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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes discomfort on left side of abdomen?

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Dr. Noble Zachariah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2220 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 10 Sep 2015 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Hello doctor I have been having some discomfort on my left side of the abdomen between my ribs and pelvis. It hurts when I take a very deep breath and when I cough. I  dont have it when i breath normally. It does hurt less with certain positions. It is not a constant pain. It would be a 3 out of 10. This has been happening on and off for a few months.

I had an abdominal ultrasound and full blood work done less than two months ago and all was normal. My doctor is not concerned.

I do have ibs and costochondritis

I see my gastroenterologist on September 8th for my checkup and my doctor on August 31

I saw my doctor 5 days ago and he fully palpated the abdomen checked my lung sounds and my heart and said all was normal

My concern is that i am currently on vacation and wondering if this can wait until i return on August 28th
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 43 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Not an emergency to cut short your vacation.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Welcome and thanks for your query.
You have had this pain off and on for several months. Your doctor has examined you and did the preliminary investigations and found no abnormality. You have no symptoms like fever which go with an infection. You have musculoskeletal pains of costochonditis and fibromyalgia and your pain varies with position. So to address your main concern whether it is something serious and requiring immediate attention cutting short your holiday, my opinion is no. It can wait till 28th. As to what the source of pain is; the pains that usually occur with deep inspiration are related to the inflammation of the pleura or the diagphram but is less likely in you as there is no sign of infection. More likely is a pinched nerve by a disc in the lower thoracic region with radiation of the pain to the abdomen. It's in an early stage as it is not constantly present and is related to posture. MRI of the Thoracic spine when there is pain might show the lesion.
Sleeping on a firm bed and avoiding activities involving much bending or jarring of the spine are likely to reduce the pain. You can take a simple analgesic and a muscle relaxant for relief.
I would like to know the opinion of the doctors after your consultation.
Do get back if you have further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 12 hours later
thank you i have a follow up question is it normal to see my heat beat in my stomach could that be dehydration?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
Normal mostly.

Detailed Answer:
If your heart is beating forcefully and fast you can feel it in the upper part of the abdomen. It is not abnormal and is not a cause for concern. This is more in thin people . It occurs more often when one is anxious. It is not a sign of dehydration.
Wish you good health and a good day.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 8 minutes later
Hello doctor thank you for your answer i was swimming today (Thursday) at 1pm while on vacation in Jamaica and was hit with a rush of water i went under for about 5 seconds and did not cough coming out i feel ok no trouble breathing i am concerned about secondary drowning what do i need to watch for and for how long
doctor
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Breathlessness and cough. Up to 24 hours

Detailed Answer:
Secondary drowning occurs if water enters the lungs and leads to pulmonary edema. Since you didn't have cough or breathlessness, there is hardly any chance of developing secondary drowning. In the unlikely event of you developing progressive cough and breathlessness within 24 hours of the incident, you should go to ER.
Relax and have fun
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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