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    What causes cold sensation in the left hand after exercising?

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Posted on Wed, 22 Feb 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: 1. Today I was exercising in cold weather & I noticed that my left hand was much colder than my right hand;
2. I continued to exercise & 20 minutes later my right hand became warm (presumably from the exercise) but my left hand remained cold;
3. After about 30 minutes of exercise, my right hand started to warm up as well;
4. I have noticed this on several occasions before. When I am in cold weather, my left hand is significantly colder than my right;
5. Could this be some type if medical problem like the following: circulatory problem, heart problem, artery blockage on the left side of my body?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rishu Saxena 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Can be indicative of blockage!

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for choosing HCM for your query!

If a significant difference in temperature is observed at many occassions then it can be due to blockage in any of the branches of left subclavian artery which is a branch of aorta and supplies the left side of body.A angiogram should be performed to rule out blockage due to formation of plaque.In case if artery is blocked then it could be stented.A blockage in left sided artery will disrupt the blood flow to left side of body and as temperature of body is maintained by blood ,there will be significant temperature difference between left and the right side.

However the second simple way is- Stress test should be done and blood pressure should be measured on either side in every stage of exercise.If blood pressure rise is normal then most likely blood supply is normal on either side.
However angiogram is the best method.
Thanks!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rishu Saxena 4 hours later
Dr. Saxena, thank you for the response.

1. If there is indeed a blockage on the left side, then, would the temperature variance between the left and right side be detected in many circumstances: while resting, during exercise, and during normal movements?

2. I had an echocardiogram, treadmill 'stress test' & 30-day holter monitor test done last year and results were normal. Do you suggest repeating these tests? or do you think the problem may not be heart related since the tests conducted last year were normal?

3. if there indeed a blockage, how urgent is the situation? how soon should I consult with a cardiologist?

Thank you again for your assistance.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rishu Saxena 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Consultation by a vascular surgery would be a better idea.

Detailed Answer:
Hi again,
If echo Treadmill test and holter are normal this variation in temperature can be because of some physiologic problem(Idiopathic in nature).I dont think repeat tests will show any thing new.Its very likely that problem is not related to heart.I dont think there is a blockage,In case there would have been a blockage blood pressure response in tread mill test would not be normal.
It can be because of problem in microvascular(very small blood vessels) blood supply to your hands.Diagnosis of microvascular problems is very difficult,And you are asymptomatic.So i think from cardiology side you are ok but i would suggest you to go for a vascular surgery consultation.As they deal exclusively with problem related to blood vessels
Thanks!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rishu Saxena 32 hours later
1. Dr. As I stated before I had an echocardiogram, treadmill 'stress test' & 30-day holter monitor test done last year and results were normal.

2. Nevertheless, do you think I should undergo a Doppler Ultrasound test? Would that test be beneficial under these circumstances?

3. Generally speaking, how urgent is the situation? how soon should I consult with a cardiologist?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rishu Saxena 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Follow up answer!

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Doppler is not going to help as branches of arch of aorta can not be seen in doppler so its of no use.
Only test that can be done is angiography of vessels.
It not that urgent,you can take your time.A week or two will be ok.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rishu Saxena 2 hours later
Hello Dr. Thank you for your response.

I want to give you an update. I went for exercise again in the cold morning. I noticed that after about 30 minutes, my right hand became warm. Then after another 15 minutes the left hand also became warm.

Does this information change any of the advise that you gave me earlier? Do you think that the symptoms are heart related? Should I get some heart studies done?

Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rishu Saxena 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Follow up answer!

Detailed Answer:
Hi
from heart blood is pumped into aorta,aorta give rise to brances which carry blood to right and left extremities.So when there is problem in blood flow to right and left side,How would studying heart will help?
Hope you got what i want to explain.
We have to study branches of aorta and not the heart.

Thanks

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Rishu Saxena

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 696 Questions

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