What, other than Raynaud's, could this be?
December 6, 2018 6:04 AM   Subscribe

Is there anything other than Raynaud's that could be causing the middle finger of my left hand to suddenly turn dead white and go painfully freezing cold, stay that way for about 5 minutes, then go back to normal? It has only happened twice so far but I'm having a little bit of a freakout. Both times I was in my warm house doing some normal little household task.
posted by HotToddy to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Carpal tunnel will do this.
posted by kbar1 at 6:14 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Additional data: It feels slightly cold all the time now.
posted by HotToddy at 7:25 AM on December 6, 2018

Raynauds, sure, but also vasospasm, vasculitis or embolic events. More info is needed like age, sex, other medical conditions, medications used, etc. See your internist.
posted by sudogeek at 8:39 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been having a very similar problem lately, and my gp says that it's probably a trapped nerve. If you're able, though, it seems like the sort of thing worth seeing someone about.
posted by mishafletch at 9:06 AM on December 6, 2018

The last two joints on my right index finger get cold really easily (and turn white, like in Reynaud's) ever since I took my glove off for a bit too long on a winter hike. That's probably not your issue, but cold damage is something that can definitely do this. It's peripheral nerve damage, and in my case it has been slowly fading and probably will continue to do so for another year or two, but I expect that it will never be 100% again.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:21 AM on December 6, 2018

My mother has this for her entire arm; she though it was a stroke or heart attack the first time. I've seen it, it is terrifying because it goes white and dead and cold to the touch.

Turns out due to a bone spur in her shoulder the blood flow to her arm gets pinched off, the blood vessel can get kinked against the bone and needs a very specific motion/manipulation to unkink. She's opted for physical therapy, learning the unkink trick, and avoiding raising her arm at the triggering angle rather than surgery on the bone spur.
posted by buildmyworld at 9:24 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Any of the above may be right; you should definitely see a doctor about this.
posted by beagle at 9:58 AM on December 6, 2018

See a doctor. A friend ended up in hospital on blood thinners when her hand went pale and cold from a clot. It resolved fine but needed a doctor to diagnose.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:48 PM on December 6, 2018

A blood clot can very easily be fatal or permanently disabling. Don't mess around. If it seems like it could be that, see a doctor ASAP.
posted by klanawa at 10:01 PM on December 6, 2018

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