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What Causes Raynaudís Disease?

21 September 2015

We may have a plethora of items to help you understand how to best manage Raynaud’s Disease, but do you know what causes it? Neither do we, in fact, in the case of Primary Raynaud’s, nobody does! Unprompted by anything apparent, you may have heard it being called “Raynaud’s Phenomenon” due to its mysterious nature. Secondary Raynaud’s Disease, on the other hand, is caused by a pre-existing health condition, medications or long-term damage to the area.

First Things First

The most common form of Raynaud’s disease is also the one which can’t be explained. Primary Raynaud’s Disease is believed to be caused by disruptions in the nervous system, though precisely what causes them is unclear. Unlike Secondary Raynaud's, Raynaud’s Phenomenon is not accompanied, or triggered, by anything apparent in the sufferer’s lifestyle such as ill health or medications. Stress and anxiety is thought to increase the chances of developing Raynaud’s, and can trigger attacks in those who already suffer from the condition.

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Primary Raynaud’s can occur in individuals as young as 15 and presents most commonly between 20 and 30 years of age. Most sufferers are female, but the risk increases for anyone living in colder climates. In many cases this form of Raynaud’s is never given medical attention because many attacks actually pass completely unnoticed.  

Severe Secondary

Secondary Raynaud’s – also known as Raynaud’s Syndrome – is the more severe version of this condition and, unlike Primary Raynaud’s, is caused by other factors in the sufferer’s lifestyle. Less common than Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Raynaud’s Syndrome is most commonly found in people with connective tissue diseases such as Scleroderma – sufferers of which have a high chance of developing Raynaud’s. Carpal Tunnel, blood vessel diseases or Lupus are also frequently cited as causes of Secondary Raynaud’s, as are drugs that constrict the blood vessels. 

Individuals working in certain industries such as construction may also suffer from a type of Raynaud’s Syndrome known as Vibration White Fingers (VWF) or Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) caused by working with vibrating power tools damaging the nerves in the hands and fingers. 

Secondary Raynaud’s has a host of possible symptoms, ranging from a more serious form of the blood-deprived extremities of Primary Raynaud’s to skin ulcers and even gangrene. 

Protecting Against Raynaud’s

Keeping warm is key to keeping Raynaud’s attacks at bay during the winter months. While it may be tempting to concentrate only on the hands or feet, it’s important to keep your whole body warm. Our range of gadgets and garments have been especially chosen to keep you comfortable and toasty warm from head to toe, from heated seat covers to silver gloves, we’re sure you’ll find your perfect method of making sure Raynaud’s doesn’t disturb your winter. 

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