what is raynauds
what is raynauds

What Is Raynaud’s? Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment for Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Did you know that 10% of the American population has Raynaud’s? Circulation issues caused by irregular blood pressure and exposure to extreme weather can be debilitating, especially in climates with fluctuating weather.

So let’s take a closer look at what is Raynaud’s and how it can be treated.

What Is Raynaud’s Phenomenon?

Raynaud’s disease is a common condition that causes the blood vessels in the fingers and toes to narrow, limiting blood flow to those areas. This can cause the fingers and toes to feel cold and turn white or blue whatever the weather.

When you have Raynaud’s disease, these blood vessels can overreact to low temperatures or stress, which can cause them to narrow or close up. This can lead to a number of severe symptoms, including pale hands and feet, pinky fingers, burning sensation from lack of circulation, and then burning as the blood flow returns, turning the skin red again.

If you think you may have Raynaud’s disease, it is important to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options. There are a number of things you can do to help manage your symptoms, such as keeping your fingers warm and reducing stress. Your doctor is likely the best person for discussing treatment options for Raynaud’s disease.

What are the causes of Raynaud’s?

There are many potential causes of Raynaud’s, including (but not exclusively):

– Smoking

– Exposure to cold temperatures

– Trauma to the hands or feet

– Genetics

– Autoimmune diseases

There are several potential causes of Raynaud’s, including a build-up of plaque in blood vessels (atherosclerosis), Buerger’s syndrome, connective tissue diseases like scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, vibration-related stress on the body, carpal tunnel syndrome, drug use (including overuse of caffeine or nicotine), exposure to chemicals, and injuries.

Raynaud’s can also be the result of repetitive stress on the body–for example, from long hours at a job that involves using your hands or from activities like gardening or biking. In some cases, it may even be caused by cold weather.

Female sex hormones seem to play a role in making women more likely to develop Raynaud’s than men. Smoking narrows blood vessels and is a possible cause of Raynaud’s. The condition also appears to run in families–if your parents or siblings have it, you’re more likely to develop it yourself. The primary form of Raynaud’s usually starts between the ages of 15 and 25 years old; secondary Raynaud’s tends to start around age 35-40.

Raynaud’s and Neurodivergent Comorbidities

Many have noticed that there is a strong correlation between existence of Raynaud’s and comorbid conditions such as Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Medical evidence is scarce, but much of the attention around these conditions in Autistic patients, especially autistic children, has come from increased access to social media and online communities where people are sharing experiences and all noticing a common theme in their comorbidities and quality of life.

While it remains unclear whether these are directly linked, the genetic predispositions that run parallel are leading many to research potential genetic links between connective tissue disorders, autoimmune conditions, hypermobility spectrum disorders, and neurological conditions.

What are the symptoms of Raynaud’s?

Clinical features of Raynaud’s can include:

– Cold hands and feet

– Pale, white, or blue color to the skin

– Numbness or tingling in the extremities

– Joint pain, as well as in the hands and feet.

– Difficulty with movement in extremities.

– Skin Ulcers

– Skin Sores

Raynaud’s is a disorder that affects the blood vessels. It can cause the fingers and toes to feel cold and turn pale or blue skin color thanks to reduced blood supply. The person may also feel a tingling sensation in their extremities. Attacks, which are episodes of symptoms, usually last for about 10 minutes but can sometimes last for hours.

The most common form of triggers for Raynaud’s are exposure to cold, emotional stress, and cigarette smoking. Temperature changes trigger episodes or “attacks.” The term “attack” refers to an episode or symptom of Raynaud’s syndrome (RS). Only one finger or toe may be affected initially; then it progresses to other fingers and toes.

Raynaud’s is usually painless but could experience symptoms like swelling, tingling, burning or throbbing. The symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome can vary depending on the severity and the primary form, and whether any coexisting conditions occur such as systemic sclerosis.

How is Raynaud’s diagnosed?

There are a few different ways to diagnose Raynaud’s. The doctor will start by looking at your medical history and ask about family history. Then the doctor will conduct a physical exam by first checking for symptoms in the diagnostic criteria such as the characteristic blood vessels in the fingertips. If they see these, it is likely that the person has Raynaud’s.

The doctor will then conduct blood tests test for signs of an autoimmune disorder. This is because many other health problems can be ruled out when Raynaud’s is diagnosed. For example, autoimmune disorders and health conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can cause similar symptoms.

If there are any abnormal results from these tests, the doctor may order a nailfold capillaroscopy. This helps doctors identify Raynaud’s by examining capillary function under a microscope. The results of this test will be abnormal for those who have the secondary form of Raynaud’s.

Finally, if there are still any doubts about whether or not someone has Raynaud’s, the doctor may order other diagnostic tests such as a complete blood count, urinalysis, and chemistry profile. These tests help distinguish between secondary Raynaud’s and primary Raynaud’s as well as other comorbid conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

How is Raynaud’s treated?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the treatment for Raynaud’s can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, some of the most common treatments include: wearing gloves and warm socks, taking medications such as beta blockers to widen the blood vessels, and avoiding triggers like cold weather and stress.

Raynaud’s is a disorder that affects the blood vessels. There are two types of Raynaud’s: primary and secondary. The primary form is often triggered by stress, whereas Secondary Raynaud’s occurs as a result of inflammation or cold exposure.

There are several ways to treat Raynaud’s: with medications such as calcium channel blockers, manual techniques such as avoiding chilling any part of the body, and managing stress. For most people, the best treatment option is to avoid chilling any part of their body (keep warm). Several non-drug treatments may help decrease severity and promote overall well-being in patients suffering from secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon. Managing stress may help avoid attacks. Learn to recognize and avoid stressful situations.

Primary Raynaud’s phenomenon is often triggered by stress, whereas Secondary Raynaud’s occurs as a result of inflammation or cold exposure. Raynaud’s is treated with vasodilators, which relax the blood vessels. The secondary form of Raynaud’s is more difficult to treat than the primary form of the disorder. Alpha-blockers counteract norepinephrine and help patients with Raynauds deal with symptoms better.

In Summary

With the right treatment, people with Raynaud’s can lead a decent quality of life. It is important to remember that it is possible to live with the disease without having to live with the pain. If you think you might have Raynaud’s, talk to your doctor about what you should do next.

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Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by Neurodadversity

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30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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