Many people don’t realize just how common Raynaud’s Disease actually is. Essentially, it is condition that stops the blood supply from reaching the toes and fingers appropriately. Many people have cold hands or cold feet and Raynaud’s Disease is usually the culprit, even if they are not aware of it.
Raynaud’s Disease Symptoms
Raynaud’s Disease happens because blood vessel can go into spasm. As such, it is a blood vessel disorder. When this happens, the flow of blood is blocked. People with the disease often notice their fingers and toes go white and then blue. When the spasm ends, the fingers go red. Very often, this is associated with numbness, pain and pins and needles. The symptoms usually last from anything between a few minutes to a number of hours.
Raynaud’s Disease Causes
Usually, the triggers of the disease are cold temperatures, although stress and anxiety also play a part. The disease does not pose any significant health risks, but it is very annoying. Very often, people who suffer from it go for very long periods of time without noticing any ill effects, only for the condition to suddenly return.
Raynaud’s Disease Treatment
Treatment of Raynaud’s syndrome usually involves self-care options. Avoiding the cold is very important, as is wearing good quality, insulated gloves. Also, learning about various relaxation techniques is very important, particularly if the condition worsens under stress. Generally, many people also find that quitting smoking is a great way to alleviate the symptoms, since smoking affects the circulation of blood. If all of this has no positive effect, a medical professional may prescribe nifedipine.
Types of Raynaud’s Disease
There are essentially two different types of the disease. These are:
• Primary Raynaud’s, where the disease simply happens at some point. This is the most common type.
• Secondary Raynaud’s, where it happens as a consequence of other health conditions.
The exact Raynaud’s phenomenon causes are not really known. Usually, however, people who have primary Raynaud’s will also develop other conditions, usually associated with secondary Raynaud’s. A common condition is lupus. Usually, in those who have secondary Raynaud’s only, a number of conditions are the culprit. These include:
• Rheumatoid arthritis, where people have a compromised immune system that attacks the joints. This leads to pain and swelling and can cut off the blood supply to the extremities.
• Lupus, another illness that has to do with the immune system. Here, the system attacks a range of different parts of the body and joint pain is very common in it, but also skin rashes and tiredness.
Unfortunately, secondary Raynaud’s is a more serious condition. This is because the blood supply to the extremities can become too restricted, potentially leading to complications. Some of the most serious complications include ulcers and death of tissue, which is called gangrene.
Who Is at Risk of Raynaud’s Disease?
Raynaud’s is far more common than people realize. It is believed that one in nine women and one in twelve men are affected by the disease. It is hard to find exact figures, because many people don’t realize they have it at all. Usually, primary Raynaud’s first appears in late twenties or early thirties. Secondary Raynaud’s can happen at any time as it is related to underlying medical conditions. Primary Raynaud’s disease diagnosis usually doesn’t happen until people find their toe pain or finger pain becomes unbearable or when they start to notice that they have blue fingers. People suffering from Raynaud’s are also highly vulnerable to frostbite.