Raynaud's Disease

Also called: Raynaud's phenomenon

Raynaud's disease is a rare disorder of the blood vessels, usually in the fingers and toes. It causes the blood vessels to narrow when you are cold or feeling stressed. When this happens, blood can't get to the surface of the skin and the affected areas turn white and blue. When the blood flow returns, the skin turns red and throbs or tingles. In severe cases, loss of blood flow can cause sores or tissue death.

Primary Raynaud's happens on its own. The cause is not known. There is also secondary Raynaud's, which is caused by injuries, other diseases, or certain medicines.

People in colder climates are more likely to develop Raynaud's. It is also more common in women, people with a family history, and those over age 30.

Treatment for Raynaud's may include drugs to keep the blood vessels open. There are also simple things you can do yourself, such as

  • Soaking hands in warm water at the first sign of an attack
  • Keeping your hands and feet warm in cold weather
  • Avoiding triggers, such as certain medicines and stress

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Raynaud's Disease

The following features are indicative of Raynaud's Disease:
  • cold fingers or toes
  • color changes in your skin in response to cold or stress
  • prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or stress relief

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Common Causes of Raynaud's Disease

The following are the most common causes of Raynaud's Disease:
  • exposure to cold
  • emotional stress
  • connective tissue diseases
  • diseases of the arteries
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • repetitive action or vibration

Other Causes of Raynaud's Disease

The following are the less common causes of Raynaud's Disease:
  • injuries such as wrist fracture, surgery or frostbite
  • smoking

Risk Factors for Raynaud's Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Raynaud's Disease:
  • age between 15 and 30
  • women
  • family history
  • colder climates
  • exposure to certain chemicals, such as vinyl chloride

Prevention of Raynaud's Disease

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Raynaud's Disease. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • wear mittens and socks to bed during winter
  • set the air conditioner to a warmer temperature
  • moving to warmer climate
  • do regularly exercise
  • avoid inhaling secondhand smoke

Occurrence of Raynaud's Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Raynaud's Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Raynaud's Disease can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Raynaud's Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Raynaud's Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Raynaud's Disease:
  • Nailfold capillaroscopy test: To distinguish between primary and secondary Raynaud's disease
  • Antinuclear antibodies test: To detect the presence of the antibodies in people who have connective tissue diseases or other autoimmune disorders
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate: To determine the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a tube and diagnose Raynaud's disease

Doctor for Diagnosis of Raynaud's Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Raynaud's Disease:
  • Rheumatologist
  • General practitioner

Complications of Raynaud's Disease if untreated

Yes, Raynaud's Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Raynaud's Disease is left untreated:
  • skin sores
  • gangrene

Procedures for Treatment of Raynaud's Disease

The following procedures are used to treat Raynaud's Disease:
  • Surgery: To cut out the damaged tissue and relieves the symptoms of Raynaud's disease

Self-care for Raynaud's Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Raynaud's Disease:
  • Avoid smoking: Helps in lowering the Raynaud's attacks
  • Regular exercise: Improves the blood circulation
  • Avoid stressful situations: Helps in controlling the number of Raynaud's attacks
  • Try not to move from a hot environment to an air-conditioned room

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Raynaud's Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Raynaud's Disease:
  • Using Fish oil: Improves your tolerance to cold
  • Intake of Ginkgo supplements: Helps in lowering the number of Raynaud's attacks
  • Using Biofeedback techniques: Lowers the severity and frequency of Raynaud's attacks
  • Practicing Acupuncture techniques: Improves the blood flow and helps in relieving Raynaud's attacks

Patient Support for Treatment of Raynaud's Disease

The following actions may help Raynaud's Disease patients:
  • Join supporting research groups: Provides medical knowledge and care about the disease

Time for Treatment of Raynaud's Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Raynaud's Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 3/07/2019.
This page provides information for Raynaud's Disease.

Related Topics

Raynaud's Disease

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