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Constant "ribcage" Pain
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I have had unrelenting "ribcage" pain for months and during that time I have not been able to sneeze or take deep breaths. There is too much pain that any attempt to sneeze or take a deep breath is immediately halted. I have pain in both the front and back of my ribcage. Nothing seems to get better despite dietary and physical activity changes. I have stopped going to the doctors due to their incompentence/ignorance and lack of empathy. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please reply. Thanks.

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where is it located upper part, middle, lower?

When my GERD would get really, really bad (back when it was out of control), i dealt with the frontal pain. It would hurt so much to take a breath that i would end up hyperventilating and spiral into a panic attack.

I would suggest, at the moment, to find a new doctor and demand an xray of your chest. Trust us, we know the crud that doctors can put us through (an example is that before i was dx'd with celiac, i was told to stop acting like a child and grow up and deal with it. yeah.... <_< )

Another thought it might be the muscles surrounding them may be strained.

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Is your pain on one side? Could you have a rib out of place? I used to have one pop out every now and then. The pain is on one side and follows the rib front to back. A good chiropractor can set it back fairly painlessly with the activator method ( spring loaded clicker) . I've had them jammed "in" and "out" at different times from injury. I however always knew when they were out and could not sleep on that side.

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I second gfreejz. I had an injury a few years ago that caused excruciating pain. It took a month before my I went to the chiropractor and found out I popped my rib out of place. When it bothers me I can't take deep breaths either, and sneezing can get incredibly painful. Be prepared if you do go to the chiropractor, which I recommend. It can take multiple visits to get it back in place and staying there on its own. Each time I have to go it can take 8-12 visits. Mine has popped back out a few times. Sometimes I can feel it when it moves out again. Others, it moves out of place slowly unbeknownst to me until the pain starts. For me, sometimes the pain follows the rib all the way around. Other times it either is like a giant spear is goine through my back and out my chest, or it is only in the front or the back. Anything could be causing your pain. If you can tell that it is on only one side (left or right, but sometimes that can be indistinguishable) then I think a trip to the chiropractor is worth it. Especially since most doctors are so willing to throw medications at you instead of looking for the root cause. I hope you are able to fix it, whatever the cause may be.

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I would go see an osteopathic doctor as they are the same as an MD one, but have extra training to fix stuff like that!

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Thanks for the quick replys everyone. Unfortunately it's not just one rib or one side. It is my entire ribcage, front and back included. I try stretching, which is also painful, but that doesn't seem to help either. I've been on a gluten free diet for some time now and lately things seem to only be getting worse.

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It sounds like inflammation of the connective tissue of the ribcage, aka costochondritis, which can go along with certain forms of auto immune diseases and arthritis. I have had this really badly in the past, and oddly enough, less badly after getting kicked squarely in the chest years ago by a rather ornery young horse (it didn't kill me, but for about a minute I wasn't sure if that was going to be the outcome. I think it loosened up some scar tissue. B) "Children, don't do this at home or in the corral !" :blink: (and yes, like a movie hero, I was rescued by another horse who bit the culprit !

This flares up in me when I get too adventuresome with my gluten free diet, or sometimes, it just flares just for the heck of it during transitional season times, like late autumn. <_< I have had to work like a dog with range of motion exercising to keep this from stiffening myself up further, it's part of the arthritis (which I supposedly do not have, according to the dumbest rheumatologist I've seen,) but it goes along exactly with what I was diagnosed with decades earlier.

It being Thanksgiving, I, of course, have strayed slightly off my usual fruit- vegetable- meat-nuts blah blah- blah routine, and while I'm not glutened because the symptoms are a bit different, I do have a few body parts that are flaring, (let's eat dessert again! let's eat some processed food! :rolleyes: ) and my body has selected my ribcage to stiffen up this weekend.

It will go away when I get tired of it, and go back to the fruit- vegetable routine and stop pretending that I am not in my later 50s and can exercise like a 20 year old in cooler, damp weather.

You may have to refine your gluten free diet to avoid more highly processed foods to avoid this, until you can figure out which ingredient(s) are setting it off.

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Thanks for the info Takala. Although I have been sticking to the gluten free diet I admittedly haven't cut out all processed foods. Though the processed foods I consume don't contain gluten I know they could cause some of my symptoms. The difficulty for me in consuming only whole foods lies with cost. I don't make a lot of money and it's tough to stay "healthy" on a limited income. I still eat certain cereals (corn or rice based) and canned foods. I also think you may be on to something with the weather change. As it has gotten colder I feel I have gotten stiffer and more sore. Maybe that's the cost of getting older. At any rate, I really would like to feel my age again (31).

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Thanks for the info Takala. Although I have been sticking to the gluten free diet I admittedly haven't cut out all processed foods. Though the processed foods I consume don't contain gluten I know they could cause some of my symptoms. The difficulty for me in consuming only whole foods lies with cost. I don't make a lot of money and it's tough to stay "healthy" on a limited income. I still eat certain cereals (corn or rice based) and canned foods. I also think you may be on to something with the weather change. As it has gotten colder I feel I have gotten stiffer and more sore. Maybe that's the cost of getting older. At any rate, I really would like to feel my age again (31).

Which corn or rice based cereals? Many mainstream cornflakes, etc have barley malt in them

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If I do purchase cereal its of the Chex brand and I am not aware of anthing containing gluten in their "gluten free" cereals. On an another note I have started reading on the effects of BHT which seems to be in some of these cereals. There's so much poison in the food we eat today.

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whole foods are cheaper than processed ones. You just gotta do a whole lot more cookin' then you are used too.

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I had to break the processed cereals habit, altho I was sort of entranced with some of them when they first came out, and went thru several boxes of them. The only "cereal" type thing I eat now is a plain Lundberg brown rice cake. Otherwise, it is plain cooked rice, to which many different things can be added, oil, butter, garlic, nuts, raisins, pumpkin puree, etc. The other thing that can be altered is what is going on the cereals. You still may be in the dairy- sensitive phase, where lactose is not agreeing with you, and have to switch to either diluted yogurt or a nut or rice or hemp milk. I gave up on the boxed nut milks a few years ago pretty much, (the sugars...), use unsweetened canned coconut milk in coffee, and went with fruit and nuts and a protein (such as a hard boiled egg or hard cheese, or even some leftover cooked fish, for example) for breakfast, to try to cut further back on sugars and carbs, which works much better for my metabolism. I also will do a fruit and vegetable smoothie sometimes, or eggs and cooked vegetables, or a homemade fresh soft corn tortilla* and some black beans.

*take ear of fresh sweet corn, shuck the peel, slice off the kernels, blend to process in bullet to make "corn juice," add enough of alternate gluten free flour such as tapioca, buckwheat, almond meal, or amaranth to make a thick batter, add some chia seed if you want, add salt, fry in pan with olive oil. Makes about 2 to 3 soft tortilla corn cakes. Solves the corn cross contamination problem.

With the canned foods, look for the ones with the absolute minimal amount of ingredients. Also, if you are oat- sensitive, you may want to use only certain brands of gluten free flour items.

Fine tuning the diet seems to make no sense sometimes, until you discover what sort of combination of foods works for your own body.

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Hi Solarpower,

I can't say I had the same kind of pain that you have (it sounds really awful) but I did suffer for quite some time with a nagging stabbing pain in my ribcage. I actually kept becoming paranoid that I was having some kind of heart problem because I would get so short of breath and tightness/pain in my chest. I went back to my doctor several times and she kept telling me that I had swelling between my ribs and to just take a pain reliever. This never worked for me. I finally changed doctors (way over due) and my new doctor suggested that I try prilosec for a couple of weeks in case the pain was from acid reflux. Within a couple of days I felt completely better! Of course it has now taken me many months of gradually removing artificial sweeteners and as many chemicals as possible and eliminating dairy (as well as adding many more fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts to my diet) before I finally find myself without needing the medication to control the reflux. That said, now that it is no longer a problem all of those changes are SO worth it. If you haven't tried it already I would recommend trying out an acid reducer to see if this is the root of your problem. If it does nothing then you have ruled it out. If this is the issue it will be so worth the try to fix it as acid reflux can cause many long term health problems that are quite nasty. I was quite surprised that this pain was acid reflux but I have been told that the sensation can be very much this way and doesn't always feel the way you would expect. Good luck! I hope you can figure it out soon so you won't be in so much pain!

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I have had unrelenting "ribcage" pain for months and during that time I have not been able to sneeze or take deep breaths. There is too much pain that any attempt to sneeze or take a deep breath is immediately halted. I have pain in both the front and back of my ribcage. Nothing seems to get better despite dietary and physical activity changes. I have stopped going to the doctors due to their incompentence/ignorance and lack of empathy. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please reply. Thanks.

I used to get severe pain and didn't know where it was coming from but that was before i was detoxed and gluten-free. Have you been through a detox dietary program? I know that when I eat a "safe" gluten-free that ends up not being gluten-free I get severe pain and it starts in the abdomen rib cage area and moves up into shooting pain in my left shoulder. I've been in the ER two separate times and they are CLUELESS!

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Hello solarpower,

Welcome to the forum.

I"m just curious, does your pain feel like it"s under the 2 lower ribs, both sides front an back?

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Pleurisy is a possibility. It happens to be associated with auto-immune diseases.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002347/

Also, there is a type of hernia that can present that way. (It does not need surgical intervention, just an experienced doctor with the guts to push it back in place for you.)

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    • I have intolerances to a few foods now, so I was wondering about that.. I love cashews though, and a month or two ago I was eating them all the time with no problems at all. I mean, could I really have developed an intolerance to them since then? I don't know if they're made on shared lines (it didn't say on the package so I assumed they weren't), but I'll give them a call. I'm really, really sensitive to cross contamination. Even if something is just made in the same facility (but not on shared lines) it will make me sick. If that's not it, then I'm not really sure
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    • I react to both wheat and barley.  I've opted to just go completely gluten free, for the sake of simplicity and my sanity.  I don't have a diagnosis of celiac disease, but I strongly suspect it.  Unfortunately, I'm not willing to endure the misery of staying on gluten long enough to pursue further testing.  I just know I need to avoid the gluten grains, so I do.  
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