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Dr.Bernon, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 676
Experience:  Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
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I have an uncomfortable, not really painful feeling located

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I have an uncomfortable, not really painful feeling located on the left side of my body towards the center of my ribs and a little up under my rib cage. It feels as if something is squeezing me there. There are no sharp pains, no other symptons of a heart attack, only an uncomfortable squeezing feeling. There is no nausea. It seems to be a little more comfortable if I lay down, but it does not completely go away. No trouble breathing. Can you give me any idea what it may be?
Greetings Blackbeard26,

I understand your concerns about this discomfort and there are several possible things that it can be.
1) Cardiac: You may be having a mild heart attack or angina. Sometimes all the classic symptoms are not there, but given the location of the symptoms you are describing, this should definitely be ruled out
2) Stomach: You may be suffering from some reflux symptoms and indigestion. The esophagus-stomach junction is right at the spot you mention and acid coming up from your stomach may be causing the irritation
3) Lungs: It is unlikely that the origin is from your lungs since the two main diagnoses that could cause symptoms in that location would both cause frank pain. These two diagnoses are pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) and pneumothorax (air that escapes the lungs and gets trapped under the ribs). However, given the fact that if there is any delay in treatment these conditions can be lethal, it is important to rule them out too (even though they are quite unlikely).
4) Ribs: Costochondritis is an inflammation of the nerves that run around the ribs and is a frequent cause of chest discomfort.

I recommend you see a physician promptly for a thorough examination and possibly some studies that could include an electrocardiogram and a chest x-ray (or CT scan).


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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I did not mention that I have had these symptons for several weeks now. Will that change any of your answers?
Greetings again,

Since you have had these symptoms for a while, it is more likely that they are either due to reflux or costochondritis. However, I still think it is important for you to see a doctor promptly in person to rule out a cardiac or pulmonary origin of the pain... it will be rather simple to rule these out but it must be done.