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Old 03-20-2011, 06:13 AM   #1
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Red face Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

I'm not sure how I feel about posting this. I really don't care about telling the world my problems, but I do know already what kind of answers I will get. So to block most of them, I know I should see a doctor, but I can't afford to at the moment. I have applied for MNCare, which is basically cheap health insurance provided by the state of Minnesota, but until then, I wait.
For the past few months, I have had something weird going on. Sometimes I feel it in my chest, sometimes I feel it in my lower abdomen. Sometimes I even feel it in my back. Sometimes its a tightness, like stretching would help, sometimes its a quick momentary stabbing pain. It always seems to start, or at least be the worst, under my lower left rib.
I used to smoke weed constantly, but once this started, it always makes it worse.
I'm a bouncer, and any slight drama, even a drunk guy that may or may not cause drama, makes it worse.
I've always, my whole life had relatively high blood pressure, and a high heart rate.
And last, but maybe most importantly, my poops haven't been normal. Sometimes I feel like I have to go so bad, but then nothing happens. Most of the time, I pass a ton of gas, but only a couple little soft things come out.
Sometimes I "explode" and it seems to be all liquid, and relieves the problem, but doesn't fix it.
My mom's a nurse, and listened to my heart 10 years ago when my high blood pressure started, and has listened to my heart lately, when I've asked her to. She swears up and down my heart is no different than it was back then. I should be conscious of it, but its not my problem. She thinks I'm constipated, and a doctors visit would cost me a fortune in xrays and BS for nothing. So to please her, and save some money, ive taken her advice, and taken milk of magnesia and gas-x a few times, which seem to temporarily resolve the problem, but never fix it.
I do agree, its probably not my heart. I take the bus a lot lately, sometimes walking 5 blocks uphill, sometimes jogging it. Sometimes even walking a few miles. And I've even broken up fights at work (thank god nothing major). If I was on the brink of a heart attack, wouldn't I have had one by now? It's been months..
And if there's 2 things that cause anxiety, its weed and bouncing. Both have sparked full blown panic attacks the last few months. (Wow that sucks at work.. At 1 am on Saturday night, I can't exactly just walk away to pull myself together.. And if something happens, I can't exactly walk away and let my coworkers deal with it.. I need to have their back as much as I need them to have mine..)
So here's the thing..
I quit smoking weed, and I've been taking it easier at work (prolly too easy, last night one guy passed out at the bar, and then cursed myself and the bartender and barback out, and another guy spit in our ice bin.. Both should have been dragged out by their ears but for the sake of my heart, I very casually let them leave under their own power), been taking it easier at home (I sleep a lot, its easier that way..), and even eating a ton healthier, but this just won't go away!!!
So maybe I'm constipated, maybe I have trapped gas. Maybe my high blood pressure is catching up to me...
I think this weird feeling gives me anxiety, especially if I have external stress or the added anxiety of being high. I know high blood pressure can mess with the consistency of your stools, so this worries me..
Im not even sure what my question is, but thats my story. Any thoughts?
Usually I can put all this in the back of my mind, but sometimes its downright debilitating.. I'm sick of being miserable...

 
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:20 AM   #2
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Cool Re: Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

Oh, another thing. When I'm hungover this all seems worse. Hours after the typical hangover symptoms, I have still a strong tightness just below my lower left rib. Not sure if this matters..
Hangovers always make me have to go more (I affectionately call it the "booze poo's"), so this could confirm the constipated theory. Could also be a sign of much worse..
See why I've been having anxiety about this??

 
Old 03-20-2011, 06:40 AM   #3
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Re: Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

Welcome to our board. It seems that you have a lot going on right now, but I BELIEVE nothing so major that a good life and body make over wouldn't cure. And if there is something serious going on and you can't get in to see a doctor, this can only help.
I'd start by looking for a new job, one that isn't so stress related and easier on the body.
I'm guessing that you don't get a lot of exercise at your work.
I am assuming that your diet is not good and is probably contributing to about half your problems.
Eating junk food will problems from the bowels to the brain to your high blood pressure to depression. Low magnesium can create the anxiety you are feeling and cause BP problems. So much is diet related. What exactly is your diet like...No fudging, now.
Are you overweight? Do you go to the gym? You said you walked, which is great, but how flexible are you, what's your muscle tone like. If you are having any back muscle or spine problems this will cause all kinds of problems in your body. It can affect your appetite and bowels. How old are you? Not having any more information on you, I realize I might be assuming a lot. Tell us more about the shape your body is in and about your diet.

 
Old 03-20-2011, 06:43 AM   #4
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Red face Re: Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

Sorry to post again, I just feel the more I share the better, and after reading other posts, I have more to add.
Laying on my left side helps me belch and pass wind, not usually at first, but if I sleep on my left side I'll usually do quite a bit of both in the morning. However, putting so much weight on my left ribcage is uncomfortable. Not painful, but definitely uncomfortable.
And I'm not sure yet how food affects me. Seems that if I eat a light healthy meal I feel best. A turkey sandwich with nothing but mustard and lettuce is great. If I'm hungry, or really full, I seem the most uncomfortable. Also, the least healthy the food, the least comfortable I am.
Originally I thought greasy food was going to instantly give me a heart attack. Maybe its just making me more constipated?

 
Old 03-20-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
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Wink Re: Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowBunny2020 View Post
How old are you? Not having any more information on you, I realize I might be assuming a lot. Tell us more about the shape your body is in and about your diet.
Well, I'm 27. Not too old, but there is a history of heart problems in my family. My dad has hypertension, my grandma (moms side) suffers from CHF and diabetes, and my mom has twin cousins which both had heart attacks in their late 20s. I'm a little overweight, but am in better shape than I've been since high school. I'm about 5'10", and 5 years ago I weighed 315. Now I'm down to about 245. Did it just eating smarter. I still don't have the greatest diet, but I don't eat much fast food, and I don't stuff my face at 3 am after work like I used to. I usually eat til I'm not hungry, sometimes full, and then I'm done. I only eat a meal or 2 a day, sometimes when I first get up, but always around 7 or 8 pm before I go to work. Not great food. But not usually awful. We don't have a ton of money, so tv dinners, frozen pizzas, mac & cheese, sandwiches (lunch meat, mustard, lettuce, sometimes a slice of cheese, never mayo or bacon or anything crazy). I drink quite a bit, but it comes with the territory. When you work in a bar, alcohol is a part of life. However, I don't think my drinking is by any means out of control, and I even gave up alcohol for the month of February, half because of the issues I'm talking about, and half just because I think its good to do sometimes. Keep yourself in check, save my money/liver, etc. I really don't think I need to quit my job, because I know people who have done this for decades and been ok. There are times when I exert myself quite a bit at work, but its no harder than my dad and his friends twice my age work when they play basketball together a few times a week. And most of them are in waay worse shape than I am!!!
I smoke roughly a pack a day. Sometimes on a day off when I don't have much going on I smoke 2-3 cigs, on a busy day at work or a long night out I can smoke a pack and a half-2 packs. Usually about 15 cigs-a pack though.
My sleeping pattern is awful. I'm usually up til 5 or 6 am, and I sleep til 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Lately I've been up til 9 or 10 am (9 am right now..) and I sleep til 5 or 6.
I know these are all factors. What else would you like to know?

Last edited by mhoffman54; 03-20-2011 at 07:23 AM.

 
Old 03-20-2011, 07:28 AM   #6
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Re: Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

Okay, I somewhat get the picture. My opinion is that your lifestyle is the root of your problems. You said you drink quite a bit. This, along with smoking, as you get older will take its toll. While you sleep, your liver heals and if you are drinking it needs a lot of healing. If you don't sleep, this is bad. Drinking alcohol will mess up your sleep.
Your exercise, although at times is heated, isn't consistent. You can't sit around one day and then expect your body to be overworked the next.
Your getting your weight down, which is great, but you still have a ways to go. Get with the diet program.
You sound like an intelligent man and I have no doubt that you know how and what to do to improve your health. Now, just do it. You won't regret it. Good Luck

 
Old 03-20-2011, 07:47 AM   #7
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Re: Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

Well I appreciate your reply, and you're absolutely correct, I do need to lead a healthier lifestyle. But the whole purpose of my posts was this random pain. Chronic fatigue/headaches/back pain/whatever would absolutely be symptoms of my unhealthy lifestyle. But this random tightness under my left rib, with occasional stabbing pain in various parts of my chest/back really concerns me.. I know I got off topic, maybe sharing too much, but I've done a lot of research in various forums, and there are literally thousands of combinations of symptoms which mean so many different things. A lot of people have dull pain under their lower rib, with no stabbing, and MoM clears it up. From what I understand, stabbing pain is rarely a sign of heart problems. Heart problems are usually a crushing/radiating pain, right? I've felt these too, but it usually stems from anxiety, which I think starts with this random pain to begin with. If I go to work worried about my chest, and then it hits the fan, guess what my heart does?
Thank you so much for your responses. I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that my heart is most likely ok, my lower rib is probably ______, and I can fix it with ______. MoM didn't seem to work. Is there something stronger, but still just as safe that may work for me? And what could be clogging me up that MoM and gas-x can't solve?

 
Old 03-20-2011, 08:14 AM   #8
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Re: Lower left ribcage pain, sometimes elsewhere.

If you're not having any other heart symptoms, I would think it wouldn't be a heart problem.
My opinion is that the rib cage pain, in your case, is probably more related to a back problem, possibly connected to your extra weight and lack of muscle tone.
I really think you have more than one or two things going on here and all can be corrected. Just my two bits.

 
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