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Ken, Postgraduate doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 6559
Experience:  Working as a Doctor who Cares since 2001.
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Severe pain under/below my sternum. Causing radiating pain

Customer Question

Severe pain under/below my sternum. Causing radiating pain around my entire ribcage to the back into my shoulder blades.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Ken : Hello
Ken : Since when are you having these symptoms?
Ken : Do you have any diagnosed medical condition/ are you on any medication?
Ken : Any associated symptoms like nausea/ vomiting, extra?
Ken : Does pain increase or decrease with particular posture or any thing else {may be food}?
JACUSTOMER-j3cniab- :

this is the second time it has happened. It starts out feeling like a hug air bubble right below my sternum. Then before long my whole rib cage is sore. Right now the backs of my ribs are really hurting.

JACUSTOMER-j3cniab- :


JACUSTOMER-j3cniab- :

was helping by laying down, but then the pain got so severe it woke me up and here I am

Ken : Were any investigations done to see for the cause when you had similar symptoms?
JACUSTOMER-j3cniab- :

no again it was at night and I was out of town. That night I went to sleep and when I awoke the next morning I was fine. however this time it woke me up from sleeping

Ken : I can understand your anxiety.
Ken : We need to consider few causes
Ken : My first bet will be inflammation at the stomach/ duodenum. It can be due to increased acid production/ infection.
Ken : Other possibilities which we need to rule out are inflammation at pancreas/ gall bladder or liver. Possibility of renal cause looks less likely with the site of pain.
Ken : Inflammation at lung/ pleura or costochondral junction can also present with similar symptoms
Ken : When did you take Zantac?
Ken : Has the pain reduced in severity after it?
JACUSTOMER-j3cniab- :

around 9

JACUSTOMER-j3cniab- :

it did for a while and now it is back

Ken : Ohh. Take a glass of cold milk. It should help reduce inflammation and so the pain if it is from stomach/ duodenum.
JACUSTOMER-j3cniab- :


Ken : If the pain severity is still there I would get medical help right now. Few investigations like ultrasound of abdomen/ x ray abdomen and blood tests will give us the cause and severity
Ken : Treatment will follow.
Ken : Few other signs to watch for - feeling dizzy/ unconscious/ sudden increase in pain/ vomiting should prompt immediate ER visit
Ken : Any difficulty in breathing/ heaviness at chest should also be watched for
Ken : Please do not worry, you will be fine soon. God bless

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