IBS with chest pain & pain under left shoulder blade?

Hi, This is my first post. I have had abdominal pains left side under the ribs for about four months now and this is getting worse as the weeks go by. I am having panic attacks in the night now and and I am not sleeping.

I was told by the specialist at my local hospital that this was constipation, but after changing my diet and being regular now for about three weeks I am still getting the pain, worse than ever!

As well as the abdominal pains I am getting constant pain (soreness) just under the left shoulder blade and some chest pains.

I have had a colonoscopy and CT scan recently but these haven't shown anything positive.

Has anyone else experienced these symptoms? I am thinking, could this be gall bladder problems? Although blood tests have been normal. I also understand that this can be caused by an intestinal ulcer.

I would really appreciate some guidance for when I next see my GP as I seem to be running out of ideas.

11 Replies

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  • I'm not a doctor and I'd encourage you to get a proper medical opinion (as you are), but I doubt it is gall bladder problems (wrong side of the body for a start) and it's unlikely to be an intestinal ulcer as I'd imagine this would have been picked up by the colonoscopy.

    However, it does sound to me like you're very anxious and this is probably causing, or at least contributing to, your symptoms. As for why the pain might be increasing now you're more regular, part of your gut might be hypersensitive, and now food is moving along more smoothly, the gut is experiencing more frequent movements that are causing the pain. Some medications might help with the pain, even if it is caused by anxiety, but if your doctor prescribes mebeverine, I'd be tempted to ask for an alternative, as mebeverine can cause constipation.

  • Hi, many thanks for your message, that all makes sense. I had been having some better days and went back to work (perhaps a bit too early), but this seems to have knocked me back even further now. I have had even worse pain for the last two days now and I'm very anxious. Yes, it makes sense that my gut is hypersensitive after experiencing more regular movements and I guess this will settle over time. I had a bad attack about 5 years ago and the doctor gave me something for the anxiety which improved things after a few days, so I reckon this will be what I need to ask my doctor about.

  • Have you tried anything else to help you manage your anxiety? I have spent the last year seeing a psychotherapist and it has helped me enormously. But I've also put a bit of work in myself, doing CBT and a bit of mindfulness. I think drugs help to help get things under control initially, but if you're finding anxiety is recurring, CBT might be something you want to consider. I've found the book Mind Over Mood particularly helpful.

  • Yes, recently - I just had my first appointment with someone to help me with CBT last week. He is on holiday this week but is back Monday 14th when I'll see him again. The book sounds interesting, i'll check it out!

  • Mine to. I have fibromyalgia and have chest and under arm pain it is a horrible pain. I to suffer from anxiety and ptsd. And I'm seeing a therapist. IBS is generally considered we have it because our bodies tense up so bowel goes on lock down. Good luck Ramon it's sounds like you're having a very bad time. I hope you get to the bottom of it.

  • Thanks for your reply, I think that I will need to see a therapist too by the sound of it. Is the therapist helping? Are you getting some periods of relief?

  • Hi Ramon, yes I do have great days and mediocre days and horrendous days too , but therapy has been a life saver for me because before the therapist it was all horrendous days of not knowing what was real and what was anxiety disorder , the therapist will also help you to be heard with your pain so you can enjoy some quality of life . Good luck 😊 keep smiling it will get better

  • Thanks, I appreciate that, really helpful.

  • Could also be start of fibromyalgia , that's where mine started

  • Hi,

    Your symptoms are uncannily similar to mine- sorry, I don't have any magic answers for you but I have had my gallbladder out. I've had constipation all my life ( I'm 48 now) & 10 years ago I started with same pain/discomfort you talk of. I had my gallbladder out 7 years ago but I still have the symptoms. They steadily got worse & now I hardly eat because of them and can't lie down without pain so don't sleep much, I'm currently waiting for an appointment for a barium meal and I'll let you know if that produces any answers. Good luck!

  • Hi, thanks for your reply and sorry to hear that you are still suffering, yes I'd appreciate you letting me know when you have more news, hope all goes well!

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