If your hands often feel cold for no apparent reason you may be suffering from something called Raynaud’s Syndrome, which is thought to affect as many as ten million people in the UK. Raynaud’s syndrome causes the blood vessels to narrow, which reduces blood flow to the hands causing them to go cold, lose their colour, turn blue and sometimes experience pins and needles type feelings. An ‘attack’ of Raynaud’s may last for anything between a minute and a few hours. Some cases have shown that the condition gets worse over time. Whilst the majority of cases are nothing to worry about, in some patients it can be caused by and underlying condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. To control symptoms self-care methods are usually recommended – like wearing gloves, keeping warm, drinking hot drinks (but cutting down on caffeine) and refraining from smoking. In more severe cases medication, sympathectomy or intravenous infusion therapy can be considered. Stress counselling has also proved very effective in some cases.
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