[toc]Raynaud’s Syndrome is a phenomenon where discoloration of the fingers or the toes takes place. They become pale, blue and red, turn by turn. It is more common in women than in men, mostly in their second, third or fourth decade of life, especially, due to household chores.
It normally occurs during the colder months of the year. However, staying for longer hours in an air-conditioned room can also cause this syndrome. When Raynaud’s Syndrome takes place alone, it is called primary syndrome. It becomes secondary when it accompanies any other disease or diseases.
Causes Of Raynaud’s Syndrome
Doctors are unable to understand the actual cause of primary and secondary Raynaud’s Syndrome. The nervous system’s control over the blood-vessel diameter and the sensitivity of the nerves due to cold exposure causes abnormal spasm of these blood vessels.
This abnormal spasm is closely associated with Raynaud’s Syndrome which cuts down the regular flow of blood. If this continues for long, deficiency of oxygen occurs, which makes the digits turn blue. When the blood vessels reopen after sometime, there is sudden flow of blood again, which makes the blue digits convert into red. This color sequence of white to blue to red mostly happens due to exposure to cold temperature.
Symptoms Of Raynauds Syndrome
The symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome varies from person to person. It can be very mild in some cases and extremely severe in some other cases. The frequency and duration may also be different. If it is mild, only a slight skin discoloration usually takes place, if there is cold exposure, which may be followed by a little numbness and sensitivity.
The symptoms usually last for just a short while after which the skin retains its normal color. On the other hand, if the syndrome is severe or not mild, the spasms in the blood-vessel continues to be there. Due to lack of oxygen, the patient may experience pain in the digits.
Treatments For Raynaud’s Syndrome
In the case of Raynaud’s Syndrome, preventive measures play a very important role. Those who are prone to this disease should follow certain preventive steps, which will definitely help them in warding off the disease. The local body parts like fingers and toes should be kept warm which will help as a protective shield against cold or any infection which can cause spasm of the blood vessels. As long as treatment is concerned, there are various options available.
There are some drugs that helps in widening the blood vessels of the affected areas that stimulates the regular flow of blood. Some of the popular medications are alpha brokers, vasodilators and some calcium antagonists. The medicines that help in thinning of blood are also often prescribed.
When the level of Raynaud’s Syndrome is very severe, it may be required to cut some nerves of hands and feet called sympathetic nerves, which are responsible for controlling the opening and narrowing of blood vessels. The surgical procedure is known as sympathectomy, in which, small incisions are done in the affected hands or feet.
Injecting some chemicals that aid in blocking sympathetic nerves works well on some people. In extreme cases, amputating the affected finger or toe prevents them from the risk of gangrene, which however, hardly occurs..
Preventive Measures And Lifestyle Changes
Adequate exercise is very important. Not only does it keep the temperature of the body balanced, it also regulates the circulation of blood into various parts of the body. Refraining from smoking helps in preventing the temperatures in the skin from dropping. Other preventive measures are protecting the hands and feet from cold by wearing gloves and socks, avoiding caffeine, controlling stress, etc.