There was a thread a while ago about cold extremities that included both cold paresthesias and cold that is really cold to the touch. I have the latter problem.
Anyway, I had an exam by a different neuro this past week and when he shook my hand at the beginning, he made some remark about it being cold. For once, I had the presence of mind to ask my question at the time (I always think of a zillion things I should've asked afterwards, but it's like I go to these appointments and my brain turns to mush).
He said the cold hands, feet, etc. were "classic" for MS. Apparently, this is caused by a problem with communication to the parasympathetic nervous system and thence to the blood vessels in the hands, feet, etc. (I'm still not clear on exactly how this works). He said it's probably caused by a lesion in the spine, but could also be... (and here he rattled off a couple parts of the brain, which I have not retained. I think one was the hypothalamus?)
Just thought someone else might be interested in this bit of info...
I have been plagued with extremely cold hands for a good six months or so. I just googled MS and cold hands and this old post of yours was one of the first things that popped up. I'm wondering if you ever found a way to compensate for the cold extremities? I am dreading winter weather that has to be coming soon. I will look pretty silly at my computer wearing gloves but I fear it may become a necessity. Thanks, Lulu
Actually, I have not solved the cold problem. In fact, you may remember my thread from a while ago about how I was really cold in bed and overcompensated so much with blankets that when I got up for my ritual midnight trip to the bathroom I could hardly move. So you may not want my advice on this topic...
For me, the problem has decreased over time for the less than desirable reason that my temperature perception seems to have diminished. So I am usually more aware of the problem when I touch a cold spot with some other part of my body than I am internally. This tends to make the whole cold thing more of a problem for my husband than for me.
Wow! that is really interesting as I have always had cold hands. Although when I was younger they were cold and clammy. Good thing that is over with. I do also have cold feet and prefer to always wear socks. I also am not diagnosed so I find this very interesting.
Thank you for the information. I have a MRI tomorrow morning to see if I have MS and one of the things that has been plaguing me for years is COLD hands and feet! I can be in bed for hours and still have freezing feet. I can't wear socks to bed because they bother my Restless Leg Syndrome. So, I suffer and freeze!
I too have always had cold hands and feet - especially the feet. The orderly at the hospital when I was dx'd noticed that my feet were bare and no one had given me the slipper socks they normally provide - he was kind enough to get some for me, and even he commented that my feet were like ice cubes.
It is interesting to note that restless leg syndrome was mentioned above... apparently in studies of VA hospital patients with and without MS, sleep related movement disorder (ie. twitching or kicking of the legs) was found to me much more prevalent amongst those with MS. Sleep disorders in general were, but sleep-related movement disorders were the only ones they have so far thought may acutually be related to the MS. I had problems for years with involuntary kicking of my legs, and sometimes a jerking of my entire body that would wake me up at night out of even a deep sleep - never bothered to do anything about it. It makes me wonder now though if an MRI years sooner would have shown something too.
Another reason you have cold hands and feet could be because you suffer from a condition called Ryanauld's syndrome. this is a condition where your blood cells don't carry enough oxygen to your extremeties so even at the freezer aisle of the grocery store you feel like your fingers are about to go numb from cold. Or you wash your hands even with warm water but minutes later, you feel like your fingers are about to go numb. in 60 degree weather you feel like you need gloves.
For me, the coldness usually strikes only my right hand (the dominant one), which also experiences more numbness and tingling than the left hand. It feels like ice, even to others, however there is no change in color.
My problem is multi. I am actually freezing, shivering, with my feet like blocks of ice as well as my hands. I struggle to get both warm. My hands feel like they are numb, but also like they are tuning forks. The sensation of touch vibrates. My feet feel like balloons, and as if I always have socks on and they are blocks of ice. When I do wear socks, it feels like there is dirt or debris of some sort between my toes. I have been diagnosed since 06 and initially my symptoms were physical and cognitive. Betaseron took away almost all of the physical but not the cognitive so that I became disabled from my job as a financial planner. That has not changed, the cognitive issues. I also am very emotional, cry or become enraged easily. I want to be isolated. My personality has changed. I have to add that marital issues out of my control were revealed around the same time that were heart breaking, but my reaction has been bizarre and I cannot recover with medicine or with treatment.
So, I have to wonder how this is all related, will I ever recover, am I doomed to freeze and then become very hot, as I can go from shivering to sweating and then back again in a second and this is not hot flashes. I feel isolated and I do not even know who I am now, and after a stint with steroids, I have become very aware how very bad I feel. I, for the first time, suicidal. I do not want to contiue to live this way. I may try to start a thread somewhere regarding personality changes, has anyone had these, but I do have this problem. Also, I will run a low grade fever, up to 100, almost every day.
Saw the comment about cold hands and feet that you made. Except in Oklahoma summers, I stay COLD. Feet and hands feel like ice. Sometimes, I'll touch them with my hands and they will be warm to the touch and I'll think I am
literally freezing at night. By the time it is 70 degrees F, I have on two pair of long john's and two pair of wool socks, equivalent on top. This has gone on for several years and I see these sx as part of the "MS Package." Not fun, but it can be managed most of the time. It does help to travel with a heating pad and extension cord in baggage and warm socks when the environment may be too cold for us. For hands, I have some little microwave warmers I put in my pockets after warming them. Am about to order some fingerless gloves to see if that helps indoors. I've perceived this as autonomic instability.
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