SYMPTOMSThere is a "going to sleep" feeling in the toes, fingers, arms, or legs.
CAUSES AND TREATMENT
Aside from serious nerve diseases, this temporary condition usually results from pinching off the nerve and blood supply to an extremity.
Avoid tight clothing and strained positions.
Be sure and get an adequate supply of the B complex vitamins, including B6.
A water treatment useful for numb, tingling feet would be a fomentation given to the spine, along with hot or alternate sponging of the limbs. This is repeated 3 times each day.
ENCOURAGEMENTHow lovingly the angels of God guard His earthly children who cry to Him for help. You cannot now understand all the mysteries of Providence; but, by faith, you can know that all things work together for your best good.
SYMPTOMSHands and feet frequently, or always, feeling cold.
CAUSES AND TREATMENT
Are you dressing warmly enough? Fashionable clothing often dictates leaving the arms and legs improperly clad. The blood supply is chilled back from the extremities and pooled in the trunk. This breakdown in proper body circulation can produce diseased conditions in the chest, as well as the intestinal and abdominal organs.
Are your nerves being fed properly? Get adequate B complex vitamins, including niacin and B2. Also take RNA (ribonucleic acid).
You may have a sluggish thyroid (hypothyroidism).
If sudden coldness comes to your hands and/or feet, and they blanch white, you may have Raynaud's disease (which see).
ENCOURAGEMENTThe heart in which Jesus makes His abode will be quickened, purified, guided, and ruled by the Holy Spirit; and the soul will be enabled to overcome those sins which he could never put away by himself. Thank God for His enabling grace.
SYMPTOMSFirst there is a tingling, then a redness, followed by paleness and numbness in a body partgenerally the fingers, toes, cheeks, nose, and ears. If not immediately cared for, tissue can die and gangrene sets in.
Frostnip is superficial frostbite, and leaves the area firm, white, and cold. It can result in peeling and blistering, 24-72 hours later, and perhaps cold sensitivity in the area.
In contrast, deep frostbite produces a cold, hard, white condition, which is painless while it remains frozen. On rewarming, it becomes blotchy red, swollen, and can be quite painful.
CAUSESFrostbite or freezing of an exposed body part.
Do not rub ice on the area! This only extracts more heat. Instead, get the person into a warm tub (100o-110o F.) as soon as possible. The area is numb, so he will not feel the heat. In the early stages, you can rub the area with a cloth dipped in cold water or snow.
Do not apply more heat than mentioned above, for the skin is numb and can be burned without anyone realizing it. Unless it is all you have, do not use dry, radiant heat (such as a heat lamp or campfire). Frostbitten skin can easily burn, for it does not feel the heat.
To warm the hands, place them under your armpits. Roll yourself into a ball to conserve heat. Stay out of the wind. Do not get wet. Do not drink or smoke; both block circulation to the extremities. If outside, stay in your car or truck until help comes.
Living tissue is dying, so thaw the area quickly. Do not allow it to refreeze. Do not take off your boots until it is safe to do so. The foot may be swollen and you might not get it back on. If considerable walking must be done to find a place of safety, leave the feet unthawed until you arrive at your destination.
Move the person to a warmer place. Wrap him in blankets. Give him warm liquids, but no alcohol. Alcohol gives an artificial feeling of warmth, but actually removes it.
CHILBLAINSThis is a lowering of the overall body temperature (not just in the extremities). But because it so often centers in the extremities, we are including it in this section. The same treatment should be applied.
The temperature is lowered to subnormal levels for some length of time, resulting in near frostbite. Severe numbness and loss of function may occur if the problem is not dealt with. Colds, flu, and infection can result.
ENCOURAGEMENTHide within your heart the precious promises of God's Word, and you will be strengthened in time of need. Cling to Christ and trust Him to care for you to the end.
SYMPTOMSA swelling on an abscess of a thumb or finger (sometimes a toe), which includes throbbing pain and extreme tenderness. It may, at first, seem to be an infection or inflammation of the skin.
CAUSESThe germs causing the infection are usually carried under the skin by a deep pinprick, thorn, sliver, or some other sharp object. The inflammation and pus are deep among the tendons, tendon sheaths, or even next to the bone.
If the felon is not carefully, and thoroughly, lanced promptly, the tendons could slough or the bone be damaged. This would result in a permanently crippled body part.
Moreover, if the pus is not drained, there is danger that the infection may travel to the hand and more extensive crippling occur, or the infection may infect the blood, and blood poisoning will result. (See Blood Poisoning.)
Call a physician and have the felon lanced. Deep lancing through very painful flesh must be done, so it may be necessary for the patient to be anesthetized.
An alternate remedy, used by the old timers on the frontier is as follows: Warm some kerosene and immerse the affected part into it for at least 10-15 minutes at a time, 4-5 times a day. This will eliminate the felon.
To relieve pain, put a piece of lemon on it. If on the end of a finger, cut a small hole in the lemon and place it over the finger. If elsewhere, bandage on a thick slice. This may solve the problem, if kerosene is not available.
ENCOURAGEMENTThose who take the name of Christian should come to God in earnestness and humility, pleading for help. Jesus has told us to pray without ceasing. And so many need our prayers.
SYMPTOMSA skin neurosis, accompanied by burning and throbbing which comes and goes, and affects any of the extremities, but especially the feet.
CAUSESAlthough this is a nerve problem, it is listed here because it rather consistently affects the extremities.
Let the patient rest. Elevate the affected part. Place a cold compress on it, and change this every 20-30 minutes. Apply graduated tonic frictions, such as the wet hand rub, the cold mitten friction, or the cold towel rub. See the author's book, Water Therapy Manual (see book store), for further information on how to apply these treatments.
ENCOURAGEMENTLet your affections center upon God. Think of His goodness, and let His Spirit guide you into deeper obedience to His Ten Commandment law.
SYMPTOMSThe skin darkens, and either remains soft and moist or becomes dry and shrivels. Eventually it sloughs off. Gas gangrene can occur in a wound where certain bacteria are present.
CAUSESDeath and decay of body tissue is caused when the blood supply is cut off or as a result of certain bacterial infections.
Consult a physician. In addition to primary treatment for the condition causing the gangrene, the following suggestions will help:
Eat nourishing food, and drop all junk food.
Stop eating all meat, tobacco, alcohol, and nearly all salt. Eat a high fiber vegetarian diet with complex starches. It should be a low protein, low fat diet. Eat kelp, to strengthen the thyroid. Drink carrot juice. Take 50,000 units of vitamin A daily.
Take an enema and powdered psyllium seed in water daily, to assure good bowel movements.
If the skin is dry, lightly rub wheat germ or olive oil on it. When pus is oozing, dab warm hydrogen peroxide on, and wipe off carefully.
Try to keep walking or massage the area (usually the legs), to improve circulation.
Apply cool leg baths or cool whole baths. Chaparral tea or apple cider vinegar can be added to the water, to help disinfect it (1 tbsp. per quart). Also helpful are alternate hot and cold foot baths or fomentation packs, to improve blood flow.
ENCOURAGEMENTIt is difficult to exercise living faith when we are discouraged. Yet this, of all others, is the very time when we should exercise faith. When you have the greatest need, that is the time to seek God the most earnestly. He will hear, He will answer, He will help.
SYMPTOMSThe small arteries in the extremities constrict or tighten. The hands and feet are extremely sensitive to the cold, and suddenly contract. Lack of oxygenated blood causes the fingers or toes to become whitish or bluish in hue. As a result, the affected area may temporarily shrink in size!
Unless these attacks are reduced, ulcers may form, which further damage the tissue and produce chronic infection under, and near, the fingernails and toenails.
The hands are the areas most often affected. But it can occur in the fingers and possibly toes, nose, tongue, cheeks, ears, or chin. The blood spasm may initially blanch the area. Tingling, and then swelling, may occur and become painful. The appearance may change to a bright red, as the blood vessels again distend and fresh blood is sent back into the area.
The attacks usually do not last long. But, in those instances in which they do, gangrene can develop.
CAUSESA cold attack is generally brought on by exposure to cold or emotional upset. The hands go into the refrigerator for a moment, a difficult written exam must be taken, or a verbal conflict occurs. Spasms of small arteries result.
The underlying cause may be less easy to identify. It might be high blood pressure, drugs, connective tissue disease, inflammation of the arteries, or equipment vibrations which injure the blood vessels.
Some individuals have lived in a cold, improperly heated environment for too many months or years, and the problem developed. Try to avoid resting or sleeping in ice cold places.
Food allergies, junk food, or a poor diet which is high in starches and low in greens, vitamins, and minerals may cause it.
Apparently the cause is not a "thoracic inlet syndrome"; that is, squeezing of nerves or arteries issuing from the thorax by muscles or bones.
Instead of Raynaud's, you might have Buerger's disease (a nerve disorder which gradually cuts off nerve supply to the extremities). Buerger's disease is primarily caused by using tobacco products. (Buerger's is a steady cutting off of nerve flow; whereas Raynaud's is an intermittent blood flow.)
Antihypertensives, ergot drugs, channel blockers, or alpha-and beta-adrenergic blockers can be the cause.
There are two forms of this condition:
(1) Raynaud's phenomenon: This may be due to various bodily disorders. It occurs evenly in both men and women, and usually begins after the age of 30. Symptoms in the phenomenon may affect only one side of the body.
(2) Raynaud's disease: This is primary disease, and occurs mainly in women. The disease generally begins in the teens or early twenties. But it can occur at any time in the life. Attacks normally affect both sides of the body equally.
Frequency of the attacks are significant: They may be rare or occur as often as several times a day. Mild occurrences only last a few minutes; severe ones may continue for hours. Between attacks the hands will at first appear normal; later they may remain slightly bluish. Gradually the attacks will be more frequent and last longer.
In later years, the hands will be slightly bluish all the time. The fingers become swollen. The skin turns pale, discolored, shiny, taut, and smooth. The nails become clubbed and deformed. In advanced stages, poor blood supply can weaken the fingers and damage the sense of touch. The sense of feel may decrease and delicate movements become more difficult to perform. Infections and gangrene may occur more frequently in the affected area.
Keep hands and feet warm. This is important. It might be well to select a warmer climate in which to live. Always wear gloves in cold weather (mittens will keep you even warmer). Wear shoes; do not walk without them when it is cooler. Wear extra warm socks in the winter. Dress warmly at all times. Gloves, mittens, and shoes should be warm before putting them on, since it is difficult for one with this problem to warm them. Wear shoes which breathe, so you do not end up with damp, cold feet. Wear a warm hat in cold weather.
Avoid contact with cold objects, even for brief moments. While preparing meals, use tepid, not cold, water.
When an attack occurs, immerse the body part in warm (not hot) water, no warmer than 90o F. Why not warmer water? During an attack, without realizing it, one's skin can more easily burn.
Massaging the hands and fingers every evening helps reduce the severity of the attacks, by stimulating blood circulation in that area.
Stressful situations produce a spasm of the blood vessels. As much as possible, avoid such situations. Keep calm, cheerful, and relaxed. Plan ahead and avoid scheduling pressures. Trust in God and believe He will care for you. Vigorous outdoor exercise will strengthen the entire body, and also relax it. Exercise tends to neutralize the attitude and effects of stress.
Avoid fatty and fried foods, all junk foods. At least 50% of your diet should be raw food. Avoid food items which tend to bother you (allergenic foods). Avoid caffeine (caffeine, tea, soft drinks, chocolate). Caffeine restricts blood flow. Use a fat-free, sugar-free diet. Sugar increases blood viscosity as well as triglycerides. Avoid food seasonings.
Do not take any tobacco product or use alcohol. Nicotine causes constriction of the blood vessels and it produces plaque in them, both of which reduce blood flow. Do not be even in the same room where someone is smoking.
Medicinal drugs for Raynaud's do not seem to help. The side effects outweigh the benefits (ergot, beta blocking drugs, cytotoxic agents, etc.). Do not take birth control pills.
Avoid machinery which vibrates the hands. In one study, 50% of pneumatic drill workers had Raynaud's, compared with 5.6% for the average population. Such equipment includes chain saws, metal grinders, stone cutters, lathes, and manual typewriters.
Drink enough water, but not soft drinks. Eat a high fiber diet which includes some psyllium seed, to help clean the colon. Eat slow-cooked grains and a low protein diet.
Take vitamin E (80-1,200 unites per day), unsaturated fatty acids alone (wheat germ oil, etc.), tryptophan.
Take calcium (2,000 mg daily) and magnesium (1,000 mg daily). Get enough iron in your diet. (webmaster's Note: It is reported that Zinc is also very helpful in this condition. see http://coldcure.com/html/zinc-angina.pdf )
Sprinkle a small amount of cayenne on your food, to increase circulation. Other helpful herbs include garlic, ginkgo, biloba extract, and pau d'arco.
Sunbathing is also helpful, for it strengthens both the body and the blood.
One physician (Donald McIntyre) suggests occasionally swinging the arms in circles, 80 twirls per minute, to throw blood into the hands. He says to do it as a pitcher does it: swinging the arm up from the back and then hard downward in front. It has been found that those with back problems can swing their arms entirely in front of the body with the same beneficial effect on the hands (upward in the trunk and downward to the side).
Also see "Buerger's Disease."
ENCOURAGEMENTTalk with Jesus as though He were right by your side. If there is a place you cannot go with Jesus, then do not go there. If there is anything you cannot watch or listen to with Him, then turn away from it immediately.
SYMPTOMSContinual coldness of the extremity is frequently the first symptom. But numbness, tingling, and aching may also be noticed. When lowered for long periods of time, the feet may turn blue. The problem generally begins in the feet; but it can, and will, occur in the hands and eventually the whole, bodyif the cause is not stopped.
Jews develop this problem more frequently than anyone else, and 75 men have it for every one woman who develops it. It most frequently begins at the ages of 20 to 45. There are alternate periods of worsening and inactivity of the disease.
CAUSESThis is an inflammation of the blood vessel walls, accompanied by blood clots and thickening of the blood vessel walls. Eventually they close entirely.
The primary cause is the use of tobacco products. Rarely does a non-nicotine user get it.
Stop using nicotine in every form; it is killing you in more ways than one.
Use the treatment outlined for Raynaud's disease. Walking is one of the best exercises for increasing blood flow in the legs.
Lie on the bed and elevate the legs for 1-2 minutes or until they blanch. Then sit on the side of the bed and hold them down till they become pink. Do this 5 times each, 3 times a day.
Do not sit for long periods of time without getting up and walking. Sleep on a firm mattress. Never cross the legs at the knees.
Also see "Raynaud's Disease."
ENCOURAGEMENTWhen we learn to walk by faith and not by feeling, we shall have help from God just when we need it, and His peace will come into our hearts.