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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Raynaud's Phenomenon

My Rheumatologist constantly warns me for Raynaud's Phenomenon and to make sure to keep my fingers and toes warm and avoid sudden temperature changes. It got me curious about this Phenomenon and I decided to do some research on it.

It turns out that Raynaud's is a consequence of decreased blood flow due to narrowing of the blood vessels. This usually affects extremities like fingers, toes, ears, nose, nipples and knees. It mainly seems to occur when being exposed to extreme cold or during a stress full event.

The symptoms for Raynaud's include a swelling, tingling, aching and/or throbbing of the effected area, as well as a change in skin color like a blue coloration. Numbness and pain are other indicators and even the development of sores can occur.

The good news is that Raynaud's Phenomenon does not cause any permanent damage. The bad news is that there is no cure for it either. By taking preventative measures it can be controlled though.

Protect especially your extremities from sudden temperature changes, especially cold. If you smoke then try to quit, because smoking already narrows your blood vessels. Try to avoid emotional stress.

Sometimes medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates, catecholamine deceptors, smooth muscle relaxers and vasodilators can be helpful. In extreme and rare cases surgery might be the solution.

When having a Raynaud's flare up there are a few options to increase the blood flow: try to get warm and wiggle your fingers. You can stimulate the blood circulation by swinging your arms around or run warm water of the affected area. Make sure it is just warm and not hot; that would be another huge sudden temperature change!

Everything with the word 'too' in front of it is usually bad, whether that is a habit, an attitude or a possession. There is one thing however that one can never get too much of, only too little: God's word!

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,


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