ZocdocAnswersCan anxiety cause poor blood circulation?

Question

Can anxiety cause poor blood circulation?

It seems like my extremities get cold more easily (and stay that way) at the most inopportune times - when I'm anxious and need to handled a situation. Is it possible for anxiety to weaken your blood circulation? If that's what's happening to me, are there techniques you can use to keep your circulation healthy?

Answer

Cold hands is a common complaint from many people. In the vast majority of people, getting cold hands occasionally is not a sign of a unhealthy circulation. In a few select people with this complaint, there are problems that need treated. The sensation of anxiety can sometimes bring on what is referred to as an adrenergic surge which basically means that you body is preparing for some encounter. The bodies natural reaction is to move blood from the feet and hands to the muscles. This causes your hands to get cold. It usually is not a sign of a weak circulation. One example of a disease in which there cold whether or anxious situation induce dangerously low blood flow to the hands is Raynaud's phenomenon (often associated with autoimmune disease such as Lupus or Scleroderma). People with Raynaud's phenomenon get blue fingers whenever their hands get cold. It sometimes can be severe enough that there is risk of losing fingers. I suggest that you schedule and appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can perform a history and detailed exam of your hands and make sure you don't have one of the above mentioned conditions. Good luck.

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