ZocdocAnswersWhat's wrong with my husband?

Question

What's wrong with my husband?

My husband is nearly 70 and has begun suffering from several strange symptoms. He has headaches, and some trouble with memory loss - but he also recently began complaining of feeling giddy, like his heart was racing and he wanted to laugh even though nothing was funny. What's wrong with him?

Answer

It sounds like your husband has multiple problems going on all at once. Whenever someone has multiple different issues and it is unclear whether they are related, then the best type of physician you should see is a primary care physician such as an internist. Your husband then may warrant referral to a neurologist or cardiologist depending on his initial evaluation. The symptom combination that bothers me the most is the onset of new headaches with your report of memory loss. Patients that have this combination need to have their head imaged to make sure that they do not have a brain tumor. Memory loss itself should be evaluated because he is in the right age group to begin developing dementia. Dementia is best treated when it is in its early stages further supporting the urgency of your husband being seen. His symptoms of feeling giddy and his heart racing are a little more difficult to pinpoint, but it is possible that his headaches are related. Any time anyone develops feelings of the heart racing, it is always important to get checked out for a heart arrhythmia. An internist is a good first physician to see because he or she can work each of these symptoms out and determine what the next best step is. Good luck.

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