I have this weird problem that I've never heard of before, and I was wondering if anyone here knows what it is. When my fingers get cold (not like frostbite cold or anything just from holding a cold drink for a while or something), they get really sensitive, turn bright red, and they swell up. They stay swollen for like 45 minutes afterwards. It's just the finger tip above the top nuckle that swells. When you touch it, they feel really firm. They are really sensitive and kinda hurt when they're swollen. If you know what this could be, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
Many years ago, I used to get welts on my skin from the daintiest touch. Recently, I read that this is a condition which indicates a lack of vitamin A. Try eating more carrots, and see if the condition improves. P.S. I do not think that you actually need more vitamin A, but maybe you do need some vitamin.
I'm thinking a form of arthritis - possibly? I know RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) works in similar manner, swelling, redness, etc. However that is just a short in the dark.
This is a condition that you should go see a doctor about although minor at the time it may be indicative of other underlying issues. If it is say RA or OA (Osteoarthritis) there are two different paths of treatment. OA is just a degenerative disease of the joints, RA can lead to organ issues and other related health issues.
Then again it many be a number of other related or similar diseases that needs their own individual treatments and have their own set of consequences without treatment.
Posts: 4146 | Location: Neither here nor there | Registered: 06-03-02
At first during an attack of Raynaud's, affected areas of your skin usually turn white. Then, the areas often turn blue and feel cold and numb, and your sensory perception is dull. The affected skin may look slightly swollen. As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. The order of the changes of color isn't the same for all people, and not everyone experiences all three colors.
Occasionally, an attack affects just one or two fingers or toes. Attacks don't necessarily always affect the same digits. Although Raynaud's most commonly affects your fingers and toes, the condition also can affect other areas of your body such as your nose, cheeks, ears and even tongue. An attack may last less than a minute to several hours. Over time, attacks may grow more severe.
Doctors don't completely understand the cause of Raynaud's attacks, but blood vessels in the hands and feet appear to overreact to cold temperatures or stress.
When your body is exposed to cold temperatures, your extremities lose heat. Your body slows down blood supply to your fingers and toes to preserve your body's core temperature. Your body specifically reduces blood flow by narrowing the small arteries under the skin of your extremities. In people with Raynaud's, this normal response is exaggerated. Stress causes a similar reaction to cold in the body, and likewise the body's response may be exaggerated.
I recently experienced a similar problem, however it was not triggered by cold. Typically it happens in the evening and is gone within 24 hours. I went to an Allergist/Immunologist and had blood work done. Ended up being a thyroid related problem that is now being treated with medication. Regular thyroid test came back normal, but thyroid antibody group was very high. Your doctor should also check T4. Hope this helps.
I have the same exact thing with my hands - holding cold drinks or carrying ice... and my fingers swell and turn red... sometimes it gets pretty painful... I think I would believe a vitamin deficiency before I believed it was a beginning sign to some disease... anyone actually find an answer from a doctor?
Posts: 1 | Location: Philly, PA | Registered: 07-16-06
I haven't seen a doctor specifically about the swollen fingers, but I did find a document called "Retrain Your Arteries" that described a way to get your body to respond to Reynauld's better. Of course, I haven't done it yet.
Posts: 2 | Location: Washington | Registered: 11-20-05
Hi, I don't have the problem, but I am of the curious type so I did a little natural health research on Raynaud's Symdrome. According to Life Extension Foundation the symptoms seem to match. What they recommend is vitamin e to stabalize the red blood cells to maximize their efficancy in carrying oxygen to the tissues. Vitamin c to strengthen the blood vessels and decrease ptatlet aggregation. No flush niacin to relax the smoothe muscle in blood vessels. They say that long term use lessens the frequency of attacks.
i have that exact same problem and its killing me. what is it????? my fingers and toes sometimes get really sore and hard and i don't know why. it has been really recent but its now come to a state where i can't stand it!!!
Posts: 1 | Location: Australia | Registered: 09-09-06
Ericana, when you say you have the same problem do you mean that when your extremities are exposed to cold temperatures you experience the pain and swelling? If so, did you click on the above links that are for Raynaud's disease that both I and Dixie provided? All symptoms seem to point to that disease but you need a rheumatologist or dermatologist to perform a capillaroscopy to determine if you have that. In the meantime, there are things you can do at home to help alleviate the symptoms (if indeed you do have Raynaud's) Drink warm liquids and if you do drink cold drinks then have the cold can or cold glass in an insulated cover. Keep your hands warm by running warm water over them and rubbing them together to increase the blood flow. Keep your feet dry by using foot powders to absorb moisture and wear cotton socks. And make sure you maintain even temperatures between rooms. Also, there are certain medications that can aggravate Raynaud's because they affect the blood flow. Examples are cold medicines, head-ache medicines, and blood pressure medicines. If you decide to see a doctor, make sure you mention if you are using any of those medications.
Posts: 9193 | Location: Atlanta, GA, USA | Registered: 06-03-02
Thanks for sharing. I have the same exact problem. Whenever I carry a cold drink, the middle portion of my fingers start swelling. Eventually, it goes away. Another similar problems is whenever I drink something cold with ice, my lip starts to tingle and swells up to nearly 2-3 times its regular size. At first I thought it may be an allergic reaction, but it's only triggered by the extreme cold. Plus, I don't have any trouble breathing, tightness, hives, or symptoms traditionally associated with allergies. I took a antihistamine (Cyrtec) for my swollen lips, and it went away within an hour.
Thanks for sharing. I plan on looking into the various suggestions and seeing an allergist.
The Same thing happens to me, but it happens once or twice a day, not caused by carrying something cold either, just at random times during the day. right now my finger is the size of a hotdog, please help.
Jtshaefer- I don't suppose you have ever handled seals have you? Aside from Raynaud's (which can cause swelling due to emotion as well as resulting from exposure to something cold) there is another condition called Seal Finger. The cause is thought to be a mycoplasma that is found on Seals. Infection is enters the finger through a break in the surface of the skin, such as a small cut. It is treated with antibiotics but once treated can flare up again years later. I know, I probably really went out on a limb with this one but one never knows....
Also swelling could be due to flexor sheath infections. The flexor tendons of the fingers and thunb are covered with 2 layers of synovium which is a lubricant. If you get a puncture wound bacteria can enter and cause an infection between those layers. But something like this doesn't come and go. Raynaud's is really the only condition I know that can cause swelling in just one digit, and flares up and dissipates.
Posts: 9193 | Location: Atlanta, GA, USA | Registered: 06-03-02
Raynaud’s is the first thing that registered with me. If the fingers are hard, think of Scleroderma and or CREST Syndrome. Lupus could also be possible. Raynauds, is an autonomic nervous system reflex arc started by the cold stimulus and not being able to be controlled voluntarily. There may be emotional overlay as there is in hand sweating. i.e If I shoot craps, my hands sweat. If I play blackjack they don’t. While the hands are sweating they may be cool, but not as cold as a Raynaud’s. In true Raynaud’s they will turn blue and hurt and be really cold. Ergotamine is of course contraindicated in these patients. BTW The three absolute contraindications to smoking are nicotine amblyopia, Reynauds and one other that I forgot. Georgia85, You are really up on this stuff. Let us know if you figure out the Red Skin syndrome.
Posts: 45 | Location: Bastrop, La USA | Registered: 02-08-07
it is called renaulds phenomenon. i have this condition as well. i went to the doctor and they said that the cause is not really known but they can give you tablets to prevent it happening..but the tablets can cause worse conditions and are really not worth it.
Posts: 1 | Location: Australia | Registered: 01-09-08
Hey all, I have had the problem of swollen hands when holding a cereal bowl too long because of the cold milk! Cold soda cans, a cold beverage in a glass...you name it... Here's the thing...I had really high trigylcerides, I hated exercise, and I'm overweight. I don't have reynaud's disease or however you spell it because my skin doesn't turn color...it just swells up and I can't make a full fist. Ever since i've started taking medication for my high triclycerides the cold has affected my hands less...and now that I exercise my fingers seem to not react to the cold. Coincidence? Perhaps...but I wonder if any of you are in the same condition I was once in. Eating high fatty foods, not exercising...hey...we can't live like we're young forever!
Posts: 1 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: 01-21-08
wow! you guys really helped. I just came in from my barn, and my fingers were red, and swollen from the cold. (again) when this first happened, I thought it was an allergy problem, but my fingers only swell up SOMETIMES. If it was an allergy, they should swell up everytime I touch them. right?
I go outside, feed the horses, brush them, and then all of a sudden my fingers are burning hot and start swelling up. I had enough of just thinking it wasn't happening, so I found this site. I am thinking this Raynaud's disease is what it is. so Thank you!