raynaudFor most people, getting things out of the refrigerator is a simple task. For those with Raynaud disease, however, it can be a misery. Who wants fingers that turn blue and go numb while putting cream in a cup of coffee? While not a life-threatening condition, Raynaud disease can be deeply uncomfortable, embarrassing and limiting. And while it can’t be cured, it can be treated with lifestyle changes and physical therapy.

Raynaud disease and Raynaud phenomenon look and feel similar, but their causes are different. Raynaud causes discoloration and a cold numbness of the fingers and toes. When it develops without any underlying medical conditions, it’s called Raynaud disease. Symptoms that develop because of another condition such as lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis are called Raynaud phenomenon. For both, numbness, discoloration and coldness are caused by constricted blood vessels that impede blood circulation in the hands, feet and other areas.

Treating Raynaud begins with taking some precautions:

  • Steer clear of contact with cold temperatures because this can trigger symptoms.
  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning to keep your hands from contact with cold water.
  • Keep a pair of gloves by the refrigerator so you can avoid temperature extremes when retrieving food and beverages.
  • Wear warm socks and shoes at all times to protect your feet and toes.
  • Turn down your air conditioner, and keep your house warm.
  • Warm up your car before driving with the help of a remote starter.

Smoking, exposure to certain toxic chemicals such as vinyl chloride, and exposure to heavy vibrating machinery increase the risk of Raynaud symptoms.

Beyond such lifestyle changes, we can teach you exercises that help stimulate blood flow to warm up your extremities. For people who suffer from Raynaud phenomenon secondary to another condition, these exercises can also help prevent onset of the symptoms. If you have recently been diagnosed with Raynaud disease or Raynaud phenomenon, make an appointment with us so we can help keep your symptoms at bay.

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