Back to all discussions

Heat and Cold Sensitivity?

Hello everyone, thank you for welcoming me to the community.

I was diagnosed with RA when I was 23 (I' 27 now) and I began seeing a new rheumatologist about 7 months ago. My new physician checks my lymph nodes at every appointment (something my other physician rarely did) and he always asks if I have an increased sensitivity to heat or cold. I always answer no, but mainly because I don't really understand what he means.

Lately, I've noticed that I start to shiver at work and my nails and lips will sometimes turn purple because I'm so cold. On the flip side, I will start to get joint pain in my hands and feet when I'm in the heat and I can only be outside for a short amount of time before I become irritated (I live in Florida). Is this what he means? If not, what should I look out for? Thank you.

Female, 27
Diagnosis: Rheumatoid arthritis and slight goiter
Medication: Enbrel and methotrexate

  1. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for reaching out with your question! While we cannot provide medical advice via the internet, between checking your throat, asking about heat/cold sensitivity, and having a goiter, it is possible your physician is inquiring about possibly hypothyroidism. As you are aware that you have a goiter, you may already be familiar with hypothyroidism. I have both RA and hypothyroidism myself, and have written an article about it that will be published on this site soon. As it is not yet published, I'll include a link from Mayo Clinic about the condition: I researched and discovered some studies that indicate a higher rate of hypothyroidism among people with RA than the general population.

    Of course, there are other conditions that may have similar symptoms, so I cannot be sure that this is what your physician is suspecting. I encourage you to talk to your physician about these new symptoms. Also, I know that doctor appointments can be intimidating, and I too have sometimes felt confused during visits. However, it's important to ask for clarification if you're not clear about what the doctor means. While doctors may have far more medical expertise than we do, they wouldn't have careers without their patients. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to advocate for ourselves a bit, and asking for more information about what is being discussed is one way of doing that.

    We welcome you to continue reaching out whenever you have questions or concerns you want to share. While we cannot provide medical advice, we are here to offer information and support. Thank you for being in our community!

    All the best,
    Tamara (Site Moderator)

    or create an account to reply.