This site/blog explains everything about Raynaud's Phenomenon in normal human language,
no sophisticated and scientific words, but everything discussed here have a scientific base.

This blog is created, in the hope that it will help the people affected by this disease.
Kindly use "Index" for a better experience. (Given on right hand side.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Raynaud's Primary or Raynaud's Secondary?

A lot of people get confused over the classification of Raynaud's Phenomenon. Most of the times they think that the Primary is the first stage, and when it gets worse, it is secondary; as in the second stage. But I am sorry to say that it isn't true, or it would have been too easy.

In medical literature, Primary Raynaud’s Phenomenon may also be called idiopathic(*1) Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Primary Raynaud’s syndrome, or Raynaud’s disease. There is no known cause for Primary Raynaud’s Phenomenon. It is more common than the secondary form and often is so mild the patient never seeks medical attention. It generally is an annoyance that causes little disability. 
Raynaud's disease, or "Primary Raynaud’s", is diagnosed if the symptoms are idiopathic, that is, if they occur by themselves and not in association with other diseases. Some (and I, funnily) refer to Primary Raynaud's disease as "being allergic to coldness". 
It is possible for the primary form to progress to the secondary form.
In more simple words, Primary Raynaud’s occurs all by itself, not because of any other reason.

Secondary:
Raynaud's Syndrome, also called as Raynaud’s Secondary  is the name for the condition when it is result of an underlying problem. (That means,  secondary Raynaud’s is a gift from some other problem, which the patient already has.) The underlying problem can be from a negative reaction to a medical drug, an eating disorder such as anorexia, a medical condition that affects blood flow and blood vessels, or the development of hand arm vibration syndrome as a result of working with vibrating heavy machinery too much.

The most common cause of secondary Raynaud’s Phenomenon is connective tissue disease. The condition most commonly occurs with scleroderma or lupus, but is also associated with Sj√∂gren’s syndrome, dermatomyositis, and polymyositis. Some of these diseases reduce blood flow to the fingers and toes by causing blood vessel walls to thicken and the vessels to constrict too easily.
Other possible causes of secondary Raynaud’s Phenomenon(*2) are carpal tunnel syndrome and obstructive arterial disease (blood vessel disease). Some drugs are also linked to Raynaud’s Phenomenon. They include beta-blockers, such as Lopressor1 or Cartrol, used to treat high blood pressure; ergotamine preparations, such as Cafergot or Wigrane, used for migraine headaches; certain agents used in cancer chemotherapy; and drugs, such as over-the-counter cold medication and narcotics, that cause vasoconstriction.
In extreme cases, the secondary form can progress to necrosis (premature death of tissues) or gangrene of the fingertips.

*1 = Idiopathic is an adjective used primarily in medicine meaning arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause.
*2 = There is actually a whole big list, you can find it on wikipedia on following link :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raynaud%27s_phenomenon#Secondary_Raynaud.27s_.28syndrome.29


Warm Regards,
Kiran Nayak :-)



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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raynaud's Phenomenon and Alcohol

The effects of alcohol and Raynaud's are conflicting, that is, the effects of alcohol varies from person to person. More studies need to be done.

But in most of the cases, following scenario takes place.

  • Alcohol temporarily warms up our hands and feet but its after-effects outweigh its benefits as a hand and foot warmer.
  • Alcohol increases blood flow to the skin, giving the immediate feeling of warmth.
  • That heat is soon lost to the air, reducing core body temperature.
Thus, it can be said that alcohol actually makes our body colder.

Red wine in small quantities has been known to help with Raynaud's symptoms in women.


Warm Regards,
Kiran Nayak :-)

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Don'ts For the Patients of Raynaud's Phenomenon


There are few "Don'ts" for us, not much, here is the list :

  • The first and most important thing, we must never smoke! (I've explained about smoking in detail, in Raynaud's Disease and Smoking. )
  • Consumption of caffeine must be in a moderated way. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor (in nerd-speak Vasoconstriction means the narrowing of the blood vessels, so vasoconstrictor means the one who responsible for it) Caffine can be found in  coffee, tea, beverages, chocolate, stay awake pills, some aspirin preparations, some painkillers, and some other medications.
  • Never walk barefoot, if you feel temperature has dropped or if start to feel cold, make your body warm.
  • Never expose your body in cold atmosphere. That means, you should wear warm clothes, not just your regular clothes. (Exposing body in cold doesn't mean dancing in a skimpy bikini on the picnic-spot Antarctica.)
  • Do not carry heavy shopping bags with handles that restrict blood flow to fingers.
  • Avoid extreme/repetitive vibrations. Avoid tools that vibrate the hand. That dosen't mean just the driller which is mentioned everywhere else. It has been found that some other tools which produces smaller but powerful vibrations also may trigger an attack. Like power saw or chain saw.
  • Some drugs actually can make Raynaud's worse by leading to increased blood vessel spasm. We Should avoid taking:
    • Some over-the-counter cold and diet drugs. Examples include drugs that contain phenylpropanolamine. In U.S. phenylpropanolamine is not sold without a prescription. It is banned in some contries including India, but is still available "over the counter" in some contries. It can be found in dietary supplements (meant to assist with weight loss), medicines used to relieve symptoms of the common cold. It is also found in some "over the counter" throat lozenge. It is found in some "sore throat spray" as well.
    • Pseudoephedrine: It is found in the drugs used to relieve nasal congestion - stuffy nose.
    • Beta blockers: This class of drug, used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease, may worsen Raynaud's. Beta blockers are also found in most of the birth control pills.
    • Birth control pills: Hormones and drugs that regulate hormones, such as birth control pills (hormonal contraception) may aggravate Raynaud's. In simple words, these drugs affect your blood circulation and may make you more prone to attacks.
      Contraception which is low in estrogen is preferable, and the progesterone only pill is often prescribed for women with Raynaud's.
    • So, the bottom line is, we must check for the contents before buying/consuming the medicines.

I know that this post, unlike my other posts, contains a lot of technical words.
So after reading, just nod your head (or babble and coo) and follow whatever has been told here.
:-D


Warm Regards,
Kiran Nayak :-)

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Handling an Attack of Raynaud's Phenomenon

If an episode of Raynaud's phenomenon occurs, (sometimes also referred as spasm attack), well the most important thing is, don't panic, stay calm. Here are some tips that we can use :
  • Make your whole body warm by going indoors or by putting on warm clothing.
  • Gently warm the fingers and toes as soon as possible. Place your hands under the armpits, armpits are always warm, it helps.
  • With your hands under armpit, start walking around. That helps the body with blood flow.
  • Run warm-not hot-water over the organ under attack (or dip the organ in water) until normal skin color returns. Do not use a hot water bottle or heating pad, it is dangerous as the tissues are already cold, with lack of blood and oxygen.
  • Start the simple wind-milling exercise, it increases the blood flow. 
That is almost all about it,
And who says living with Raynaud's Thingy is difficult?
:D
if there are any more tips/suggestions, I will be more than glad to hear them and upload them on my blog.


Regards,
Kiran :)


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    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Skin Protection For Raynaud's Phenomenon

    Poor blood flow may make skin dry. It may also cause cuts, cracks, or sores to heal more slowly than usual. Following precautions can help protect the skin:
    • We should use simple, mild oil or moisturiser (no petroleum jelly)* on hands and feet,  atleast once in a week to keep the skin from chapping or cracking. (Very little of oil, well spread.)
    • In winter or cold days, the use of oil depends on the temperature and the severity.
    • We should examine feet and hands daily to check for ulcers. If a ulcer develops, keep it clean and covered. Then go and consult  a doctor as soon as possible.
    • Wear rubber gloves while washing dishes or while doing any kind of .work where the skin is in the contact with the water.
    • We should take care when doing activities that put pressure on the fingertips, such as using a manual typewriter or playing the guitar or piano. This kind of pressure may cause our blood vessels to narrow, thus triggering an episode.
    • As mentioned previously in "Living Happily With Raynaud's Thingy" (Do's  For the Patient's of Raynaud's Phenomenon), wear clothes made of natural fibres, such as cotton and wool. These draw moisture away from the skin.
    • According to most of the doctors, calcium channel blockers (Nifedipine) is the safest drug for us. It reduces the frequency and severity of the Raynaud's attacks. It has the usual common side effects of headache, flushing, and ankle edema; but these are not typically of sufficient severity to stop the treatment. Nifedipine also help heal skin ulcers on the fingers and toes.
    • Oil for Skin:
      The only remaining thing here, is the "Miracle Oil", by Erthly Body.
      I know, the name of the product and the manufacturing company sounds a little weird,
      but the results are really miraculous regarding Raynaud's. o_0
      Surprisingly, this oil isn't made by keeping the patients of Raynaud's in mind, but it works perfectly for us!
      And this is not only my personal opinion, my several other friends found this oil useful during the cruel winter.
      Here is the link for it's official website:
      http://www.earthlybody.com/miracleoil.htm
    • For skin ulcers nonspecific vaso-dilators such as nitroglycerinpe paste is useful.

      As usual, I recommend to purchase the products offline, that is in real life, IRL.


    * =  The reason for "no petroleum jelly", is that it has several side effects.
    Here are few of them:
    • After applying the petroleum jelly, smoothness and softness that we feel is actually the layer of petroleum jelly that we keep on adding over the skin. It protects the skin but also restricts the pours of the skin from letting the toxins and actual moisture out.
    • This makes the secretion of all the toxins and unwanted substances to form a layer under the actual layer of petroleum jelly. The whole process results into several skin disorders and leads to dandruff, acne, dryness of the skin and hair and skin irritation.

    More of the side-effects can be found on following link:
    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/petroleum-jelly-side-effects.html

    Regards,
    Kiran :)

      Monday, September 12, 2011

      Do's For The Patients of Raynaud's Phenomenon

      • First of all, always keep yourself warm.
      • Always wear hand-gloves, and when the temperature is pretty cold, use mittens.
      • We, need to maintain the body temperature, but we feel hot and sweaty like any other person, so the trick is to wear layered clothes.
      • The clothes must be loose fitting, that is, they must not be tight.
      • When holding something cold, no matter what for how long, use gloves/mittens/insulators.
      • Wear wool, synthetic, or cotton-blend socks. They keep our skin drier and warmer by taking the moisture away.
      • Talcum powder absorbs moisture from our feet. When our feet are damp they are more easily chilled.
      • Drink plenty of water to avoid de-hydration. (De-hydration can lower the amount of blood moving through the blood vessels.)


       
      Warm Regards,
      Kiran Nayak :-)

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