Patient with persistent sharp pain in right side should have more detailed exams
A female reader wants to know about the possible seriousness of her persistent sharp pain in right side, which she described as “sharp, piercing pains which are localized to the center of my chest.”
This young woman has been told that she has a pleurisy condition as partially diagnosed by a chest x-ray and finalized by physical exam and history from the patient herself. To her benefit, she states that she does not smoke.
Overwhelmingly, the odds are against her having heart, or coronary artery, disease, but the ongoing discomfort demands, in my opinion, that further workup and evaluation by her doctor be done.
This exam would serve to rule out disease within the lungs themselves, and a heart exam, possibly including treadmill testing, could provide added reassurance that the heart is, in fact, not diseased.
Sharp pain in right side – Ultrasound examination of the heart could detect any valvular abnormalities.
Hopefully, the pains are no more serious than perhaps from inflammation of the chest wall structures and represent an easily treatable condition to relieve the inflammatory reaction of the ribs and joints where the breast bone, or sternum, joins the cartilage of the ribs.
Another reader tells me about being treated with steroids for a condition that has caused the insulation to be depleted from her nerve fiber tissue.
These sort of “demyelinating” diseases are believed to be caused by immune system abnormalities and/or viruses.
Steroids, which are not without their own side-effect producing symptoms, tend to offer varying degrees of stabilization of symptoms for patients who suffer from this type of illnesses.
The same reader takes a cholesterol-lowering drug and wants to know about possible side effects.
A small percentage of people who must take this sort of medication will have elevated liver enzymes.
These are detected by routine blood testing, which can be done while blood fat levels are being monitored.
If there is evidence of significant reaction of the liver to these drugs, they may be cut back in dosage or discontinued altogether.
Despite the sharp pain in right side is not always a sign of heart disease, but the sharp pain in right side is very important to take care