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Raynaud’s Syndrome: Prevention and Natural Solutions

Raynaud’s syndrome causes numbness and coldness in certain parts of the body. Like fingers and toes, in response to cold or stress. In Raynaud’s disease, the small arteries that supply blood to the skin narrow. This restricts blood flow 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 living in colder climates. Treatment for Raynaud’s disease depends on its severity and whether or not other health problems are present. For most people, Raynaud’s disease is not a disability, 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

– Numbness, tingling, or shooting pain when warming up or relieving stress

– During an attack of Raynaud’s syndrome, the affected areas of the skin usually turn white at first. Then they often turn blue and feel cold and numb. As you warm up and blood flow improves, the affected areas may become red, throbbing, tingling, or swelling.

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

When to see 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 your hands and feet seem to overreact to cold or stress.

In Raynaud’s syndrome, the arteries in your fingers and toes spasm when exposed to cold or stress. As a result, the vessels narrow and the blood supply is temporarily restricted. Over time, these small arteries can easily thicken, further restricting blood flow.

Cold temperatures are most likely to trigger an attack. Exposure to cold, such as immersing hands in cold water, removing items from the freezer, or being in 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 known as Raynaud’s disease, this most common form is not the result of a related medical condition. It can be so mild that many people with primary Raynaud’s disease do not seek treatment. And it can solve itself.

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

This form is caused by an underlying problem. Although the 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 in primary Raynaud’s disease.

Causes of secondary Raynaud’s syndrome are:

– Diseases of the connective tissue.

Most people with a rare condition 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 Sjogren’s syndrome.

– Diseases of the arteries

This includes the build-up of plaque in the blood vessels that supply the heart (atherosclerosis). It’s a condition 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 large nerve in the hand, causing numbness and pain in the hand, which can make the hand more sensitive to cold.

– Repeated action or vibration.

Prolonged typing, playing the piano, or similar motion and using vibrating tools such as jackhammers can lead to overuse injuries.

– Smoking

Smoking causes blood vessels to narrow.

– Injuries 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, medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, certain chemotherapy drugs, and drugs that cause blood vessels to narrow, such as some over-the-counter cold medicines.

Risk factors for Raynaud’s syndrome

Risk factors for Raynaud’s syndrome include:

– Gender

Women are more affected than men.

– Age

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

– The climate

The disease is also more common in people living in colder climates.

– family history

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

Prevention of Raynaud’s Syndrome

To prevent the onset of symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome:

Wrap up outside

If it’s cold, put on a hat, scarf, socks and boots, and two layers of mittens or gloves before going outside. Wear a close-cuffed coat to wrap your mittens or gloves to keep cold air from getting on your hands.

Use chemical hand warmers

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

Warm up your car.

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

Take precautions indoors

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

Since 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 reduce attacks of Raynaud’s syndrome and help you feel better.

– Avoid smoking

Smoking or secondhand smoke lowers skin temperature by constricting blood vessels, which can lead to a seizure.

– Exercise

Exercise can increase blood flow, 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 changes in temperature.

Try not to move from a hot environment to an air-conditioned space. Avoid the frozen sections of grocery stores if possible.

What to do during a Raynaud’s syndrome attack?

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

– Go indoors or to a warmer place
– Wiggle your fingers and toes
– Put your hands under your armpits
– Draw 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-relieving technique that works for you, and warm your hands or feet in the water to lessen the onslaught.

Natural Solutions for Raynaud’s Syndrome

Lifestyle changes and supplements that promote better blood flow can help you manage Raynaud’s syndrome.

fish oil.

Taking fish oil supplements can help improve your cold tolerance.

ginkgo

Ginkgo supplements can help reduce the number of Raynaud’s attacks.

acupuncture

This practice appears to improve circulation, so it may be helpful in relieving Raynaud’s seizures.

biofeedback

Using your mind to control body temperature can help reduce 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 Raynaud’s phenomenon. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. called Aug. 8, 2017.

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

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

Malenfant D, et al. The Effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Treatment of Raynaud’s Phenomenon: A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis. Rheumatology. 2009;48:791.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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