please help; desperate - are these blood clot symptoms?
hi all, i am a 20year old male. back in november i started getting lots of twitching in my left leg. i thought maybe it was from my job of being a cashier. i was a cashier for 3 years and would stand for several hours. and i am also a computer junkie so i can sit at the pc for several hours. well i tried working out a lil bit but not much at all. i started becoming an anxious and depressed person because of the twitching. i don't know what's causing it. well one day in january i was lifting weights and i had finished doing a set on my left leg. well right after i finished i felt like my heart was beating out of control. it was beating really fast, at least 180bpm. when i got to the nurse it was 90bpm so it was alright. my doctor says it's anxiety and gave me lexapro. i have been having anxiety ever since, well thats what the doctors think. im not taking anything, never even really started taking the lexapro. beginning in march i began developing pain in my left leg, a very dull pain. it hurts the most after sitting down for a while and it hurts the most in my upper quads and groin area. the twitching has somewhat spread to my left arm and now recently my right arm. around early may, i began feeling cold sensations in my left leg. it feels like little water droplets sometimes. or sometimes it's a dull cold feeling that starts spreading around my leg. this goes away after standing up for a while. i am very anxious guys because anytime i do something strenuous now my heart beats real fast but doctors say it's anxiety. in late january i woke up in the middle of the night with my heart racing and i felt like passing out. i blacked out for a min but was still conscious. went to the ER and they took an Xray of my chest, all normal. the heart racing at night has somewhat went away now. but the pain in my leg gets real bad sometimes. i have had numerous tests done: blood tests, CT scan of chest and abdomen, echocardiogram, EKG, EMG of my left leg, all kinds of hormone tests, and MRI of the brain. all normal. i am really nervous guys. i know there is an underlying cause to my anxiety. this is where i am at now: i think it is either a blood clot in my left leg causing all of these symptoms or it is my back. i have scoliosis and that may be causing the twitching and pain in my left leg and the rest of my body due to a compressed nerve in the back or maybe i have a very bad hernia somewhere that hurts when i sit down; im just speculating. i am wondering what you guys think it is, more so, is it a blood clot? the thing is... can blood clots cause so much twitching? i have no swelling or discoloration. just much pain and twitching and cold feeling in legs when i sit down. i want to believe that i dont have a blood clot at such a young age (20) and since i have no swelling or anything like that. anyhow, sorry for this being so long; please help me all. i appreciate all replies; i really need some assurance.
also i've had no surgeries except when i was 8years old. i had a tumor in my left adrenal gland so they had to remove the gland and tumor by an incision through my stomach; i made a successful recovery.
[This message has been edited by slyJohn (edited 07-30-2003).]
I'll be honest with ya, it doesn't sound like you have a clot in your leg. You mention a myriad of tests...have you had a U/S of your leg veins? You don't have any of the risk factors, really, for a DVT (deep vein thrombosis...i.e. clot) in your leg, except for MAYBE prolonged periods standing.
Listen, I'm not insulting you by saying this, but there is something called "hypervigilance" (I've mentioned this many times on other threads in this board because I notice a lot of people do it) and it's basically when one pays attention to one part of his/her body a lot more so than normal. This happens a lot with things like cancer...someone will feel a pain in his neck, think it's cancer and then whenever (s)he feels any discomfort in his neck, it is attributed to cancer. If you sat and thought right now, you probably have an itch on your arm and a pain in your head. But we don't notice these things from day to day because we've learned to filter them out.
As for your heart rate. I think anxiety is definitely a possibility as emotional changes can cause real changes in your physiology. It could also be something called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) which is a fancy way of saying that sometimes your heart's pacemaker gets a little excited and blasts off a few too many signals (it's harmless though).
The other thing I'm thinking is something interesting you mentioned about having an adrenal tumour. Did you mention this at all to the doctors?
Let me ask you something: when you are experiencing these fast heartbeats, do you find you have other symptoms like any of the following sweating, anxiety, nausea, feeling hot etc.?
How does the whole fast heart rate thing happen? You're just sitting there, it all of a sudden starts happening and then it goes away a few minutes later?
woohoo, got a reply thanks a whole bunch; you let a whole lot of tension off of me. i asked the doctor who did the emg on my leg if i had dvt and she said no and that she could tell just by looking at me clinically but im still scared of dvt for some reason just cause of the pain. to answer your questions, when my symptoms began my doctor decided to get a 24hr urine sample. So I was tested for that adrenal tumor again and nothing was found. I have normal adrenal hormones and no high blood pressure which is a big symptom of the tumor. My anxiety is triggered from my fast heart rate. This has been going on since January. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and I would be rather anxious somewhat and the moment I sat up my heart would start racing (felt like around 150bpm) and I would sit there scared to death thinking I was going to die. I must also mention I wore a 2day holter monitor during these attacks and the cardiologist said he didn't see anything wrong other than anxiety and that my average heart rate when asleep is 48 which is normal for me. I am scared to do anything strenuous because I feel as if my heart is beating out of control (at a steady rate but just really fast). It feels worse when I finish doing something streneuous because my heart is still going fast as I am trying to rest. Perhaps you are right; I have been rather conscious of my heart ever since my first attack in the weight room. I've tried to think logically why this began in the first place when I have been an athlete most of my life. I was thinking maybe because I have not been eating as much due to my anxiety that began in November, and then when I hit the weight room in January and had my first heart racing anxiety episode; my body just didn't have the resources to accomodate the straining I was putting on my body maybe. Also I am very underweight, 125lb at 6ft tall, don't know if that has anything to do with it. I haven't had an ultrasound of my legs but would like to just to put my mind at ease. I simply do not know what is causing my pain in my leg when I sit down and it's driving my crazy. But yeah I don't get any other symptoms with my anxiety other than fast heart rate which mainly begins after doing something streneuous and I also get a little dizzy. I want to believe my doctors and say it's all anxiety but I just can't because there has to be a reason my leg hurts all the time when I sit down. There is also another thing that I have not told anyone yet. There have been a couple times where my heart has raced while resting in the morning and both times I had or was eating a bowl of cereal. Should I get allergy tests maybe? I don't know; I'm just trying to stretch out for answers for everything. I am considering what you are saying about me thinking about a part of my body too much. I am always putting my hand on my heart checking my rate and checking my blood pressure. I will try to stop that but for now, I'm worried I have some kind of circulatory problems that is causing my pain and is making me feel those strange cold spots around my legs and sometimes other parts of my body. well, sorry for the long post; i could go on and on. do you recommend any more tests i should get or do you think it is all anxiety? thanks for you help!
i wanted to mention one more thing. i do not see any hernia nor does any doctor where my pain is in the femoral and groin area. but is it still possible that i have a muscle that is out of place and is restricting bloodflow to my leg when i sit down?
It is just your anxiety causing your heart to race. It is comletely psychosomatic. You don't have the symptoms of blood clots at all. Usually you don't really have many symptoms when you have a blood clot, only dizziness, lightheadedness and shortness of breath. No twitching or anything like that. I would venture to say that the scolliosis is your problem. That is very common for the nerve to be pinched since your back is not alligned properly and cause spasms in the lower extremity.
thanks for your advice. i will have to get my back checked out i guess. these twitches are giving me a lot of anxiety because sometimes my heart feels like it is twitching and is really making me uncomfortable. the twitching has spread around my chest area i think. a part of me thinks my heart is moving but i think its just my muscles around my ribs twitching, i dont know. im not sure what is causing the pain in my left leg but im gonna have to assume it's my back for now.
Just curious. Do you take an inhaler or have had/have exercise enduced asthma? Or have you ever or now taking ephedrine supplements? Those things could cause rapid heart rate. Even if you're taking certain over the counter medications for cold symptoms.
I don't take any supplements or have an inhaler or anything like that. I frequent the panic disorder forum many times because that's all they can see so far. Maybe it really just is panic attacks, but what makes it worse is that I do not know the cause for my constant left leg pain, mainly when I sit down. I am afraid it is some type of blood clot around my groin area causing pain radiation down my leg. Again, the pain occurs mostly when I am sitting down like right now. My leg also starts to feel cold although it is not actually cold. One doctor thinks it is sciatica that I am experiencing rather than blood circulation problems. I think it comes down to these two, either blood flow problems or sciatica, but I just don't know.
You said that you are underweight....have you been losing weight since the heart-racing episodes started? Also, you mentioned you had hormone tests done...did they happen to check your thyroid levels? Palpitations and weight loss can be symptoms of a thyroid disorder. If you haven't had these checked, you might want to ask your doc to check them. And, of course, the panic disorder/anxiety would be the other possibility as the others have mentioned. As far as the leg twitching goes, I have been having the "twitching" in the leg and was told it was sciatica as well. With that, there isn't much that can be done other than pain meds. Take care.
yes i have lost some weight since the heart racing started. but the anxiety began a few months before the heart racing and thats when i started to not eat as much. i have had thyroid studies done and my hormones are normal but my TSH is low, so I have subclinical hyperthyroidism which is really nothing serious and is not worth treating. i have found my appetite back and have been eating a lot now and my panic attacks are actually subsiding now. but i am still very worried and want some vascular studies done. i mean when i had my first attack in the weight room, i probably was close to having a stroke, i dont know. but today i have been having sharp pains throughout my body and lots of twitching and these cold pins/needles feelings. i really think i have a blood clot for some reason.
I really felt I should answer this post as I did have a pulmonary embolism. It traveled from my left leg up through my heart and into my lungs. I survived but it was a very close call. Very.
My bloodclot resulted from having surgery on a broken ankle. Once they took the cast off I called the dr and told them my leg was hot and red. They told me to elevate it. The next day I went to work (on crutches still) and while I was sitting at my desk I suddenly felt faint. Then I felt like my heart stopped just for a second, like I blacked out for a second still sitting there. I literally felt it in my heart area.
Then immediately I felt like I could not breathe well.
(later I was told the sensation I felt was when the clot went through my heart. I was very lucky it pushed on through) Long story short, I went to the medical facility on site and my pulse was very high. If I layed down it slowed down.
I ended up at the hospital and they found the clot had traveled to my left lung and was in intensive care for two weeks.
From this experience I can tell you that a blood clot that makes it to your lungs will cause EXTREME shortness of breath, especially when standing. You feel like you are going to faint. Your pulse races.
However, to be sure, those same symptoms are just like an anxiety attack.
I believe they need to take a closer look at your leg. Likely it is not a clot at all, but it could be either a circulation problem or nerve compression from your back.
As to the twitching, no a blood clot would not cause that. But certainly spinal problems would. Also, have them run bloodwork for B12, Potassium, and other minerals that a defiency in would cause twitching.
Stress can aggravate twitching but generally won't cause it, except for the twitches people get in their eyes sometimes. From what you descibe it sounds like your back may be a big factor in that.
But for your peace of mind, have them xray and look at your leg closer. They can figure out quickly what is going on there, and rule out a blood clot. It is unlikely it is one, but I would let them check so they can figure out what is causing your problem.
Forgot to add, the pins and needles sensations can be a form of neuropathy, which again could be related to either mineral deficiencies or your back problems.
A friend of mine kept having the neuropathy so they tested her for B12 and it was very low. Put her on B12 and symptoms disappeared quickly.
wow i havent been in this forum for a while but i checked this thread about the same time you replied. thanks. ive had a MRI of my entire back and a full body bone scan and all is normal. I had an Xray of my femur back in April when the pain began and that was normal so my back and nerves are ok. I do think I have a deficiency in minerals or I recently am looking up info on hypoglycemia. I am going to get this checked out asap. I don't think I have a blood clot now due to the length of time I've had this pain; I think something that I am eating is causing my very fast heart rate or low blood sugar. I really would like an ultrasound of my leg for peace of mind though.
I am very happy that you recovered from your PE. That must have been VERY frightening. Many people would not have made it through what you went through. I am always afraid of getting a PE cause my leg hurts so bad sometimes. I hope to find answers of what is causing my pain soon. oh, I mean to ask, about how long from the date of the surgery did you have your pulmonary embolism?
[This message has been edited by slyJohn (edited 09-06-2003).]