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Q. I had a swelling in my chest, which moved to my abdomen, groin and ankle. What should I do?

Answered by
Dr. Prathap
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 08, 2017

Hello doctor,

I am a 48 year old male. Two months ago, I noticed what felt like a swelling in my chest. It impaired my breathing. It seemed like I could only inhale about half or less of my lung capacity. Over a week, the swelling moved into my abdomen. My stomach began to swell and look distended. After two weeks, it became painful to stand and walk as my stomach would stretch to full capacity. When standing, I look pregnant. The swelling moved down my body causing my groin to puff up like a pillow. Eventually, it went all the way to my ankles. After a month, pain and nausea became normal companions as my abdomen swelled even further. Eating became a challenge, as more and more foods nauseated me. Suddenly one day I became allergic to milk. I used to eat cereal with milk often. But, suddenly milk came right back up. I could not hold it down for more than half an hour. At the same time solid foods, in general, became very irritating to my stomach. This has left me mostly surviving on almond milk and cocoa.

Unfortunately, the liquid diet has its own issue. This swells my stomach painfully. The only relief is to lay on my side in a fetal position. For some reason, this relieves the pressure in my stomach. It might be worth mentioning that, I have had a hernia that has developed over the last half year. I have read somewhere about distended hernias being involved in abdominal issues. The hernia is not painful although it is awkward, as I can push stools out of a pouch beside my groin. I have been suffering from severe agoraphobia for four years, which is why I have not yet gone to a doctor about this. I cannot get anyone in the medical industry to understand the terror leaving my house causes. They all say 'come to my clinic and I will help you.' They do not understand the crippling terror that would cause. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Prathap

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to

  • This sort of progression of swelling from the abdomen to the groin and then to the ankles is usually seen in liver diseases or due to a local abdomen pathology compressing the inferior vena cava.
  • Sorry to tell you, but it is impossible to find out the exact cause without getting an ultrasound of the abdomen and other tests. So, in spite of your phobia, in order to get a solution for your problem, you need to visit your doctor for an ultrasound of abdomen and pelvis.
  • Even a hernia can cause an obstruction and compression of the inferior vena cava. If it is the cause, you will need to get a hernia surgery. So, go to a doctor and get the tests done.

For more information consult an internal medicine online -->

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