Raynaud's Disease: What You Should Know
Raynaud's disease is a condition that affects the blood flow to certain parts of the body - most frequently the fingers and toes. According to the NHS, an estimated 10 million people across the UK experience Raynaud's.
What causes Raynaud's disease?
While Raynaud's is not a serious threat to your health, it can make using your fingers difficult and daily activities uncomfortable. The Raynaud's and Scleroderma Association says the condition is often caused by cold temperatures, but stress, anxiety and hormones are other possible triggers. It's also common for another health condition to cause Raynaud's.
If you're affected by Raynaud's, you may notice parts of your body turn white and blue before blood returns. The blocked blood flow is due to a temporary spasm that occurs within your blood vessels. The symptoms can last from minutes to multiple hours.
Can you do anything to reduce your risk?
Often, smoking can cause poor circulation, so quitting the habit my reduce your risk of Raynaud's. Exercising regularly - about 150 minutes per week - can also improve circulation and decrease stress and anxiety.
When you go out in cold weather, keep your extremities warm by wearing gloves, hats and comfortable footwear. Talk to your doctor if Raynaud's is having a negative effect on your daily activities. The NHS says your GP may prescribe nifedipine, the only medication licensed to treat Raynaud's.
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