Chilblains and slow pulse

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I've had chilblains every winter (bar one) for the last 44 years.  For as long as I can remember I've had an abnormally slow pulse - I just checked it now, after sitting for half an hour, and it's 39bpm.

Do any of you fellow chilblain-sufferers have a similar circulatory condition?

There seem to be a few different sorts of chilblains.  Mine have always gone away when I get in bed under the doonah and get warm.  I've never had a problem with itching once I'm in bed.  Maybe it's because where I live it doesn't get really cold in winter (though it's cold enough to bring on my chillies).

This year I've got in early and am taking calcium with vit D, and also having 3 cups of ginkgo tea every day.  As well I'll be keeping a supply of stew or casserole or curry in the fridge to heat up and eat at the first sign of cold fingers or toes.  The aim is to stop the fingers going numb and pale - that seems to always happen the day before a chilblain attack.

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  • Posted

    I have had chilblains for as long as I can remember and I'm 61 now. However this winter I was free from them for the first time because I went to speak to my doctor about them in August when I discovered one on one of my toes. Regarding your pulse rate, unless you are an athlete I would make an appointment to see your doctor. As a nurse I would be extremely concerned if one of my patients had such a low pulse rate.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice Matron, my GP gave me the once over and he's not worried, he puts it down to all the exercise I've done since I took up running in my twenties (I'm 68 now and have swapped my runners for a bike, not quite as taxing but enough for an old guy).

      I'm really interested in what you say about being free from your blains for the first time last August, what treatment did she/he give you that did the trick?

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    • Posted

      Sorry forgot to mention that. Nifedipine 5mgs 3 times a day. It's been like a miracle drug certainly for me after years of suffering. Nifedipine can in rare cases be given for hypertension but now with all the newer drugs on the market it's used mainly for chilblains. In the summer I'll reduce the dose and then increase it probably in September.
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    • Posted

      Did you start taking it when you get your first chilblain, or at the start of the cold weather, or before?  

      It sounds like you keep taking them all year round but reduce it in summer.

      What season begins in September where you live?  September is the start of spring in Australia.  So that must mean it's the start of autumn for you, is that right?

      Have you had any side-effects, apart from no chilblains?

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    • Posted

      I'm in the UK so August (when I took my first Nifedipine) is summer but I still got the chilblain. September is the start of Autumn. I've had no side effects from the Nifedipine which is a blessing because it actually works.
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    • Posted

      'couldn't live there, at least I only get them for two or three months of the year smile   Thanks for your help Matron.  My GP did once suggest some calcium-blocker tablets I could take that would improve blood flow in cold weather, it might have been the one you're taking.  All the best, hope it continues to work for you.
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  • Posted

    I was up early this morning and was concerned to find my hands getting cold.  Then after a cup of ginkgo tea they warmed up noticeably.  This seems to auger well for this winter, tho I'm not getting too excited yet.  I'll let you all know how they go as the weather gets colder. 

    Another thing that might be worth trying is organic cacao powder.  I've been having a drink of 1-2 dessertspoons of cacao in hot water (no sugar but a little raw cow's milk to alleviate the bitterness) prior to exercise (bike ride and a little bit of a weights workout after).  Often throughout the day after taking the cacao I notice I can see the arteries on the inside of my elbows, pulsing.  This has to be a sign of improved circulation, though whether it'll help beat the chilblains this winter - whether it'll translate to better circulation throughout the whole day right through winter - is another matter.  Thought it might be worth mentioniong tho. 

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