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Burning and stinging pain in left upper torso

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I am a 29-year-old female and I have a burning/stinging pain in my left side upper torso area, just below my left breast (sometimes the pain is felt in the front of my body, sometimes in the back, but same general area: left side under ribs.). I have visited my MD multiple times and after a brief exam he said I was very healthy but he diagnosed me with a duodenal ulcer and prescribed me omeprazole magnesium. I started taking it once per day first thing in the morning, and then when I went back to see him several weeks later because the pain was not going away. He upped me to 2 pills per day, one in the morning and one 30 minutes before dinner. However, I am still having the pain. I have drastically changed my diet to eliminate spicy foods, caffeine, and further limit fatty foods. I am walking 3 miles per day (another of his recommendations), and trying to reduce stress in my work and home life. None of which seem to be helping...
Now in the last couple of weeks I have started having pain and soreness in my left shoulder blade, and top of shoulder, tingling and numbness in my left hand and left side of my torso, and my left armpit and breast feel sort of swollen and tender/sensitive. Is this really just an ulcer? Or could it be something else?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 23 Doctors Online


Thank you for asking your query at DoctorSpring.

The symptoms are unlikely to be because of a duodenal ulcer, especially in view of lack of symptomatic response to Omeprazole. If it was related to to an Ulcer there would have been at least an improvement in the symptoms, if not complete resolution.

A musculoskeletal cause is more likely . The distribution of pain is non specific (by non specific ,I mean not pointing towards a single diagnosis). Considering the possible musculoskeletal etiology you can take an OTC anti inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen 400mg twice daily in consult with your Doctor. There is a possible nerve compression in view ofthe tingling. However as of now you may lbserver the response to mediation and proceeded further.

Hope helps.
Please feel free to ask followup questions.
Thank you

Patient replied :

I will try to take some ibuprofen over the next few days and see if that helps. What would you suggest as my next step if I see no improvement? Should I return to my MD and request some specific tests (x-rays, MRI, etc.) to determine if there is a musculoskeletal concern? Or should I try a chiropractor or other type of doctor? I'm just really frustrated with my current MD and I have to pay a $95 insurance copay every time I visit him so I want to have a plan of action for my next visit.


As I said earlier the distribution of pain is bit non specific. As first step taken Ibuprofen. You can continue Omeprazole along with it. You can wait and watch (provided there are no new symptoms / worsening symptoms) for a couple more days. Still if there is no improvement you will need to go to a MD as you will need 1. A complete physical and neurological examination , in view of the tingling. 2. An Xray Left shoulder.

I will keep this consult open. So please feel free to get back to me anytime.

Thank you

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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