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Burning sensation under rib cage, burning sensation in breast.

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Practicing since : 2009
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I am a male. I have been having a burning sensation under my rib cage, and occasionally burning sensation in my breast for several days.
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

I need more information regarding the burning sensation. Please answer the following:

1. Does the intensity change with respiration?
2. Which side is the pain?
3. Is it associated with cough and expectoration?
4. Is it present throughout the day?
5. Are you a diabetic? Is there a family history of diabetes?
6. Is it more early in the mornings? Associated with food intake?

Please get back to me with the answers; I am awaiting your reply. I want to zero down the cause and not list out the possibilities to you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Burning sensation under rib cage, burning sensation in breast. 7 hours later
1. The symptoms go away after exercise. Anti-inflammatory medicine (Naproxen) seems to relieve the symptoms temporary.

2. The pain is more on the left side, but I can feel it on both sides most of the time.

3. No.

4. Yes, it is present most of the day. I have a job where I sit most of the day, and the sitting position seems to be the worst. It is like my sitting position is putting pressure on something that gets better as I stand or do exercise. However, it is still present when I am lying down.

5. I have never been diagnosed with diabetes. I had a grandfather who had diabetes. Neither parent, no neither of my siblings have diabetes.

6. I cannot find any relationship with food intake. This morning, everything felt fine when I first woke up. After about 30 minutes, I had a small pain under my left rib cage. It continued to slowly increase to where it was in my left breast, under my right rib cage, and in my right breast.

Other comments:
I had been feeling great until about a week ago. I was on a business trip, working on a stressful project. One day I felt fine - no symptoms at all. The next day it started suddenly, and has been present for the past week.

The pain in my breast almost feels like a sunburn. It feels like it is just under the skin, like it might be some type of nerve issue. It does not feel like what I would think a heart attack feels like. I do not have any other symptoms that make me think it is heart related.
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha 10 hours later
Thanks for replying

From the given info I can come to conclusion that it could be
1. Musculo skeletal pain more so because you tell us that it pains on long hours of sitting in the chair and goes away once your exercise and take naproxen

2. Pleuritic pain because the character of the pain is pleuritic in nature. Pleura is thin lining of the lung which helps the lung expand while breathing. It is less likely to be this because it doesnt crossover to the right side

I would like you to do as follows

1. Get a physical exam by a physician soon. He might want to get an x XXXXXXX chest done
2. Continue Naproxen as prescribed
3. Do not sit in the chair for more than 30 min at a stretch, keep changing positions
4. Hydrate yourself well, de hydration is one of the main causes for muscle tenderness. Drink minimum of 4 litres per day

I hope I have answered your query, If you have no further queries please accept my answer

I wish you good health
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Burning sensation under rib cage, burning sensation in breast. 1 hour later
Please allow me to follow up with some new symptoms and some questions:

First, you said that it is less likely to be Pleuritic pain because it doesn't cross over to the right side. This is not true. It does cross over to the right side. The location and intensity of the burning sensation is the same under both the right and left rib cage, and in both the right and left breast.

Today the burning sensation has been much less severe. However, now I feel as if both sides of my abdomen are swollen.

I feel as if this is related somehow to what I've been experiencing. I feel like I have swelling on both sides, that is 2-3 inches below the bottom of the rib cage (umbilical area of abdomen).

Given this new information, does that point to Musculo skeletal pain, Pleuritic pain, or possibly something else. I see the gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, and adrenal glands around the swollen area. Any chance it has something to do with one of these?

One more comment. Today was the first time that food/drink has seemed to matter. I drank a glass of milk about two hours ago, and go sick from it. Upset stomach and abdominal pain.

I feel like the burning sensation under the ribs and in the chest, the swollen abdomen, and the upset stomach with milk are all related to my condition.

Any idea what this might be?
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha 7 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I am sorry; I would like to correct myself.
It is less likely to be a pleuritic pain 'because' it is crossing over. Pleuritic pain always single sided unless both the pleura are involved. I am sorry once again for the error.

I am glad the pain has come down.

What you are suffering from today looks more like gastritis, in gastritis there will be bloating of the stomach along with pain abdomen. I don't think what you are suffering from today is the continuation of the previous problem.

I would advise you to do the following

1. Avoid spicy food, milk and milk products until you are better
2. Avoid coffee and tea until you are better
3. Tablets like Pantoprazole with domperidone will help relieve you of symptoms, please XXXXXXX your doctor for a prescription.
4. eat a bland diet and do not skip meals, it will only aggravate the problem.

I didn't get 'I see the gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, and adrenal glands around the swollen area' line. Did mean to say because of the abdominal pain and swelling you feel these organs are involved? It is very unlikely.

1. Pain due to kidneys will be severe, radiating from flanks to the groin

2. Pain due to gall bladder will be again severe, below the right rib cage and radiating to the back

3. Splenic involvement is most often painless.

4. Adrenal involvement will have an entirely different clinical picture.

I would advise you to XXXXXXX your physician if the symptoms get worse.

I hope I have answered your query, please get back to me if you have further queries.

I wish you good health

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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