The severe cold gripping Canada over Valentine’s Day weekend may affect people with neuropathy more than those in the general population.
According a news article in northumberlandnews.com, “People with medical conditions such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and disease affecting blood vessels are at a greater risk for frost bite and hypothermia.”
Hypothermia and hyperpyrexia can also result from autonomic neuropathy, which attacks the nerves of autonomic system.
At patient.info they have a detailed list of some the symptoms that accompany autonomic neuropathy.
- There may be no sweating or reduced sweating (anhidrosis and hypohidrosis
- Temperature regulation
- Hypothermia and hyperpyrexia can result from disruption of the various temperature regulatory mechanisms
- Reduced or absent sweating
- Blurring of vision
- Tunnel vision
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty focusing
- Reduced lacrimation
- Gradual reduction of pupillary size
- Orthostatic hypotension
- Other orthostatic symptoms ( nausea, palpitations, light-headedness, tinnitus)
- Fainting, passing out and swooning (syncope)
- Inability to stand without syncope
- abnormal heart rhythm
- Supine hypertension
- Loss of diurnal variation in blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Disturbance of taste
- Burning sensation
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Pale, cold feet
- Worsening of symptoms at night
Medline Plus also warns that, “Autonomic neuropathy may hide the warning signs of a heart attack. Instead of feeling chest pain, if you have autonomic neuropathy, you may only feel sudden fatigue, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting during a heart attack.”
Dr. Aaron Vinik in a Diabetes In Control interview highlighted the confusion between heart attacks and autonomic neuropathy causes of death in his study, “What killed the people was related to the autonomic dysfunction and the fact that they likely died of an autonomic neuropathy complication with the way you try to intensify glycemic control.”
As winter’s frigid temperatures begin to moderate in the Northern Hemisphere and approach in the Southern Hemisphere, people with neuropathy need to be alert to the dangers they face in dealing with freezing temperatures.
Only a regular physical exam by a qualified neurologist will determine the risk the patient may face in dealing with their neuropathy.