Randomly getting a pump in one arm?
April 9, 2014 6:35 PM   Subscribe

While working out tonight, I walked/ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill and started to warm up with light weights (one set of overhead barbell press). I then noticed that my left arm was engorged with blood - like a “pump” as if I had been working out intensely for a while, but my right was not. The medical advice line thought it wasn't cardiac, but I'd like to figure out what the cause might be.

This began in my upper left arm and continued down to my palm, which was pink. My right arm was completely normal. It's now an hour and a half later and my left arm still looks a bit pink.

While running, I had a little bit of sensitivity in my left delt and pec but didn't think much of it.

Relevant info: I'm male, early 30s, 5'9" 165 lbs. I've been lifting somewhat consistently for over three years, with less consistent cardio. My blood pressure used to be high (140/90) but now is usually normal at rest unless I'm tired or nervous. I was inoculated with hookworm (helminthic therapy) in my left bicep 17 days ago, but the larvae should be in my intestines by now so I don't think that's the cause.
posted by Sexy Question Bot to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds like a blood clot or something similarly serious. You need to go to emergency pronto.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:42 PM on April 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: My hookworm provider told me that while he hasn't seen this occur himself, he has read papers describing swelling at the inoculation site at this point in the timeline, when the inflammatory response to the worms is starting. He is not worried about a clot.

The condition of my left arm is now basically identical to my right.

Still, I will give the urgent care line one more call.
posted by Sexy Question Bot at 7:17 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well if your hookworm provider is blase about it... I don't know, this is life and death stuff we're talking about here.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:14 PM on April 9, 2014

You intentionally put a parasite in your left arm a few weeks ago, and this arm is now filling with blood and turning red. You need to go to a doctor.
posted by jpdoane at 8:54 PM on April 9, 2014 [11 favorites]

Doctor, and soon!
posted by drhydro at 10:27 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

What have you got to lose by physically going to the doctor?
posted by Chutzler at 11:19 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go to the doctor. I'm also concerned about your choice to use hookworms. I don't know your medical conditions and quite frankly had never heard of hookworm therapy (and it is not legal in the US according to Dr. Google) and am not a doctor. But my guess is you have other symptoms and you're desperately looking for some relief. This all screams doctor ASAP.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:14 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Absolutely seek medical attention, and NOT from your "hookworm provider". I get that maybe you are hesitant because you know that you very possibly could get guff for having had someone inject you with a parasite, I get that you'd probably want to avoid that awkwardness.

But dude, seriously... do not roll the dice on this one.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:22 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

HEY. Just go to the ER. Walk in, tell them your deal, let them run a few tests.

I had never been to the ER before this weekend when I started having intense chest pain and lightheadedness that wouldn't go away. I really didn't want to go for so many reasons -- I didn't want to be embarrassed if it wasn't actually a big deal, I was afraid of it actually being a big deal, I was in denial of having a problem at all -- but in the end, I just walked in.

They checked me out and it turns out I'll be fine. When I tried to apologize for coming in with a false alarm, every person stopped me and said "you should never ignore chest pain and hope for the best, getting checked out is the right thing to do".

Having your arm mysteriously swollen with blood is absolutely an ER-worthy thing to get checked out.
posted by the jam at 8:55 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Are you still reading this thread? Stop reading this thread unless it's on your phone and you're in the ER waiting room. For real.
posted by the jam at 8:56 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I saw the doc today, she said it doesn't look like a clot or an infection so I shouldn't worry about it.

My hookworm doctor said that I could take Benadryl and it should reduce any hookworm-related symptoms (which could be starting around this time), so I'll be doing that to confirm it's related.
posted by Sexy Question Bot at 9:36 AM on April 10, 2014

If you are freaking out about helminthic therapy, please at least check Wikipedia before you post. It is a treatment for auto-immune disorders (i.e. for problems which arise when your body's immune system can't tell the good guys from the bad guys) that appears to have helped at least a few people with conditions that were otherwise resistant to traditional medicine.
posted by Poppa Bear at 10:10 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Helminthic therapy does sound kind of freaky. I mean, I traveled to another country to get infected with worms. That's pretty weird. But the evidence is there that it's safe and (at least for many people) effective in alleviating immune and inflammatory conditions. It's very "paleo" for people who are into evolution.
posted by Sexy Question Bot at 11:04 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The condition has slowly diminished. Occasionally my left arm will still look a bit pinker after exercise, but not usually anymore. I am going to assume it was a side effect of the worms unless proven otherwise.
posted by Sexy Question Bot at 10:12 AM on June 4, 2014

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