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Deep purple nail beds after running in cold weather. Anything to be worried?

My wife just finished running and had layer of clothes on...when she got home her temp was 96 and her nail beds were deep purple. She could hardly move her fingers and they tingled somewhat. She was shaking and felt like her circulation was affected. Her nail beds had a white dot in the middle of them.. she is a daily runner and is in very good shape...anything we should be looking for when she gets checked out?
Asked On : Mon, 21 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  23
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi! Thank you for your question and welcome to our site.

Your wife may have experienced Raynaud's phenomenon/disease - this is an exaggerated response to cold or emotional stress not associated to any other disease. Due to these stimuli, blood vessels supplying the fingers, toes, or even the ears may vasoconstrict, thus decreasing the blood supply to these areas and causing a decrease in their oxygen supply.

This is different from Raynaud's syndrome, when the response is secondary to a host of possible conditions which include some connective tissue diseases, hypothyroidism, atherosclerosis, drug effects, and others. Thus, there will be a LOT of possible symptoms to check for. Some common ones may include exhaustion, weakness, difficulties with breathing, dizziness and badly healing wounds. Only a careful medical examination along with some diagnostic tests can reveal whether your wife has Raynaud's disease or Raynaud's syndrome.

In the meantime, I would suggest that your wife avoid the triggers: wear thick gloves, socks and ear muffs/hats. Smoking and caffeine may also worsen occurrence so it is also best to avoid these.

I hope I was able to answer your concerns! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Take care!

Dr. Galera
Answered: Sun, 14 Jul 2013
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