Many of us that suffer with gastroparesis also suffer from costochondritis, and we are constantly looking for relief from both.
What is Costochondritis?
First, let’s talk a little bit about what we are dealing with here.
Costochondritis is a fancy word for inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. Unfortunately, there is no known singular cause, but inflammation can be caused from a variety of things. (we’ll get into this in a bit)
The pain can feel like:
- worse when you cough
- worse when you take a deep breath
- sometimes worse when you are laying down
This pain typically occurs under a few ribs, closer to your breastbone, but sometimes can radiate further past the breastbone.
(photo cred: Health &)
The Gastroparesis Connection
So, you might be wondering how this connects to Gastroparesis. While there hasn’t been any “official studies” on their connection, I speak with lots of people who suffer from both. What I have often seen, and experienced myself, is that when you are going through a “flare” with your GP, your Costochondritis will spike. How so?
Well, when you are flaring, it is usually because you ate/drank something that did not agree with you. It becomes a domino effect. Your digestive system sends up flares, the immune system reacts and sometimes goes into overdrive to attempt to protect the rest of your body from invaders and that can cause inflammation in one or many areas of your body. Enter costochondritis.
How to Get Relief
Okay, so you are in pain, maybe from both GP and Costo, but you need relief NOW.
GP pain relief takes a little longer, and while I would usually rather address the underlying cause of the pain, sometimes the most realistic process is to help relieve the immediate pain and then do the work to help relieve the rest after.
Quick ways to relieve your pain:
- While I typically don’t recommend medication, sometimes you have to have the quick fix. Medications like Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) are helpful.
- A warm bath
- Switching ice and heat on and off
My more preferred methods are prevention:
- Keeping/Getting your Gastroparesis flares under control
- Limiting pro-inflammatory foods and drinks
- Keeping stress levels low
- Daily stretching & mild physical activity
I used to suffer quite often from Costochondritis flares and almost always did they coincide with my Gastroparesis flares. When I was able to get my GP under control, I noticed the less frequent, and now almost never, flares from Costochondritis.
Hopefully, this was helpful if you are suffering from one or both of these conditions.
If you have any questions for me at all, please reach out and I would love to help you start feeling better ASAP.
Until next time,
Keep it Fresh. Keep it Simple. Keep it Real.