ZocdocAnswersWhat could this right sided back pain?

Question

What could this right sided back pain?

I am a 55 year old woman, about 25lbs over weight. I was on a fast several weeks ago. Suddenly I started getting severe right sided back pain. I was told to start to break the fast, that this will happen due to toxins in the body. Now 4 weeks later I am still experiencing bad right sided back pain. It starts behind my right rib cage and moves to my right buttock. I stand at my job and this seems to get worse as the day goes on. I feel as if someone is stabbing a knife through my lung from the backside. And it is hard to breathe. Then the pain works its way to around my right kidney area. When I wake in the morning I can sit up with out a problem, but when I go to stand I am hunched over and feel crippled. Can this be caused from toxins from the fast and if so, how do I get it to stop. Oh, I have also taken Advil, 4 at a time with no help and I tried Aleve, with no dent in the pain. I forgot to mention, I have a very high tolerance for pain.

Answer

It is important that you visit your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms. I am not sure what your fast regimen is but it does not seem to be what is causing your symptoms. You have a right sided sharp back pain that radiates to your buttock. A possible cause of your symptoms is a impinged nerve near the spinal cord called sciatica. There could be many causes for sciatica such a a herniated disk, trauma, weight gain, aging. It typically causes pain that feels like a shock going down your leg and sometimes below the knee. Another possibility that is causing a one sided back pain is a kidney stone. Stones can be trapped in the ureter and cause pain. Another possibility that is causing your symptoms is a pleural effusion which is fluid on the outside of the lung. There are many causes of pleural effusions ranging from infections to inflammatory diseases. The fluid that is trapped on the outside of the lung can irritate the lining of the lung which can cause the sharp pains you are feeling as well as the shortness of breath you are experiencing. Lastly, a pulmonary embolus should be ruled out. A pulmonary embolus is a clot in the lung which can cause sharp pains and shortness of breath. The risk factors are post menopausal women, smokers, immobility, estrogen replacement, and obesity. Again, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor to be evaluated as soon as possible.

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