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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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The right side of my body (arm,hand, mid-thigh down to my foot)

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The right side of my body (arm,hand, mid-thigh down to my foot) are always cold. It's not painful other than my wrist and hand, but really annoying. Warm clothes don't help it. Any idea on what it could be?
Is this just the sensation of being cold - or is the arm and hand actually cold (e.g. touching it with your left hand, does the right side actually feel cool)?

And is your face affected as well?

And what is this pain in the wrist and hand - which fingers hurt?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My skin is also cold to the touch. If you were to touch both of my hands the right is considerabley colder than my left. It does not affect my face, just high shoulder to the base of my neck. It is tight when I bend my wrist upwards into my middle finger and "pointer" finger. I also have numbness in those two finger tips.
Is there a difference in color between the two sides - e.g. does the right side look paler than the left?

And is the thumb also involved with this pain? Do you have any neck pain or arm pain?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
First off, thank you for taking my question. I really appreciate it.

The skin doesn't have much of a difference. The place that I can notice it most is the base of my nail beds. They aren't "purple" but they do have a much darker shade of color.

No, my thumb does not bother me.
I would want your doctor to take a look about this possible diagnosis:

complex regional pain syndrome

Take a look at that link, since it seems to encompass your symptoms of cold temperature sensation, some skin discoloration, and pain in the arm.

Your pain in the wrist is does not quite fit the "carpal tunnel" syndrome, since it leaves the thumb out of it. But of course, having a doctor examine you may help figure this out.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Stage 1. Severe pain develops in one of your limbs. Swelling, sensitivity to touch or to cold, and skin changes, such as drying or thinning, begin to appear. This stage usually lasts one to three months.
Stage 2. Changes to the color and texture of your skin become increasingly obvious, and the swelling spreads. You may begin to feel stiffness in your muscles and joints. This stage may last three to six months.
Stage 3. Severe damage is evident, such as limited movement in your affected limb, irreversible skin damage, muscle atrophy and contractures in nearby digits.

I've not had any swelling, skin thinning or drying. The color isn't all that off either, it's more the nail beds of my fingers and my toes.

I'm sorry to ask, and I will inderstand if you would like me to hit accept, but do you have any other ideas?

Thanks so much,
Well, other possibilities if the actual side of your body is cooler is problems with the sympathetic nerves on that side, which help to control vasoconstriction and heat loss in an extremity.

The sympathetic chain of nerves is located near the spine itself, off to the side, though injury to this structure is rare.

Reasons for pain could be nerve compression (though probably not carpal tunnel as mentioned above), and could be from irritation of the nerve further up in the arm, such as within the neck as well.

The sensation of cold could also be a problem with the nerves that sense hot/cold, and injury to specific parts of the spinal cord or the brain could theoretically cause altered sensation, but you mention that the side of the body is actually cool itself.

It would be best to get a physical exam in person, since a neurologic exam can greatly help to determine where to start looking for a problem first, and see if this one sided temperature difference could be related to possible sympathetic nerve injury.
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