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What causes severe pain in upper chest and tingling sensation in left arm?

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Posted on Wed, 20 May 2015
Question: I woke up with a severe pain in my upper chest. My left arm began to feel tingly . I took 2 tums, the chest pain went away but mt arm still feels funny, I am not short of breath, am I having a heart attack?
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (12 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
This is possible

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

first of all if you woke up because of the pain then this is most likely something serious. Heart related pain may sometimes be relieved by itself so the fact that tums made you feel better is not a definite reason to attribute your symptoms to the gastrointestinal system.

I'll mention a few potential causes of your problem (the most serious ones).
- angina: this is heart related pain (heart attack). It could be a pain of short duration (15 minutes or so, which is called angina) or a more severe long lasting pain (more than 30 minutes, myocardial infarction). In any case this is medical emergency.
- gastrointestinal pain: could be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcer. Although you found relief in tums, the location and severity of the pain makes this possibility less likely.

So in conclusion, even if you're perfectly fine right now, you should visit the emergency room at once to check your heart with an electrocardiogram and blood tests. More tests and inverventions might be needed depending on the results.

Contact me again, if you have more questions or need clarifications.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3764 Questions

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What causes severe pain in upper chest and tingling sensation in left arm?

Brief Answer: This is possible Detailed Answer: Hello, first of all if you woke up because of the pain then this is most likely something serious. Heart related pain may sometimes be relieved by itself so the fact that tums made you feel better is not a definite reason to attribute your symptoms to the gastrointestinal system. I'll mention a few potential causes of your problem (the most serious ones). - angina: this is heart related pain (heart attack). It could be a pain of short duration (15 minutes or so, which is called angina) or a more severe long lasting pain (more than 30 minutes, myocardial infarction). In any case this is medical emergency. - gastrointestinal pain: could be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcer. Although you found relief in tums, the location and severity of the pain makes this possibility less likely. So in conclusion, even if you're perfectly fine right now, you should visit the emergency room at once to check your heart with an electrocardiogram and blood tests. More tests and inverventions might be needed depending on the results. Contact me again, if you have more questions or need clarifications. Kind Regards!