Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) is a rare disorder of the arteries, particularly affecting the fingers and toes (although other parts of your body may be affected as well).  Initially your affected tissues turn white due to lack of blood supply, then blue because of lack of oxygen, and then red when the blood rushes back.  Eventually, color returns to normal.  Thought to be caused by abnormal spasms in the blood vessels, the condition is exacerbated by stress or exposure to cold. Severe cases may even lead to necrosis or gangrene and therefore loss of some digits.

Called Raynaud's disease or primary Raynaud's phenomenon when it occurs alone, the condition is referred to as secondary RP when it occurs alongside other diseases. Usually, secondary RP is associated with connective tissue disorders (such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis), hormone imbalances (such as hypothyroidism), eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa), medications (such as those used for cancer treatment), trauma (such as frostbite), or other conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or multiple sclerosis.

Management of RP involves avoiding triggers such as cold weather, vibrations, and stress.  Caffeine, cigarette smoking, estrogen-containing contraceptives, and any other medications which can aggravate blood vessel spasm are to be avoided.  Your doctor may prescribe a calcium channel blocker, or possibly even a vasodilator such as sildenafil (Viagra). In severe cases, surgery may be attempted whereby nerves that signal the blood vessels in your fingertips to constrict are cut.

Natural therapy can help you with RP; for example diet modification can help ensure that you have all the proper nutrients and supplements.  Acupuncture and TCM can help improve your blood flow, as can yoga and massage therapy.

Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you with Raynaud's phenomenon.

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