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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I have pain under my left rib cage which comes and goes spasmodically

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I have pain under my left rib cage which comes and goes spasmodically and can radiate into my back and shoulder. The pain is quite severe and the area is sensitive to touch.
Hello British,
May I ask your age?
Does anything make the pain better or worse?
How long have you had it?
Have you seen a doctor for it?
Are you on any medications?

Dr. Abby
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am 48

I have had the pain for three days.

The pain just comes on for no seeming reason but is frequent every hour or so.

I am taking brufen and panadeine for migraine and lower back pain.

Thanks for your response.
Here are my thoughts.
1. Gallbladder problems. Although more typically this causes pain in the right upper abdomen and pain is typically radiating into the right shoulder blade so this would be lower on my list of causes
2. Peptic ulcers--taking brufen can increase your risk for ulcers. It can cause pain in the center of the upper abdomen and the left upper abdomen radiating to the back and shoulder. If the pain is severe, concern would be for a perforation (meaning a rupture) and this can be serious.
3. Pancreatitis. Pain is typically in the left upper abdomen. Pain is worse after eating. Can be very severe pain and radiates to the back. Risk factors for pancreatitis include alcohol abuse and history of gallstones.
4. Kidney stones. Usually the pain is in the back also and radiates down to the groin area.
My concern is that you are describing your pain as quite severe. I would strongly encourage you to see a doctor right away.

If you have any more questions, please ask. I hope that you feel better soon.

Dr. Abby
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