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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Hand discoloration on cold weather

 wallin - Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:27 pm

I am a 47 year old male. Have always been physically active. I smoke between 1/2 to 1 pack of cigarettes per day. 4 months ago I started noticing some strange "blips" in my chest and started having problems with my heart racing out of nowhere. I went to an emergency room one night thinking I was having a heart attack. Through EKG it was determined that everything was normal, that I was having some PVC's that seemed normal, and that I needed to cut down or quit caffeine and cigarettes. I went to my regular doctor and did a stress echo test which came back normal. All blood tests are normal. Last BP was 112/72. Normal pulse ranges between 60 and 72. Lately I have been having problems with dizziness and I've noticed discoloration in my hands (Paritcularly right hand) when standing. Discoloration is dark red or purple. Dizziness is of a vertigo nature, not light headed. I have learned to live with the PVC's, have not been having the racing heart (cut our caffeine and reducing nicotine). The dizziness is concerning me as is my hand discoloration. I don't seem to be getting anywhere yet with the doctors. Any thoughts or suggestions?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:22 pm

User avatar Dear Wallin,

The hand discoloration if was caused by cold weather is called Raynaud's phenomenon and could be a primary disorder (not caused by other diseases) or secondary, caused by other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma.

But having discoloration when you stand up is a little bit confusing, does it happen every time you stand up? Has it been witnessed by your doctor? Do you have a good pulse in the hand(s) where this phenomenon happens?

As for the vertigo, it could be caused by a neurological problem or an ear problem.

i suggest that you be seen by a rheumatologist (for the discoloration problem) if your doctor thinks it is indicated vs being seen by a vascular surgeon.

As for the vertigo, either to be seen by an e.n.t. specialist or a neurologist.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 wallin - Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:04 pm

Thank you very much for the reply. This does happen mostly when I stand up and my hands are hanging at my sides (discoloration of hands). Most of the vertigo symptoms are when I am standing as well. I showed it to my doctor (stood up and let my hands dangle) and he checked my pulse and said my circulation was fine. No other comment.

Also, since I posted my original question I have been to an e.n.t. for the vertigo and had an MRI which came back normal. The doctor said maybe I had picked up a virus and that it should clear up in a few months. (Ears checked out fine).
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sun May 01, 2005 11:36 am

User avatar Dear Wallin,

Thank you very much for the update.

What you have could be a normal phenomenon. When one stands up and his hands are hanging down, the blood is affected by the gravity and is pulled down to your hands and fingers and gives them a purplish color for the engorgement of the tissues with blood. So, it think there is no need to worry.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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