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What is the cause of pain in the left side of my body?

Q: I am having pain in the left side of my body since the past 5 years. The pain starts from the left side of stomach, chest, back and goes up and ends at left ear with the throat also being effected. Additionally, I have flickerings on left side of eyes. I was also suffering from depression for which I have been taking Venlafaxine 75 mg twice daily that has provided some relief. The doctor has additionally given me Lansoprazole 30mg one daily and Alprazolam .25mg on SOS basis. Can you please throw some light as to what may be the root cause for my problem?

A:Your combination of symptoms do not truly fit into my domain of expertise, but let me explain. You have pain on the left of the body with radiation of pain to different organ systems including stomach, chest, throat, ear, etc. In medicine symptoms are a clue to diagnosis and we look at a combination of symptoms and physical signs as seen on clinical examination to help arrive at a diagnosis. One of the guidelines in this is to see if the entire range of symptoms can be explained on the basis of one disease. Often however, there are multiple causes. But by and large we try to explain a majority of symptoms on one particular disease process. Looking at the nature of your symptoms and your mentioning about your treatment for depression seems almost to lead to a diagnosis of physical ailments as a consequence of an episode of depression. However, certain ailments can present with physical ailments along with symptoms of mood alteration. These conditions must be excluded before you can be called as having some psychiatric/psychological problems. Thyroid disorder or para-thyroid disorder can at times present in this manner. There may be no objective findings on routine examinations. A diagnosis of this nature is best made by a good internal physician. I would suggest that you locate one in your area and meet him. If he also recommends treatment for your depression perhaps you need to seek help for such a condition.

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