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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26782
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I normally have gas and I belch often but Ive never been diagnosed

Customer Question

I normally have gas and I belch often but I've never been diagnosed with any digestive problems. I have generalized anxiety and I take Lexapro daily. For about a week I've had a weird feeling in my lower ribs and stomach muscles. It's almost like a fluttering or spasm. I can't tell if it's gas or muscular. It's not painful just uncomfortable and it's making me more anxious. I've taken gas relief tabs and advil but they don't help. It will come and go every few minutes but won't ever go away. I am slightly constipated and do hear gas gurgle in my intestines. It feels like when I'm sitting down, I have to stretch backwards to get a little relief, almost like my stomach is hitting my ribs or like a baby's foot in my ribs. Then sometimes my muscles around my upper abdomen and ribs twitch or spasm. It changes spots. Could this be a digestive disorder or muscle strain? I don't have any other symptoms. About 2 years ago, I had muscle spasms in my upper abdomen and doctors couldn't figure out what it was. It went away after about 3 weeks. I take my iron regularly and hydrate often. I didn't do anything to strain my muscles unless it can happen when you are constipated.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the information,

I would advise to get it checked by doctor.

There is a possibility of rapid or irregular heart rhythm which can cause fluttering, discomfort.

An EKG or a monitor can be taken.

Intestinal gas can cause a feeling of movement but unlikely to be in the lower ribs.

Muscle strain usually causes pain.

Muscle spasm is another possibility.

Irritation of nerve can also be there.

You should get it fully investigated.

I hope this information helps.

I will be happy to assist, if you need any clarification.

Please feel free for any follow up query.

Regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just had to wear a heart monitor because I had palpitations and it came back normal. Should I suggest an EKG? How can I tell if it's not IBS or acid reflux that may be causing this pressure or muscle aches?
Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 5 years ago.


If EKG is taken when the discomfort is there then it will be able to detect whether it is abnormal heart rhythm

For reflux you can have upper GI endoscopy.

IBS is mainly a diagnosis of exclusion.

Tests are taken to rule out other possibilities.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I would like a second opinion. Please read my question through.
Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 5 years ago.
Pl write what more information do you like to know.

Which part of the answer was unclear?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
Hi--I read what you've posted so far. I don't think this is cardiac, so let's focus on the GI tract. Have you had any specific studies to determine what may be the intestinal problem here?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi, I have had tests for H.pylori which came back negative. My primary said I could possibly have a little acid reflux. I'm constipated but have moved my bowels everyday, it's just been harder to do so. I don't know if that could give make my lower rib and abdominal muscles ache/twitch. It moves around but I didn't think gas could be in the rib area. If I push my ribs or abdomen it doesn't hurt.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
So you haven't had any endoscopy or a stool sample sent to the lab or a ct of the abdomen?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No I have not. Is that something I should suggest? I normally do not have an ongoing problem. If I have an issue, they usually go away in a few days/weeks.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
OK. I apologize for asking this since it will look like I haven't read what you've written, but please--describe for me in as much detail exactly what happens with one of these episodes from beginning to end.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
For this exact issue, it began last Monday. When I'm driving to work or sitting at my desk, it feels like my stomach is pushing up to my ribs and is uncomfortable. I have to shift to one side or the other. It kind of feels like a babys foot is slightly pushing up there, like pressure. (I'm not pregnant but have 2 kids). My stomach feels kind of bloated and gassy. I normally burp a lot and have been burping the same lately. My lower ribs have mild cramps and the muscles twitch and so do my upper abdominal muscles. It moves around. I feel relief if I stretch backwards. It's discomfort to a mild pain but mostly it makes me anxious because I'm not sure if it's serious. When I think it's gone, it comes back. I also feel some relief when I rub Icy Hot on it. It doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night or hurt but I feel it throughout the day. I haven't done anything to strain my muscles that I can think of at least.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
And no gurgling or cramping?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I hear gurgling gas in there but I don't have intestinal cramping. I am familiar with that, I've had that in the past when I took a diet cleansing tea. This is very different. It's like muscle cramps in my ribs and pressure in my stomach like it needs to be pushed down towards the ground. My ribs are actually sensitive when I touch them but I think they usually are.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
OK. And except for gas tablets, you haven't had anything prescription for this?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
that's correct. Could it be related to anxiety?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
Well, that's always a catch all diagnosis once other things have been ruled out. This could be irritable bowel syndrome or perhaps a gall bladder problem. I would have you scoped above and below and get blood work and a ct scan of the abdomen to check all that out. It could still be reflux, and Pepcid AC or Zantac could at least be tried in the meantime to see if that helped.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Would that be with a gastrointerologist? Or just with my family medicine primary doctor?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
Everything but the endoscopy could be done by the family doctor.
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26782
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Dr. Chip and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
Welcome, but, please, keep me informeds as to how you do.

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