Many people complain of feeling their hands frozen all the time. This phenomenon is usually benign and is due to different reasons, although its origin should not be lost sight of.
Do you feel cold hands even during the summer months or inside your warm home? You are not alone, as millions of people suffer from this uncomfortable – but usually harmless – problem. The causes are diverse: from genetics to certain chronic diseases, age or body type.
Let’s start with the benign reasons: the older you are, the more likely it is that your hands will be cold, since over the years we are prone to have a slower metabolism. Your weight also plays a relevant role: it is more common in thin people, who have less muscle mass and body fat.
On the other hand, lifestyle is a crucial vector: it is recommended to avoid nicotine and caffeine to avoid this evil, since both substances constrict blood vessels. It is also important to exercise regularly to have a good circulation, as well as taking care of the diet. When feeling cold hands, jumping, rubbing hands, or bundling up are rudimentary but effective solutions.
Experts point out that if you feel your hands are always cold or numb, it is advisable to consult a doctor to rule out more serious causes. Cold hands are one of the symptoms of anemia and hypothyroidism. Diabetes, which reduces blood circulation, can also trigger it. Another cause could be having a weak heart due to heart disease, so the body prioritizes sending blood to its nucleus, leaving the extremities less fed.
Raynaud’s disease: another possible cause
Cold hands are also a sign of a harmless condition called Raynaud’s disease. According to data collected by Medline Plus, it is a rare disorder of the blood vessels that generally affects the fingers and toes. Blood vessels narrow as a survival mechanism when the person feels cold or stressed, preventing blood from reaching the surface of the skin and turning the affected area green or blue. When the flow returns, the skin becomes red and the person experiences tingling or palpitations.
A notable feature of the disease is the fingers that change color, nicknamed “the French flag” because the fingers turn white because there is no blood flow, then blue due to lack of oxygen, and then red when the blood returns to the fingers. ” The onset of symptoms may be due to cold winter air, overly air-conditioned spaces in the summer, or even grabbing a bag of frozen foods at the grocery store.
The people in colder climates are more likely to develop this picture, which is also more common in women with a family history in sickness and in over 30 years. To alleviate this condition, it is recommended to avoid stress, keep feet and hands warm, and soak your hands in warm water at the first signs of the crisis.
Raynaud’s disease is surprisingly common. According to John Osborne, director of Heart State Cardiology in Dallas, Texas, it affects 4% to 20% percent of people worldwide. A rare and more serious form of Raynaud affects less than one in 1,000 people. In these cases, the blood can become completely blocked and cause sores on the hands that, if left untreated, can lead to gangrene and, very rarely, amputation. Fortunately, there are effective medications for these cases that help increase blood flow.
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