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Friday, December 05, 2008 K.D., Community Member, asks

Q: Should I be concerned about chest pain with tightness in left arm and tingling in finger tips?

I experienced some very strong pains tonight in the middle of my chest behind my left breast. The shooting pains were followed by a tightening sensation along my left arm to my finger tips and also to my left shoulder and lower jaw. My fingertips on 2 fingers on my left hand became slightly numb/tingly and have remained that way now since the chest pain occurred 20 minutes ago. I am a 38 year old female who doesn't smoke and is not on the pill. However, I am currently on my monthly menstruation cycle and have been clotting more than normal. Should I be concerned about the chest pain??

 

Thanks,

 

K.D.

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Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
12/ 5/08 9:07am

K.D.

 

Thanks for your question.

 

I am very concerned with your pain and other symptoms.  If any of them are still present, I urge you to go to the emergency room right away. 

 

Chest pain is always a concern and can be challenging to diagnose, especially in females and diabetics who can manifest heart disease in more ways than males.  This is a symptoms that needs immediate evaluation to be sure that your heart is OK.  This is the safest and smartest approach to this problem.

 

There are several other possibilities for your discomfort, but none as serious as heart disease.  So get checked out.  If your symptoms have completely resolved, then you should call your doctor and ask to be seen as soon as possible.

 

As far as your menstrual cycle is concerned, it sounds like your bleeding is heavy.  Menstrual flow usually does not clot, and when it does, it usually indicates a higher than normal amount of bleeding.  Have the doctors check you for anemia.  You should also check with your gynecologist about this situation.

 

I recognize that you are very young, but this approach is the safest for patients of all ages.

 

Best wishes and feel better.

 

Martin Cane, M.D.

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By K.D., Community Member— Last Modified: 09/06/13, First Published: 12/05/08