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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2592
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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My 38 yo son is complaining of a racing heart with a feeling

Customer Question

My 38 yo son is complaining of a racing heart with a feeling of a Charlie-horse type achiness in his triceps area of his left arm with numbness & tingling running down arm from his elbow to his hand, particularly his pinky finger. He felt some chest tightness about 5 hrs ago which has since gone away. He denies SOB,dizziness or nausea. Could this be an anxiety attack or more serious heart attack symptoms? Should he go to an ER? Could a blood clot develop in his triceps area? He denies any injury. Should he take any OTC med or apply heat or cold to the area. TY
JA: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that seems to make the symptoms better or worse?
Customer: About 6 hrs. He noticed onset after drinking 2 cups caffeinated coffee this afternoon. however he usually drinks only 1 cup per day without being bothered by it.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: our family history does include experiencing anxiety attacks & my son has experienced slight ones before, but he says symptoms were different in past.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

has he had anxiety attacks before?

it would be very unusual for him to have a heart attack at age 38

if he has had anxiety and panic attacks before, then most likely anxiety or panic attack symptoms are causing his racing heart and muscle cramps

blood clots would cause swelling in the arm and would be very unlikely at his age.

he may be dehydrated or low in potassium which can cause muscle cramps in the arm.

make sure he drinks more fluid and orange juice to get potassium in his system and use warm heat to his arm

and if he has anxiety medications like xanax or ativan, he can take them.

the caffeine doesn't help either and most likely is dehydrating him and causing his fast heart rate.