Cold sensations: what's causing them?

I am a 60-year-old male and have a problem with cold sensations down the outside of my left arm and leg. Sitting in a heated room does not improve the chilling sensation, and neither does a blanket. The only way to warm the outside of my arm and leg is to sit with radiant heat on my left side. This problem has been with me for eight years. No one seems to have any idea what the cause of it is.

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

This is an unusual and slightly bizarre symptom. I am not surprised you have been unable to find an explanation for it. Our ability to sense temperature is controlled by a specific part of the brain. If there has been damage to that part of the brain, this may disturb your appreciation of temperature. The problem with your symptom is that it affects such a limited section of the body, and it is difficult to imagine which part of the brain might be responsible for just the outside of your left arm and leg.If the symptom began suddenly one day, I think the likelihood is that you suffered a very minor stroke that damaged a small area of the brain responsible for temperature sensation on the left-hand side of your body. A specialist neurologist might be prepared to investigate this further with an MRI scan of the brain. There's not going to be any effective treatment for your symptoms, but if you have had a small stroke, it would be important to make sure that risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol are under good control.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.