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Help?! My 17 year old son's feet and hands turn bright red!!
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smarcus59715 posted:
For about a year 1/2 now, my 17 year old son's feet and hands will often turn bright red for no reason. He says there is no pain and he didn't even notice it until we said something. At that time he started paying attention to it and we have found that it happens regularly. His hands also often feel very cold as if he walked through a blizzard with nothing on his hands even though he is in the house. Last year, my husband took him to the doctor only to be told he is just growing too fast. He is not growing any faster than the average teenager. Any ideas? Or what should we do?? Please help. thanks!!!
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Indiaguerita responded:
Has he been checked for Diabetes? When I was diagnosed with Diabetes, my hands and feet were freezing all the time.

I would get a second opinion and request that do some blood work. Or at the very least, a general physical.

Hopefully one of the doctors on WebMD will have some medical input on this.

Good luck,

Laura
 
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Roy Benaroch, MD responded:
This sounds like a kind of flushing, sort of what happens to some people when they're embarrassed. The circulation at the surface of his skin is either becoming too rich (that's the red times) or too "weak" (that's the cool times.)

As long as this doesn't bother him, and it sounds like it doesn't, there is nothing you need to do about it. There's no pain, there's no tissue damage. The important part of his circulation to his bones and muscles is obviously normal, or he would have pain and disability. This has been going on for 18 months and doesn't sound like it's developing into any kind of genuine health problem.

For adults with diabetes, one of the many manifestations can be poor circulation in the extremities and damage to the nerves furthest away from the brain. This wouldn't happen (yet) in a 17 year old, and in any case a simple general exam should be able to confirm he doesn't have this. A quick urinalysis can provide extra reassurance. No extensive testing is needed.
 
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smarcus59715 replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:
Thank you both for the replies, I really appreciate your advice and thoughts. I am going to monitor my son and take him in for an overall physical just to see. Thanks again, I will let you know what they say.
 
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matanat responded:
Hi. Exact same things is happening to my son and he is 16. After few blood checks and test he has been diagnosed with secondary raynauds. It's not bothering him but I'm very worried about it. I see your post is 3 years old and I'm just wondering how is your son now. Any change on your sons condition? I hope all this will go away
 
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crazythat replied to matanat's response:
Hi, I do realize this is an old post, but on the off chance OP and subsequent responders may have turned up a reason, I wanted to say I too have a 17 year old son with identical symptoms! I have had my son to a regular gp in regards to only this once. I have mentioned it 2 more times at visits for other things. The gp did his own basic blood and lab work which didn't show anything abnormal except a meniscule amount of blood in his urine and a barely low specific gravity, which the doctor completely blew off. His bp was mildly elevated which the doctor proclaimed to be "white coat syndrome". He referred him to a heart specialist since we wouldn't "drop it and move on". My son did turn out to be having a few PVC's here and there, but the specialist said for his age this wasn't completely abnormal, more like a normal abnormality. My son always only drinks water because that's what he prefers and otherwise there is no caffeine consumption that may be causing this. One odd thing I noticed was at the last 2 gp appointments my son was found to have a sinus infection and given antibiotics. After completing these his hands and feet did not do this bright redness for probably six months. But it would eventually return slowly. I don't know what significance if any this has. BUT I did want to mention throughout this ordeal I, his mother, have been diagnosed as having celiac disease. Upon reading forums and message boards in regards to celiac disease symptoms, bright red hands and feet came up many times. Sooo this will be my next request to test my son for when we return to the doctor. I wondered if maybe anyone else may have turned up positive for celiac after having written here?
 
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An_135017 replied to crazythat's response:
Hi... I just saw the last post regarding red hands/celiac possible connection. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008. I am 53, and am totally gluten free. Around 2 years ago, my hands.... especially from fingers down turns bright red.... now even to the point of slightly purple. So embarrassing!! They are warm and rarely if ever cold. In fact, when it's cold out... they don't seem to be as red. They swell even though I take Furosimide ( Rx water pills). I do have arthritis in my thumb joints and seems to hurt more when my hands are the brightest red. My cardiologist(s) and vascular doc don't feel it's a vascular issue. very perplexed. Have seen that red hands CAN be a sign of liver dysfunction. I see my Gastrointestinal doc this week and will see if I can have further tests. I was told by my Gastro doc that I have a tad of 'fatty' liver (in spite I have been a vegetarian for 38 years). I eat so healthy.... anyway, shamefully... I have to admit I do smoke.... not a lot, the lowest tar and nicotine brand. Ugh! And I do take BP meds as well. I get out and vigorously walk several times a week. Hate that I smoke a little, but none of my docs see red hands correlation. What is causing the embarrassing bright redness like others experience....all spanning age ranges.
 
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stephik responded:
It sounds like Raynauds syndrome(or disease there a 2 categories)

It's very common and most notably symptom is cold hands and feet that Change colour while experiencing an attack.

I've had it my whole life and it's frustrating but seems harmless but I have primary Raynauds if it's secondary Raynauds it can be. Caused by some other disease etc


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