Brrrr . . . it’s getting cold outside. Weather seems to have a lot of effect on my symptoms. One thing that I fear when the temperature drops are my cold hands and feet because I suffer from an overlap disease called “raynaud’s”. Most lupus patients suffer from overlapping diseases such as fibromyalgia, Sjogren, and many others. Often times, it is hard to separate out which disease you are suffering from — a source of frustration, indeed.
Raynaud’s disease causes some areas of your body to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperature and stress. Small arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas, such as your fingers, toes, nose, lips and ears. There is a prickly feeling, much stinging pain and numbness. To me, it feels a lot like when you play in the snow (making snowman, sledding, skiing) and you come inside to warm up and your hands take awhile to warm up. During the warm up process, you feel that weird stinging, throbbing pain and numbness. Except, I feel that way all the time. My hands and feet are always cold as a block of ice.
Even though it could be a debilitating and serious disease, requiring medication and/or surgery. For me, the symptoms have not been too severe. It causes much discomfort, however, and in the winter, I resort to war mode — hand warmers, lots of heat, hot water, heaters, socks, gloves, hats and I gravitate towards heat like a cat.