Wellness

Raynaud’s syndrome: prevention and natural solutions

Raynaud’s syndrome causes a feeling of numbness and coldness in certain parts of the body. Like fingers and toes, in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud’s disease, the small arteries that supply blood to the skin narrow. Thus limiting blood circulation to the affected areas.

Women are more likely than men to have Raynaud’s disease or Raynaud’s syndrome. It seems to be more common in people who live in colder climates. Treatment for Raynaud’s disease depends on its severity and whether or not other health conditions exist. For most people, Raynaud’s disease is not disabling, but it can affect your quality of life.

Symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome

Signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s disease include the following

– Cold fingers or toes

– Changes in skin color in response to cold or stress

– Feeling of numbness, tingling, or stinging pain when warming up or relieving stress

– During an attack of Raynaud’s syndrome, the affected areas of your skin usually first turn white. Then they often turn blue and feel cold and numb. As you warm up and blood circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle, or swell.

Although Raynaud’s syndrome most commonly affects the fingers and toes, it can also affect other parts of the body. Like the nose, lips, ears and even nipples. After warming, it may take 15 minutes for normal blood flow to return to the affected area.

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When to consult a doctor

See your doctor right away if you have a history of severe Raynaud’s disease and you develop a sore or infection in any of your affected fingers or toes.

Causes of Raynaud’s Syndrome

Doctors do not fully understand the cause of Raynaud’s attacks. But the blood vessels in the hands and feet seem to overreact to cold or stress.

With Raynaud’s syndrome, the arteries in the fingers and toes go into vasospasm when exposed to cold or stress. This narrows the vessels and temporarily limits the blood supply. Over time, these small arteries can thicken slightly, further restricting blood flow.

Cold temperatures are most likely to trigger an attack. Exposure to cold, such as putting your hands in cold water, taking something out of the freezer, or being in the cold air, are the most likely triggers. For some people, emotional stress can trigger an episode.

The two types of Raynaud’s syndrome

There are two main types of Raynaud’s syndrome

– The first type is Raynaud’s syndrome.

Also called Raynaud’s disease, this most common form is not the result of an associated medical condition. It can be so mild that many people with primary Raynaud’s disease do not seek treatment. And it can resolve itself.

– The second type of Raynaud syndrome is said to be secondary.

This form is caused by an underlying problem. Although secondary Raynaud’s form is less common than the primary form, it tends to be more severe. Signs and symptoms of secondary Raynaud’s disease usually appear around age 40, later than for primary Raynaud’s disease.

Causes of secondary Raynaud’s syndrome include:

– Connective tissue diseases.

Most people with a rare disease that causes hardening and scarring of the skin (scleroderma) have Raynaud’s disease.

Other diseases that increase the risk of Raynaud’s disease include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome.

– Diseases of the arteries

They include the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that supply the heart (atherosclerosis). It is a disorder in which blood vessels in the hands and feet become inflamed and a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs.

– Carpal tunnel syndrome

This condition involves pressure on a major nerve in the hand, producing numbness and pain in the hand which can make the hand more sensitive to cold.

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– Repetitive action or vibration.

Typing, playing the piano, or doing similar movements for long periods of time and using vibrating tools, such as jackhammers, can lead to overuse injuries.

– To smoke

Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict.

– Injury to hands or feet

It could be a broken wrist, surgery or frostbite.

– Certain medications

These include beta-blockers, used to treat high blood pressure, migraine medications, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications, certain chemotherapy agents, and medications that cause narrowing of blood vessels , such as some over-the-counter cold medicines.

Raynaud’s Syndrome Risk Factors

Risk factors for Raynaud’s syndrome include:

– Sex

Women are more affected than men.

– Age

Although anyone can develop this disease, Raynaud’s disease often begins between the ages of 15 and 30.

– The climate

The disease is also more common in people who live in colder climates.

– Family history

A first-degree relative: A parent, sibling, or child, with the condition appears to increase your risk of primary Raynaud’s disease.

Prevention of Raynaud’s syndrome

To help prevent symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome from occurring:

Wrap yourself outside

When it’s cold, put on a hat, scarf, socks and boots, and two layers of mittens or gloves before going outside. Wear a coat with snug-fitting cuffs to wrap around your mittens or gloves to prevent cold air from reaching your hands.

Use chemical hand warmers

Wear ear defenders and a face mask if the tip of your nose and earlobes are sensitive to the cold.

Warm up your car.

Run your car heater for a few minutes before driving in cold weather.

Take precautions indoors

Wear socks. When taking food out of the fridge or freezer, wear gloves, mitts or oven mitts. Some people find it helpful to wear mittens and socks to bed during the winter.

As air conditioning can trigger attacks, set your air conditioner to a warmer temperature.

Lifestyle and natural solution to relieve Raynaud’s syndrome

Various measures can decrease the attacks of Raynaud’s syndrome and help you feel better.

– Avoid smoke

Smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke lowers skin temperature by constricting blood vessels, which can cause a seizure.

– Exercise

Exercise can increase blood circulation, among other health benefits. If you have secondary Raynaud’s disease, consult your doctor before exercising outside in the cold.

– Control stress

Learning to recognize and avoid stressful situations can help control the number of attacks.

– Avoid rapid temperature changes.

Try not to move from a hot environment to an air-conditioned room. If possible, avoid the frozen food sections of grocery stores.

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What to do during an attack of Raynaud’s syndrome

Warm your hands, feet or other affected areas. To gently warm your fingers and toes:

– Go indoors or to a warmer area
– Wiggle your fingers and toes
– Place the hands under the armpits
– Make wide circles (windmills) with your arms
– Run warm – not hot – water over your fingers and toes
– Massage your hands and feet
– If stress triggers an attack, get out of the stressful situation and relax. Practice a stress reduction technique that works for you and warm your hands or feet in the water to lessen the attack.

Natural solutions for Raynaud’s syndrome

Lifestyle changes and dietary supplements that promote better circulation may help you manage Raynaud’s syndrome.

Fish oil.

Taking fish oil supplements may help improve your cold tolerance.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo supplements may help decrease the number of Raynaud’s seizures.

acupuncture

This practice seems to improve blood circulation, so it could be helpful in relieving Raynaud’s attacks.

Biofeedback

Using your mind to control body temperature may help decrease the severity and frequency of seizures. Biofeedback includes guided imagery to increase hand and foot temperature, deep breathing, and other relaxation exercises.

Sources

Wigley FM. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of the Raynaud phenomenon. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 8, 2017.

Wigley FM. Initial treatment of the Raynaud phenomenon. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 8, 2017.

Garner R, et al. Prevalence, risk factors and associations of primary Raynaud’s phenomenon: Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJOpen. 2015;5:e006389.

Raynaud’s. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/Raynaud. Accessed Aug. 8, 2017.

Raynaud’s disease. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed Aug. 8, 2017.

Malenfant D, et al. The efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon: A literature review and meta-analysis. Rheumatology. 2009;48:791.

* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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