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Rib pain, liver, costochondritis

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Geordie_P, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Apologies in advance for a 'long story' post- I'll try to keep it brief, and would appreciate hearing about any experiences you have had in this area.
    I have been worried about my liver due to tenderness in my bottom right rib. I went to see the doctor in March to check for enlarged liver, gall-bladder etc, and he had a good poke around, and concluded my liver doesn't feel enlarged, and it's costochondritis- rib muscle inflammation. To be fair, this is very believable as I have symmetrical pain all around my ribs, it's just more prominent at the bottom right. In December, a twist of my body would send enough pain that I mistook the first attack for a heart attack. It's lighter now, and comes and goes. My solar plexus also hurts to the touch today, and both sides under the pectoral muscle.

    It went away for a while and came back recently. My main issue is that I tend to terrify myself I have serious liver or pancreatic problems that the doctor missed. I appreciate that getting a round of tests done is probably best, but I want to let the worst of the coronavirus distancing pass, lose some weight (as he ordered me to do in March) and try to get my sugars under control.

    I'd like to hear from people who have had issues like cirrhosis, liver disease, pancreatitis to learn more, and also people who've had costochondritis or similar.
     
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  2. PenguinMum

    PenguinMum Type 2 · Expert

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    I would recommend you get an ultrasound scan when you can. I had right rib pain which wasnt severe but increased in frequency over maybe a year and mentioned it to my GP as an afterthought when there for something else. She sent me for an ultrasound which took many months to come through and within a couple of weeks and CTs I had a Distal Pancreatectomy due to a pseudocyst. I am not saying you have this but defo better check all the same.
     
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  3. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek I reversed my Type 2 · Expert

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    I had non-alcoholic liver disease, with a hard liver, and a fair amount of pain. Soon after that came the T2 diagnosis. I managed to avoid cirrhosis, got my blood sugars back into the normal range and lost weight by cutting carbs. carefully at first, these days I follow a ketogenic diet of 20 grams of carbs a day or less. So low carb was a bit of a cure-all there. Carbs and high blood sugars feed inflammations, so getting your blood glucose in range might help. No guarantees though, as I'm not familliar woth your particular issues.

    https://josekalsbeek.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-nutritional-thingy.html might help.
     
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  4. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that's worth noting
     
  5. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that sounds good: I'm hoping it can be something like that. I'll try and cut my carbs right down and maybe get some tests done when I get the chance
     
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  6. copilost

    copilost Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Always, if you are worrying, get the tests done, bearing in mind that once the NHS has bought the equipment it's relatively low cost to the NHS (assuming you are UK). It sounds like a similar place and sensitivity to my gallbladder issues, which didn't respond to doctor poking but definitely came up as gallstones on the scan. Note losing weight and low carb diet can highlight underlying gallstone issues.
     
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  7. dogslife

    dogslife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello@Geordi_P. This may be irrelevant to your situation but I kept getting similar sudden, sharp and breath-taking pains under / around my ribs. ( and still do intermittently). During an appointment with a Gastro consultant re the results of a scan of my bowel I asked him about my rib pain and he said it was radiating from the wear and tear of my spine in that area which had shown up on my scan and which I had no previous knowledge of. Obviously you will need to seek/ follow advice from a medical professional but thought I would share my experience. (Incidentally I do have non alcoholic fatty liver disease and fibromyalgia). Hope you can get some rest and feel better soon.
     
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  8. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Dogslife- I appreciate your sharing. I expect it's not quite the same for me, but it's still relevant enough because I've been looking into radial pain
     
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  9. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    @Geordie_P the first time I had costochondritis my GP though I had Pleurisy because I couldn’t take a deep breathe! Whilst I try to be careful it still hurts if I stretch too much.
     
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  10. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Can you do a LCHF if you have gallstones @copilost ? My wife has 8 gallstones and has been told to keep off fat!
     
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  11. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    My liver was so hard that it pushed my ribs out if I needed to bend over. In a few months doing low carb it shrank down so much I had nothing to wear. I also lost weight, so my first inkling of the change was my trousers dropping to my ankles - fortunately indoors. My liver is a lot happier now, so are my ribs.
    During the first months after diagnosis I was using Nordic walking poles which seemed to help quite a bit to go further and faster than without - they improve balance and posture - you might find that they help even if it is just to remove tension, which can lead to pain just because you are afraid of there being pain.
     
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  12. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    some years ago now I knew a man who'd been listed for gall bladder removal, and decided that he was going to enjoy the foods he was told he should avoid after removal. His operation was delayed, he went on with regular small meals of fatty foods. When sent for a scan pre operation he was berated for wasting their time as he did not have gallstones. Maybe it was all a mistake - maybe he was lucky and the stones dispersed under the influence of the bladder emptying regularly.
    Does your wife have pain after eating even a modest amount of fat in a meal?
    Low Carb doesn't have to be dripping in fat - eating chicken thighs rather than fillets about the level of alteration required.
     
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  13. Hopeful34

    Hopeful34 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My friend has costochondritis, and has previously described it as you have. The thing that has helped her the most is acupuncture, obviously it's had to stop at the moment, but it might be worth looking into at some point in the future.
     
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  14. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Sorry to read your of medical conditions. My daughter has Costochondritis and is on medication, she takes Naproxen tablets, she is aged 19 and doesn't have diabetes, she gets the pain in her chest area.

    My son, who has Sarcoidosis and is constantly unwell, especially with joint pain, over his body, extreme at times is waiting for a scan, but when that will be I don't know., he has been on a 7 week course of antibiotics too.
    Times are difficult at the moment, which can cause anxiety and stress in some people.
    Please let us know how you get on and good luck :)
     
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  15. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Robin
    that's very kind. As you say, times are tough, but with supportive people like you around, it helps.
     
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  16. copilost

    copilost Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know the answer to that! I suspect that low fat might increase your chances of developing gallstones (though have no science to back that up), once you've got them it seems reasonable to think that a change in diet might affect them, problem is how? It's possible introducing fat could cause them to shift about creating the kind of acute attack I had earlier this year after a few months on higher healthy fat. It might be a good thing to get them out but there's always the danger that they end up stuck somewhere and that can be very bad indeed. Personally I feel so much better on low carb I'm sticking with it and not going crazy on the fat. I'm definitely on the look out for any changes (more attacks, discomfort) in case I do develop problems. My appointment with the specialist is on hold due to COVID-19 so I don't know how bad/good my situation is or what I should be doing which is a little worrying. I believe the advice is to have the gallbladder removed if gallstones are present. In the meantime it will at least be interesting to see if there are any changes between my scan earlier this year and follow up whenever that happens. Before then any prolonged attacks will have me calling for help for sure. Having had three short attacks at least I have some idea what to expect and will hopefully know if things have gone south!
    All that said not much help for your wife, sorry!
     
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  17. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for your consideration @copilost It is a very difficult situation for both you and my wife. We have kept to minimal fat for over 2 years now and as a result has not had more than the odd twinge. Having said that we all have different types of internal combustion! In these worrying times I can only wish you the very best of luck with the follow up and a favourable outcome.
     
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  18. Geordie_P

    Geordie_P Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about asking this before, but was reminded by a recent comment: I should probably add the update that I found out the problem was ischemic heart disease, and the wider issues of rib inflammation were partly referred pain and partly intercostal inflammation related to high cholesterol and, I assume, high blood pressure. I had a stent put in and it took care of the angina and painful attacks. I still have some rib pain but the doctor says, as above, that it should improve if I can get my weight and cholesterol down.
     
  19. zand

    zand Type 2 · Master

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    @Geordie_P thank you for starting this thread. All the comments on it have been really useful to me in explaining problems I have had in the past. I broke my sternum in a freak accident 7 years ago. A couple of years after that I had a severe pain in that area and went to A & E. They did heart tests but found no problem there and concluded it must be the small muscles in that area causing the pain.
     
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  20. Lourduraj

    Lourduraj · Newbie

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    Hi, Robin: Do you happen to have an update on your daughter's costo? The doctor says my one-year left rib pain is costo, as none of the tests showed anything. What medicine works?
     
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