Weight Gain
Moderators: chrissy1988, autopilotfrank193, bierorama, nycgirl


Will weight gain help my very cold hands?


Quote  |  Reply

I don't know if anyone on here has any experience of this, but I would be really grateful even for any opinions about it! 

I have always had cold hands ever since I can remember, but when I became ill with anorexia in 2008 and lost about 20 pounds, they suddenly became absolutely freezing.  They literally went purple and had chilblains on them (I've found that some people don't know what chilblains are because they aren't very common today, so basically they are like little blisters you get when you are very cold and they hurt like they are on fire). My illness continued over the following two years, I gradually lost more weight, and my hands have remained in this condition whenever the weather is slightly cold or I haven't eaten enough.  The blood just appears to stop flowing to them and they go purple (not white -really purple and sometimes with strange orange spots). It is really irritating because I still get chilblains on them and then my fingers are either so painful or cold that I can't write, and in the winter I have to wear gloves all the time, even inside - although I haven't yet found a pair that really work on my hands.

This condition has been diagnosed as Raynaud's Disease, and is apparently most common in teenage girls and thin people.  So, I was wondering, if the illness was apparently triggered by the weight loss at the start of my ED, will gaining improve it?  Has anyone else experienced anything similar?  I know people with cold hands, but I have honestly never seen anything equal to mine when they are bad - they even went black one day and I thought I was gettting frostbite!  Thanks :)

9 Replies (last)

Well I don't know about that specific illness, but I definitely  feel a lot more warm now that I'm recpvering.

Still there are days that if I don't eat when I start getting hungry I get really really cold...

I actually had basically the same thing happen to me.  I've always had some-what cold hands, but then, when I developed anorexia and lost lots of weight, I got cold so easily.  My hands were constantly a purple-ish blue and had no feeling.  I also was diagnosed with Reynauds.  I also had issues with low body temperature, which you have to be careful with.  Like my temp was 93 degrees a lot, so you might want to check your temp. to avoid this.  

But as I gained weight, my freezing hands warmed up.  It took awhile, and was a long process, but now I no longer have Reynauds.  Try to stay warm and work on gaining that weight!  Warm, high-calorie liquids can help.  Like hold a nice, warm cup of hot chocolate (made with cream, etc.) and it really warms up your hands!  or order a fancy drink at starbucks or something.  Good luck!

Thank you, that is so encouraging...I was worried I might be stuck with this forever and I'm sure you agree it is extremely unpleasant.  Last year we had tons of snow in the winter and I couldn't write for my mock GCSE exams, it was horrible.  Thanks for the advice about hot drinks - did you ever find any gloves that helped with it?

I've definitely been in your situation before. When I was eating the least and at my thinnest my hands were always FREEZING. It did get better as I upped my calories and gained weight. But the thing is, my hands have always been cold (even before any weight loss, when I was borderline overweight), so my Reynauds did not go away. My hands are still cold, but nowhere near as cold as when I was restricting. And yours definitely seems to be connected to your weight/calories, so gain and eat some more (easier said than done, I know)

I wish I had more right-now solutions for you, but I never found a really good pair of gloves either. Swimfan gave good advice.

Yeah having cold hands or not being able to tolerate the cold can really end up having a major impact on your life.  When my reynauds was at its worst I couldn't swim on my swim team/frequently missed practices and meets because my body just couldn't handle the water temp. or I couldn't stop shaking.  And since swimming is something I've always been very passionate about this ended up being a huge motivator for me to recover.  We also got a lot of snow last year and I missed so many fun things with my friends (sledding, snowboarding, etc) because I would be so cold.  

Maybe look at the things you've missed due to your innability to handle the cold, and use that as motivation for getting better.  Make a list of all the fun things you'll do once your body is able to tolerate the cold.  Your body needs 'insulation' to do these things, so keep eating and working towards those goals.  

ps--I never really found any gloves that helped.  But when I was home (I still use this) I have an electric heating pad you plug in and it heats up (like a blanket I guess).  It really helps me stay warm, and sometimes helps my stomach with bloat, etc.  Also, if you have the time, try a nice warm bath (even a bubble bath!).  oh and there was something i used a really long time ago that you can buy at like outdoor sporting stores that you like shake up and it heats up (it's like a little packet) so its sort of like a mini, portable heating pad.  Maybe you could hold that between your hands?  idk, i forget what they're called though.  Well, I ranting again lol sorry.  But good luck!

YES

I have raynaud's disease too..so do a lot of people in my family. In my case, no, weight gain had very little affect on it. (I had it even when I was overweight) But your case sounds like it was caused solely by being underweight..so maybe you have a better chance of losing this annoying condition.

Yes yes yess! Still recovering from anorexia my hands are always cold and i have raynaud's disease also. I find that if I eat a lot one dy, I actually AM warmer. It's the best feeling. If i don't eat enough, even if it's 80 degrees outside, I'll walk into a restaurant and be ridiculously freezing. My hands turn purple and it's the worst feeling ever. I know this might sound funny, but you could always use hand warmers inside if necessary or a take a hot shower. It's definately related to the weight loss.

9 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement