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Distended abdomen, gas, abdominal pain, tenderness in ribs.

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions
I had distented abdomine caused by gas mostly from c pap machine being turned up too high. I turned the presure down and the gas got much better. I then had sharp and burning pains on my right side and tenderness on the botom few ribs and to the back. the right side got better and now I have the same thing on the left side.
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Radhika 24 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

You are experiencing sharp and burning pain on left side of your ribs and you are currently on CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure therapy).

The possibilities of such chest pain could be costochondritis, cardiac effusion, pleuritis. Connective tissue disorder can involve pleura and interstitial lung tissue. CPAP is unlikely to cause lung pain.

Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) is used to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway does not collapse when you breathe in. If this does not improve your discomfort, you could ask your doctor about trying a bi level positive airway pressure machine (BiPAP), which uses a different air pressure when you breathe in than when you breathe out.

BiPAP works better than standard CPAP for treating obstructive sleep apnea in people who have heart failure. You could also shift your position or sleep sideways to avoid discomfort. You could try anti-inflammatory medication like Tablet Tylenol 200mg twice daily for 5 days along with some antacids and hot compresses to get relief.

In case it is not relieved you may need to undergo radio imaging (MRI/CT) to rule out the above causes. I suggest you to consult physician.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Distended abdomen, gas, abdominal pain, tenderness in ribs. 13 hours later
After getting my answer I understand i didn't explain my symptoms very well.

about a month ago I was having bad gas issues with major bloating. My belly was so tight and distented that it was hard to breath. I went to my doctor and we finally decided I was swollowing air at night because I had turned the presure too high on my c pap with c flex. we also considered that I might have gal bladder problems which might have given me gas. I changed the presure in my c pap and the gas and bloating got better almost emediately although I was very burpie and flatulant for three weeks. I also couldn't eat very much because i was having spasms at the top of my stomach like a hiatal hernia. after several days I began to feel better but then I had severe pain in the right side of my abdomine. it was high almost at my sturnin and then radiated down to my flank and into my back. the ribs at my flank became very tender and sore. I thought it must be gall bladder. or an injury from a car accident I had durring this period. I took an Oxycodone for the pain one night and the next day I was much better.
the ribs on my right side are much better but almost emediately I began to have the same symptoms in my left side. my belly is much less inflamed but the ribs low on my left side are very tender.
it seems like when I eat the symptoms get better during the day and are worse at night. If I take a 5 mg oxicodone all the pain goes away and i can sleep through the night. before I was waking up at night in pain.
tonight I feel better than I have in weeks but still have tenderness and light pain in both flanks
Answered by Dr. Radhika 1 hour later

Thanks for the follow up.

You are experiencing right and left flank pain, following medication the pain in the right side has decreased.

There are less possibilities of it being due to CPAP, but you will need to do an ultrasound of the abdomen to rule out other possibilities.

The symptoms seem to reduce during the day that too after eating food. If you have a history of acidity or ulcers you will need to take antacids for this. Take capsule. Omez 20 minutes before food twice a day. Also you will need to see an orthopedician regarding the possibility of Costochondritis.

Costochondritis refers specifically to inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the breastbone. Costochondritis usually, but not always, involves one side of the breastbone. Sometimes the pain can extend to the shoulder or arm on the involved side. Repeated minor trauma to the chest wall or viral respiratory infections can cause costochondritis in some people. Treatment for this will be mild pain killers like Tylenol 200 mg twice a day for 3 days and warm compresses.

You will need a detailed physical examination for all the symptoms.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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