Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 11-12-2011, 08:40 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic, USA
Posts: 8,908
What would make a finger turn white for a couple of minutes without apparent cause?

This is a medical question but it's about somebody else. I can't go to a doctor to get somebody else's finger fixed, obviously. But it has me wondering now.

About 5 times now over the last couple of months, one of her fingers (always the same one) will suddenly turn extremely pale from approximately the second knuckle from the end, out to the end. It is a striking color contrast and we've taken pictures of it a couple times. It also goes numb. In a minute or two, normal color starts returning somewhat unevenly and within another half a minute everything looks normal.

She hasn't noticed any potential cause in common between these events. They've happened day and night, while she was doing things and while her hand was idle, and she has no other conditions that strike us as related. She's mid 30s and has high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both being treated and under control. She did break this finger years ago but it seemed to heal normally at the time and has given no trouble since.

I am bugging her to go to a doctor, and she probably will sooner or later, but it also has me very curious - could there be some muscle cramp pinching off a blood vessel? But I don't think there are any muscles in the fingers themselves, only tendons leading to muscles further up, right? Could she have some weird geometry in there that occasionally lets a vessel get snagged?

Is there some exercise or trick she could try during the seconds this is going on, that would shed light on this mystery?

What could be the mechanism behind this?
#2
Old 11-12-2011, 09:33 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,781
Maybe Raynaud's phenomena?
#3
Old 11-12-2011, 09:54 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 5,028
IANAD.

I don't know how it could happen, but I assume it turning white means there is no blood flow. If that's the case, she might be causing long term damage. It potentially could mean..long term..amputating the finger.

She really needs to get it checked out. I know you can't make her do that, but maybe you can convince her that going to the doc is better than risking losing a finger..?


-D/a
#4
Old 11-12-2011, 10:24 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Again, Titletown
Posts: 20,327
I second Raynaud's. It's far more common than most people think, and the symptoms can be exactly as described. But a doctor that can examine her would be the best way of being sure.
#5
Old 11-12-2011, 10:53 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12,056
cold can trigger Raynauds. see if it can be caused to occur holding on to something frozen.
#6
Old 11-12-2011, 10:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5,785
I have Reynauds, but I'm wondering if it may be something else because it seems to be totally random and it's just the one finger.

But IANAD and all that.
#7
Old 11-12-2011, 11:40 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
Does anyone know if Reynaud's can affect just a single finger? I know 3 people who have it and in those cases all their fingers are affected.
#8
Old 11-12-2011, 12:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 66
I have Raynauds and it affects my hands at the knuckle area turning the skin red and it lasts all winter. When my feet get very cold, it affects only the 2 toes that I have broken in the past - one on each foot. They turn light purple.

Why not call the doctor's office, ask to speak to a nurse and get an opinion on whether or not an appointment seems necessary?
#9
Old 11-12-2011, 01:07 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 82,030
LSD?
#10
Old 11-14-2011, 05:34 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic, USA
Posts: 8,908
Thanks to Bill Dorr and the other proponents of Raynaud's. It sounds correct and some of the pictures with the Wikipedia article look pretty close. I think this will get her to a doctor to check it out. Looks like Raynaud's could be serious, though on the basis of what I read, I guess the doctor will probably say 1) that's what it is, and 2) no need to do anything if it stays like this. Of course, if I knew for sure, she wouldn't need a doctor....
#11
Old 11-14-2011, 06:54 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 10,014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napier View Post
About 5 times now over the last couple of months, one of her fingers (always the same one) will suddenly turn extremely pale from approximately the second knuckle from the end, out to the end. It is a striking color contrast and we've taken pictures of it a couple times. It also goes numb. In a minute or two, normal color starts returning somewhat unevenly and within another half a minute everything looks normal.
Has she been taking large doses of vitamin B6 (more than 200mg per day)? That can cause this if done continually. It usually stops doing this after the B6 is discontinued after a week or so. But taking large amounts of B6 every single day can eventually cause permanent neurological problems.
#12
Old 11-14-2011, 09:29 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Emerald City South
Posts: 2,222
Raynaud's. My wife has it - one finger goes white. For anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Triggered by cold.
#13
Old 11-14-2011, 11:59 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 14,045
Huh, I had a boss who had a finger like that. Just one finger.
#14
Old 11-15-2011, 12:10 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Clearwater
Posts: 1,269
Are you a part time driving instructor for a high school?
#15
Old 11-15-2011, 01:09 AM
VOW VOW is offline
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NE AZ
Posts: 2,390
Does this person smoke?


~VOW
#16
Old 11-15-2011, 10:01 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 6,060
Another vote for Reynaud's, which I also have.

It can be serious and it can also be not a big deal at all. She'll learn to keep her hands warm and that's about it. However, it can be a symptom of several different autoimmune disorders so a visit to the doc for bloodwork might be advisable.
#17
Old 11-16-2011, 06:35 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic, USA
Posts: 8,908
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
Does this person smoke?


~VOW
Yes. Why?
#18
Old 11-16-2011, 06:45 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: waist deep in ink
Posts: 4,197
was she trying to phone home?
#19
Old 11-16-2011, 11:07 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 6,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napier View Post
Yes. Why?
Nicotine causes constriction of the capillaries in the extremities. Often, quitting smoking can reduce Reynaud's symptoms almost completely. Smoking can cause Reynaud's or it can exacerbate it (if someone has it as a symptom of an autoimmune disorder).

Autoimmune disorders that can present with Reynaud's as a symptom:
•Scleroderma
•Lupus
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Hypothyroidism
#20
Old 11-16-2011, 01:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NE Ohio, USA
Posts: 876
My mother has this - when the finger turns white it also gets very cold to the touch (which would make sense if the lack of color is due to lack of blood flow). It can last for several hours to a day for her.

I will mention the Reynaud's to her as an idea....
#21
Old 11-16-2011, 05:15 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
Posts: 19,341
Quote:
What would make a finger turn white for a couple of minutes without apparent cause?

An unapparent cause.

It pretty obviously requires further information.
#22
Old 11-16-2011, 09:06 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 5,792
If Raynaud's, this is one of the few situations where biofeedback has shown documented positive results (most other claims are woo.)
#23
Old 11-16-2011, 09:23 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 34,324
Please have your friend get this checked out soon, especially if they have any apparently unrelated symptoms, like breathlessness or changes to skin texture or coloring. If any of these are present, a referral to a rheumatologist is recommended. My wife had diffuse scleroderma which started out with Reynaud's syndrome.
#24
Old 11-16-2011, 09:47 PM
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 24,895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
•Lupus
The internets have taught me that this is never the cause.
Reply


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:31 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: kenny rogers madtv densest liquid illegal flashlight infrasound speaker solomon occult sad trombone notes 6ga shotgun lucerne wikitravel stitches in eyebrow christian mezuzah hydrocodone and itching best physical comedians teller speaking chelita translation uss tang found overdose on lsd the grapevine ca oscar wilde pronunciation reddit aggies fuck political correctness poincare pronunciation pixie pit american art forms mustard gas bleach cops behind me blacklight semen particle man animaniacs four eyes illusion m99 animal tranquilizer english throne room transexual orgasms vonage song adsorb absorb scary names nicknames for coworkers cyanide pills buy water pulsating from faucet fan facing out the window how to route with a dremel muscle relaxants for bruxism over medium eggs in spanish how to refill mccormick pepper grinder blood pressure 240 over 120 can you shower with a wound vac what is a french tickler worst comic book artists of all time why are rutabagas waxed do you capitalize caucasian full metal jacket is that you john wayne how to send cash in the mail safely where can i find a typewriter to use how much kava extract to take is inseam the same as leg length dog smells like skunk but not sprayed how to remove stitch witchery cars abandoned on highway popping noise under car costa del mar vs ray ban bend and stretch reach for the stars full tank of freedom buying pokemon cards at walmart does biting your tongue kill you 700 x 38c bike tube how tall is a stormtrooper brown pants black shirt will ibuprofen 800 mg get you high ice maker cycle time