Happy Feet -- The Doctors



Ask Dr. Stork: Why Are My Feet And Hands Blotchy And Numb?

Sep 18, 2013
Dr. Travis Stork

Q: Why do my feet and hands become blotchy and numb?
–Kim Case, Minot, ND

A: You may have Raynaud's disease, which affects about 28 million Americans. If you have it, tiny blood vessels in your extremities constrict and spasm, so your body has trouble maintaining adequate blood flow. Without proper circulation, warmth, and oxygen, fingers and toes become cool to the touch and lose sensation.

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Everyone's blood vessels constrict to a degree when it's cold, but the blood vessels in people with Raynaud's disease are hypersensitive—a cool breeze can be enough to set things off.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you have poor circulation overall. A doctor has to determine whether you have primary Raynaud's, which has no known underlying cause, or secondary Raynaud's, in which these spasms are part of a larger issue. Secondary Raynaud's (known as Raynaud's phenomenon) is rarer, but it can be associated with autoimmune illnesses, various arterial diseases, repeated trauma, or medications, so you'll want your doctor to rule those out.

While there's no cure for this condition, you can manage it by keeping snug gloves and warm socks handy, exercising regularly, limiting caffeine, and reducing stress. If your case is severe, your doctor may prescribe medication.

TRAVIS STORK, MD, is an ER physician, cohost of TV's The Doctors, and the author ofThe Lean Belly Prescription.

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Date: 19.12.2018, 00:04 / Views: 82181