Sjögren’s and Raynaud's
Thursday, 29 November 2018
If you suffer from Sjögren's Syndrome, then you're more likely to suffer from Raynaud's disease. Between 15% and 30% of sufferers also suffer from Raynaud's, which drastically affects the experience of both conditions. This article explains in detail the link between Sjögren's and Raynaud's, and how to make living with the two conditions a little bit easier.
What is Sjögren's?
Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune condition that affects the body's ability to produce moisture in the glands of the eyes, nose, mouth and vagina, and will usually appear between the ages of 40 and 60. While usually it doesn't spell anything to worry about, it can be dangerous, causing dysfunction of the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas and central nervous system. Primary Sjögren's is when a patient suffers from the condition alone, and secondary Sjögren's is when the patient suffers from a connecting tissue condition.
Patients can also suffer from extreme fatigue and joint pain, meaning day to day living is made difficult. Dry eyes, a dry mouth and a sharp chesty cough become the mainstay, and eating the wrong foods can cause severe irritation. There is no known cure for the syndrome, but doctors may prescribe certain medication if the symptoms become too severe.
Living with Sjögren's
Living with Sjögren's doesn't have to be difficult, as there are many things out there to help you get by. Generally, the condition isn't dangerous, but we would always recommend that you visit a doctor if you start to experience symptoms.
Symptoms of Sjögren's
Symptoms of Sjögren's can include:
Alleviating Sjögren's Symptoms
As mentioned earlier, there isn't a known cure for Raynaud's. However there are plenty of things to make living with the conditions easier. This includes eye drops, sprays, lozenges, gels and medicine that are all recommended by doctors for living with the condition.
It's also recommended to avoid dry and smoky places, avoiding reading and watching TV for too long, practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding alcohol and smoking.
How is Sjogren's Connected to Raynaud's Disease?
In roughly a third of sufferers, Raynaud's is a symptom of Sjögren's. Raynaud's is identified by your fingers, toes and other extremities going either blue or white after they experience a drop in temperature. This will last between a few minutes and a few hours while your blood vessels contract. When the blood finally returns, the numbing feeling will alleviate and you may experience a tingling or pins and needles feeling in the affected area.
As with most of the symptoms that are associated with Sjögren's, you can take steps to alleviate the discomfort caused by Raynaud's and make living with the condition easier. This can include wearing Gloves, Socks and keeping the chair you're sitting on warm.
Living with Sjogren's and Raynaud's
Battle Dry Skin
Living through winter can be made more difficult with both of these conditions, not least because the cold weather can make your skin dry which is already a symptom of Sjögren's. You can help to prevent ulcers and keep your hands moisturised in the cold weather by using Gloves in a Bottle, a thin lotion that provides three hours of moisturiser which alleviates dry, cracked and irritated skin. It creates a barrier between the world and your skin, helping to shield you from the worst of the winter.
Prepare Your Environment
You can prepare you're environment for the cold by using warming products to offer warmth when you need it most. You can use the Beurer Heated Cosy Cushion which provides three different levels of heat while ensuring your hands stay at a comfortable temperature. If you are suffering from a Raynaud's attack, then using the turbo heating setting can give you a quick boost of much needed heat.
Alternatively the Raynaud's Disease Silver Gloves & Homeglow B-Warm Seat Cover Bundle is designed to keep you nice and warm in your home. A heated cover lets you warm your seat when the house starts to get cold, while silver embedded gloves prevents the cold from reaching your hands. Lastly, the HotRox Double-Sided Electronic Handwarmer with Power Bank Function provides you with a simple way to warm your hands, with its portable pocket sized design providing up to six hours of heat at the touch of a button.
Dress For It
Our last recommendation is to dress for the cold weather. Wrap up warm, and don't be afraid to use multiple layers to ward off Raynaud's episodes. The Raynaud's Disease Silver Gloves offers exceptional warmth in cold conditions, using silver embedded in the cotton to trap heat in and keep the hands warm.
If it's your feet that suffer most from the cold, then we would recommend using the Pedag Viva Winter Raynaud's Insoles, as they use a pure wool liner to trap in heat while providing high comfort. Special high tech foam with thousands of closed air cells offers impressive insulation, while aluminium foil underneath the insoles shields the feet from the cold ground.
Make Living Easier
You can make living with Sjögren's and Raynaud's easier by preparing for it and taking recommended steps that can alleviate conditions from both. 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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