Is It Raynaud's Disease or Bad Circulation?

Are your cold hands the result of poor circulation or something more? Answer these questions to find out.

Is It Raynaud's Disease or Bad Circulation?

Everyone’s hands get cold when it’s chilly outside, but for millions of women with Raynaud's disease their hands turn blue. If you think you might have this condition, you need to answer two questions:

1. Are you more sensitive to cold than others?

2. Do your fingers turn white or blue when exposed to the cold?

You answered “yes” to either question, it could be an indication that you may have Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud's causes blood vessels to tighten, resulting in poor circulation, discoloration of the hands and even pain or numbness. It is very common among women ages 20 to 40. If you think you have the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease, contact your doctor for consultation.

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

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