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Raynaud's syndrome

Evidence of infectious cause

Sample PubMed cite1)

s373

Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud's usually affects the fingers and toes, but the ears, nose, lips or nipples may also be affected. People with this disorder are intolerant of cold. Exposure to cold or even strong emotions causes a brief interruption of the flow of blood to extremities such as the hands or feet due to spasmodic contractions of blood vessels. Affected areas will feel cold, numb, tingly or throb painfully for minutes, sometimes hours until the episode passes. In severe episodes, the pain may extend up the hand into the lower arm.

When an attack occurs, if you look closely, you may see the skin turn white when the blood flow is interrupted. Then the skin may turn blue while blood vessels dilate. When the flow of blood returns, the area may turn pink or red and then eventually return to normal color. Sometimes the affected skin will turn only white and red during an attack.

When Raynaud's occurs without any underlying disease, it can be caused from repetitive trauma such as working with vibrating tools that damage nerves and blood vessels.

Raynaud's Phenomenon can occur due to an underlying disease such as rheumatiod arthritis, scleroderma, lupus or sarcoidosis. The ultimate treatment is to treat the underlying disease. Raynaud's is a form of vasculitis (inflammationThe complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli such as pathogens or damaged cells. It is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue. of the blood vessels) in which vessel spasms temporarily block the flow of blood.

Suggested coping strategies are:

- keep hands and feet warm to prevent attacks. This cannot be overemphasized. This may mean staying indoors, dressing warmly, wearing gloves and socks and avoiding handling frozen food. If you know you have these symptoms, keep warm gloves with you all the time, just in case.

- soak hands and feet in warm water to reheat them quickly if they become cold. The longer they remain cold, the longer the episode will likely last.

- massage affected areas to help blood flow.

NHLBI information on Raynaud's

Mayo Clinic information

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Notes and comments

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References

1)
Vitamin D discovery outpaces FDA decision making.
Marshall TG
Bioessays30p173-82(2008 Feb)
home/diseases/raynauds.txt · Last modified: 10.17.2018 by sallieq
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