Lupus and Raynaud's
Tuesday, 6 November 2018
If you suffer from lupus, you have a 33% chance of developing Raynaud's disease within your lifetime. While there is currently no known cure for lupus itself, simple steps can be taken to reduce your likelihood of suffering from an attack of Raynaud's disease. Find out more about both syndromes and what you can do to prevent discomfort by reading our blog on Lupus and Raynaud's here.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which is when your immune system attacks healthy tissue, causing damage and inflammation to previously healthy tissue. Although the condition is difficult to diagnose, it is generally characterised by joint pain, extreme tiredness and skin rashes across the cheeks. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, it's integral that you report to your GP for testing as the condition can cause irreparable damage to your major organs if steps aren't taken to control it.
What Is the Link Between Lupus and Raynaud's Disease?
Not only does lupus affect the joints, it can also cause changes to your skin and your blood circulation. As the autoimmune disease causes inflammation in the body, this can cause the walls of your arteries to thicken, which in turn makes the channel of your arteries smaller. This therefore makes you more susceptible to Raynaud's disease, which is often caused by poor circulation.
Although secondary Raynaud's disease is relatively easy to treat, one third of people with lupus suffer from Raynaud's disease, meaning that if you suffer from Raynaud's syndrome this can be a sign within itself that you're suffering from lupus. As a result, it's integral that you visit the GP if a hypersensitivity to changes in temperature is present alongside any of the symptoms of lupus referenced above.
Is Raynaud's Disease Easily Cured?
Although Raynaud's syndrome isn't currently curable, it is easily treatable. It should be noted that any inflammation caused by the condition tends to become a permanent problem and cannot be improved even with anti-inflammatory medication. This means that your blood vessels will generally remain smaller than most, making Raynaud's disease a permanent part of your life. However, so long as you prepare properly for a Raynaud's attack, the syndrome is easily managed.
How Do I Get Ahead of Raynaud's Disease?
Raynaud's disease is generally caused by stress or changes in temperature, meaning that it tends to affect sufferers more in the winter. As the causes of the syndrome are known, it can be fairly easy to manage symptoms of the syndrome. The most effective solutions are as follows:
Wrap Up Warm
This is our top tip for anyone who is suffering from the cold. If you find that your attacks of the disease are usually caused by changes in temperature, this is by far the easiest and most effective way of preventing discomfort in your body. As your extremities are most susceptible to discomfort caused by Raynaud's disease, keeping your hands and feet warm is a must.
Our Raynaud's Disease Deluxe Silver Gloves and Deluxe Silver Socks Bundle is a cost effective and easy way of helping you stay warm without even lifting a finger. As silver is known for its heat retaining properties, this is an excellent way of keeping you warm even in blustery weather. Pair this with a HotRox Double-Sided Electronic Handwarmer, which should fit snugly in the palm of your hand, and you'll be ready to face even the harshest of winters!
Exercising improves your circulation, so sticking to a regular routine can work wonders in improving your condition. But don't worry; you don't have to become the next Usain Bolt or Tom Daley overnight; small steps to keep your hands or feet moving can help to offer targeted warmth. Our range of Raynaud's Hand Exercises are a great place to start, especially the ever-popular Eggsercizer Hand Exerciser, which is available in different densities and can even be heated if you want an additional layer of warmth as you exercise. We even provide a number of different starter exercises on the product listing that we recommend!
Keep Your Home Warm
Raynaud's sufferers usually face higher heating bills than most, causing unnecessary stress and therefore worsening the disease itself. Beyond contacting your energy supplier to ask for any additional supports that are available (please note that if you do this, this is usually on a discretionary basis), there are plenty of ways to heat up your house for less. For starters: don't heat up your house at all!
If you live in a large house by yourself or with your partner, it probably seems pointless heating up the whole house – especially if you tend to spend most of your evening in one room. If this is the case, the HomeGlow B-Warm Heated Seat Cover is an easy way of keeping you warm without losing or wasting energy. Simply drape this cover over your seat and sit down to experience soothing warmth from your head to your calves! Featuring four temperature settings and costing less than half a penny per hour of use, this seat cover offers tailored heat without the high price.
Do Your Bit to Prevent Ulcers
Those who suffer from secondary Raynaud's disease are at an increased risk of suffering from ulcers, so it's important that you prevent these from occurring before they even have a chance to develop. Moisturising your skin regularly even before it becomes dry or cracked can help to do exactly this. Gloves in a Bottle is an excellent way of keeping your skin feeling soft and supple while also preventing ulcers. As a bonus, give your hands a little massage while you rub the cream in and you'll also help get the blood flowing!
Discomfort caused by lupus can also be helped by using sunscreen on any skin that is exposed to the sun, which is why we also stock an SPF 15 version of Gloves in a Bottle 240ml to help you remain safe while also improving the symptoms of secondary Raynaud's disease. Please note, however, that this should not be used as a replacement to high-factor sun lotion.
Tell Us What You Think
We hope that you've learned a lot from this article about both lupus and Raynaud's disease, as well as actionable steps you can take to reduce the signs and symptoms of secondary Raynaud's disease. If you have a question or anything to add, please leave us a comment or find us on Facebook or Twitter!