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Burning sensation under rib cage. MRI, blood work, urine test negative. Could Pepsi be the problem?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 47 Questions
i have this burning sensation under my left rib cage, sometimes it hurts sometimes it burns, sometimes it feels like something is enlarged in my side under lower ribs. This has been going on for over a year. Ive had MRI, blood work, urine test. they say they are all negitive.. I do drink alot of pepsi could that be my problem
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. James M. Schwartz 2 hours later

I am happy to answer your query.

I am glad that your tests are all negative. That rules out a significant portion of serious diseases, such as those of the lung, pancreas and spleen (all in that area).

A few possibilities remain. Chief among them are two: constrochondritis and gastritis.

Chostrochondritis is inflammation of the rib cartilage. No one knows what causes it. It comes and goes. It is completely benign. Treatment is pain control.

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. While discomfort is usually felt in the mid line, it could be to the left of center. The discomfort is often described as burning. The tests you conveyed would not necessarily make the diagnosis. Treatment is acid reducing medication, avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine and stomach acid reducing medications.

Please be careful at experimenting with pain medications, as aspirin and it's cousins (ibuprofen and naproxyn sold OTC in the US and others sold by prescription in the US) can worsen gastritis. This is part of the reason why it is important to first discuss with your doctor before self diagnosing and treating.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer any follow up regarding this query. Once you are satisfied with all my answer, please accept it.

Best regards,
Dr. Schwartz
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Burning sensation under rib cage. MRI, blood work, urine test negative. Could Pepsi be the problem? 46 minutes later
it last for days at a time..hurts when i sit.. little better in the mornings..what is a good over the counter medicine for acid...i took a few ibuprofen 800 for pain but doesnt seem to help at all.
some days are better than others. i hate saying im in pain all the time
Answered by Dr. James M. Schwartz 28 minutes later
Hello again,

While it is beyond the scope of this forum to recommend medications, and in any case a medication recommendation could only follow a face to face evaluation and diagnosis by a qualified clinician, as a matter of general information, there are three kinds of OTC meds for acid:
1. Acid neutralizers. Examples: Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta.
2. Histamine 2 blockers. Esamples: Zantac, Pepcid
3. Proton Pump Inhibitors. Example: Prilosec.

Wishing you good health,
Dr. Schwartz
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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