What Is Raynaudís Phenomenon?

Monday, 28 September 2015  |  John

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is another term for Raynaud’s disease, also called Raynaud’s syndrome or sometimes just Raynaud’s. It affects the blood supply in the body and is most commonly visible in hands and feet.

What Does Raynaud’s Phenomenon Do?

In people who have Raynaud’s Phenomenon, the small blood vessels in extremities are over-sensitive to cold temperatures and contract, cutting off the blood supply to extremities – usually fingers and toes.

During a typical attack of Raynaud’s Phenomenon, the affected skin will first go white and take on a waxy look. They can then turn blue and finally red before going back to the skin’s natural colour. While red, the affected skin often feels like it is burning and can be painful.

What Triggers An Attack Of Raynaud’s Phenomenon?

Raynaud’s Phenomenon attacks are generally caused by contact with low temperatures. This can be by touching cold objects or being in a cold environment. Because of this, winter is a difficult time for Raynaud’s Phenomenon sufferers, who need to take extra precautions when leaving their house.

A Raynaud’s phenomenon attack can also be triggered by high levels of stress and anxiety.

What Causes Raynaud’s Phenomenon?

There are 2 types of Raynaud’s Phenomenon – primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud’s is where the phenomenon happens by itself and is the most common form.

It is believed that this type is caused by disruptions to the nerves which control blood vessels, however it isn’t known what causes these disruptions in the first place. However, it does seem that the condition runs in families.

Secondary Raynaud’s is where the phenomenon is caused by an underlying health conditions. The main causes of secondary Raynaud’s are autoimmune conditions such as scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. These type of conditions cause the immune system to attack healthy cells.

Secondary Raynaud’s can also be caused by:

  • Hepatitis B 
  • Hepatitis C
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma

Smoking is also known to increase your risk of developing secondary Raynaud’s, as it constricts blood vessels.

What Can You Do To Help Combat Raynaud’s Phenomenon?

There is no known cure for Raynaud’s phenomenon, however there are several things you can do to help mitigate it and stave off an attack. Keeping your body warm at all times is the main thing you can do – wear gloves and socks specifically designed to help deal with Raynaud’s Phenomenon to protect the sensitive extremities.

Regular exercise can also help to counter Raynaud’s phenomenon, as it helps to improve your circulation and reduces stress levels.

Speaking of which, a healthy diet, relaxation techniques and yoga can all help to reduce stress and anxiety, and avoiding stimulants such as coffee, tea and cola can also help reduce stress.

If you’re interested in getting some gloves, socks and heating accessories to help combat your Raynaud’s phenomenon, head over to RaynaudsDisease.com and check out our full range of products.

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