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Can Raynaud’s Affect The Brain

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How Do Doctors Treat Raynauds Phenomenon

12 Warning Signs Your Body is Crying for Help

Learning to avoid situations that can trigger an attack is the most important part of the treatment.The patient should avoid exposure to cold and aim for a warm and dry environment. Warm socks and gloves can help prevent attacks in the autumn and winter. Always wear a head cover when its cold outside. As much as 30% of the body heat disappears through the head. Emotions and tensions are more difficult to control.

The advice is to carefully check what conditions evoke Raynauds phenomenon. For example, a specific kind of movie or particular places, people or situations, this has to be avoided as soon as possible. Your doctor will advise that you quick smoking, if applicable, which causes blood vessel contraction. The doctor may also prescribe drugs that dilate the blood vessels. In severe cases, your doctor can administer an infusion of prostacyclin. This substance is active in the body for a short while. The treatment will therefore have to be given by continuous infusion. Therefore, this treatment is only given in emergency situations, for example when occlusion of toes or fingers is indicated.

Who Gets Raynauds Phenomenon

Anyone can get Raynauds phenomenon, but some people are more likely to have it than others. There are two types and the risk factors for each are different.

The primary form of Raynauds phenomenon, which is of unknown cause, has been linked to:

  • Sex. Women get it more often than men.
  • Age. It usually occurs in people younger than age 30 and often starts in the teenage years.
  • Family history of Raynauds phenomenon. People with a family member who has Raynauds phenomenon have a higher risk of getting it themselves, suggesting a genetic link.

The secondary form of Raynauds phenomenon occurs in combination with another disease or an environmental exposure. Factors that have been linked to secondary Raynauds phenomenon include:

  • Diseases. Among the most common ones are lupus, scleroderma, inflammatory myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögrens syndrome. Conditions such as certain thyroid disorders, clotting disorders, and carpal tunnel syndrome have also been linked to the secondary form.
  • Medications. Medications used to treat high blood pressure, migraines, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may cause symptoms similar to Raynauds phenomenon or make underlying Raynauds phenomenon worse.
  • Work-related exposures. Repeated use of vibrating machinery , or exposure to cold or certain chemicals.

What Is Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynauds phenomenon is a problem that causes decreased blood flow to the fingers. In some cases, it also causes less blood flow to the ears, toes, nipples, knees, or nose. This happens due to spasms of blood vessels in those areas. The spasms happen in response to cold, stress, or emotional upset.

Raynauds can occur on its own, known as primary form. Or it may happen along with other diseases, known as secondary form. The diseases most often linked with Raynauds are autoimmune or connective tissue diseases such as:

  • Blood disorders, such as Cryoglobulinemia

  • Thyroid disorders

  • Pulmonary hypertension

The primary form of Raynauds is the most common type. It often begins between ages 15 and 25. Its less severe than secondary Raynauds. People with primary Raynauds do not often develop a related condition.

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What Do The Results Mean

If it takes 20 minutes or more for your finger temperature to return to normal after the ice water bath, it probably means you have Raynaud’s syndrome. If your symptoms are severe and/or you are age 35 or older, you may have secondary Raynaud’s syndrome. Secondary Raynaud’s can be caused by several disorders, including:

  • Scleroderma, a disease that causes hardening of the skin and other body tissues
  • Sjögren’s syndrome, a disorder that causes dryness of the eyes and mouth
  • Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that affects multiple parts of the body, including the joints, blood vessels, kidneys, and brain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints
  • A blood disorder, such as polycythemia vera, a disease that causes your body to make too many red blood cells
  • Pulmonary hypertension, a type of high blood pressure that affects arteries in your lungs and heart

If your provider thinks you have secondary Raynaud’s syndrome, he or she may order more tests to help diagnose the disorder that is causing it. These tests include:

  • Nailfold capillaroscopy. For this test, your provider will place a drop of oil on the base of one of your fingernails. The nail area is then examined under a microscope. If abnormal arteries are seen, it can be a sign of scleroderma or other connective tissue disease.

How Is Raynauds Diagnosed


If a doctor suspects Raynauds phenomenon, he or she will thoroughly evaluate the patients medical history and perform a complete physical exam to rule out other medical problems. Often, it is fairly easy to diagnose Raynauds, but more difficult to identify the form of the disorder.

One diagnostic test useful in helping doctors determine the correct form of Raynauds is known as a nailfold capillaroscopy, in which capillaries are studied under a microscope. For people with Primary Raynauds Phenomenon, the results of this test will be normal. The results of this test will be abnormal for those who have the secondary form.

During a nailfold capillaroscopy, the doctor places a drop of oil on the patients nailfold – the skin at the base of the fingernail. The doctor will then examine the nailfold under a microscope or a hand-held ophthalmoscope to look for abnormalities of the capillaries. If the capillaries are enlarged or abnormal, this may indicate that the patient has a connective tissue disease.

If the patient has symptoms suggesting secondary Raynauds phenomenon, the doctor may order a complete blood count , a urinalysis, and chemistry profile.

Other tests a doctor may order to help distinguish between the two forms of Raynauds are the antinuclear antibody test , the erythrocyte sedimentation rate or tests for the rheumatoid factor and complement levels.

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How Is Raynaud Disease Diagnosed

  • Nail fold capillary test: Your healthcare provider may put a drop of oil on your nail folds . The capillaries will then be checked under a microscope.
  • Blood tests give healthcare providers information about how your body is working.
  • Angiography: This test looks for problems with your arteries in your hands, arms, feet, and legs. Before the x-ray, a dye is put into a thin tube through a small cut in your groin. The dye helps the arteries show up better on these x-ray pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • An arterial Doppler test is done to check blood flow through an artery. A small metal disc with gel on it is placed on your skin over the artery. You can hear a “whooshing” sound when the blood is flowing through the artery. An “X” may be marked on your skin where healthcare providers feel or hear the blood flowing best. Healthcare providers may need to check blood flow more than one time.
  • X-rays: Pictures of the bones, soft tissues, and other parts of your body may be taken. X-rays can show changes that will help healthcare providers learn if you have other diseases that may be causing Raynaud disease.

Racial Sexual And Age

Primary Raynaud phenomenon has no racial predilection. Secondary Raynaud phenomenon approximates the racial prevalence of the underlying disease, if any.

Primary Raynaud phenomenon occurs more frequently in women than in men. The prevalence by sex varies in different populations, ranging from 4.9%-20.1% in women to 3.8%-13.5% in men.

Primary Raynaud phenomenon usually occurs in the second or third decade of life. Secondary Raynaud phenomenon begins in accordance with the underlying disorder.

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How Is Raynaud’s Phenomenon Diagnosed

The process starts with a medical history and a physical exam. Your healthcare provider may give you a cold challenge test. This is done to see the color changes in the hands and fingers. During the test, your hands are exposed to cold. Your healthcare provider may also look at the tiny blood vessels in your fingernails with a microscope. Adults who start to have Raynauds phenomenon after age 35 may be tested for an underlying disease. You may have blood tests to see if your condition is primary or secondary.

Alternative Remedies For Raynauds Phenomenon

Repetitive Strain Injury: RSI

There are natural, alternative ways to manage your Raynauds symptoms.

If your Raynauds is stress-related, finding ways to reduce or manage stress may lead to reduced frequency and intensity of flare-ups.

You may find the following activities and lifestyle measures helpful:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Yoga
  • Meat
  • Nuts and seeds

Diets high in these foods typically lead to lower blood pressure and improved blood flow. Regularly consuming such healthful foods may play a role in managing Raynauds symptoms.

Including a protein supplement may help boost NO as well. The supplements are rich in nitric oxide precursors that can promote better blood flow.

There are also specific products to improve nitric oxide. Neo40, for example, is a daily herbal supplement used to help the body naturally increase NO levels. It contains a blend of beetroot, hawthorn berry extract, and NO precursor L-citrulline.

Its important to note that some NO supplements containing L-arginine are not for everyone due to their individual genetic make-up. Ask your doctor about the best L-arginine-free NO supplement for your needs.

Other potentially effective alternative treatments for Raynauds disease include:

  • Fish oil: Fish oil supplementation may improve tolerance to cold.
  • Gingko: Gingko supplements may help lower the number of Raynauds attacks.
  • Acupuncture: Research suggests that acupuncture can improve blood flow, which may make it helpful to relieve or prevent attacks.

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Symptoms Of Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Your body protects your internal organs from heat loss in cold weather by redirecting the blood away from the extremities such as the fingers and toes. With Raynauds phenomenon, this reaction is exaggerated. Blood vessels in your extremities narrow, starving the tissues of blood and causing the characteristic blue or white colour change. When this happens, you may experience stinging pain, tingling and numbness in your fingers or toes.When blood flow returns, the skin turns from blue to red and finally back to its usual colour. Circulation to the rest of the body is generally unaffected.

Drug Therapy For Refractory Rp

Clinicians are increasingly using phosphodiesterase-type 5 inhibitors earlier in the pharmacological treatment of RP, particularly when complicated CTD-associated RP is complicated by digital ischaemia and/or gangrene. Prostanoid therapy is administered in cases of refractory digital ulcers and is also used in patients with severe RP . The endothelin-receptor antagonist bosentan is licensed in Europe for the treatment of digital ulcers in SSc. Bosentan reduces the development of new ulcers but does not impact on the healing of existing ulcers. However, a similar effect was not observed with macitentan . Such drug therapies are often used in combination in the context of complicated RP. Of note, the therapeutic pathways which are targeted for refractory RP are also similarly targeted for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

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What Is The Difference Between Raynauds Primary And Secondary Phenomenon

Raynauds disease is the primary condition, and it is common in healthy people. If discoloration of the fingers or toes may also be a symptom of a vascular or rheumatic disorder, then it is Raynauds secondary phenomenon. This phenomenon may occur in patients with scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease , Sjögrens syndrome, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of this condition may also occur in arterial and vascular inflammation.

What To Do During An Attack

15 Photos That Show What Raynaudâs Phenomenon Looks Like

If you have a Raynaudâs attack, you can make it less severe and lessen its length by warming the affected areas. To quickly warm your fingers and toes:

  • Rub your hands and feet.
  • Tuck your hands in your underarms.
  • Run warm — not hot — water over your hands and feet.
  • Wiggle your fingers and toes.
  • If youâre stressed, step back and relax.

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Raynauds Phenomenon: Causes Symptoms And Solutions

Raynauds phenomenon, also called Raynauds disease or syndrome, is a relatively common but often unrecognized condition. It is a vascular disorder that occurs when blood vessels temporarily overreact to low temperatures, emotional stress, or other exposures.

Raynauds phenomenon typically affects a persons fingers, but can also affect the toes, nose, earlobes, or nipples. In people with Raynauds, the affected area is unusually sensitive to cold. It will change color to white, then blue, and will feel numb and tingly.

There are two types of Raynauds phenomenon, primary Raynauds and secondary Raynauds. Primary Raynauds happens without any other condition and the symptoms are often mild. Secondary Raynauds is associated with another disease or condition and can have complications.

There are natural support strategies to help people struggling with Raynauds. An anti-inflammatory diet along with numerous natural strategies and targeted supplementation may help to improve the health of those with Raynauds. For people with secondary Raynauds, it is also important to address the underlying or associated condition.

Fast Facts On Raynauds Disease

  • Raynauds disease is caused by peripheral blood vessels overreacting to cold.
  • The condition affects 5-10 percent of Americans.
  • Maurice Raynaud first described the disease in 1862.
  • Females and people living in colder climates are more often affected.
  • A capillaroscopy can help diagnose Raynauds disease.

There is no cure for Raynauds disease, but there are ways to manage symptoms.

For mild forms of Raynauds disease, covering exposed skin before leaving the house can help. If an attack occurs, soaking the affected parts in warm, not hot, water can alleviate symptoms and prevent them from worsening.

If stress is a factor, learning to manage stress can help.

For moderate to severe cases, medication may be necessary.

Alpha-1 blockers can counter the effect of norepinephrine, which constricts blood vessels. Examples include doxazosin and prazosin.

Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers relax the smaller blood vessels of the hands and feet. Examples include amlodipine, nifedipine, and felodipine.

Topical nitroglycerin ointment applied to the affected area appears to relieve the symptoms by improving blood flow and cardiac output and decreasing blood pressure.

Other vasodilators dilate the veins, easing symptoms. Examples include losartan, sildenafil , fluoxetine , and prostaglandin.

In very severe cases, more invasive procedures are an option:

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How Is Raynaud’s Phenomenon Treated

Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. There is no cure for Raynauds phenomenon, but it can be managed with proper treatment. Treatment may include:

  • Avoiding exposure to cold

  • Wearing finger guards over fingers with sores

  • Avoiding trauma or vibrations to the hand

  • Taking blood pressure medicines during the winter months to help reduce constriction of the blood vessels

Talk with your healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.

Myth #: Raynauds Is An Allergy To The Cold

Chilblains | swelling in fingers by Dr Shivraj Singh

Raynauds is not an allergic reaction to the cold. There is another condition that is also extremely sensitive to cold temperatures called Cold Urticaria. With this condition, a sufferer is literally allergic to cold temperatures.

Symptoms involve breaking out in a rash and itching. Heres the description: Cold urticaria is a condition in which red allergic skin lesions and itching are produced by exposure to cold temperatures, water, or mild trauma.

Raynauds and cold urticaria are sometimes confused even in the medical community, so its important to know the difference and seek the proper treatment.

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What Can I Do To Help

  • Try not to touch cold objects. For example, use a towel or gloves when removing food from the freezer or working with cold food.
  • Regular exercise is recommended by many experts. Exercise your hands and feet frequently to improve the circulation.
  • When a bout of symptoms develops, warm the affected hands or feet as soon as possible. Soaking the hands or feet in warm running water is a good way to get warm .
  • What Are Raynaud’s Syndrome Risk Factors

    Some people are more likely to develop Raynaud’s syndrome compared to others. Risk factors that have been identified include the following:

    • Gender: Primary Raynaud’s is more common in women than men.
    • Raynaud’s syndrome may occur at any age but is most common between the ages 15-35.
    • The disorder is more common in populations of people who reside in cooler climates.
    • If someone in the family has Raynaud’s syndrome, then there is an increased risk of a family member developing the disorder. Approximately one-third of Raynaud’s syndrome occurs in first-degree relatives.

      When someone has an attack of Raynaud’s syndrome, the small arteries of the arms and legs go into spasm or become narrow, which limits blood flow to the distal organs. The tissues become deprived of the blood’s oxygen, which causes color changes in the skin. However, Raynaud’s syndrome is not the same as frostbite.

      The Raynaud’s syndrome attack usually lasts a few minutes, although sometimes it may last several hours.

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      Why Some People Get Raynauds

      For most people who experience Raynauds, attacks can be painful, but they generally pass quickly and dont cause long-term problems. This is called primary Raynauds. Its often seen in younger women though it isnt exactly clear why, says vascular medicine specialist Meghann McCarthy, DO.

      But sometimes the blood vessel problems that cause Raynauds are the result of an underlying autoimmune condition like scleroderma, connective tissue disease or lupus or use of certain medications. This is called secondary Raynauds.

      More severe symptoms such as ulcers and skin sores are very rare with primary Raynauds but may be seen with secondary Raynauds, Dr. McCarthy says.

      Why Does It Happen


      Raynauds is usually triggered by cold temperatures, anxiety or stress. The condition occurs because your blood vessels go into a temporary spasm, which blocks the flow of blood.

      This causes the affected area to change colour to white, then blue and then red, as the bloodflow returns. You may also experience numbness, pain, and pins and needles.

      Symptoms of Raynaud’s can last from a few minutes to several hours.

      It’s not a serious threat to your health, but can be annoying to live with, because it can be difficult to use your fingers. People with Raynauds often go for long periods without any symptoms, and sometimes the condition goes away altogether.

      Other parts of the body that can be affected by Raynauds include the ears, nose, nipples and lips.

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