- Raynaud’s disease treatment is necessary to improve blood flow and keep the body warm.
- To treat Raynaud’s disease, you can try to change your medications and lifestyle, such as exercising more, quitting smoking and reducing stress to increase blood circulation and relax blood vessels.
- For people with Raynaud’s disease, it is also important to tie a hat, insulated gloves, and thick socks in the colder months, because people with this condition are at greater risk of frostbite.
- This article was written by Jason R. McKnight, MD, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine.
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Raynaud’s disease is a disease that causes certain parts of your body (such as fingers or toes) to feel cold and numb when you are at a low temperature or feel stressed.
Raynaud’s disease occurs in 3% to 5% of adults worldwide. Although there is no cure for Raynaud’s disease, medications and lifestyle changes can be used to make symptoms easier to control.
This is what you need to know about Raynaud’s disease and how to control symptoms.
What is Raynaud’s disease?
Raynaud’s disease or Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) is caused by problems with your blood vessels, usually small blood vessels in your fingers and toes. When these blood vessels are abnormally narrowed, the onset of Raynaud’s disease occurs, which reduces blood flow to the fingers and toes and causes painful symptoms.
The onset of Raynaud’s disease is usually divided into three stages:
- The skin on the fingers or toes turns white.
- Then, your skin turns blue and begins to feel cold and numb.
- When you get warm again or your blood circulation returns, your skin will become red and may sting, throb or swell.
There are two different types of Raynaud’s disease: primary and secondary.
Junior Reynolds. This is the most common form of the disease and often has milder symptoms. Primary Raynaud is not caused by any underlying disease and it may resolve on its own without any treatment.
You are at greater risk of Raynaud’s disease if:
Reynolds. This is caused by an underlying medical condition that reduces blood circulation in your hands and feet. Secondary Raynaud’s disease usually develops around the age of 40, and the symptoms are often more severe.
Secondary Raynaud’s disease may be caused by:
- Arterial disease
- Connective tissue diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma (a tissue disease)
- Accident or surgery can hurt your hands or feet
- Smoking history
- Certain drugs that narrow blood vessels, such as drugs for migraine, high blood pressure or colds
Dr. Elena Schiopu, professor of rheumatology at the University of Michigan, said that if you experience other symptoms above Raynaud, such as difficulty swallowing, thickening of the skin or shortness of breath, it may indicate an underlying medical problem. . If you have any of these signs, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
How to treat Raynaud’s disease
There is no permanent cure for Raynaud’s disease, but there are many ways to help reduce the onset of Raynaud’s disease and control symptoms.
If you have severe Raynaud’s disease, you may need to take medication to control your symptoms. For example, your doctor can prescribe the following medicines:
- Calcium channel blockers, Which helps to open the small blood vessels in the hands and feet. This may include amlodipine (Norvasc) and nifedipine (Afeditab).
- Vasodilators It can be used when someone does not respond to calcium channel blockers. Vasodilators relax the blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow through your body. This may include blood pressure medications such as Losartan (Cozaar) or erectile dysfunction medications such as Sildenafil (Viagra).
Try to change lifestyle
You can make some important lifestyle changes to reduce Raynaud’s outbreak.
- work out Will help because it will increase blood circulation throughout the body. However, you may want to ask your doctor if you can exercise outdoors in cold weather, especially if you have Raynaud’s disease.
- Quit smoking It may help Raynaud’s symptoms, because smoking will constrict blood vessels and lower the skin temperature, which will trigger Raynaud’s attacks. Secondhand smoke from another person may have the same harmful effects.
- relieve pressure Treatment in life may be an important step in the treatment of Raynaud’s disease, because emotional tension can cause blood vessels to narrow. Schiopu suggests trying some techniques, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction or biofeedback.
Make sure to bundle
If you want to prevent Raynaud’s attack, staying warm is vital to you. Schiopu said: “It is important to use a hat to protect the head, because a lot of heat will be lost through our head.”
Wearing a warm hat, insulated gloves, and thick socks can help, but ideally, you should wear warm clothes all over in cold weather. Tying the chest and abdomen together with insulation can help prevent blood vessels from becoming too narrow.
It is important to wear cold clothes carefully, because people with Raynaud’s disease are at greater risk of frostbite.
Even if you are indoors, time spent in places with heavy air conditioners can trigger Reynolds’ attacks on some people. Wearing more layers or fingerless gloves at work may help prevent the onset of symptoms. Schiopu also recommends that you stay away from fans or vents and use space heaters when needed.
In more rare extreme cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to treat Raynaud’s disease. Two surgeries that can help Reynolds symptoms:
- Injection chemicals For example, botulinum toxin type A (Botox) or local anesthetics can also help block the nerves that cause blood vessels to narrow.
- neurosurgery This is a rare treatment that involves removing nerves around blood vessels in the hands and feet. These nerves trigger blood vessels to narrow, so getting rid of them may help prevent excessive narrowing.
Although surgery is possible, most doctors will try other treatments first. Schiopu said: “Surgery is not widely used.” In general, over time, many patients with Raynaud’s disease tend to adapt to changes in lifestyle and can live relatively comfortably.
Raynaud’s disease can be a painful and sometimes dangerous disease, but there are many treatments that can help control symptoms. If you think you may have Raynaud’s disease, please discuss with your doctor the best treatment for you.