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Pain on upper left of stomach that fluctuates with heart beat, appears after eating. What could it be?

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General & Family Physician
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My girl friend has a pain on the upper left side of stomach, just below ribs.
The pain fluctuates with heart beat.
The pain comes usually after eating.
What might that be?
Posted Fri, 7 Jun 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Nirmala P 2 hours later
Thanks for asking in Healthcare Magic.

Pain below ribs could be due to some simple reasons or could be due to severe conditions. The various conditions that can cause left side pain are Costochondritis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, accumulation of gas, gastritis or peptic ulcer , Pancreatitis, pneumonitis or kidney stones.

Of these, sharp pain immediately after eating, usually indicates either gastritis or peptic ulcer. If pain is a colicky in nature, and then it could be due to accumulation of gas. Pancreatitis pain is also severe and worse after food but it is usually felt at the back. Costochondritis is another possible reason where the pain can increase during breathing or any other rib movements. In Pneumonitis, fever will be present and the pain in kidney stones is felt in back.

Pain is usually a subjective feeling. In none of the above conditions, the pain is reported to be fluctuating with heart beat. But then, the perception of pain is individualistic and if you are sure about the nature of pain as fluctuating with heart beat, then you should rule out pain due to cardiac origin. Being a girl, you should also rule out PID as a cause of pain.

In case of gastritis, antacid preparations will help. In costochondritis, analgesics are the line of treatment. But analgesics are better avoided in a person with gastritis. So unless the cause is determined, the treatment is difficult.

Since physical examination and other investigations like ECG are necessary to find out the cause of pain you should consult your treating Dr for further course of actions.

I hope this is useful. Please address to me if you have any further concerns.
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