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Reynaud's Disease

September 25, 2015 04:00 PM
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If you dread the onset of cold weather because your fingers and toes become abnormally cold and even look bluish, you may need an evaluation for Raynaud’s disease. This condition occurs when the small arteries supplying blood to the fingers and toes close down and limit blood circulation. Skin can appear white or even blue and is cold to the touch with an altered sense of feeling. The symptoms can occur in response to cold or increased stress.

Raynaud’s Disease affects women more frequently than men and often appears between the ages of 15 and 30. The conditions runs in families and can be found alongside other chronic conditions including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, or arterial disease. Don’t assume that nothing can be done to relieve the symptoms. Treatments, lifestyle modifications, and medications are available to lessen the severity of the attacks. Quitting smoking has also been known to ease symptoms and attacks of Raynaud’s disease. Don’t give up if symptoms persist. Research is currently underway for new strategies to treat this problem.

Mention your cold hands to your primary care provider or see one of our highly skilled rheumatologists. After a complete exam and learning the history of your symptoms, your provider may order blood tests or examine some fingernail tissue under a microscope. If you have Raynaud’s your provider will help you cope and provide appropriate treatment or medication.

 

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