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Shooting pian that starts in left abdomen, goes to back of arm to elbow. Is it heart attack ?

I have this weird shooting pian that starts in my left abdomen and goes through the back of my arm to my elbow . It feels like a shock kind of pain, not stabbing or throbbing. It has happened twice this week. Is this a heart attack or something else--I m female if this helps--I know that it is different for each gender.
Asked On : Fri, 16 Nov 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  35
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Cardiologist 's  Response
classical charecter of heart pain is mainly chest pain , increase in intensity on exertion and decrease on rest
pain may from jaw to upper abdomen but never below umbilicus
from your history its less likely of heart pain
take care
Answered: Fri, 16 Nov 2012
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Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr. Sheeba Stephen's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

The description of your symptoms is not 'typical' of a heart attack. The typical presentation of a heart attack is a retro-sternal chest pain (at the centre of the chest) which is crushing or squeezing and can radiate to the left shoulder or arm.

However, you must remember that there can be several atypical presentations and about one-third of patients who have had a heart attack can have no pain or just minimal discomfort only. The risk assessment for a heart attack is based on various factors such as age, sex, presence of medical risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, pre-existing heart disease, obesity, smoking, etc. When in doubt or when there are any risk factors present, it is always better to have a proper evaluation done.

Certain other conditions like acute cholecystitis (inflamation of the gall bladder) or acute pancreatitis (inflamation of the pancreas) can present with abdominal pain radiating to the shoulder.

Since your symptoms are significant and causing you trouble, I would strongly suggest that you see a doctor for a thorough physical examination and further evaluation, if necessary.

Best wishes,
Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Answered: Fri, 16 Nov 2012
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