Raynaud’s Awareness Month
Overview and Tips on Overcoming the Condition
Nobody likes being cold, especially having cold hands but imagine always having cold hands and numb finger tips.
This is called Raynaud’s which affects 10 million people in the UK. According to research done by Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK), only 4% of these people are able to identify the symptoms of Raynaud’s.
A Brief overview of Raynaud’s
I am one of the 10 million unlucky people to suffer from the condition. It’s a huge myth that you only get symptoms during the colder months. This is not true; I have white finger tips no matter what season and this is due to changes in temperatures.
If I leave a hot room and go into a colder room my fingers become white at the tips and severely numb. If I then stay in the colder temperature it can take a long while for my fingers to return to normal. This can also happen at supermarkets when I touch the metal on a trolley, driving and touching the cold steering wheel, getting out of the shower and many more occasions.
So what is the cause of Raynaud’s?
Basically, no exact cause has been identified for Raynaud’s, but it is known to occur due to over sensitive blood vessels in the body’s extremities. When you become cold you lose the heat in your fingers and toes as your small blood vessels spasm and slow the supply of blood down.
Raynaud‘s sufferers blood vessels over react to extreme temperature changes and become narrower thus restricting the blood flow.
How to overcome Raynaud’s
There is no cure for Raynaud’s but you can try to prevent it as much as possible:
- Thin layers are a great way to keep a constant heat in the colder months.
- Never leave the house without gloves on, even in the warmer months. Don’t worry about looking silly in July wearing gloves! It makes it a lot less painful for you.
- If you are indoors and have cold fingers or toes, run them under warm water and the feeling will come back.
- Carry hand warmers in your pockets.
If you have the 5 symptoms listed below, click on the link to the SRUK website and take the simple test to find out if you are unwittingly suffering from Raynaud’s.
- Cold fingers and or toes.
- Colour changes to the skin with cold or stress.
- White, blue or red colour to finger tips or toes.
- Numb fingers or toes or a tingling sensation.
- A throbbing or stinging sensation when your fingers or toes warm up.