Category : Raynaud’s Phenomenon

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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