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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Pain directly under left rib

 4everyoung - Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:36 pm

The last two weeks I have had a pain develope under the left rib. Sometime it is sharp or dull and sometime it feels as if it is numb or tinglely with pain. This usually happens after lunch and continues to worsen as the day progesses. I have acid reflux most days and suffer from bloating, almost like the food is not being digested. I have a bowel movement once a day and that being in the morning, which is normal. I smoke and only drink occasionaly. Thank you for any help as for now I have no health insurance.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:08 am

User avatar Dear 4everyoung,

- Burning pain in upper abdomen (mainly left side) or lower chest (behind the breast bone) that worsen when the stomach is empty , or after eating, with spicy foods or certain caffeine containing beverages is more likely to be of heart burn, GERD or gastritis and gastric ulcer. The pain is temporary relieved by simple foods intake and antacids.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are commonly used to treat this conditions as they decrease the gastric acid secretion.

-Infections with H. pylori give similar clinical picture and should be excluded.
IBS is another GI disorder that gives similar picture.
Commonly people who have IBS complain of
Abdominal pain or colic
A bloated abdomen
Either Diarrhea or constipation or an alternating between both of them
Mucus containing stool
Certain types of foods contain, chocolate, milk and alcohol might cause constipation or diarrhea and increase the IBS symptoms.

Investigations include:
Specific tests for H.pylori.(breath test)
Abdominal US CT scans to exclude other GI causes.
Upper and lower Endoscopy.

Endoscopy sometimes fails to diagnose GERD and other tests should be done to confirm the diagnosis like Esophageal acid testing , Esophageal motility testing and Gastric emptying studies.

I advise you to visit your doctor. Only by complete history, physical examination and investigations, the correct diagnosis can be reached.
Best regards,

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