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Have you struggled to lose weight for as long as you can remember? Perhaps, you’re about ready to give up. If you can relate to this frustrating situation, consider speaking with your trusted physician about your concerns. Your doctor might be able to determine why you’re encountering difficultly losing weight. For instance, you might have an undiagnosed thyroid problem. Or, you may be retaining water. If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism, taking a prescription medication every morning might help you shed a few pounds. On this blog, I hope you will discover how a doctor can help you achieve lasting weight loss success. Enjoy!

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What Is Costochondritis?

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For many, intense chest pain and difficulty breathing bring to mind one thing—a heart attack. Fortunately, the cause of pain may be more benign. Costochondritis is a much less serious condition, common in both adolescents and adults.

What is costochondritis?

Costochondritis is inflammation in the cartilage around the rib cage. The inflammation can cause severe pain, but the condition is not life threatening. Most commonly, costochondritis pain occurs in the lower left corner of the chest. However, it can be located anywhere throughout the rib cage, and may even move to different spots over the course of a costochondritis flare-up.

The pain may fluctuate between mild and severe, and is usually worse when taking deep breaths. It is self-limiting—severe pain and difficulty breathing will prevent the patient from doing activities that may aggravate the condition.

How is costochondritis diagnosed?

The symptoms of costochondritis can mimic that of more serious conditions. Before reaching a diagnosis of costochondritis, your doctor may perform various tests, including an EKG to rule out heart problems, a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, and blood work to check for infection. If no apparent cause for your pain can be found, a diagnosis of costochondritis is reached.

Costochondritis can occur for a number of reasons, including a chest injury, strenuous exercise, or lifting something heavy. Certain conditions such as fibromyalgia can also put a person at risk. Often times, however, your doctor will not be able to trace back the cause of your costochondritis.

How is it treated?

There is no cure for costochondritis. Because of its self-limiting nature, you may find that you're restricted to bed rest at first. You will be encouraged to do as much as you can, pain-free. If you're having difficulty taking deep breaths, breathing treatments may be used to prevent pneumonia. Anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, and warm baths may all be recommended to help reduce pain.

How long does costochondritis last?

Costochondritis can linger, anywhere from a few days to six months. As your symptoms subside, you may gradually return to your normal activities. Usually once the pain goes away, costochondritis is gone for good. However, it is possible for the condition to recur.

See your doctor

If you are experiencing chest pain, it is important to see your doctor to rule out more serious conditions. A diagnosis of costochondritis may feel like a relief compared with other possibilities, but your recovery will still require a fair amount of patience and rest. For more help, contact a company like Thiele Kim DO PC to learn more.

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