It is a common occurrence that whenever a person goes out into the cold weather without wearing gloves on their hands to keep the cold away, their fingers will soon start to turn white in color as well as have a feeling of needles and pins pricking in them. That is a normal reaction of the human body to the cold temperatures. Once a person warms up their hands, their colors will start to go normal. This is because the cold tends to slow down the flow of the blood in our hands and feet along with many other regions which cause its color change.
However, in some people, they experience another change in their hands and feet which is a rather serious one and is known as the Raynaud’s disease which is very detrimental to human health.
We learned a great deal about Raynaud’s disease and we wanted to share its symptoms, causes, and ways to prevent it with our readers today.
Raynaud’s disease: What is it?
Much like the cold weather causing the blood flow to be lowered, the Raynaud’s disease also causes a drop in blood flow in the arteries that supply blood to the hands and feet. The arteries in hands and feet turn narrow in the Raynaud’s disease case and the primary reasons for it have been deduced as emotional stress or the cold temperatures. The Raynaud’s disease leads to a person having their hands and feet along with some other body parts to turn white in color or in extreme cases Blue color. These color-changing body parts also experience a lot of pain.
When the blood flow is resumed in these bodily regions, they revert back to the red color but this process too can be accompanied by intense pain. The minimum time span of this occurrence lasts to about a few seconds to being a few minutes. However, in extreme cases, this can last up to several hours accompanied by intense pain and numbing effect of the affected body parts.
Causes of Raynaud`s disease
So far, two causes for the Raynaud’s have been discovered which are as follows.
Primary Cause: the Raynaud’s disease:-
The cause for the primary Raynaud’s is still unknown territory. It is quite normal for the blood vessels located in the regions closer to the skin to shrivel up under extreme cold. However, in people suffering from Raynaud’s disease, their blood vessels tend to shrivel at a much faster rate as compared to others. Still, the Raynaud’s disease is a milder cause of the Raynaud’s as compared to its secondary cause; the Raynaud’s syndrome.
Raynaud’s disease does not require any type of treatment.
Secondary Cause: the Raynaud’s Syndrome:-
The secondary cause of the Raynaud’s also known as Raynaud’s syndrome is caused due to an unknown underlying factor or a condition. The occurrence of the Raynaud’s disease is less common as compared to the Raynaud’s disease but it leads to serious health consequences such as Gangrene and skin sores. This cause of Raynaud’s can often lead to surgical intervention.
Some common causes for Raynaud’s disease have been known to be as follows.
- Disease or health conditions that can lead to the damaged blood arteries or the nerves which function the arteries of hands and feet. Common examples of such diseases are atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Repetitive actions that cause damage to the arteries or the nerves controlling the arteries. Common examples of such repetitive actions are playing piano or typing for a longer period of time.
- Medicines that cause the arteries to narrow up
- Exposure to certain harmful chemicals such as Nicotine
- Injuries to feet and hands
Symptoms of Raynaud`s disease
In most cases, the areas affected most by the Raynaud’s syndrome or Raynaud’s disease are the toes of feet and fingers of hands. However, this does not mean that it cannot affect other areas as well such as the nipples, lips, ears, and nose.
Another known cause for Raynaud’s disease is emotional stress but often it is caused due to extreme cold weather. Under these main causes, the Raynaud’s disease tends to cause the arteries to be narrowed down and have reduced or completely cut off blood supply to certain areas of the body.
This cut off blood supply can lead to the affected body region to have the following symptoms.
- First to turn white and then to blue color
- Feeling of extreme cold, pain, and numbness in the affected areas.
- After blood flow suddenly getting back, the affected areas turning red accompanied by a tingling or a burning sensation.
How can one prevent an episode of Raynaud`s disease
At the moment there are no known medicinal treatments for the Raynaud’s disease. Only the extreme cases of Raynaud’s syndrome lead to surgical intervention but that too is done to stimulate the blood flow. Still, there are some precautionary tips one can implement for preventing an episode of the Raynaud’s disease. These precautionary tips are as follows.
- Avoiding cold temperatures on regions epically hands & feet
- Wearing warm clothes especially covering the hands & feet
- Limiting the use of alcohol and caffeine
- Limiting the amount of pressure being put on the fingertips
- Stop smoking along with avoiding smoking areas to prevent second-hand smoke
- Avoiding emotional stress as well as learning techniques to manage one.