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Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31242
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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, I am experiencing minor pain. It starts as soon as

Customer Question

Hello,
I am experiencing minor pain. It starts as soon as I start eating something, then continues for maybe a half hour to an hour afterwards. It is not constant, comes in dribs and drabs. Mostly on the left side but occasionally on the right. Where I mostly feel it is about 3 inches down from where the bottom of my bra finishes, directly below the left breast. It feels like it is something gently throbbing beneath the rib cage. I think it is worse when I eat fatty foods and have coffee. When I google I get so many possible diagnoses I don't know where to start.
Up til now I have always had a pretty high fat diet. I know my Dad had irritable bowel syndrome and I don't know if I have it or not, but I do take a probiotic which helps me digesting. Recently, I had some injections of cyanocobalamin at a private clinic (I like the energy they give you). I'm not sure if that could have caused it.
I don't remember having these symptoms before except very occasionally when I eat cheesecake (like, once a year). Now, it is becoming a steady feeling. Even now, about 3 hours after eating I can feel a warm tingling sensation in that same spot. Later if I eat anything aside from vegetables I know it'll start up again and be a bit painful.
If you could advise me on what you think the problem might be and how I would go about investigating? I'm 32 years old and female.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

Hi. Any nausea with this? Any shortness of breath?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No nausea, no shortness of breath. I did get one tiny little pain in my chest when I was exerting myself (rock climbing) yesterday but it wasn't much and only lasted a second

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK Elena--and just to be certain--the pain is in your upper abdomen and not in your chest?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, the recurring pain is in the place that I describe - directly below left breast about 3inch below where the bottom edge of the bra is.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK--just wanted to make sure this isn't cardiac. There are a couple of possibilities here. One would be either a peptic ulcer or an H pylori stomach infection or both. Ths other one--less likely--would be pancreatitis. As for the workup, I'd start with blood work, a screen for H pylori, a ct scan of your abdomen, and, then if warranted, upper endoscopy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. That's helpful. To do those am I better off going to my GP through the NHS or going to see a private specialist (and if so which sort?) who might be able to do all this faster and with maybe a bit more know-how?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well, your GP can do the H pylori screen, the blood work, and order the ct scan. If all that checks out normal then you'd need the referral to a gastroenterologist. At this point I see no need to see the GI first off.