Monday, June 19, 2006

What is Raynaud's Syndrome?

Provided by:

Q: My hands always get really cold in winter, but lately, they feel icy even when I'm indoors, especially at work where they keep the temperature toasty warm. When I put gloves on or rub them together to warm them up, I get a pins and needles sensation. What's going on?

A: It is possible that you may have something called Raynaud's syndrome. This condition involves an intermittently decreased blood flow to certain areas of the body (most commonly fingers or toes). Attacks may last anywhere from a few seconds to several hours. Raynaud's is nine times more prevalent in women than men. Estimates are that up to 20% of healthy women ages 21-50 may be affected, while 5 to 10% of the US general population is affected.

The good news is that it is generally treatable. Treatment options include preventing or minimizing cold exposure by wearing gloves or mittens outdoors or holding warm (but not hot) mugs of coffee or tea. While pocket warmers may also help, avoid vigorously rubbing your hands together as this may damage surface cells. You should also avoid substances such as vasoconstrictive drugs or nicotine. Smoking is bad for just about every health issue, but particularly dangerous for people with circulation problems.
Nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker (available by prescription only), has been used to treat Raynaud's phenomenon because of its prompt vasodilatory effects. Two thirds of patients with Raynaud's treated with calcium channel blockers will find relief.

Emotional stress may exacerbate Raynaud's; develop and practice stress reduction and relaxation techniques that work for you on a regular basis. Daily aerobic exercise is a good choice not only to reduce stress, but also to improve circulation.

While most individuals with Raynaud's syndrome do not have other medical conditions, Raynaud's may be associated with scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus ("lupus"), Sjögren's syndrome, obstructive arterial disease, dermatomyositis, and polymyositis. If you have bothersome physical symptoms other than those you mentioned, you should consult your physician to be sure that you do not have any of these other conditions. Depending upon the type of work that you do, your symptoms may flare up because of an association with carpal tunnel syndrome, which may also cause Raynaud's syndrome.

No comments:


Dr. Group's Secret to Health Kit

Dr. Group's Secret to Health Kit

[ learn more ]

Add to Cart

Dr. Group's Secret to Health Kit offers simple at-home solutions for cleansing internally and externally thereby reducing toxins, restoring the body's natural healing process, and helping you achieve true health and happiness.