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Old 10-17-2010, 07:28 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 50
laughitoff HB User
Exclamation sudden, sharp chest pains on left side

For a few years now, I've been having these unexplained chest pains. These are my symptoms:

1.) sharp/stabbing: It feels like being stabbed by a knife. It takes my breath away, literally. When it happens, I might let out a gasp, or stop talking (for the brief moment that it lasts).
2.) left side: It always occurs on the left side of my chest, directly behind my left breast.
3.) sudden/acute onset: In a split second, it's there. There's no dull ache or anything before hand.
4.) short duration: The pain only lasts for a few seconds, but is severe. Sometimes, I might feel a very dull tightness immediately after (localized to just that small area on the left).
5.) not always just 1: The stabbing can happen just once (usually), or I might have a few of them. If I have more than one, they can be separated by just a few seconds, or even a few hours.
6.) unpredictable: I can't identify anything that triggers them. They can happen any time, any place, with no warning signs. They've happened to me while sleeping, during class, walking down the sidewalk, watching TV, etc. And no, they do not seem to be correlated with physical exertion/exercise or stress.
7.) infrequent: I may go months without experiencing one.

I've been told that it's anxiety, or gas. I disagree strongly with both. I know that I have anxiety. When I am feeling anxious, not only am I able to identify the feeling myself, but I am able to explain to other people how the anxiety manifests itself (how I'm feeling at that particular moment), why I feel that way, and also what I can do that will calm me down. I know what an anxiety/panic attack feels like, and this pain is totally unlike anything anxiety/panic-related that I've ever personally experienced. I am also completely calm before, during, and after the pain. I've actually never experienced this chest pain while I've been aware of feeling anxious. I also know what my symptoms are when I am "gassy." If these pains were caused by gas, wouldn't I eventually have to fart? When I have these pains, I am not bloated, my tummy's not making funny noises, the pain doesn't spread/change location, and I don't have to fart.

I've had 2 EKGs to try to figure out what this is, and they both came back "normal." However, neither of the EKGs were conducted while I was having the chest pain.

Anyone got any ideas?

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