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  • Costochondritis

    Has anyone else with IC also been diagnosed with the above condition which is an inflammation of the cartilage that attaches the inner end of the upper ribs to the flat bone in the middle of the chest (known as the sternum). When the symptoms first appear, it feels as though you are having a heart attack due to the severe chest pain, irritation and chest tightness. I had my first experience with costo. about 2 1/2 years ago and I went to the ER to be checked out. Fortunately my heart was ok, but then I saw my gp and he diagnosed me with costochondritis. The bad news is that it can take up to a year to resolve itself but for some it may gradually abate after four to six weeks. And of course with having this inflammatory condition my IC is greatly
    flared up with severe bladder pain.

    The usual treatment for costochondritis is some type of anti-inflammatory which I am allergic to. It took between six and eight months for the costo. the first time to disappear. I was ok until November of 2006 when I started to experience the same symptoms of heaviness on my chest with pain plus a very uncomfortable tightness in the chest. I find when I am up during the day the condition is with me constantly. The only time I get a break from it is when I lie down. I use my heating pad several times during the day and am also seeing my pt for some physio. I have had costochondritis this time for three months and it is not showing any sign of leaving me in the near future. We have a family wedding coming up the beginning of March when my son is to be married so I am hoping I will feel better by then.

    I would appreciate any input from anyone else who has had to cope with this miserable condition on top of IC and some of the other problems that are part of having IC. Thank you very much for your help and support.

    Louise

  • #2
    I've had that a few times with my lupus, although they were short-lived flares. I can remember spending days being propped up on the sofa with pillows strategically placed to hold me in one position. If I moved even a couple of inches, that horrible stabbing pain would hit. And of course every breath hurts! I had cortisone injections right in the spots where the ribs and the sternum meet (yes, OUCH!). I also would increase my prednisone for the duration. You have my sympathy - it's a really miserable condition.

    Comment


    • #3
      reply re COSTOCHONDRITIS

      Hi PingPong,

      Thanks for your reply and your reassurance that you also found the condition to be very painful and MISERABLE!! May I ask you how long you would have it each time. As I said, the first time it went on somewhere between six and eight months and this time so far it has been acute for three months.

      From your experience, do you think putting TOO MUCH heat on the chest area might make it worse? I am wondering if I should continue the diathermy treatments with my PT. Also, I happened to be taking steroids (dexamethasone) for the IC when the costo. came on. I was leary about taking the steroids due to my having severe osteoporosis because of a strong family history of the disease and an early hysterectomy at 30. So I don't think I or my doctors would consider the steroid injections!

      Also, when you have the costo. do you find it to be very enervating from not being able to breathe properly and also the chest pain and tightness?
      I find I am very tired with it and need a lot more rest. Had you ever heard about possibly having a viral or bacterial infection related to the costochondritis?

      Again, thanks for your info and compassion. It's bad enough having IC, but then coming down with these other associated problems like costochondritis makes it all the more of a misery!! I am sorry to hear that you also have Lupus - sometimes life just isn't fair.

      Take care,

      Louise

      Comment


      • #4
        You have my sympathy!
        I suffered with costochondritis for close to 2 years with no relief. This was many years prior to IC. it came on out of the blue and like you, thought it was something going on with my heart. Fortunately that proved to be false. My Dr prescribed anti-inflammatories (I simply used OTC Advil) to be taken as needed; when I realized they werent proving to be very helpful I stopped and suffered through. I did find that moist heat helped.

        Hope you start feeling better soon!
        Diana
        (\__/)
        (o.O )
        (> < ) This is Bunny. He's on his way to world domination.

        Comment


        • #5
          For me, the really intense pain would last for about 5 or 6 days, which is long enough when you're afraid to take a deep breath and have to sleep sitting up. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to have this pain go on for so long. A nurse once told me that, for inflammation, using heat off and on is better than continuously applying the heat. She said that too much heat contributes to the inflammation. You might want to try 20 minutes with heat, then 20 without, and see if you feel any better.

          Comment


          • #6
            Costochondritis

            I also have had Costochondritis. I had the pain for so many days that I finally had to leave work and go to Health Plus. I kept telling them it was not my heart but they called ambulance and sent me to the hospital. I had all of the heart tests which were neg. and then was diag. with Costo. I was told to take anti inflammatory and use heat. I took Aleve and used heat all the time. After a few weeks if finally went away. I've had one flare up since which did not last as long.
            Pam

            Comment


            • #7
              I had a couple flare-ups many years ago. I remember the pain of just trying to breathe being hard. One time I was in the bathtub and I couldn't even attempt to get out. My husband was ready to call 911. I was letting the water out so that he could dress me which was so very painful. He ended up taking me to the ER and after several tests they said it was Costrochondritis. They gave me anti-inflamatories. After a few days with no relief, I went to my prim care doctor. He gave me a cortisone shot in my rear. He said the next step would be between my ribs. I have had a couple times that it would flare up after that, but like the other posts, I would use the heating pad as well as take Aleeve and rest. I always had it on my left side.

              It definitely feels like I would think a heart attack would feel like. I was only in my 20s back then. Like all of ya'll it just came out of the blue.

              Tracey

              Comment


              • #8
                I've had flares of it as well...well, at least once that I remember. I was already admitted to the hospital with kidney stones from hades and a severe bladder/kidney infection that turned me septic. I have been in a lot of pain in my adult life, but that one episode is one I will never forget. You definately have my sincerest sympathy that you are going through this. It really is unbearable pain. Luckily I was being medicated with demerol and phenergan at massive doses.

                Have you been tested for other inflammatory diseases that could be the cause of the costo or do they think it's a primary condition in your case?
                *IC-- Summer 2004; PFD--October 2005
                *Fibro--Fall 2000; CFS-- Fall 2000
                *MPS--Fall 2000; Crohn's disease-- 1997*IBS,GERD, *Migraines, hypothyroidism, GYN problems *Degenerative Disc Disease/scoliosis

                Total Abdominal Hysterectomy--adenomyosis--9\08

                04/17/09 Crohn's disease almost killed me with a combo of extreme constipation from pain medications. My bowel ruptured, I almost died from peritonitis and spent several days in the ICU then more in a private room on the floor. If you have any questions about severe constipation from pain meds please don't hesitate to send me a message.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have costochondritis and it just flares now and then and doesn't last long, but when I first got it years ago it was another story!!! I tried so many anti-flams, but ended up having to get 3 shots in my chest and 3 in my ribs. It did the trick! Oh, plus I had to stop doing my volunteer job and was told no exercises that involved movements that would work my chest and rib muscles.

                  I found out when I got diagnosed with Lyme disease that Lyme was responsible for my IC and the costo, and every other diagnosis I had.

                  I don't think the shots are as bad as taking prednisone. The rheum used one needle to do 3 shots.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Costochondritis Replies!!!

                    Hi,

                    Many thanks for all the good help and information about another miserable inflammatory condition (like IC!!) which I believe and in my research seems to stem from having IC. I am sure you can have the problem without IC, but I have been told with having an autoimmune disorder like IC, it makes us more
                    suspectible to contracting "itis" conditions. I know in my case I have had a number of problems involving inflammation for many years. I am now going on four months with the costo. and then to add to my misery I also have a "complicated" UTI and am taking 500 mg. of CIPRO twice a day for a week. I find IC is running my life! On March 3 my son and daughter-lin-law got married and the day was lovely. My husband and I stayed at the same hotel as the ceremony and dinner. The next night I developed what I call a "seizure" in my right groin - it is like a spasm only worse. It feels like I have a knife stuck in my groin and literally I cannot move. It sounds much like the case of the lady with costo. and the bathtub. The spasm started when I was soaking in the tub and I could not get out for about 30 or more minutes until I took half of an Imovane and tried to relax. Eventually the worst of the pain subsided and I crept very carefully out of the bathtub. It left me with an ache in my groin for a few days which then turned into pain and frequency from my bladder which I have come to know are my main symptoms of a UTI. I submitted a urine sample last Wed. to the lab and Saturday evening my GP phoned to tell me that I had a severe UTI and put me on CIPRO.

                    But back to the costochondritis, it was starting to feel a little better after using the heating pad so much I had to buy a new one!! Actually it was a few years old and had seen its day. But now on the Cipro I find the costo. is back again so not only do I have intense bladder, pelvic and low back pain, but the pain and tightness in my chest, breastbone and mid-back are also very bad again!!!

                    I don't like to complain but I am sure I am not alone in my situation - that is of going from one medical problem to another. I have been doing this for over thirty years and it is beginning to really wear me down plus it is very difficult for my dear husband to see me suffer so much and continually.

                    I could list all my medical conditions but I don't want to bother you any further with my problems!!! But I would sure like to hear from someone who may have figured it out why we women (it seems moreso than for most males)
                    seem to suffer with so many different health problems that have no end. I find every once in a while I just have to break down and have a really good cry to let some of the tension and despair out of my system.

                    Thank you so much for reading my post and sharing with me the pain and suffering so many of you are also going through.

                    Sincerely,

                    Louise

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The next night I developed what I call a "seizure" in my right groin - it is like a spasm only worse. It feels like I have a knife stuck in my groin and literally I cannot move.
                      Oh gosh! I've had this the last few days! It's been excruciating! I've just been beside myself with this last flare. My bladder is flaring with pain and frequency, this stabbing in the groin, and the rib/chest pain that I had no idea was a condition till I read your post.
                      http://www.TheCraftyEwe.etsy.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by louise View Post
                        Hi,




                        I could list all my medical conditions but I don't want to bother you any further with my problems!!! But I would sure like to hear from someone who may have figured it out why we women (it seems moreso than for most males)
                        seem to suffer with so many different health problems that have no end. I find every once in a while I just have to break down and have a really good cry to let some of the tension and despair out of my system.

                        Thank you so much for reading my post and sharing with me the pain and suffering so many of you are also going through.

                        Sincerely,

                        Louise
                        Louise,

                        Have you looked into Lyme Disease? You name just two of your diagnoses (that Lyme is known to mimic) and mention you have others. I, also, have a list and the dr'g/diagnosing never seemed to end. Then a friend sent me Lyme info and voila', I got a Lyme diagnosis and am now being treated for it and coinfections. I don't recall if we are allowed to use links, so I will just tell you to go to the CanLyme site (the usual www com) and check out the symptoms page.

                        If it fits, but you've been tested and it came back negative it doesn't mean you don't have Lyme. The 2 bests labs to test with are IGenex and Central Florida Research/lab. If you do this and your dr. tells you it's negative get a copy of the test (you may have positive bands) and see a Lyme Literate MD or ND, or CNHP (cert. natural health profession). You can even see one of these Lyme Literate professional w/o spending money on the expensive tests and get a diagnosis if you have Lyme.

                        hugs

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jan re Lyme's

                          Hi Jan,

                          Thanks for your post re the Lyme Disease although I must admit it is kind of a scary thought!! I have gone to the site you mentioned and asked for their brochure to be sent to me. In the meanwhile, can you please tell me what testing is involved for this disease. I have to go out shortly but I just wanted to ask you this question. We live in Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
                          near a park where we have lots of rabbits running around and of course there is lots of their "poop" lying around. Plus a few days ago I looked out our den window and there was a dead rabbit lying on the snow. I am not sure what I should do about this. I have an appt. with my GP on the 23rd of this month, but would you recommend I see him sooner. Thanks for your help.

                          Louise

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Louise,

                            I agree, it is scary! I actually had a terrific amt of anxiety when I found out I had Lyme. I had tested 3x's and gotten neg everytime yrs ago, so even tho people came up to me saying it sounds like I have Lyme I said I was tested and I didn't have it. Then to find out...!!!

                            If you go to IGenex's website they will tell you about the tests that can be ordered, but a dr. has to order them. A friend of mine in Canada went to a LLMD (Lyme literate MD) and he started treating her and then later sent for tests. The tests are Western Blot and are very poor tests and most labs have failing grades because of their ltd procedure. It is an expensive test. My hubby just got the 2 WB's and it was $190.00 (btw, Lyme can be passed sexually and to the placenta causing congenital Lyme). I got coinfection tests besides and it was $905.00. The funny thing is that the 2 coinfections I have weren't part of the tests.

                            The other lab is the Central Florida Research lab I mentioned. They have replace Bowen Research just recently and their test is FDA. I will put the link on a following post, just in case it won't post due to having a link, at least you'll have the info here. I don't know how expensive the test is there.

                            hugs

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              http://www.centralfloridaresearch.com/lab/

                              http://www.igenex.com/

                              Did I mention a dr. has to order the tests?

                              Comment

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