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Old 09-03-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
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Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Sometimes, especially when it's cold, my fingers and toes become numb and stark white, the nails tinted blue/purple. On rare occasions, when it's not even cold, one of my middle fingers will do the same thing. The only way I can get them back to normal is by rubbing them and running them under warm water for a while, then they start to throb and turn bright red. About a week ago it was humid and around 90F here, then the temp dropped about 15 degrees (to about 75F) and it's been that way for the past week. Well now I'm freezing at night and my hands haven't gone numb but they've been extremely cold and my nails somewhat blue/purple. And in general, throughout the year, my hands and feet are more often cold than they are warm. Does anyone know why this could be? I figured it was related to blood/vessels/circulation, but I could be wrong. Just as a note, I have a neurology appointment next month to check out some really bad daily headaches I've had for years and whooshing pulsatile tinnitus.

 
Old 09-03-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Quote:
Originally Posted by popprincess18 View Post
Sometimes, especially when it's cold, my fingers and toes become numb and stark white, the nails tinted blue/purple. On rare occasions, when it's not even cold, one of my middle fingers will do the same thing. The only way I can get them back to normal is by rubbing them and running them under warm water for a while, then they start to throb and turn bright red. About a week ago it was humid and around 90F here, then the temp dropped about 15 degrees (to about 75F) and it's been that way for the past week. Well now I'm freezing at night and my hands haven't gone numb but they've been extremely cold and my nails somewhat blue/purple. And in general, throughout the year, my hands and feet are more often cold than they are warm. Does anyone know why this could be? I figured it was related to blood/vessels/circulation, but I could be wrong. Just as a note, I have a neurology appointment next month to check out some really bad daily headaches I've had for years and whooshing pulsatile tinnitus.
Hi! Name here is Randy. DOes sound like a circulatory problem. But what is causing that? I have PV (Polycythemia Vera) which is a bone marrow disorder that causes too many blood cells to be produced. So; this makes the blood really thick and and it doesn't circulate well. My fingers & toes stay cold year around and also a tingling, numbing sensaton. THere are probably many other reasons that could cause the problem U have. I think if I were U I would have a full blood test series run.
Best Wishes & Best of Luck!
Randy

 
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Hi I am new to this board and I cannot seem to find out how to post a new comment.
I have just recently been told I have plycythemia vera and i have many questions. Could you help by telling me how to post a new comment.

Thanks

 
Old 09-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #4
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Just click on "New Thread" (it's a blue box).

 
Old 09-04-2009, 05:00 PM   #5
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaJD View Post
Hi I am new to this board and I cannot seem to find out how to post a new comment.
I have just recently been told I have plycythemia vera and i have many questions. Could you help by telling me how to post a new comment.

Thanks
Hi Julia! Just click on the "quick qoute" or "quick reply" button. I have had PV for going on 15 years now and will be 61 years young this month. PV has many differnt side effects. I started out with an itch on the inside of my fore arms and lower legs ( from knees to ankles). Then the really bad itch started after a hot shower. I had a stop sign red face,tighhtness across my chest, anxiety, sleeplessness, cold feet and hands, tingling fingers & toes. I am on 1000 mg hydrea, 1mg agrilyde, 81 mg aspirin, 40 mg zoloft, and 3 mg xannax. I went for close to 2 years without a phlebotomy and then in February of this year I had to have one and another in March and again in July and 1 in August. THe level my hematologist watches closest is the hematicrit level and that is a ratio of solid blood to liquid blood. He has my cut off at 48%. @ 50% blood would be half solid and half liquid. It seems like when I scratch myself I bleed forever; but, when they do the phlebotomy sometimes its hard to get it to flow. I forgot! The worst part of this disorder for me is extreme fatigue; and of course in a youger person the energy level may be better. I hope I have given U a little insite into PV or my experience with it. The good news is that it's treatable and U can live many years with it. If I can help with questions U may think of; just post back here. I check this post frequently.
Best Wishes & God Bless;
Randy

Last edited by Pottsey1; 09-04-2009 at 05:05 PM.

 
Old 09-04-2009, 05:07 PM   #6
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Sometimes when I'm taking a shower and the water is too hot, I get out and my thighs are red and really itchy. I also have anxiety, depression, and fatigue, but I know the causes of those.

 
Old 09-05-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Quote:
Originally Posted by popprincess18 View Post
Sometimes when I'm taking a shower and the water is too hot, I get out and my thighs are red and really itchy. I also have anxiety, depression, and fatigue, but I know the causes of those.
Yes the hot water will definitely bring on the itch. I try to adjust it where it is warm; but not cold. I try to dry thoroughly; especially the arms and legs. Then I use a lot of skin moisturizer. In the cooler months when the water needs to be hotter I'll take a benadryl or two about 15-20 minutes before showering. I take two benadryls every night at bedtime; because I get the occassional night sweats and that brings on the itching as well.
Take care & God Bless!!
Randy

 
Old 09-06-2009, 11:50 PM   #8
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

popprincess-

These are classic symptoms of a vascular condition known as Raynaud's Syndrome. You should see a rheumatologist about it.

Here's a good desciption from the Merck Manual.

"Raynaud's syndrome is vasospasm of parts of the hand in response to cold or emotional stress, causing reversible discomfort and color changes (pallor, cyanosis, erythema, or a combination) in one or more digits. Occasionally, other acral parts (eg, nose, tongue) are affected. The disorder may be primary or secondary. Diagnosis is clinical; testing focuses on distinguishing primary from secondary disease. Treatment of uncomplicated cases includes avoidance of cold, biofeedback, smoking cessation, and, as needed, vasodilating Ca channel blockers (eg, nifedipine) or prazosin.

Overall prevalence is about 3 to 5%; women are affected more, and younger people are affected more than older. Raynaud's syndrome is probably due to an exaggerated α2-adrenergic response that triggers vasospasm; the mechanism is not defined.

Primary Raynaud's syndrome is much more common (> 80% of cases) than secondary; it occurs without symptoms or signs of other disorders. In the remaining 20% of patients with Raynaud's symptoms, a causative underlying disease (eg, scleroderma) will be evident at initial presentation or diagnosed subsequently.

Secondary Raynaud's syndrome accompanies various disorders and conditions, mostly connective tissue disorders (see Table 1: Peripheral Arterial Disorders: Causes of Secondary Raynaud's Syndrome).

Table 1


Causes of Secondary Raynaud's Syndrome
Cause
Examples

Connective tissue disorders
Mixed or undifferentiated connective tissue disease

Polymyositis/dermatomyositis

RA

Scleroderma

Sjögren's syndrome

SLE

Endocrine disorders
Hypothyroidism

Hematologic disorders
Cold agglutinin disease

Polycythemia vera

Neoplastic disorders
Carcinoid

Paraneoplastic syndrome

Neurologic disorders
Carpal tunnel syndrome

Trauma
Frost bite

Vibration

Vascular disorders
Thoracic outlet syndrome

Drugs
β-Blockers

Cocaine

Ergot preparations

Nicotine

Sympathomimetic drugs


Nicotine commonly contributes to it but is often overlooked. Raynaud's syndrome may accompany migraine headaches, variant angina, and pulmonary hypertension, suggesting that these disorders share a common vasospastic mechanism."

 
Old 09-07-2009, 05:24 AM   #9
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Thanks for that info. I already have an appointment schedule with a neurologist about daily headaches and tinnitus...Do you think I should bring this up with her? I see that one of the secondary causes might be neurological disorders.

 
Old 09-07-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

You definitely should mention it. She should order tests including a complete blood count with differential and standard chemistry and metabolics. The headache is a nonspecific sign, but the tinitus can be a sign of anemia or some medications, as well as neuro problems.

Are you on any anti-inflammatory meds?

 
Old 09-08-2009, 06:43 AM   #11
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

No, I'm not. I'm taking Loestrin 24Fe (birth control pill), Prilosec OTC (for GERD), an antidepressant called Remeron, and children's multivitamins. But I've had the cold fingers/toes problem since way before I started any of these.

The headaches are the symptom I'm most concerned about. I get at least one headache almost every day. They're really sharp/stabbing in the back of my head and my temples. They come on suddenly and last less than a minute usually, but sometimes last longer. And generally the pulsatile tinnitus comes when I bend over. I've read that the pulsatile kind is typically vascular related since it beats in time with your heart. And every time I have the tinnitus, it comes along with a sharp pain just like my headaches. And sometimes my vision gets blurry, but just for a second.

That's why I'm concerned about my cold extremities. I think it all ties in together somehow, but I have no idea how.

 
Old 11-21-2009, 12:37 AM   #12
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Julia,
I'm 59 and just been diagnosed with polycythemia, and have so many questions! I am scheduled for a bone marrow aspiration, then the doctor will have the info. he needs for the treatment I will have. He said probably we will do a combination of phlebotomies and Hydroxyurea. Do the phlebotomies hurt? Are there really bad side effects from Hydrea? Do you lose your hair? Are you able to work? (I am a school teacher)...
Please, anyone out there....Can you answer these questions? I'm a newbie to this stuff.
plynn

Last edited by plynn; 11-21-2009 at 12:38 AM.

 
Old 12-24-2009, 06:03 AM   #13
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Question Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Plynn
I also have just been diagnossed with PV. The Plebotomy isn"t to bad . I had my first one done. The needle is large. Only hurt a little when the nurse played with it. She said it was against the wall of the vein.
I have alot of questions. Sometimes my right side goes numb and I feel like I'm going to pass out. Is this normal? I worry about a stroke. I get the night sweats. I also get the freezing fingers and toes.
The big question . They say untreated from the time of diagnosses 6 to 18 months life expectancy. Well I had high count's for over a year befor going for test's. I don't understand. If I do nothing now! Would I die in 6 yo 18 month's?? Any iformation on this??
Merry Christmas Everyone
Carl

Last edited by Scrupples; 12-24-2009 at 06:05 AM. Reason: Spacing

 
Old 12-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #14
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

Carl,
How old are you? If you are under the care of a good hematologist, there should be no fear of dying any time soon. This is a manageable blood disorder. If you follow the doctor's orders, and let him know about your night sweats, numbness, and freezing fingers and toes...he should be able to recommend some remedies.
If you do nothing now, things will only get worse, and worse until you suffer a stroke, a heart attack, or a blood clot. Stay on top of it, and you will do fine.
Let me know how you are doing.
God Bless,
Plynn

 
Old 12-25-2009, 09:05 PM   #15
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Re: Freezing cold fingers/toes...??

plnn
I am 56 years old. I do have a good hematologist. I have no fear of dying. Just the manner in which I go. I have alot of questions to ask the Doc. I have my next vist on the 4th. Want to find out all I can before that. I'm not a quitter. But I'm not into prolonging life either. When they hit you with the news everything goes into a fog. At least for me. I know I asked very few questions. I don"t understand alot of things. Like bone marrow burn out. The stroke thing scares the hell out of me. Anything but that. I just want to know what to expect and what my choices are. I've got a great puppy here to raise. He really lights up my life! So I' not going to do anything stupid!!! Just trying to find out what life is like with this disorder and what to expect. I think people who have it offer more information then the text book.

will talk to you more latter. Thank you very much for your input. It is very much appreciated
Carl

 
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