something is swelling and the rib is stuck out. dont like or understand it and havent seen docter bout it. it isnt too painful but just noticable and uncomfortable.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 07:40 PM
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  • Richard, I have had a CT and showed the spleen was fine so I am really not worried about it being the spleen anymore. However it is still the same, and the rib does stick out, its not just a feeling, I can see it sticking out and so have other people I have showed it to. I have noticed that there's pain on my neck and it seems to go hand on hand when one hurts bad the other does too, so I am guessing it has to do with the bones being in the wrong place and it seems to have something to do with the spine. I have seen a chiropractor and while I was doing their treatment I had improvement but unfortunately had to stop going because of money problems but I plan on going back soon.
    the_one 39 Replies
    • January 7, 2009
    • 08:07 PM
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  • i have also have the left side chest pain... its been going on for about two years know and i have chosen to ignore it... but now it is every day to the point where i cant even be hugged or lie down on that side... or on my back or stomach... it is sticking out a fair amount and huts if there is any pressure on it... i was getting sick every time i ate just a month ago...and then it seemed to go away... it lasted for two or three weeks... then i was fine for a week... then i was wearing a belt around my stomach but when i sat down on the bus it got pushed up under my ribs ... it really hurt but i was trying to ignore it... the pain was too much and i took the belt off... but not soon enough... and i threw up... luckily after i got off the bus... and id only had a bit of fresca lol... then i had the flu but three days after that... with three days of feeling fine... the pain is getting worse and worse... now im sick with a cold... and the cough really makes it hurt... so im off to the doctor today... my teacher (and im pretty sure she is a doctor... i just dont no what type of doctor) she thinks it sounds like my stomach is inflammade and that i should go to the hospital... now its waking me up at night... and in the morning... (it used to be worse at night) and i cant ignore it anymore... so im off to the doctor... my stomach has been growling... and that makes it hurt even more... so that makes me think it really is my stomach...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 4, 2009
    • 01:47 PM
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