• Friday, December 09, 2022

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Everything you need to know about Raynaud’s disease which affects 10 million Brits

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Around 10 million people in the UK live with Raynaud’s disease, a condition which is often triggered by cold weather and icy temperatures.

However, over three-quarters of people in England have never heard of this disease, which is more common in females, and especially among young women and teenagers, the Mirror reports.

Raynaud’s is also reportedly brought on by periods of stress and anxiety.

The blood vessels in the affected area temporarily spasm when there is an attack of Raynaud’s and usually the extremities are impacted. Thus, your fingers and toes may change colour.

The skin may turn pale, and white before it turns blue when exposed to cold temperatures or when stressed. The hands may also get red when warmed.

During Raynaud’s attacks numbness, pain, and pins and needles are also experienced as blood flow stops. Therefore, in some cases, it can be very painful and it may be difficult to move.

A person may also experience throbbing or stinging upon getting warm or when stress is eased.

Additionally, some people’s lips, noses, nipples, or ears could also be affected by this condition. The symptoms according to the NHS may last for a few minutes or a few hours.

According to health experts, Raynaud’s is sometimes caused by another health condition, certain medications, or if someone has been working with tools that vibrate for a long period of time.

Health charity Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK (SRUK) had previously stated that in the UK, over three-quarters of people have never heard of this condition, even though Raynaud’s is supposedly as common as arthritis.

Sue Farrington CEO of SRUK is reported to have said, “There is a lack of awareness, not only among members of the public but also among healthcare professionals. Sadly, this means people often don’t get the help they need.”

There are reportedly two types of Raynaud’s, primary, when the condition develops by itself, and secondary when the condition is caused by another health condition.

Though the causes of primary Raynaud’s are not known, one in 10 people with this type reportedly go on to develop a condition linked with secondary Raynaud’s.

Secondary Raynaud’s is related to conditions that trigger the immune system to attack healthy tissue in the body, such as lupus, the NHS explains.

The NHS adds that in more serious cases (secondary Raynaud’s) there could be scarring and tissue death due to complications caused by the severe restriction of blood supply that is severely restricted.

However, Raynaud’s is supposedly not a serious condition and severe cases are rare, but according to health experts, it can be annoying to live with the condition as using your fingers may become difficult.

The NHS informs that treating the symptoms of the condition yourself may also be possible. Therefore, the health body recommends the following:

• Keeping your hands and feet warm and wearing warm clothes during the cold temperatures

• Ensuring your house is warm

• Exercising to improve circulation

• Stop smoking, as it affects circulation

• Eating a healthy, balanced diet

• Practicing relaxation techniques when stressed

Farrington adds, “Sometimes Raynaud’s may indicate a more serious underlying condition and you need to be monitored. If you are having more frequent attacks and they are lasting longer, see your GP.”

The NHS also recommends visiting a GP immediately if anyone is experiencing the following:

• You’re over 30 and experiencing symptoms for the first time

• The symptoms are getting worse

• Your daily life is impacted by Raynaud’s

• Symptoms are present on only one side of the body

• A child under 12 with symptoms of the conditions

• You also have muscle weakness, joint pain, or skin rashes.

 

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