Chris Evans cries on Virgin Radio over the Ukraine crisis
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The star started out his broadcasting career in Manchester before moving to London as a presenter for BBC Radio London and Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast where he became a household name. At one point Evans was the UK’s highest paid entertainer with his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show a massive hit. Last year, Evans opened up about a health scare that his wife Natasha Shishmanian helped him to realise whilst the couple were out for a run. Whilst on a 14-mile ru his hands went into “freeze mode,” something that Shishmanian suspected could have been Raynaud’s disease.
Talking about the condition, which his wife suffers from, with breakfast show co-host Vassos Alexander, Evans said: “Tash and I were out for a bit of a run on Saturday… bit of a run, she dragged me out for 14 miles again!
“She has an issue that her left hand goes cold but her right hand doesn’t,” he noted.
“I think we’ve talked about it on the show before…”
Although the star remained uncertain if he has Raynaud’s himself, Evans went on to explain to listeners why certain parts of your body, especially the limbs, can get cold so quickly when the temperature drops.
He added: “The reason your hands and feet get cold when you’re outside and you’re doing something is because there are so many nerve endings in your hands and feet that require heat to work, that they take up an inordinate amount of heat within your body.”
The NHS explains that Raynaud’s disease is a common phenomenon that affects the blood circulation. When an individual becomes cold, anxious or stressed their fingers and toes may change colour.
Other symptoms of the condition can include:
- Pins and needles
- Difficulty moving the affected area.
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, with other individuals reporting that their ears, nose, lips or nipples are also affected.
The condition can occur on its own, but it also may happen along with other diseases. This is known as secondary Raynaud’s and is most often connected to autoimmune or connective tissue diseases.
Although the exact cause of Raynaud’s remains unknown, Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that the condition may increase blood thickness due to an excess of platelets or red blood cells.
Speaking once more about his cold hands and feet, Evans described the symptoms as “unbearable,” admitting that he got increasingly worried for his health.
“Let’s talk about the old cold hand hands and feet,” he said on another episode of his radio show.
“We’re becoming a proper cycling family and we love it and there’s some amazing hills where we live now that we didn’t know about.
“I had an issue with cold hands over the holidays, like really cold hands.
“I had to stop because my hands got really cold and I thought, ‘Have I got Raynaud’s Disease? Have I got problems with circulation?'”
In a bid to find the root cause of his problem, Evans reached out to extreme athlete Dutchman Whim Hof, also known as The Iceman.
Famed for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures, Hof has set Guinness world records for swimming under ice and for prolonged full-body contact with ice. Currently, he still holds the record for a barefoot half-marathon on ice and snow.
“Your body, because it’s dead clever, says, ‘I can, if I have to, survive without any hands for the rest of my life but I can’t survive without my heart, my lungs, my kidneys, my liver and my brain and that is the golden triangle,” Evans explained after talking to Hof.
“So when you get cold your brain or central nervous system cuts off circulation and blood at your wrists and your ankles to your feet and to your hands. It puts the barrier down; the fire curtain down!”
Raynaud’s disease remains incurable, but there are certain measures individuals can take to minimise symptoms, including:
- Avoiding exposure to cold
- Keeping warm with gloves, socks, scarf, and a hat
- Stopping smoking
- Wearing finger guards over fingers with sores
- Avoiding trauma or vibrations to the hand (such as with vibrating tools)
- Taking blood pressure medicines during the winter months to help reduce constriction of the blood vessels.
To try and help his symptoms, Evans started to use waterproof socks whilst running, something he found “amazing”. He added: “his week was the first time ever running in waterproof socks – they’re amazing! Unbelievable! They kept my feet a bit warmer, but my hands are better off without gloves and just using these hand warmers now and again.”
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