An Introduction to Raynaud's Disease with Treatment and Prevention

Published: 09th September 2010
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Raynaud's disease is a vascular disorder. Raynaud's illness attributes to a disorder in which the fingers or toes (digits) suddenly experience reduced blood circulation. It is characterized by repeated episodes of color changes of the skin of digits on cold exposure or emotional stress. In Raynaud's disease, arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas. Raynaud's disease is sometimes seen with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and lupus, where the body's immune system turns against itself, causing various symptoms.

Extra causes of Raynaud's disease involve repeated trauma/shaking, abnormalities in the structure of blood vessels, and medicine injection into one type of blood vessel (arteries). Raynaud's disease can be classified as one of two types: primary (or idiopathic) and secondary (also called Raynaud's phenomenon). Primary Raynaud's disease has no predisposing factor, is more mild, and causes fewer complications. About half of all cases of Raynaud's disease are of this type. Women are five times more likely than men to develop primary Raynaud's disease. Secondary Raynaud's disease is the same as primary Raynaud's disease.

Secondary Raynaud's disease occurs in individuals with a predisposing factor, usually a form of collagen vascular disease. Raynaud's disease affects a miniature percentage of Americans. Women are more expected than men are to have the disorder. It's more common in people who live in colder weathers. Self-care and prevention steps usually are effective in dealing with mild symptoms of Raynaud's. The goal of treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon is to prevent episodes and, in secondary Raynaud's phenomenon, to prevent tissue damage. Calcium channel blockers drugs relax and open up small blood vessels in your hands and feet.

Calcium channel blockers decrease the frequency and severity of attacks in about two-thirds of people with Raynaud's. Calcium-channel blockers are the most widely used, for example nifedipine 30 mg up to 60 mg every day. Beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease, includes metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol and propranolol. Prevent is always better than cure. Wear a hat in cold weather, because body heat is lost through the scalp. Cover your face and ears with a scarf. Moving to a warmer climate may help people with severe Raynaud's. Wear heavy socks or layers of socks.

Juliet Cohen writes articles for Beauty Makeup Tips and Health Beauty Guide.

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