Brr....baby it's cold out there. Today in Winnipeg, MB, CA it is a whopping -7 celsius (pretty nice for January sadly). Cold exposure whether from the great outdoors, or a freezer for example, can cause a certain phenomenon in the hands Raynauds. A typically painful arterial spasm of the vessels in the hand. This can reduce blood flow to the hand, which can cause a change of colour to the hand (fingers may go white or purple). The hands may also go numb (falling asleep feeling), and feel icy cold. Raynauds can happen all by itself, or sometimes it can be a symptom of another condition affecting the body. If your experience any of these symptoms its a good idea to let your primary care provider know!
What can be done about Raynauds?
The best way to "fight" Raynauds is to prevent attack! Below are some excellent tips and tricks to avoid a Raynaud attack in the cold.
* Mittens - make sure hands are covered in the cold. Mittens work better than gloves, because the fingers stay warmer today.
* Hot Paws! These are single use warmers are excellent for extended time in the cold, especially when you are not moving around (like sitting at the hockey rink for example).
* Get Moving - getting blood flowing to the hands (or feet) is a great way to naturally warm. Doing big arm circles or going for a brisk walk (hand relaxed and naturally swinging), is a great way to circulate blood.
The Raynaud Association is great resource if you are looking for more information. www.raynauds.org