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Carol Eustice

Raynaud's Syndrome - Causes - Diagnosis - Symptoms - Treatment

By February 14, 2005

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Raynaud's phenomenon is an arthritis-related condition which occurs when blood vessels constrict. The fingers and toes are most commonly affected by Raynaud's. It's possible for the nose, lips, and ear lobes to also be affected. The decreased blood flow can cause pain and discomfort in the affected area as well as discoloration of the skin. For most people, an attack is usually triggered by exposure to cold or emotional stress.

Raynaud's can occur as a primary or secondary condition. As a primary condition, it is not associated with any other disease and is often referred to as Raynaud's disease. Rheumatic conditions associated with secondary Raynaud's include:

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Conditions estimates that 5 to 10 percent of the U.S. population is affected by Raynaud's phenomenon. Learn the more about Raynaud's Syndrome causes, diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment in Fast Facts About Raynaud's Phenomenon.

Photo © ADAM

April 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm
(1) joe leier says:

I find that it affects not only my fingers, toes, nose and ears, but it seems to affect other body locations as well. I hate to say this (humor aside) but it feels at times it is also affecting my thinking processes as well. Has anyone experienced this as well?

July 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm
(2) Jean Jenkinson says:

HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH raynauds is there anthing out there other than Blood Pressure tablets that may help my chillblains which give so much pain .

July 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(3) Jordan says:

I am 15 and have Reynauds Syndrome. I find that even if my classroom at school is cold my hand will turn blue. It hurts terribly and causes writing to be excruciatingly difficult. Living in the Pacific Northwest does not help my case much. I am always having to wear gloves when it is chilly, it is awful. The disease, or whatever it is, is genetic, and my mom has it too. Also Reynauds Syndrome can be caused by some medications, such as ADHD meds. So if you have started taking medication for ADHD and then developed Reynauds, your medicine is to blame.

July 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm
(4) T.G.Todd says:

At 55,,I’ve recently been told I have both ADHD,,and,,Raynaud’s Syndrome. It answere’d the question as to why I despise the cold,,but,if the medications for ADHD can cause it as well,,how do I ” get better? “

July 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm
(5) Lori says:

I have been diagnosed with Raynauds Disease. Two of my fingernails are separating from the nailbed. These two fingernails are the ones that get the worse during a Raynauds episode. Has this happened to anyone else?

July 15, 2009 at 8:58 pm
(6) Sharon says:

I am 43 and have Raynauds syndrome.my feet are always frozen.will special socks work?does anyone know??and are the meds helpful?

July 16, 2009 at 3:39 am
(7) Carol says:

My dad had Raynaud’s that mostly affected his hands. He wore winter gloves even in the summer…but it made him more comfortable.

August 26, 2009 at 8:38 am
(8) auch says:

I am going to see my doctor before the cold weather hits this year. I am dreading winter, and it drags on here. Each year the Raynaud’s is getting worse. I did read somewhere that mittens help, because your fingers are all together, but it’s hard to drive in them. I even got depressed one day thinking about the cold weather coming. This is not the quality of life to live, always worrying about the numbness and the pain in my fingers.

November 4, 2009 at 12:41 pm
(9) John Heisler says:

I just found out that I have raynaud’s syndrome. I have the most pain when I come back into a warm area, The finger ( and only one ) has an terrible pain when the heat hits it. Is this a normal situation for any one else?

December 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm
(10) Melissa says:

hi iv not actually been diagnosed but doctor has put me on tablets for raynaurds,iv had tests and it was negative but my hands and feet constantly painfull and swollenn red and also turn blue.

January 4, 2010 at 8:16 pm
(11) Kim says:

I’ve had Raynauds for more than ten years now and have tried treating it myself. Keeping warm, even moving to a warmer climate but even when it’s 85 degrees my hands and feet still do this and it feels like there are knives going through them. One hospital I went to said there was nothing that could be done but after doing my own research, I’ve found some medications that can help but am reluctant to try. Has anyone tried them and had any luck? My attacks occur several times daily.

January 12, 2010 at 11:29 pm
(12) Becca says:

Raynaud’s is relieved with BP meds as they open the capillaries that are constricted (vaso-dialator). It has helped me alot to stay warmer. Ask your Dr…some of the meds are as cheap as $4 a month.

January 24, 2010 at 7:24 am
(13) Georgina says:

>John Heisler – I too get throbbing pain when I get into the warm, I believe this is supposed to be the blood returning (think extreme pins & needles). Back in school I couldnt deal with the pain & used to run them under cold water to numb them, obviously that only makes things worse long term. The correct thing to do is grit your teeth & take the pain (easier said than done) I often hate going inside because I know it will hurt even more than being cold even though it is the cold that creates and worsens the problems.

January 30, 2010 at 7:15 pm
(14) Patti says:

My dad has Raynaud’s, i got it late 40′s & had it for about 4-5 yrs. It was real bad. I couldn’t even pick up cold items food shopping. I started taking lots of vitamins & noticed I no longer get any symptoms throughout the winters or while food shopping. Does it go away? I think it may have something to do with my vitamins (& of course have no idea which one). Now my daughter in her early 20′s has it bad. Apparently, it is hereditary. My 3 sons have no symptoms.

February 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm
(15) eva zibell says:

wow. all this time i had this problem with the cold. feet always realy realy cold and frozen while others were ok. and they realy realy hurt me. my hand also but not as bad. i wear uggs and sweaters around my house and my feet are still cold and in pain unless im walking around and doing things. ive always kept this thing under control by wearing warm clothing and planning for warm clothing bec. i used to be stuck somewhere where it was cold and i wasnt prepared and i would suffer. recently ive decided to move to florida bec. the cold realy gets to me and is debilitating. I never thought that maybe i had “somehtng”. Im studying for my NCLEX (nursing licensure test) and i get this question that talks about raynauds and it hits me, wait a minute it sounds like something i suffer from! but i expected this to be a bigger disease than it is. and i google raynauds and came across this page. THIS is exactly what i have! i found a name for it! now i can explain to ppl why im always so cold and why the cold borthers me so much! and im happy i know waht i have and that it isnt as severe as i thought- i def. have the primary condition. Florida here i come! all you need is warmth!

February 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm
(16) nancy T. says:

I have Raynauds and so does my sister( 60 and 55 respectively) I also have Thyroid disease , does anyone else notice a similarity?

February 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm
(17) Amber Kavan says:

In response to Joe Leier,
I just got on to do research about Raynauds because I had a reaction yesterday when doing a presentation in a cold classroom. I had great difficulty keeping my thoughts straight; my brain felt fuzzy, my thoughts were very scattered and I was seriously distracted with how cold I was. I was curious to find out if this is indeed a symptom. It makes sense with the way that this syndrome was described to me by the doctor who diagnosed me.

So, yes, there is at least one other person (me) who has noticed that this syndrome affects their thinking processes. In addition, for the remainder of the day yesterday I was exhausted as if I had been through a trauma. This is very unusual for me.

February 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm
(18) Julie B says:

I was just diagnosed with Raynaud’s this week and the doc put me on Cilostazol and it is causing me headaches. But my toes hurt so bad! Plus..I am very hot blooded..I hate wearing these socks all of the time… anyone else have these problems? I could care less that my feet and hands are cold cuz the rest of me is ALWAYS hot but now the bottoms of my toes are turning colors perm!

February 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm
(19) Wendy says:

My feet and hands are always cold. I find that wool socks help and my doctor gave me an RX for Adalat XL 30mg. I no longer turn blue.

April 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm
(20) Tim says:

I just heard about this condition even though I think I have suffered with it in my feet for years. Being a Canadian has not helped this condition especially during our winters. Our warm weather months give me relief but it returns as soon as it gets cool or cold. Back in the 90′s I discovered a product called Magsteps from Nikken Corp. For the ten years that I wore them I had very few symptoms throug out the years. Unfortunately, I wore mine out and have not been able to afford a new pair for several years[they are not covered under drug plans]. I would suggest to anyone out their suffering with problem in their feet to visit http://www.nikken.com and see their product line…especially the magsteps which today I believe are called magstrides. I wouldn’t suggest the original magsteps from Japan as the nodules being on both sides can irritate your feet till you get used to them. You want the ones that are flat on one side so you can switch back and forth till your feet become accustomed to the nodules. Money well spent if you can afford

April 29, 2010 at 4:59 pm
(21) mary Sproat says:

My hands and feet turned white when I was a child – all the blood would drain out and I could squeeze it back into my fingers. Now, I only get the problem in my left toes. Anybody else get this. I have had great success with foot warmers by Grabbers(wwwwarmers.com). I buy a case as winter comes on.They also make hand warmers. I just find it odd that I only get it in one foot now. Any ideas?

April 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm
(22) michael says:

Hi, Im 70 and have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s for almost three years now, tho I suspected it before and self-diagnosed it before seeing the dr. He agreed, we tried the beta blockers and such, didn’t help at all. Moved from SF to Long Beach, that didnt help, even in summer. Moved to Houston and I am finally feeling some relief, as of today. Think my daily espresso mght be making problem worse but I need the upper each morn. Im moving to Miami soon. Michael.

July 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm
(23) Grace Nelson says:

Thank you for this web site. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is not bliss! Many of my clients had suffered from this condition. Here is help.
Youngevity Ultimate Products made by Dr. Joel Wallach’s team hopefully is your answer to relief! Your food supplements need to be of high absorbtion. You are lacking 90 minerals from your food because our argricultural lands have been depleted of minerals for over a century. Our bodies do not make minerals it must be obtained from our food. Rule out food allergies. Does your pulse rate increase after eating a certain food? Rule out thoracic inlet syndrome(nerves or arteries coming out of the thorax are squeezed by muscles or bones). I suggest four products: Beyond Tangy Tangerine(BTT), EFA Plus -Essential Fatty Acids Plus, and (in a liquid form & good tasting Calcium & Magnesum Plus) Osteo-fx > $121 Canadian 2 week to 1 month supply depending on your body weight. Now I’m living without surgery or side effects from meds! and much improved circulation. I’m 54 years old.

February 19, 2011 at 1:59 am
(24) Casey says:

Great post.
I am 23 and have had Raynaud’s forever. My internal medicine physician has me on Nifediac (a calcium channel blocker). Although this med is normally prescribed for those w/ high blood pressure it works well for me. Unfortunately my symptoms are slowly progressing and I already have a severe case.
–Now regarding the Supplement Ad above:
Im in my 5th yr of schooling to become a Dietitian and I hope everyone realizes that the comment promoting Youngevity is not an effective treatment for this condition. If you are diagnosed w/ primary Raynauds, you will have no benefit regarding this condition. Those w/ Raynauds secondary to an autoimmune disorder like that of rheumatoid arthritis, would benefit from a fish oil supplement but it would be targeting inflammation, not circulation. And there is no need to spend over $10 for the right fish oil (which should have a high conc. of EPA/DHA). Unfortunately, I have yet to find a clinically significant backed publication regarding dietary supplementation for treatment of Raynaudís Syndrome. If anybody does, please post the link :)

March 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm
(25) dylan says:

I am 16 and have Raynauds Syndrome. I find that even if my classroom at school is cold my hand will turn blue. It hurts terribly and causes writing to be excruciatingly difficult. I am always having to wear gloves when it is chilly, it is awful. The disease, or whatever it is, is genetic. i have ADHD and add and take concerta and most likely that is the cause of the raynouds

March 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm
(26) Renee says:

Actually, some mnerals MAY help with some patient’s Reynauds. Our soils are depleated of minerals in the manner mentioned 2 posts up. I dob’d think we need pricy suppliments. Magnesium works like a calcium channel blocker and may provide some relief at 400mg daily. Same with people with migraines, although it didn’t help me. 200mg of Vit B2 helped me with that. I am now adding the Magnesium again and will post my results in a few months. It takes 3 straight months of taking it to get relief. This will not work for everyone, but it’s cheap, safe and worth a shot.

May 17, 2011 at 10:51 pm
(27) tina says:

the concerta is causing your raynayds talk to doctor as my child has the same thing

May 17, 2011 at 10:54 pm
(28) tina says:

this is for dylan did the doctor say it could be resticting your blood flow let me know as the nurse told me it could be the concerta go to a nonstimulant add medicine

May 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm
(29) debby says:

I was diagnosed w/ reynaud’s 12 years ago. It’s really hard to get blood drawn when having blood tests done. I dread going because it takes forever. They have to try several times before getting it to come out, plus a lot of times my hands get cold sitting there waiting to be called, chilly in the area. Sometimes they try to warm my hands to see if that will help. Maybe I’ll have to wear gloves to keep my hands warm at least. Also, sometimes I get migraines which they call them “auras” because it’s not really a headache, but my vision kind of dims and like I have tv patterns in front of me for about 20-30 mins. and then feel real tired afterward. I was told that the reynauds might have something to do with it, especially if I’m chilly.

August 26, 2011 at 5:56 am
(30) Liane says:

I have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s Syndrome yesterday by my homeopath. Been to western doctors every year with the transition of winter to spring. Nobody could tell me what I have or what the cause could be. One dr actually told me that it might be old blood that is stuck.

Been reading up on it a bit today, but am confused: my fingers swell up instead of just turning blue like some of the pics ive seen. It is mostly around my finger joints and my hands turn blue from the joints down.

I now know that this is definitely from poor circulation. I am usually cold-ish (get REALLY cold REALLY quickly) and have REALLY low blood pressure. Some part of my body can feel hotand some icy cold at the same time. Weird feeling.

I also feel that if I suddenly get warm or the day is warmer tan usual while my fingers are swolen, those parts start itching in a burny kind of way. Then I avoid gloves for I scratch my hands through the gloves (glorious feeling) until I scratch myself into oblivion (not-so-glorious feeling).

Been prescribed Rubus droplets and Abropernol tablets.
Started taking it this morning, will give feedback on howthis works.

Just want to know if there is anyone who also has the swelling in stead of the fingers turning blue/red or white??

September 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm
(31) Jan says:

I’ve read that magnesium supplements greatly help Reynauds. Most Americans have magnesium deficiencies. It sure can’t hurt to try a magnesium supplement. The book that talks about this is Magnesium Solution for Migraine Headaches by Dr. Jay S. Cohen.

November 1, 2011 at 6:05 am
(32) Elize says:

Can someone help? I have all these symptoms, and yet gloves do not help, when the rest of my body is cold, my hands freeze up no matter what. And i get terrible chills when ever the temperature drops, even if it is 80 degrees in the room. PLEASE HELP!

March 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm
(33) donna wackwitz says:

i’m 45 was diagnosed with raynaud’s syndrome in 2002 by a doctor from salamanca ny. she told me all about the symptoms and to , be aware of the disorder plus move to a southern state where it is warm. i have asthma, tendinitis in left shoulder, carpel tunnel right wrist, and now slowly recovering from a thyroid disorder this year that i could have had for a long time my hands in 2002 during the winter weather were frost bite from mild to severe. so i know the pain in winter and summer that everyone who has this disorder goes through. i always had cold hands for a long time just needed a good doctor find out i’m originally from new york city and now up here in cold climate new york state and was told to head south really six years after diagnosing. i will live 10 years longer if i do and if i continue to stay here it will shorten ten years of my life. i have so much pain from these two disorders now raynaud’s that caused thyroid on a life pill. its the county fault for my thyroid they put me on work experience waiting in the cold for a bus then i got sick. i have a great doctor now and monitors me every three months on work exempt college student seeking for degree in psychology trying to enjoy my life. i can’t wait until i’m at the beach in alabama so i can enjoy my time.

March 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm
(34) Marion in Canada says:

I sure can identify with all of you raynauds sufferers. With me it doesn’t much matter if it’s winter or summer – both hands (all fingers), and feet are either red, blue (purple actually), or white and now I’ve begun to have a blue halo around my mouth so am going to see my doctor post haste. I had heard that noses and ears can be affected, but nowhere have I ever seen the “mouth” thing. Has anyone out there heard of it. If so, email me at ginatri@aol.com

May 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm
(35) Avoisttork says:

They are a point of starting over when either you have to continue with your life in the real world or when you fall in this one. http://www.treerichworldclub.com
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June 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm
(36) Lisa says:

I use a riboflavin supplement, you want the kind that gives you a flush, and it helps. Also the homeopathic remedy secale is of help. It’s not completely gone but much improved.

December 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm
(37) Linda says:

I have had Raynauds since 2008 and it is an underlying cause for me because I also have Scleroderma on my arm. I am just wondering if anyone has ever experienced it in other areas besides the hands, feet and ears? I have had it on my face, neck, arm and recently my thighs which was the most painful. I always get all red, bumpy blotches which are irritating. I have not tried any calcium channel blockers yet because I just try to manage it on my own, but soon I might as it seems to be getting worse.

March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm
(38) myrna says:

I have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s for many years and I have had much success using Vasodilan/Isoxuprine, but I am unable to order this med unless I have a vet script. I guess the laws changed and am in a quandry as to obtain isoxuprine. I was able to at one time purchase this drug with a script for $35.00 for 1000 tabls. Can anyone out there give me an assist? Would appreicate.

March 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm
(39) Sharon says:

I have been diagnoised with Raynaud’s disease for 27 years now. About 10-15 years ago, the rheumatoid Dr. put me on Prozac or the generic form which worked my symptoms. I stopped taking it about three years ago because the drug store changed distributors. The new generic form was giving me diarrhea. I also have Celiac Disease so I have to be careful of binders.

Well I have had 3-4 foot infections since then. Since I am on Medicare, I finally got a referral to a Rheumotologist ( They hate taking Medicare Pts. because Medicare doesn’t want to pay them). Hopefully I will find a medication to keep from getting foot infections every year. I need to keep wearing the open toe shoes due to an old fungus injury which doesn’t want to go away. Talk about being in a Catch 22.

April 11, 2013 at 11:56 pm
(40) stacie says:

I am 28 and I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s 2 years ago. The doc put me on 100 mg of Cilostazol twice a day and my feet were still blue all the time and I started having shortness of breath and chronic fatigue so I went to a different doc who put me on an aspirin a day deal but I’m telling you, my feet are still blue all the time, not sometimes, they are blue all day everyday (with the exception of when I am laying with my feet up). I’ve had all the blood tests and everything is normal and i don’t have an autoimmune disease. I’m still searching for a doctor who will actually listen to me because I don’t think this is Raynaud’s. Do any of you have blue feet all the time even on medication?

January 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm
(41) Barbara Lowe says:

I have Raynaud’s Syndrome and I get it in my fingers mostly, every once in a while my lips. My hands and feet are always cold and even right now 2 fingers on my right hand are white and numb. I think the worst is when I take my dog to the park at 6 am and even wearing gloves I can’t feel my fingers !! I’m going to try a thing they call Tesla. to stimulate my circulation. Its a machine that before only Cosmetologist could purchase, but now most anybody can get them on line. I feel for all of you, some have it so much worse than me. I pray we all find relief !!!

March 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm
(42) Emily says:

I am 13 and have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s Disease, it effects my feet and my nose. My nose with start to turn blue and really hurt, my feet turn gray and they ach and itch all the time because they get so dry from being cold. They have medications out there but they just effect you more by causing other problems and making you feel weird all the time. In the summer it dose nit bother me as much because it is warmer out but I will still have really cold feet and a really cold nose even in the summer.

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