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.

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 :

Warm Regards,
Kiran Nayak :-)

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