Please vote for the Raynaud’s Association! Chase is donating a total of $5 million to 200 local charities. The Raynaud’s Association helps the 5 to 10% of the population that suffers from Raynaud’s cope with this widespread but little known autoimmune condition. To get our share of the $5 million Chase is giving away, you must vote now! Vote Now!
I fall into that small percentage that has Raynauds. Raynauds causes an interruption of blood flow to the extremities when a spasm occurs in the blood vessels of these areas. Spasms are caused by exposure to cold or emotional stress. The affected area usually turns from white, to blue and then bright red. During the attack the affected are often tingles, swells or experiences painful throbbing. The attacks may last from minutes to hours. In severe cases, the area may develop ulcerations and infections, which can lead to gangrene. Luckily mine is not severe and I have never developed ulcers or infections.Many people who suffer just assume they have poor circulation or are just really sensitive to the cold and never mention the symptoms to a doctor, or anyone for that matter.
Raynaud’s is named for the French physician Maurice Raynaud, who first recognized the condition in 1862. Although it’s been over 100 years since Raynaud’s was recognized, little is still known about the condition, its cause, or its cure. Researchers are not sure if it is hereditary but my father had it, and so did his father. My dad’s sister has Lupus which can sometimes trigger Raynauds.
I knew something was wrong one day when I walked into work in the summer holding an iced coffee and my fingers were throbbing. I looked down and my fingers were completely white. As blood flow returned to normal the pain was almost unbearable. My hands and feet had always been cold, and I have always hated a fan blowing right on me. I brought it up to my doctor and he printed out tons of information for me. There are also studies that show a link between Migraines and Raynauds but they aren’t sure if one causes the other or if it is merely coincidental. My doctor sent me for a full range of blood work to rule out any other diseases that have Raynauds as a symptom. Scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis all have Raynauds as a component of the disease. Luckily I had no other condition so I was diagnosed with “primary” Raynauds. If you have another condition as well as Raynauds then they consider you to have “Secondary” Raynauds.
I encourage you to read this great FAQ that the Raynauds Association has put together. Click here to read the FAQ
In the coming days I will be posting reviews of products I have found that help cut down on Raynaud attacks. The reviews are not sponsored, and I paid for them with my own money. The companies did not ask me do do the reviews, I just want to help other sufferers ( or people who just have cold hands/feet) find products that work!