Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a medical condition where your body reacts to the exposure of cold by restricting the flow of blood to the extremities, including your toes and fingers.
What Are The Risk Factors For Raynaud's Phenomenon?
Some patients are more likely to suffer with Raynaud's phenomenon. Risk factors may include:
- Your gender since Raynaud's phenomenon is more common in women than men.
- Your age, while Raynaud's phenomenon may occur at any age, it is more common between the ages 15-35.
- Raynaud's phenomenon is more common in people who live in cooler regions.
- There is an increased risk of a family member developing the disorder as a third of Rayanud's phenomenon cases affects near relatives.
So What is Raynaud’s Phenomenon?
Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs when the blood vessels in your fingers and toes constrict in reaction to cold or emotional stress. Sending blood flow away from the extremities to keep your body’s core warm is a normal reaction to extreme cold. However, in Raynaud’s phenomenon, your body reduces blood flow to the fingers and toes even under minor cold stress. This reaction can also be triggered by emotional strain or excitement.
The Symptoms of Raynaud’s Phenomenon Include:
An extreme sensitivity to cold
Your body reacts to emotional stress as if it were reacting to cold
Your skin color changes sometimes turning white due to lack of blood flow
Finally, the skin will turn red when fresh oxygenated blood returns to the fingers once the vessels open.
Coldness, pain and numbness or the sensation that your hands and fingers have fallen asleep.
Warmth, tingling and throbbing
Skin ulcers and painful, slow-healing sores on the tips of your fingers.
Your doctor will determine if you suffer with Raynaud’s phenomenon by listening to your symptoms and conducting testing.
What are Your Treatment Options?
For people living with Raynaud’s phenomenon, natural, non-pharmaceutical treatments are often recommended to avoid the risks associated with long term use of drugs.
To shorten the length of an attack, try these tips:
- Warm your chilled hands or feet in warm water.
- Enjoy regular exercise to boost your circulation.
- Wear thermal socks and gloves to protect and warm sore fingers and toes
- Try relaxation techniques, including deep breathing or meditation.
Prevention is the best treatment for Raynaud's.
If you suffer with Raynaud's phenomenon, pay attention to the health of your feet and hands to protect them against injury. Avoid walking barefoot and do not wear tight socks which can limit blood flow to your feet.
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