Everything You Need To Know About Raynaud’s Disease

Here's everything you need to know about Raynaud's disease to navigate it healthfully

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July 9, 2019
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Many health problems are unaware, and people have never probably shown any interest regarding the current health awareness of reputed health organizations. In some cases, individuals ignore to consult their concerned doctors as they are scared of the amount spent on the hospital bills rather than their daily purchases.

Some people prefer to use a Symptom Tracker application that helps to record common symptoms from the given drop-down list. It monitors their health condition with the help of symptom charts. Doctors highly recommend using this application; it is always accessible wherever anyone wants to. The only thing that everyone should possess is having an Android/ iOS mobile phone or a laptop with a wireless device for the internet to sign up through their website.

What is Raynaud’s disease?

A French physician, Maurice Raynaud, first described this disease in 1862. In other words, it is referring to as Raynaud’s syndrome. It defines it as a medical condition that causes vasospasm (arteries that supply blood to the skin narrow; it limits blood circulation to affected areas of the human body).

There are two main types: the first one is primary Raynaud’s disease, the actual cause is unknown. Secondly, secondary Raynaud’s syndrome, this occurs as a result of another condition due to smoking, thyroid problem and connective tissue disorder such as lupus, etc. and also taking certain medications such as birth control pills.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms may vary differently on the severity of this disease. It affects people when exposed to cold temperature.

Raynaud’s disease includes symptoms:

1. Hypoxia

A drop in temperature, the blood vessels in the fingers and toes contract. This contraction is due to lack of oxygen in the affected tissues causing hypoxia.

2.Cold fingers and toes

3. Colour change in body skin

The affected area of the body skin turns white initially, and then they often turn blue and feel numbness and pain.

4.Numbness and pain upon warm

It affects other areas of the body skin that are lips, nose, ears, and nipples, etc. The affected areas are warming up to 15 minutes for the blood flow to a healthy state in these areas.

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Causes

The most common cause of this disease is blood vessels in spasm. When exposed to cold temperature or stress, it narrows the blood vessels and temporarily limits the blood supply of the human body. Further, this restricts blood flow and thickening of small arteries.

The causes  depend on the type of disease that is:

1. Primary Raynaud’s disease – It is the most common type that does not result from a medical condition. Many people with this disease do not prefer treatment as it resolves on its own.

2. Secondary Raynaud’s disease – it is less common than the primary type, it is a severe problem.

There are few causes of Secondary Raynaud’s disease include:

1. Smoking

It narrows the blood vessels of the human body.

2. Carpal tunnel syndrome

In this condition, it involves extreme pressure to the nerve of the hand of the human body, that produces numbness and pain in the hand that makes it more vulnerable to cold temperature.

3. Hand or Feet injury

It includes surgery, frostbite, and wrist fracture.

4. Atherosclerosis

Plaque in the blood vessels that damage the heart

5. Buerger’s disease

A health condition in which the blood vessels of hands and feet of the human body becomes inflamed.

6. Primary pulmonary hypertension

It is a type of health condition that increases blood pressure affects the arteries of the lungs.

7. Scleroderma

Skin hardening and scarring that causes this disease and is a type of connective tissue disorder. Other conditions increase the risk of having Raynaud’s syndrome, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, etc.

8. Medications

Certain medications related to migraines, hyperactivity disorder, etc. cause this problem.

In some cases, the doctors find it challenging to know the actual cause of Raynaud’s disease.

Risk Factors

 Primary Raynaud’s disease

1. Family history

It increases the risk of having this disease in case any of the family members have this problem.

2. Age

Anybody between the age of 15 and 30 affects this condition

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3. Climate

People living in cold regions affects more with this disease.

4. Gender

Women are more affected than men.

Secondary Raynaud’s disease

1. Operating vibrating tools

Jackhammers, playing the piano, typing, etc. doing specific movements for an extended time.

2. Other factors

Exposure to harmful chemicals such as vinyl chloride.

Diagnosis

After reviewing the patient’s medical history and conducting a physical examination, the doctors might also run a few tests to know the cause of this condition ruling out other medical problems.

It is sometimes difficult to know the type of health problem in many cases.

A standard test for diagnosing the type of this disease:

 Capillaroscopy test:

It helps to distinguish primary and secondary Raynaud’s disease; the doctor might conduct a specific test that involves viewing the skin at the base of the fingernail and assessing it under a microscope to know if there are any enlarged capillaries.

Other tests to pinpoint if the condition are an autoimmune/ inflammatory disease

1. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

It helps to determine the rate of red blood cells.

2. Antibodies (Antinuclear) test

To know the presence of antibodies produced in the immune system of the human body that indicates a stimulated immune system, common in people who have a connective or inflammatory disease.

Treatment

There are many ways to treat the symptoms of this disease. The main goal is to reduce the frequency and severity of this problem.

Doctors have specific options to manage the symptoms.

1. Prescribing medications

Calcium channel blockers and vasodilators are some medications given to decrease the severity of this disease

2. Surgeries and medical procedures

Nerve surgery or chemical injection are the other two options to control the narrowing of the blood vessels.

3. Complimentary therapies

It helps to reduce the symptoms of this disease.

How to manage Raynaud’s disease

  1. Wear gloves to keep the body warm in colder regions
  2. Avoid stress
  3. Avoid smoking
  4. Regular exercise

Symptom Tracker application helps to track specific symptoms that help the doctors to give the right treatment in the initial stage.