A rare vascular condition that affects the functioning of blood vessels is known as Raynaud’s Syndrome. People suffering from this condition experience vasospasm, which is a sudden constriction of blood vessels. This is also known as a Raynaud’s attack. It results in little to zero blood flow to hands, arms, legs, feet and in some cases, to ears and nose. This condition is known to occur five times more frequently in women than in men.
Perhaps this is why women notoriously complain of cold hands more often than men. If this is you, read more to learn about this condition as well as ways to prevent symptoms from occurring.
Raynaud’s is categorized into two different types – primary and secondary.
- Primary Raynaud’s is the more commonly occurring condition of the two types, and is less severe. It is also known as Raynaud’s Disease. The cause of this type is unknown, and this condition is not associated with other health problems.
- Secondary Raynaud’s is the more severe of the two, and is known to affect the arteries. It is often called Raynaud’s Phenomenon. It is said to be caused because of an underlying health disease, such as environment and lifestyle factors, certain connective tissue disorders as well as other causes.
Signs and Symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome
People with Raynaud’s often experience an attack when exposed to cold temperatures. This leads to sudden constriction of the blood vessels and reduced or poor blood flow in the extremities.
The symptoms for both the types of this condition are similar, and may occur in different areas of the body during each attack. Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for. The affected areas may:
- Feel numb and cold
- Feel painful
- Turn white at first and then blue
How to Prevent the Occurrence of Symptoms
- Avoid cold environments as much as possible. Make a conscious effort to stay warm. Copper compression gloves are a completely safe, natural and non-invasive treatment option for preventing your hands from getting cold. These gloves with graduated compression boost oxygen circulation, blood flow and thermal regulation, thus keeping your hands safe and warm. Make it a point to carry extra warm clothes, including copper compression gloves, when going out in a cold environment or into an air-conditioned place.
- To ensure that the blood vessels remain wide open, and to avoid unnecessary strain on your circulatory system, include exercise in your daily routine and maintain a healthy weight. Low-impact exercises combined with a healthy and balanced diet can help you achieve your ideal weight. More importantly, an active lifestyle can aid healthy blood flow, which is mandatory for managing the symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome.
- Avoid smoking. Research has shown that people who smoke regularly suffer from poor or reduced blood flow to their fingers. Try techniques like acupuncture, guided imagery, reiki, meditation, spinal manipulation and relaxation techniques to successfully quit smoking.
- Make a conscious effort to stay out of stressful situations, and remain calm, as stress can trigger a Raynaud’s attack. Control both emotional and physical stress to prevent the occurrence of its symptoms. Try meditation, take short breaks, go for brief walks, practice yoga or join a club that offers courses for hobbies that you enjoy.
- Secondary Raynaud’s syndrome is associated with autoimmune disease symptoms. Relieving or reversing these symptoms can also reduce the intensity and frequency of Raynaud’s attacks. Anti-inflammatory foods are one of the simplest methods to combat these symptoms. Green leafy vegetables, berries, wild caught salmon, bone broth, vegetable spices, herbs, foods rich in omega-3, high quality organic meats and nuts and seeds are all excellent examples of anti-inflammatory foods.
Apart from these preventive measures, you can also try some common steps, such as ditching caffeinated drinks and avoiding prolonged vibration to your fingers. If you or anyone you know is suffering from cold hands constantly, consult with a doctor to learn more about Raynaud’s syndrome and its symptoms.