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Numb toes

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#1 summer


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Posted 15 May 2008 - 11:19 PM

I'm yet to take anything for my Raynauds, my hands can get quite cold, but it is my toes that really bother me. A couple of my toes can go quite numb at times and it can take quite some time to warm them up and stop the numbness.

Can anyone please tell me whether the numbness on my toes can eventually cause an ulcer to form?

Many thanks

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 03:39 AM

Hi Celia,

I'm sorry your Raynaud's is worse. I will get busy and try to knit some warm virtual socks for you!

That's a good question. Yes, unrestrained Raynaud's can definitely lead to ulcers. My toes have always been worse than my hands, but I stopped getting ulcers on them once Raynaud's was finally diagnosed. My doctor gave me an unforgettably vivid lecture about how I'd need to stay very warm for the rest of my life, or I would suffer gangrene and amputations.

It's very important to keep Raynaud's under control. So use all the preventive measures you possibly can and discuss further remedies with your medical team if that doesn't work. Many of us find that the longer we have Raynaud's, the fewer attacks we get as we learn what triggers them for us, and modify our lifestyle accordingly. For me, that involves staying very warm, from head to toe (quite a feat in Minnesota!) and keeping vasoconstricting things (caffeine, many meds, nicotine, etc.) to a manageable minimum.

Here's one tip from our Raynaud's Prevention page:

Keep your chest and head well covered to keep your core body temperature high. This works because the body needs to keep the heart and brain warm. When they become chilled, the body conserves heat by depriving blood from the extremities.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Guest_Sadie_*

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:54 AM

Celia, I hope your raynauds approves soon. My hands and feet are numb alot. My toes are the worst with numbness so I'm always wearing socks and slippers on them. Like Shelley said, it's important to keep the raynauds under control. I found that out last month when I had a ulcer on one of my toes that became infected. Before it had the ulcer, that toe was dark blue for quite a few days. Please be careful with your toes.


#4 summer


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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:41 PM

Thanks for all of the responses, it is always appreciated.

Shelley, thanks for the link, there is some good advice I have read.

Andyko, I have some Nifedipine but my rheumatologist doesn't want me to use it until I see her in a couple of weeks, apparently it lowers blood pressure. Mine is already on the low side so I might have to be monitored at first. Andyko I was just wondering whether you have purchased anywhere handwarmers that you can microwave here in Australia?

Many thanks to all
Celia :rolleyes:

#5 CraigR


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Posted 17 May 2008 - 12:57 PM

Many doctors are hesitant to prescribe vasodilators because they lower blood pressure.

You can get good automatic blood pressure testing machines at most any pharmacy / drug store. My doctor was much happier to know that I was checking my pressure regularly, and thus more likely to provide the prescription. You should be careful to note if you tend to pass out when standing up quickly, as that can be a symptom of low blood pressure.

It's a good thing to do anyway, since a rapid change in blood pressure (especially upward) can be very dangerous with scleroderma (and even without scleroderma...) if not attended to.

Good Luck,


#6 truman


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Posted 18 May 2008 - 06:58 AM


You have to be as careful with the toes as the fingers. I lost my big toe in amputation due to an ulcer that formed during an episode and developed into gangrene.

It is what it is...........

#7 luvbnmom3


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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:04 PM

I use the disposable things like the charcoal ones you described only no black stuff. They run about the same price & you can get them at any sporting good store that sells hunting supplies, etc. They have them for toes, feet, hands, & even a larger one for your body... I put that one inside the back of my coat!

I too find that when I keep my head & torso warm enough I have fewer attacks. When I'm am a stickler altogether about not letting myself get cold it does a pretty good job of preventing attacks. Lately I have slacked off (out of irratation with the fact that I have to stay warm...lol) & I'm constantly having attacks throughout the day if not all day.

SO... for sure wearing a hat & keeping torso warm will help. Also make sure you don't thaw your toes out too fast.

I use the microwave bags every night in my bed but I always test the temperature on my abdomen because my hands & feet don't always know when they're getting burnt. A few weeks ago I burnt my thumb on a flat-iron trying to see why it "wasn't" getting hot. Drrrrrrrrrrrr....lol

#8 smac0719


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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:53 PM

What constitutes an attack? I am having more and more numbness of my fingers and toes in my office. My hands are often freezing cold and I've been wrapping them around a coffee cup of hot water to help them and keeping socks at my desk. I've been looking for fingerless gloves online since I have to use a computer at work. Has any tried them? Do they work?
I may have Scleroderma, but Scleroderma doesn't have me!