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Cold Hands, a sign of overactive autonomic nervous system

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  • Cold Hands, a sign of overactive autonomic nervous system

    Cold Hands?
    by Nick Quarrier MHS PT OCS

    Do you have cold hands much of the time? Especially before a performance? And even if the room is hot? If yes, you may be interested in this information.

    Cold hands are a sign of an overactive autonomic nervous system. More specifically, the signs of an overactive sympathetic nervous system. Our emotional and physiological self are controlled by the autonomic nervous system - a system that increases and decreases our heart rate, breathing rate, etc. One group of nerves "speeds" us up and one group of nerves "slows" us down. These groups are known as the sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic nerves. When the sympathetic nerves are fired (stimulated) the heart rate increases and blood is shunted from our hands, feet, and abdomen to our large muscle groups such as thighs and hips. Many muscles tense during this stimulation. This is a primitive reflex response which prepares us to flee from a threatening situation. (remember in high school biology the fight or flight response?) The parasympathetics, when stimulated, slows the heart rate down, causing rest, relaxation, and eventually sleep. During parasympathetic stimulation blood flows throughout the body and into the abdomenal organs (to help digestion, etc).


  • #2
    so what could someone do to lessen the chance of autonomic response like Ad? my hands are not cold all the time, though last week dehydration and many tries to get an Iv in caused Ad. very bad belly pain and a uti have also caused it. it has happend more recently with my current issue. is there anything I can do to prevent it? I have a scan comming up and it is so hard to get a vein lately. I would like to avoid Ad so they wont can the test again after all the trouble it takes to get a needle in.


    • #3
      This is not a surprise at all. Ice cold hands are one of the very first AD symptoms I notice, long before sweating, headache, or even significantly elevated BP.
      "I'm lost. I'm no guide, but I'm by your side." - Pearl Jam

      "It decomposes, mendicant, therefore, truly, one calls this the world." -- Loka Sutta


      • #4
        Where you go do they possibly have an IV team that are good at getting veins that are hard to find? I'm not an easy stick & there have been times that I've been in the hospital & they called the IV team nurse to do my IV's. Ask about it next time. Maybe it will be what the doctor ordered so to speak. GOOD LUCK !! to you !!