Raynaud's Disease

From Health Facts
(Redirected from Raynaud's)
Jump to: navigation, search
Latest Edit: Hector 2013-05-21 (EDT)

Raynaud's Disease
Causes Dietary Factors, Smoking, Stress, Cold Weather
See Also Cardiovascular Conditions, Arteriosclerosis, Hypertension, Autoimmune Disease
Books Books on Cardiovascular Conditions
Articles Articles on Cardiovascular Conditions

Raynaud’s Disease also referred to as Raynaud's syndrome or phenomenon is characterized by sensitivity and discoloration of the fingertips, toes, ears and nose upon exposure to cold temperatures or stress.[1] It is prevalent in 3-5% in the general population.[2]

Naturopathic Assessment

Causal Factors

In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With Raynaud's the causes are variable and include physiological and environmental factors. Investigating the root cause is important as this condition may be the first sign of disease developing in the connective tissues or it can be secondary to conditions such as atherosclerosis.[1], [2]


  • Raw, cold foods can increase the severity of Raynaud's, especially if consumed in cold weather.


  • Raynaud's is worse under times of stress.[3]


  • Climate
  • Individuals in cold climates tend to have more severe and frequent episodes of Raynaud's.[1]
  • Thermal injury due to chemical (carbolic and salicylic acid) exposures.[4]


  • Occupations
Vibratory injury can happen to individuals who operate jackhammers, welders, and other workers where vibration is involved.[1]
  • Smoking causes vasoconstriction which is a risk factor for Raynaud's.[4]
  • Trauma
  • Trauma from poor fitting footwear can contribute to Raynaud's.[4]
  • Trauma to any of the fingers or toes and increase the risk of Raynaud's.
  • Fungal infections can contribute to Raynaud's.[4]

Medical Interventions

  • Prescription Medications
  • Some drugs can cause vasoconstriction which can cause or aggravate Raynaud's.[4]
  • Ergot and Methysergide may cause drug intoxications associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon.[4]
  • Medical Treatments
  • Minor surgery of digits (fingers and toes) predispose them to Raynaud's.[4]

Diagnostic Testing

Specific diagnostic testing is often done to rule out other underlying conditions such as atherosclerosis or connective tissue diseases.

Related Symptoms and Conditions


Raynaud's Disease is either classified as Primary Raynaud's phenomenon or Raynaud's syndrome. Raynaud's phenomenon is a term used when the cause (from a conventional medical point of view) is considered idiopathic; whereas with Raynaud's syndrome there is some other underlying condition, most commonly a connective tissue disorders such as Systemic lupus erythematosus.

  • Raynaud’s has the following characterisitcs:[2]
  • most common in young women
  • primarily affects all fingers, but can have an asymmetrical distribution or can affect only specific digits.
  • digital vasospasm
  • absence of peripheral vascular disease
  • no necrosis
  • normal nailfold capillaries
  • Intermittent attacks of completely white or blue fingers usually in response to either stressful situation or cold exposure.
  • There may be 3 phases of colour change from white to blue to red/purple, other times the blue phase or cyanosis does not occur.[4]
  • Typically Raynaud's is non-painful and does not involve the thumb or area proximal to metacarpophalangeal joints. Over time skin of the digits may become shiny, smooth and tight due to loss of subcutaneous tissue.[4]

Naturopathic Treatment

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Raynaud's is typically a chronic disease and the treatment strategy is similar to atherosclerosis as they are both peripheral vascular disorders. Only those treatments that are specific to Raynaud's are included on this page. For more detail check out the page on atherosclerosis.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.

  • Protect the hands and feet from cold as much as possible.
  • Avoid going outside when cold.


Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Goroll A, Mulley A, editors. (2009) Primary Care Medicine – Office evaluation and management of the adult patient. Boston: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins;163:pg1134-1137
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Baumhäkel M, Böhm M (2010)Recent achievements in the management of Raynaud's phenomenon. Vasc Health Risk Manag;6:207-14. PMID:20407628
  3. Freedman RR, Ianni P (1983)Role of cold and emotional stress in Raynaud's disease and scleroderma. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed).;287(6404):1499-502.PMID:6416474
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Berga S, Bowman M, Drossman D, Faling J, Frenkel E, Gabbard G et al. editors.(1992) The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and therapy 16th edition. Rathway: Merck & Co Inc.;28:pg583-585