Re drifting fingers and freezing cold flushes

Just back from my Tai Chi and 2 friends observed afterwards that not only are my pinkys both very blue/ purple at the middle joints and swollen (and painful!) but both are drifting away from my main hands a bit. Is this RA or OA or what? I'm aware that I'm shivering cold at the moment - which is a bit of a shock after 48 years of always being too hot and covered in eczema and now too cold and not a blemish in sight despite drifting fingers! But also at the end of this two our session I was stiffer and colder and my fingers had all gone white - apart from the bruisy purple knuckles and joints. I'm not unduly concerned but wondering if my contrary disposition is making me have menopausal cold flushes that extend to my fingers or if this is part of RA - or both. Also so tired I almost drifted off when the instructor was lecturing us about Waving at Clouds and I lent against a pillar!? This is all new to me but is it familiar to anyone else I wonder?

19 Replies

  • Meant to write two hour session - fingers not obliging today!

  • Tilda, drifting fingers is ra. I don't know about cold flushes,i know about hot flushes which is getting me down. I had my dexa scan this morning for bone density. It appears i'm in the ok range,which is good news. I have been told that i will be called back for another scan in the future due to being on steroids long term and having ra. It was very quick and painless.

    Hope someone else can answer your question about cold flushes.

    Love sylvi.xx

  • Thanks Sylvi - glad your bone density was okay that's one less thing for you to worry about at least. I only noticed my fingers today because they were so cold I had them sitting on the storage heater at Tai Chi and these two women I know both commented and asked if this was to do with my RA. Then I got home and showed hubby who said "oh yes your hands are actually changing shape?". They are really aching at the moment - it's like having growing pains when we were young but I'm growing horns and drifting apart - not nice but there we are! TTx

  • Hi T

    somebody asked about blotching skin. Well my skin seems to have lightened on my face or I look paler no sure which one and on my hands. I asked my hair dresser and she said my skin looked lighter and she noticed my hands. She seems to thinks its the steroids. Not sure, is that weird or what????

    Sci x

    Sorry I don't have experience directly about drifting fingers and flushing, - just wanted to say hi........ hehehe :grin

  • Funny you say this, I am also paler since RA??? Why would this be? No cold flushes or blotches tho, no more than normal. finished my hot flushes early in the life done & dusted MP by 48. LOL!!! Glad thats all gone. Had hysterectomy at 37, maybe thats why I got finito so early. However, my pals seem to talk of nothing else these days :)

  • I too had early menopause - hence no hot or cold flushes! Just the paler skin

    Sci x

  • My wrists and fingers drift, my rheumy nurse says this should sort itself out when the swelling goes down. My fingers also go funny colours and again she says this is due to the inflammation. I think people with RA are generally cold, I always am.


  • Oh that's interesting Mary - about the cold thing and the drifting sorting itself out hopefully. I'm slightly regretting not upping my dose of MTX yesterday now that my liver is back to normal again and I've been on 10mgs for a few weeks.

    Everything's horribly sore and stiff today but then I keep wondering if it's all menopausal because my friend yesterday kept me company in the physio room while I had my hands and wrists encased for 20mins and she went deep red in the face suddenly and flung all her clothes off (not all ,, but enough!) and that made me wonder because I'm at the same age and stage as her with meno and never experienced a hot flush yet but these chills are so intense. My friend has just phoned to check I was okay now because apparently my face went really pale and my fingers went purple blue with white tips and yet we had been working really hard for two hours so I should have been warm at least? Spent the rest of the day in bed sleeping and feeling wimpy and cold - so not like me?

    Hey Sci that's weird about you going pale too but saying "hi" is always good. My middle son has just had an hour's chemistry coaching with a young lad who's back from doing his Masters in Chemistry. I thought of you. He's got his Higher prelims coming up - the important ones in the Scottish system. I can't believe how hard he's working compared to my oldest boy who rarely seemed to go near a text book. Our whole kitchen is lined with Scottish Qualification Association past papers now for English, Chemistry, Geography, Music and Maths and pens and paper with diagrams and notes - i feel exhausted just thinking of the concentration he has to put in.

    Oh well I'm going to down some drugs tonight in the hope that my little finger - which currently looks like someone's mashed a purple grape onto the middle joint - goes down a bit as it really is astonishing how such a small joint on such a small finger can be so painfull?! Night all.


  • The cold fingers could be Raynaurd's syndrome, ask your GP next time you see him. It's a circulation thing and is common with RA, I have it.


  • Thanks Mary - I did think of that and if it happens again I will ask him although I only saw him yesterday so I'll leave it a while and see how it develops. Its the first time it's happened and I've always had brilliant circulation so a bit of a shock! TTx

  • Hi Tilda - I have been through times over the past year or so since diagnosis of really suffering with the cold, shivers, freezing hands etc. I found it worst when I first started on MTX (first time), and then also on leflunomide. However this time around on MTX I'm on prednisolone too, and that seems to 'normalise' my temp.

    I do have pins and needles in hands and arms most nights, and lately in fact my arms go completely numb when sleeping - my rheumy says it's due to carpal tunnel syndrome and circulation in general! However I'm not as cold now as I used to be on MTX without pred for some reason! xx

  • I also have icy cold feet, which I warm on my 'hot' hubby every night. The rest of me is a normal temp but feet oddly freezing. I once heard that you should also put babies to bed in their bare feet ( no socks) as this causes the cold footsies in later life? Mum to blame again, for socks on the 70s baby in bed Hoho!!!

    Probably bullsh.. , maybe we overthink these things a bit. gloves & socks girls?


  • Not sure about socks and babies Gina mine all just kicked their booties off as they were mostly roasting like their mother. But I just googled Raynauld's thingy and instantly clapped eyes on weird white fingers just like mine today?! Oh well it says it's harmless and I'm not going to worry - just have to get even more clothes on and clutch the dog or hubby more than ever until things warm up here again! Night night TTx

  • Big hugs from down south. I haven't got anything to contribute except that your chill could be tired and I hope you're not going down with anything.


  • Thanks Cathie - I bet you quite enjoy calling Edinburgh "down south" or "doon sooth" as they say up here?

    I'm being sent endless images of owls from son from your home city just now - he's decided he wants me to draw/ paint him an owl instead of an eagle for his tattoo. Fortunately I've talked him out of the eagle on grounds of Nazis having hijacked that image - he hadn't thought of that. He keeps sending me the cutist owls possible that I can't imagine sitting on his arm at all but bless really - I'm staying shtuum as infinitely prefer to paint an owl for him than an eagle. I tried for tall ship but he gets sea sick so that was a no no sadly.

    Re all the problems of yesterday and the day before with fingers and knuckles all playing up and me being freezing - an afternoon in bed following the Tai Chi seems to have worked and fingers are all back to normal again ie only stiff and not as if covered in squashed purple grapes - you really couldn't make this disease up?! TTx

  • I also though instantly of Raynauds (sp) Syndrome when I read your post, Tilda. I have a friend who has it & she cannot even sit in an air conditioned room in the summer because her hands just go a dark purple & hurt her. She wears gloves just about all of the time to protect her hands from the cold.

    You could try windmilling your arms around to get more blood into your hands at Tai Chi, perhaps this would help you.


  • Well it's strange because today my inner thermostat seems to have rightened itself again and bruised looking fingers are back to their normal stiff but not sore selves. We went for a walk down the Pier in town today with the dog and I had my fingers exposed to the cold air just to see if it happened again and they just went red looking and cold which is completely normal? So maybe it was just an RA day yesterday because everything ached and was bad and I felt ill with tiredness and cold whereas today everything is manageable. If it happens again I'll mention it to my GP whenever I see him again but I'm really hoping it was just a one off. Thanks though Christine.

  • Funnily, although naturally pale, people have told me that I am paler than ever and when I took a close look I thought I looked a bit on the anaemic side (I'm not by the way), wonder if it's the MTX? I came of sulphsalazine but still on MTX as I had reactions to it, but since starting on both I have had dreadfully uncomfortable flushes, sometimes I feel like I am burning especially at night. Gp says MTX can cause flushes but I'm that age!! to which I quipped well it must be the drug cos I had a hysterectomy nearly 9 years ago and did all that "flushing" back then lol. As for cold, when I was on pred I got a feeling of ice coldness trickling around my knees and down my feet, it stopped when the dreaded pred stopped (I had horrendous side effects from that - so not going there again. Your hands could, indeed, be Reynauds Syndrome. it went through my mind when I read your letter, might be worth asking GP, good luck with getting help with it all


  • Thanks all but have been much better today. But still having to wear extra layers and gloves when others seem to be managing fine without them. I too have friends all having sweats and flushes galore but for me it's just a matter of being very, very icy cold at times. Sometimes I think everything is down to hormones with me but a part of me is wondering, especially after all you guys say, if it mightn't actually be RA because no one else of my menopausal friends has ever experienced or even heard of a cold flush although many of them are finding their thermostats are very much awry. Whereas most of you seem to be feeling the cold a lot so think it must be either the RA or the MTX that's causing me to be chilled to the marrow all the time.

    Tonight at choir practice (in a very drafty church) everyone shivered for a while but I was the only one who could hardly stand up my feet were so cold and coming home I find they are really white in the same way as my fingers were yesterday so something weird's happening to me that's for sure. Physio said tonight that the moment she's no longer needed (looking after elderly stepfather) she is going back to Australia like a shot and she suggests "with what you've got you come with me!" and I feel sorely tempted - although small matter of hubby and kids and dog and the fact that I'm phobic about large creepy crawlies to consider? Good night all sleep well pain free as possibly I hope. TTx

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