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Arm Pain & Alcohol

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Old 02-24-2002, 09:46 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 4
starbase99 HB User
Post Arm Pain & Alcohol

I'm a 46 year old male in good health. About 15 minutes after having beer or vodka, I experience severe pain in my left arm at the triceps/shoulder areas and across my chest and back. After taking aspirin, the pain will subside in about an hour. This has been happening for the last 11 months. Obviously, I haven't had many drinks since this started happening.

Since the first occurence of these symptoms, I noticed that I have periodic dull achiness in my left triceps and neck even when I do not consume alcohol. I also have been experiencing fatigue and some dizziness. An MRI showed a mild bulging disk at C7. The orthopedist did not consider the bulge significant enough to be causing the pain. A neurolgist gave me an EMG which showed nothing abnormal. I have been in physical therapy for the past month but the pain in my left arm has not gotten better or worse.

The doctors don't think it's cardiac related. I went to my primary care physician who did an EKG which matched an EKG which was taken a year earlier when I had experienced chest pains. A cardiologist gave me a stress test in addition to other cardio tests which were all normal. Also, I feel better when exercising. The pain is more severe when I am inactive.

Could there be some chemical in my body which is constantly causing the pain which is exacerbated when alcohol is introduced? I have had blood tests that have revealed nothing. Of course the right thing has to be checked for in order to get the proper diagnosis.

Any suggestions of what other tests to do or what might be causing my problem?

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Old 03-14-2002, 11:55 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Denton, Tx
Posts: 83
miseryweeps HB User

See the other post about alcohol alergies. I cannot drink anything malted like beer and certain types of vodka. Same symtoms. Try rum and see if you get the same reaction, but keep some bread handy. Hope this helps.

Old 08-25-2004, 02:20 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 172
NinjaCowboy HB User
Re: Arm Pain & Alcohol

I could be way off here, and I'm not sure if alcohol could trigger this, but isn't pain (or numbness) down your left arm a sign of a heart attack or other heart problem?

Old 08-25-2004, 06:17 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 941
chigs489 HB User
Re: Arm Pain & Alcohol


have you had any medications in the last year? Specifically antibiotics such as Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro or Tequin?

It sounds neurological to me. The bulging disk may very well be aggravating peripheral nerves in the arm. Just because a doctor says "I don't think it is from the disk", doesn't mean he is right.

Case in point, I went to my ENT months ago complaining of dizziness. I said "I think it's probably sinus related -maybe an infection." He said "I don't think so. You should check with a neurologist." Turns out I was right -a CT Scan showed swelling in the sinuses.

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