Do I Have Raynaud's?

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Raynaud's disease can cause your extremities (usually your fingers and toes) to sting, go numb and develop pins and needles, while also turning either white or blue. It is usually caused by a slight or severe change in temperature, and stress and lifestyle choices can also play a role. Raynaud's is separated into two different types: primary, which has no underlying cause; and secondary, which can be caused because of an underlying health condition.

Do I Have Raynaud's Disease?
Raynaud's disease can be triggered by cold conditions

Raynaud's episodes can last between a few minutes and a few hours, and can cause severe discomfort to the sufferer. Primary Raynaud's, which is the most common, doesn't usually require specialist treatment, though that doesn't mean you can't take steps to make living with it easier. Thankfully there are a few home tricks to discover if you do have Raynaud's, and, if that's the case, plenty of things you can do to alleviate the symptoms.

Do I Have Raynaud's?

Raynaud's disease is known to affect up to ten million people in the UK, which is a huge number considering many people have never ever heard of the condition. Don't worry, it isn't normally life-threatening, evident by the fact that the huge majority don't ever see a doctor for their condition, and often symptoms die down after a while.

What Are the Symptoms?

Raynaud's affects blood circulation, and a change in temperature, anxiety or stress can cause your fingers to change colour to either white, red or, more rarely, blue. The NHS suggest that this, and some of the following, are the main symptoms for Raynaud's:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Stiffness

It may also affect your ears, nose, lips and nipples.

The Cold Stimulation Test

The cold stimulation test can be used to discover if you might have Raynaud's, and this can be done at home with the correct equipment. All you need is some tape, a temperature measuring device, a bucket of ice water and something to measure time with. The steps of the test are:

  1. Tape the thermometer to your fingers with tape
  2. Place your hands in the ice water to trigger symptoms and then remove
  3. Measure how long it takes for your fingers to return to your normal body temperature

If your fingers take longer than 15 minutes to return to your normal body temperature then the results are abnormal, and you may have Raynaud's. If they return more quickly, then your blood flow is fine and the chance is that you don't have Raynaud's.

When to See a Doctor

If it takes longer than 15 minutes for your fingers to return back to their original body temperature, then we'd recommend visiting the doctor for a second opinion. The doctor can take a number of other tests to find out for certain what you have. Remember, although primary Raynaud's is usually harmless, secondary Raynaud's can be a sign of an artery disease, autoimmune conditions, injured arteries and thoracic outlet syndrome.

Secondary Raynaud's is rare compared to primary Raynaud's, but it's a good idea to find out which of the two you may have. A doctor will carry out further tests if you receive abnormal results in the cold stimulation test, including:

  • Nailfold capillaroscopy
  • Antinuclear antibodies test
  • Erthrocyte sedimation rate
  • C-reactive protein test

How Can I Alleviate the Symptoms of Raynaud's?

If your Raynaud's attacks aren't too severe, or if they are severe and you want to prevent an attack, you can help to ward away symptoms by keeping warm, exercising regularly, not smoking and avoiding medications that reduce blood flow. Another option is to buy some Socks, Gloves and Blankets that are designed specifically for dealing with Raynauds. If you want to alleviate the symptoms, that we would highly recommend some of the following:

Raynaud's Disease Silver Gloves

Silver and copper embedded gloves are ideal for alleviating symptoms because they are designed to keep your hands warm. The Raynaud's Disease Silver Embedded Gloves combine 8% silver with cotton, meaning that warmth is provided along with exceptional dexterity and freedom of movement. They minimise heat loss and reflect heat back into the body, helping to prevent pain far more than conventional products.

Raynaud's Disease Silver Gloves
Raynaud's Disease Silver Gloves

Warm Short Copper Compression Socks

As mentioned above, copper is highly beneficial in alleviating symptoms as it provides unrivalled heat, reduces bacteria and improves blood flow. The Warm Short Copper Compression Socks are infused with copper, helping to increase blood flow and relieve Raynaud's and its symptoms. Warm and comfortable, these socks also include odour-control, meaning that you stay fresh as well as warm.

Warm Short Copper Compression Socks
Warm Short Copper Compression Socks

Hotteeze Hand Warmer (Pack of 10)

Another option is to buy some hand warmer packs and pads, as these can be brought out at any time to provide some emergency warmth if required. The Hotteeze Hand Warmer can be held in the hands or tucked into gloves to provide heat at an average temperature of 63°C. This will continue for 10 hours, and their ultra thin, odourless design is ideal if you're travelling, camping, commuting or just out for a walk in the cold.

Hotteeze Hand Warmer
Hotteeze Hand Warmer (Pack of 10)

Don't Put up with Pain

If you do think that you have Raynaud's then we would recommend seeing a doctor immediately. If you're diagnosed, then you don't have to just put up with the pain as you can buy SocksGlovesBlankets, Hand Warmers and a wide range of Electronic Raynaud's products on our website.

If you have a question or anything to add, please leave us a comment or find us on Facebook or Twitter!

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