Cold hands turn fingers numb with no blood flow? - Thyroid UK

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Cold hands turn fingers numb with no blood flow?

GKeith
GKeith

Someone on this forum may know something about this, I am hoping, because it's quite troubling, especially for someone who thought he was just about at the optimum thyroid level. I was working on my house: pressure washing the decks when my hands became dangerously cold. This has happened to me many times but this was only the second time this reaction occurred. The index, middle and ring fingers on both my hands were totally drained of blood. You could see that from the bottoms to the tops of these 3 fingers on both hands turned a yellowish white. My thumb and little finger still had blood, which you could see by their color. I showed my wife and she was absolutely flabbergasted. Anyway, I didn't panic but ran absolutely boiling water over them, as hot as the sink would give. Too hot and I lowered it several times over the next hour. The feeling(s) eventually came back, with the blood, and I rubbed them vigorously. I live in Tampa Florida, a very hot region where it usually never freezes or even goes below the 40's or 50's Fahrenheit, so the colder weather, today in the high 50's, low 60's, shouldn't have really done this much. I was just recently in freezing temperatures in Georgia and my hands, along with many others' got extremely cold, some said “frozen,” but my fingers never turned this color.

I thought about hypoglycemia but checking my blood tests, I had plenty of glucose on a test about 5, 6 months ago, in August.

I'm73 but still think of myself as 33, 43 or whatever age(s) I could work for days without much sleep and never feel it but those days are, obviously, long gone but I still can't figure this out. I had only been working maybe 3 or 4 hours when I decided to eat something and went downstairs and grabbed a sandwich and some iced tea but noticed my hands were feeling very numb and glanced at them, having almost no feeling on the aforementioned 3 fingers on both hands.

Anyone ever have this happen to them? Any guesses to what it could possibly be? I mean, the thyroid, after all, does control our metabolism and our body temperatures and I still have mine, although it is under active but still this is very unusual and I haven't heard anyone else complaining about this? Any replies would be appreciated and peace be to us all.

15 Replies
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Sounds like raynauds. Google it to see if it seems familiar

It does sound familiar because I read about it when speaking about cold hands and feet that I have experienced for probably the past 15 years but the symptoms son't match mine. I simply have cold hands mostly usually not my feet. My hands rarely lose total circulation and I am (quite) sure it is because of hypothyroid but can't prove it. I have been titrating my doses for the past 6 months and, finally, got two days straight of 98 Fahrenheit Basal temps but then the 3rd day and up until now, about 7 days, it has been 97.2 and I can't get it back up to 98. This is my personal guideline, the Basal Metabolic temp, which goes way back in time. I may have been on a titrated 75 mcg of T4 at that time, which I quit after a week because of my endo refusing to prescribe the 75 without lowering my T3 but I still have many 75's and I may go back on it to see if it raises my temps.

I'm pretty sure this Reynaud's is not what I have but then again what is Reynaud's: they have no cure, no clues what causes it, how to treat it, etc. Thanks for your input & peace be upon you.

I think they are all inter related anyway. It just depends what doctor applies what label. I have personally never been diagnosed as having thyroid problems but so many of the issues have similar symptoms and that's why I often read posts on this forum. I get raynauds mainly in my fingers but it can hit at any extremities. And if your body temperature is on the low side as with thyroid disorders it can make it more likely.

At least that's my reasoning.

I agree, it definitely sounds like raynauds. If it is, don’t worry, it’s generally harmless. It’s alarming and uncomfortable when you get an attack but it doesn’t do any long term harm. I’m 53 and have had raynauds since I was a teenager. Have a look at this: mayoclinic.org/diseases-con...

GKeith
GKeith
in reply to Julesboz

When you hands, just my fingers go cold how long does it last? Mine is usually 20-60 minutes.

Julesboz
Julesboz
in reply to GKeith

Hi there, it very much depends on what caused the attack and how you manage to warm yourself up. Sometimes it can be quick and sometimes it’ll be longer. I’d encourage you to warm your fingers up gradually and not do the boiling water thing. It can be painful when they come back to life so it’s best to do it gradually.

GKeith
GKeith
in reply to Julesboz

I was pressure washing a porch and the pressure washer vibrates so strongly I think that was the overall reason for the hands changing color.

MaisieGray
MaisieGray
in reply to GKeith

Years ago it was known as 'vibrating white finger' for that very reason.

GKeith
GKeith
in reply to MaisieGray

How about that? I wasn't aware of that.

Yes it sounds very much like Raynaud's Syndrome - it can be primary or secondary,, auto-immune or non-autoimmune. What you definitely should not be doing is pouring boiling water over your hands - that you have reduced sensation doesn't mean you aren't being scalded! It's not necessarily about the weather being cold, but about your body over-reacting to change in temperature. I have been lying in the sun in Egypt, 38 degrees, and as the sun passed momentarily behind the clouds, my hands (over)react. You can experience it in hands, feet, nose, tongue. As suggested, Google Raynaud's syndrome and see if the symptoms match. Primary is very common, secondary Raynaud's depends on having a first disorder such as Lupus, Schleroderma etc

GKeith
GKeith
in reply to MaisieGray

autoimmune? What causes it? I see no info really explaining it. It looks like guesswork by most physicians. Reminds me of my own hypothyroidism, not that it is made up; it just looks like they're not that far along in their research with this Reynaud's thing.

MaisieGray
MaisieGray
in reply to GKeith

No it's not guesswork, it's well-documented that it is very much associated with the conditions I mentioned, Drs just don't know why, as yet. Regarding primary Raynaud's, it is caused by disruptions in how the nervous system controls blood vessels.

Hidden
Hidden

Raynaud's phenomenon I also suffer from this.

Sounds like Reynauds. My sister has it and only gets it on her hands.

I think it happened to me because I used a pressure washer for 4 hours-more or less-straight. The wand vibrates at a healthy rate and when your done your hand(s) feel as if you just drove a motorcycle for 10 straight hours.

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