Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

What could be causing the sharp, stabbing, radiating chest pains on/beneath my left breast?

By Anonymous May 7, 2012 - 1:07pm
Rate This

I've been having some episodes of really sharp pains in my left breast, though it may be my chest, I'm not sure how to really tell the difference (D cup) but I feel as if it's in my chest. Last night, the sharp pains would increase and began to run down the inside of my upper left arm, and occassionally shoot through to my back. Almost like if you were to draw a lightening bolt from my chest down the inside of my left arm, this is what I would imagine the pain path to be. They only last for about 2-5 seconds, but have been coming on more frequently of late. I'm not a healthy person, 36 years old, about 100 lbs over weight (as long as I can remember), high blood pressure (taking meds since I was 16), insulin resistent, not diabetic (yet), and hypothroidism. I've also been diagnosed in the past with a Mild Mitral Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation. I have arrhythmia and high blood pressure for which I take 50 mg atenolol twice a day. I also take Prevacid every day for GERD. Recently my Levothyroxin was upped from 175 to 200 mcg. I take 325mg aspirin daily, as well as a vitamin. I hesitate to go to the ER because the last time I went thinking it was my heart, it turned out to be that my dose of thyroid hormone was too high. Also, in the past couple of weeks that this has been ocurring, I have become EXTREMELY tired. Now believe me when I say I know tired, I KNOW tired. Having had hypothyroidism for years, I know tired. This tired is much worse, an extreme fatigue. I'm too tired to function, even though I have no other choice but to do so anyway (mother of 2 girls, 11 & 14). I haven't been sleeping good, but I feel like this tired is something completely different. I've had some "flutter" spells with my heart, not uncommon with me (for which I avoid caffeine). Also, occassionally will have the cold sweats and nausea, but having the stomach problems, I don't know what's what; however, have yet to have these with the chest pains. I'm not anemic, cholesterol is good, though my good cholesterol is very low, runs around 25 give or take a few. This is hereditary for my family, all have low LDL. Had lab work about a month ago and all was fine, but the pains have started since then. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary for me, like moving furniture, or throwing a ball, or coughing too hard, nothing I can think of that would cause it to be a pulled muscle, etc. It's just strange to me, and very worisome, that it's only my left side. Were it on both sides, I'd come more to believing in a pulled something. Also, if a woman's heart attack symptoms vary so much from a mans (which according to research they do), how are we supposed to know the difference in heart related issues, stomache issues, hormone imbalances, etc? Seeking advice and I'm thanking you in advance!

Add a Comment1 Comments


Hello Anonymous,
Get to the emergency room immediately. Sudden onset of sharp, stabbing chest pain that radiates down your arm and to your back strongly indicates a heart attack. You have too many risk factors to ignore this warning sign.

You are correct. In comparison to men, women experience different symptoms. According to the American Heart Association:

Heart Attack Signs in Women

Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

Please do not wait for another attack. Call your doctor and inform him or her that you have had these symptoms and are going to your local emergency room. Your doctor can meet you there or advise you accordingly.


May 7, 2012 - 3:55pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Heart Attack

Get Email Updates

Heart Attack Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!