Category : Cold Hand Disease

Cold Hand Disease Hand Raynaud's Phenomenon

Cold Hands May Signal Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Close up of young beautiful woman hands holding hot cup of coffee or tea. Morning coffee cold season office coffee break or coffee lover concept.

from the New York Times

The adage “Cold hands, warm heart” might describe me accurately if it also included “cold feet.” Every autumn, even before the leaves begin to fall from their airy perch, I begin an annual search for better ways to keep my hands and feet from freezing during the coming winter.

My investment in mittens and boots could stock a store and includes what is touted as the warmest of warm, but so far no product has been sufficiently protective. The popular advice, “Move to a warmer climate,” doesn’t mesh with my life’s interests, and so the search continues.

I may or may not have a version of Raynaud’s phenomenon, but I can surely empathize with those who do. First described in 1862 by a French medical student named Maurice Raynaud, it is characterized by highly localized cold-induced spasms of small blood vessels that disrupt blood flow to the extremities, most often the fingers and toes and sometimes also the tips of the ears and nose.

Viewed in the best possible light, it is a patriotic disorder: Affected areas typically turn white when vessels collapse and cut off blood flow, then blue for lack of oxygen-rich blood, then red as blood flow is gradually restored when the areas rewarm.

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Cold Hand Disease Finger Hand

How to know if you have Cold Hand Disease

Close up of young beautiful woman hands holding hot cup of coffee or tea. Morning coffee cold season office coffee break or coffee lover concept.

Do your hands always seem cold? You may have cold hand disease, which is a condition that can occur due to a decrease in blood flow in the hand. Here are some signs that you may have this disease:

  1. Your hands are cold even in mild weather.
  2. Your fingers hurt in cold temperatures.
  3. You have to wear gloves when handling frozen foods.
  4. Your hands turn a shade of blue, white or red sometimes.
  5. Minor cuts on your fingers take longer to heal than normal.

In a normal hand, blood travels from the heart, down the arm, all the way to the fingertips, which keeps the hands warm. In an individual with cold hand disease, blood flow is decreased due to vasoconstriction (when the blood vessels in the hand become smaller, allowing less blood to flow) or vaso-occlusion (when the normal process of temporarily applying more muscle pressure to your blood vessels becomes abnormally strong or prolonged).

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