Costo/Tietze's? Anxiety overload

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I have been suffering from a range of issues on my right side including a swelling over and under my breast in the ribs and shoulder pain, arm pain, hand numbness and weird stinging, burning and prickling sensations in my breasts and armpit irritation like there is a lump there but when I touch it there is nothing there. It go a bit better over Christmas and all the symptoms cleared up but I have just had flu and it has all flared up again. Typing exacerbates it too. A doctor mention costo recently but I haven't had any tests or imaging. As it is on the right side I haven't had to worry about cardiac symptoms but I have had tons of breast exams as I find I am constantly seeking reassurance and it has made me really anxious, in fact I am wondering if it has been the cause of my anxiety or if indeed they aren't linked somehow. 

THe most annoying symptom is the armpit sensation. Does anyone else recognise that at all? I had to stop wearing underwire too as this irritated my ribs like crazy. Sometimes I feel as if I might go mad with it. I had physio and the consultant said it couldn't be condo as I wasn't leaping out of my skin with pain when he touched it. In fact strong pressure on the 'jutting' rib really improves it - the pain seems to refer elsewhere. Does anyone else find that? I slipped a disc in my lower back 4 years ago - it all seemed to start at the same time - anyone else make that connection?

I guess I just want to feel that it is benign, if annoying, and to stop worrying and get on with enjoying life!

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  • Posted

    Hi Amanda.  sorry to hear so much is hitting all at once.  It can certainly cause or exacerbate anxiety.  

    a couple of things come to  mind that would be wise to rule out would be1) low Viit.D , 2) low b12 levels and 3) low Folate levels. low levels of any of these could cause the arm/hand numbness etc.

    also, have a look at the Pernicous Anaemia Society (PAS) website for an accessible list of the different symptoms caused by b12 deficiency. there's s a tel.: number there too if you wished to speak to someone. low b12 have the same symptoms as PA.btw, low b12 can cause enormous anxiety.

    the other thing that comes to mind in respect of the referred shoulder pain is the Gall Bladder. have a read up on that one too.

    i have CostoC. and whilst i didn't jump when the Doc examined me there y chest wall, i had awful pain.  a previous Doc thought i had Frozen Shoulder Syndrome which is very painful condition.  also the intensity of the CortC  pain varies and your Doc may have examined you when the pain  wasn't at it's worst.

    C

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  • Posted

    Hi, sounds like costo/Tietzes. Lots of info here, check all the discussion threads. There are Facebook groups as well. Good luck!
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  • Posted

    Hi Amanda,

    I can relate to what you say about the prickling sensations in your breasts and the armpit irritation. I have been experiencing some of the same things for about three years. I get pain on my left breast and in the armpit area next to my breast. Occasionally I get the pain in my right breast but most of the time it's on the left.

    I cannot just rest for long periods of time because I am a single mom. I have had extensive testing and many trips to the ER, and I am always told that everything is fine. I recently had an echo-stress test, a 3-D mammogram, and blood work, and I was told everything is fine. I made an appointment with another cardiologist for a second opinion, which will be in three weeks. I am so afraid of something being wrong. I cannot wear bras with underwire, and some sports bras cause the pain as they may be too tight. My family doctor assures me it is costochondritis, but how can pain in the breast be costochondritis?

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    • Posted

      Hi Nancy,

      So good to hear that you have the same thing but have also had so many tests that have all come back clear! I too cannot wear an underwired bra and sports bras irritated me like crazy - I decided it was because they were synthetic and I now wear vests or a non-wired cotton bra - fortunately my partner finds the no bra look sexy! But at certain time of the month I need a bit more support as I am not flat chested by any means! This is when I go for the non-wired M&S cotton one which makes me feel like a 1950s teenager so it's all good! 

      I think that there must be nerve irritation from the costs/Tietze's that refers into the armpit and breast - not that a doctor has said this but I have inferred it from all of my research - I am sure sugar sets me off and omega 3 oils, MSM supplements help. 

      Solidarity, sister!

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda.

      thank you for that post as it reaffirms my sneaky suspicion that sugars & carbs sets mine off or  exacerbate it.  Interestingly, i've been   reaching for double  dose EFA recently not knowing why?  think the body has it's own somatic intelligence that we don't actively tap into often enough.

       i agree also that there's referred pain whether to  under the arm/breast and  the myocardium. The latter expalins the palpitaions & tachcardia that accompanied mine.

      Amanda i'd really  appreciate  if you could  sign post to the web sites that you found helpfull.  i haven't been able to find much on it and Docs (genrally speaking) seem rather  uninformed re same.  i guess we've got to realise that GP's are just Medical  ''Gate  Keepers '' rather than in depth experts in any condition.  I've had this crippeling condition for 4 years without a proper diagnosis until recently when I moved house and a new Doc diagnosed it straight away. what a relief from the pain.

      all good luck on managing it.

      C

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