Living With Raynaud’s Disease
What Is Raynaud’s Disease?
Today while shopping in Walmart my fingers started to go numb. Mind you it was 95° outside. But inside Walmart it was probably 25-30° cooler. The contrast in temperature was enough to trigger my Raynaud’s symptoms. Raynaud’s Disease occurs when the small arteries in your extremities narrow, which can limit blood flow to those areas. When you have an attack the arteries go into “vasospasms” which limit the blood supply and oxygen. I have secondary Raynaud’s which is associated with my lupus, sjogren’s and rheumatoid arthritis. I do not get severe symptoms but one or more fingers will go numb and turn white.
I was playing with a new app on my phone and created this cool picture. You can really tell where my hand was not getting circulation!
What Causes Raynaud’s Disease?
The things that trigger these symptoms for me are the contrast in temperature as I experienced in Walmart, touching something frozen, or temperatures below about 45°. I’ve read that stress can also trigger the symptoms for some people.
What You Can Do To Help?
There isn’t a cure for Raynaud’s Disease but there are medications that can dilate the blood vessels as well as surgery to lessen the symptoms. Since my symptoms are not severe I choose not to use either of those options. One option suggested online is to move to a warmer climate. I think the south Texas area where I live is about as warm as I like it so that is not an option! Fish oil is a supplement I take and it has been shown in some studies to improve your tolerance to cold. I always wear pants or a jacket with pockets so I can put my hands in to warm up. In the winter I have a pair of gloves in every coat and sweater. Hand warmers that I’ve made from this tutorial are also in my coat.
In addition, I just recently came across this circulation rub made from essential oils from Camp Wander. I’m definitely going to give this a try!
My sister-in-law has this – she find that wearing old fashioned cotton gloves when she is out helps with the symptoms. She looks for them at thrift stores and yard sales.
Thanks Carol, I’ll have to try some cotton gloves!
I can remember my mom’s hands turning all white just from carrying the milk carton around the store and have found in the past couple of years that it’s starting to happen to my fingers too. Thanks for sharing with us at Together on Tuesdays.
Mother of 3 recently posted…Homeschooling Through the Alphabet– E is for Expectations
Yes, I know it can get quite painful for some people. My fingers just feel numb and tingly.
I have this in my toes! Thanks for writing and sharing about this disease. Glad to have you at Together on Tuesdays.
Lisa Ehrman recently posted…Can Diet Changes Relieve My Pain?
It seems that it is more common than I realized when I was first diagnosed!
Thanks for sharing this on the Coffee and Conversation Link Party. I’m pretty sure I have Raynaud’s just not confirmed by a medical professional. But I get all the symptoms you described. Glad to know some others with it.
Thanks for sharing your experience to educate others. I’m glad you linked up at the Healthy Living Link Party!
I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension caused by my scloderma, and also have arayanuds, antibodies of lupus, plus acid reflux and they think I have syoegens syndrome too and also have seizures.
It does seem if you’ve been diagnosed with autoimmune you usually have more than one. I hope your treatment is helping!
I have Raynaud’s and Cold urticaria ( which is an allergy to cold of all things ) I carry gloves with me wherever I go and try and keep warm !!
I’ve had this. Strangely enough, it went away on its own after a few years. Thanks for posting about it, though. It’s oddly reassuring to hear from people who know what it is.
Ellen Hawley recently posted…Ants, slugs, and bankers: snippets from the British news
How nice that yours went away! Such a blessing!
It was 85 degrees outside and I had the heater on in my office because I was in so much pain with my hands. My index fingers get it the worst as well as my big toe. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease in the early 90s but have been in remission since 1999. Raynauds is so annoying, and anything remotely cold will trigger an attack. I know this post is really old but did those oils you mention work?
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No Stacey, I never purchased the geranium oil to make it. My Raynaud’s hasn’t actually been too bad over the last year and a half. If you try it, I’d love to know if it helps.
You are doing well by not taking medications but dealing with your ailment in a natural and holistic manner. This is the problem with autoimmune disorders that seldom you could deduce from the outward appearence of the patient that they are in pain or discomfort. In your case though there are some visible symptoms.