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February 09, 2018 06:14 PM

More Than Just Cold Hands

With winter in full force you're probably bundling up with hat and gloves daily.

But what if your winter gear isn't enough to stop you from getting cold?

In the winter, having cold hands or toes may not seem like anything out of the ordinary, but if you experience the problem year round, it may be Raynaud's Disease.

"In both index fingers and both of my big toes. When I get cold they, it's almost like when your foot goes to sleep or something like that. It feels like that on the ends of my fingers," Dawn Wallace said. 

Wallace injured her finger as a young child, and the pain began to be unbearable. 

"When I got cold the finger would hurt, and as years went by it would go up into the hand, and then up into the arm, and all the way up the arm," Wallace said.

After dealing with the pain for a number of years, Wallace underwent surgery with Dr. Patrick Kelly at Sanford Health. 

Kelly diagnosed Wallace with Raynaud's Disease, which causes parts of your body to feel cold or numb in response to cold temperatures. 

"Having problems with just holding a can of Coca-Cola, and your finger would vessel constrict down and turn white. Or reaching into the refrigerator or freezer, that's pretty classic" Kelly said.  

In minor cases Kelly says surgery isn't necessary, but for some that may be the only option.

"They'll put warmers in their gloves or they'll keep their gloves on, but you know, when you have people who are starting to experience Raynaud's in the summertime...  You've got to do something about it," Kelly said. 

And for Wallace, surgery was the answer.

"It's nowhere like it was, and the cold does not shoot the pain up my arm like it did," Wallace said. 

Wallace is feeling great since the surgery, and says she's thankful for Kelly's help. 

For more information on Raynaud's Disease, click here.

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