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Raynaud’s Disease

Winter is upon us once again. Whilst the climate is warmer than our Southern friends, Raynaud’s is a condition that can still present itself.

Raynaud’s disease is a illness that causes a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the extremities – namely the fingers and toes. Cold and stress can typically exaggerated the response.

Raynaud’s disease usually presents as a colour change in the fingertips or toes. They will often initially turn from white, to blue. The affected areas may begin to feel cold, or may also experience feeling changes such as burning, tingling, and lastly  numbness.

A prolonged lack of blood supply will cause tissue breakdown in the form of ulcerations.

The affected area can turn pink or red with a burning or prickly feeling once circulation is returned.

Raynaud’s can show as primary or secondary. Primary Raynaud’s, or Raynaud’s disease, is a illness that has no exact cause. It typically shows on its own. There are fewer serious implications with Primary Raynaud’s compared to secondary Raynaud’s.

Primary comorbidities may cause Raynaud’s Phenomenon, occurs . Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, and scleroderma are all conditions that are linked Raynaud’s-like symptoms.

Direct injury to arteries and exposure to dangerous chemicals may to Secondary Raynaud’s.

Treatment for Raynaud’s should always begin by addressing the underlying cause. Keeping hands and feet warm,  movement of the area may increase the blood supply. Your GP may issue medications in serious cases to assist with opening up and relaxing the blood vessels.