Dear Dr. Gott: Periodically, I have blood vessels that pop. They instantly burn and form a pool of blood under the skin at whatever location they occur. They usually appear on my hands and feet and can happen with no activity or thing such as getting bumped.
The first time I remember this happening was 20 years ago while driving. I felt it burst on my knee. Throughout the years, these events have occurred anywhere from a few times a year to nearly every day. When they started happening daily, I sought the advice of a nutritional healer. It brought relief over time, but I discontinued the treatment because it was so costly.
I am a 59-year-old female with low blood pressure (95/55) and a low thyroid level. I drink nearly two quarts of water and three to four cups of coffee a day. I have a sedentary job and am not disciplined enough to stick to an exercise program for long periods of time.
I am currently taking Levoxyl, Armour Thyroid, fish oil, strontium, gelatin, a multivitamin and an herbal and vitamin calcium supplement.
Is it normal for blood vessels to pop for no reason? Is this something I should discuss with my physician when I have my next physical?
Dear Reader: It is not normal to have spontaneously rupturing blood vessels and bruising; however, there are several possible causes. You could have one of several clotting disorders or weakened blood vessels. You are also currently taking two supplements (fish oil and strontium) that, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), can cause or increase the risk of unusual bleeding or bruising. In fact, the NIH warns that anyone taking strontium who experiences unusual bleeding or bruising call his or her physician immediately. Fish oil is also known to increase bleeding time when taken at higher doses.
See your physician to discuss the situation. He or she will probably recommend that you discontinue some or all of your over-the-counter supplements on a trial basis to see if the bruising improves. You may also need blood work to determine your clotting abilities and to rule out a bleeding disorder. If your physician is uncomfortable doing this, request a referral to a hematologist, a physician who specializes in disorders of the blood.
Dear Dr. Gott: For many years, I have been clipping and saving your articles that relate to me or my loved ones. I know that you have mentioned the fact that you have written several books before. I am finally ready to make a purchase, but I don’t know where to get them.
Your column is the greatest, and I read it every day faithfully. Keep up the good work.
Dear Reader: Thank you for the compliment, and, yes, I have written several books. My first, “No House Calls,” is currently out of print, but you may be able to find it at your local library or online at used-book retailers. I also have a coffee-table book, “Summer Windows of ‘Sconset.” My other books, “Live Longer, Live Better,” “Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Diet” and “Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Cookbook” are available at most independent and chain bookstores, as well as through most online book retailers.