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What causes pain under the left rib cage radiating to the back?

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Posted on Thu, 30 Mar 2017
Question: I have been having severe sharp left rib pain that radiates to my back since Friday AM. The skin is tender to the touch as well, it feels as if it's bruised. However, the skin has no marks or rash. The pain is worse when I lay down and at night. Pressing on it helps to alleviate the pain. The past two nights I have had severe attacks with pain. Last night I had an episode for about ten minutes that made me dizzy, extremely diaphoretic and pale, nausea without emesis, and diarrhea x2. I went to the ER yesterday. CT A/P without contrast negative, chest X-Ray negative, CBC/CMP/HCG/Lipase WNL. They did comment that I had multiple renal and hepatic cysts (I have polycystic kidney disease), nephrocalcinosis, and mild peritoneal fluid in the pelvis (which they thought could be an ovarian cyst burst, which I've had in the past). I now have a sore/red throat and strange bumps on it. Please help! I am on vacation and don't know what else to do.
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Answered by Dr. Geeta Sundar (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
The most likely is you are developing Herpes Zoster.

Detailed Answer:
Hi welcome to Health care magic,
There are various possibilities.
The most likely is you are developing Herpes Zoster. Pain comes first and rash later.
It is most likely a nerve root pain -commonest cause is Herpes. Look out for a rash--comes after 4th day.
In some people there is no rash too.
Try--- a high dose of B complex, avoid the sun, take Omeprazole 20 twice a day (remote possibility it is acidity), and take Motrin (Ibuprofen) 400 mgs twice a day.
If it is Herpes, the whole process will last 21 days since it is due to Chicken pox virus affecting adults in a single nerve.
If rashes appear, go to your doctor. He may put you on Acyclovir and even steroids if he thinks it is required.
If no Herpes---get an x-ray of neck and back spine done.
It could also be one of your renal stones causing obstruction.
Regards
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Dr. Geeta Sundar

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1975

Answered : 1329 Questions

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What causes pain under the left rib cage radiating to the back?

Brief Answer: The most likely is you are developing Herpes Zoster. Detailed Answer: Hi welcome to Health care magic, There are various possibilities. The most likely is you are developing Herpes Zoster. Pain comes first and rash later. It is most likely a nerve root pain -commonest cause is Herpes. Look out for a rash--comes after 4th day. In some people there is no rash too. Try--- a high dose of B complex, avoid the sun, take Omeprazole 20 twice a day (remote possibility it is acidity), and take Motrin (Ibuprofen) 400 mgs twice a day. If it is Herpes, the whole process will last 21 days since it is due to Chicken pox virus affecting adults in a single nerve. If rashes appear, go to your doctor. He may put you on Acyclovir and even steroids if he thinks it is required. If no Herpes---get an x-ray of neck and back spine done. It could also be one of your renal stones causing obstruction. Regards Regards