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History of eating disorder. Noticed movable lump below ribcage. What is causing this?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 115 Questions
Hi, I am a 21 year old female in relatively good health. I just noticed a small lump of some sort on the bottom of my left rib cage. My rib cage has always been uneven, the left side poking out more than my right. The lump isn't really hard or squishy, and it moves. It also doesn't give me any pain, it just makes me worry, and is annoying. Sometimes it disappears. If I massage it, it seems like my bowel moves a little (like I get gas), but I haven't had many regular bowel movements lately. I have a history of eating disorders (bulimia), but I am recovered now. I am not sure if that could have anything to do with it. I am worried about maybe an enlargement of my liver causing this? I had a very stupid moment a few months back where I and a friend "Robo-tripped" and I had a really bad allergic reaction, and I heard that abuse of Robitussin can cause liver damage. Since then I have drank on occasion. Maybe it could be a gas bubble? I have no idea and I am really just very scared that maybe this could be cancer or something. I don't have medicaid or any form of insurance so I want to know if it is serious enough for me to go to the doctor.
Posted Tue, 6 Nov 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Mihail Iepure 2 hours later
Welcome to Healthcare Magic,
If this lump is mobile, is not so hard and doesn’t hurt then is suggestive for lipoma(fatty tissue grow, benign origin), but there also can be bowel enlargement, gas accumulation, cyst, etc.. Liver enlargement is unlikely, in this case should be constant enlargement and immobile. Anyhow at this stage you can guess only and without investigation we can’t tell accurately what caused your condition. I understand you don’t have medical insurance, but I believe you understand that for definitely diagnosis you need properly medical examination, abdominal X-ray, Ultrasonography, complete blood count . All this test definitely will clarify your doubts .
I wish you good luck and speedy recovery.
Hope this helps and I have answered your query. If you have additional queries don’t hesitate to ask.
Best Regards,

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