At the risk of being obvious, the desert is hot. Arizona in general is known for its heat and arid countryside. You don’t usually think of getting cold feet out here, unless it’s the metaphorical kind. Normally people connect cold feet to their skiing trip or visiting somewhere north of here. And yet, cold feet can still strike if you have Raynaud’s disease.
Raynaud’s disease is an unusual circulation condition. Many people already have poor blood flow in their feet and toes. With a Raynaud’s attack, your arteries suddenly clamp down and restrict the blood flow to your toes. It isn’t random; typically your body does this as an abnormal response to a particular trigger.
This could be a side effect of a serious disease, but for most people, the problem develops on its own for unknown reasons. There are a couple of common triggers, however. Excessive stress can stimulate an attack. So can a rapid temperature drop, like walking into a large freezer or a meat locker. When an “attack” gets triggered, the blood vessels in your toes constrict dramatically, allowing little to no blood flow to your digits.
That’s why you don’t have to live in a cold climate or take a vacation to a cold spot to end up with icy toes. Once the condition is triggered, your toes change temperature and appear white. They might turn blue as well, the longer they’re deprived of proper blood flow. Your digits may feel numb. When the blood flow returns a few minutes later, your feet will appear red and may throb, tingle, or burn.
You don’t usually picture cold feet in the desert, but with Raynaud’s disease, it’s definitely possible. Since the condition can sometimes be a side effect of a more serious problem, or even contribute to a few complications, don’t just ignore your icy toes. Let our team of experts at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona help you. Use our website to make an appointment with us. You can also fax or call our two locations: for Chandler, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375; for Gilbert, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229.