|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. It is prevalent in 3-5% in the general population.
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., 
- Raw, cold foods can increase the severity of Raynaud's, especially if consumed in cold weather.
- Individuals in cold climates tend to have more severe and frequent episodes of Raynaud's.
- Thermal injury due to chemical (carbolic and salicylic acid) exposures.
- Vibratory injury can happen to individuals who operate jackhammers, welders, and other workers where vibration is involved.
- Fungal infections can contribute to Raynaud's.
- Prescription Medications
- Medical Treatments
- Minor surgery of digits (fingers and toes) predispose them to Raynaud's.
Specific diagnostic testing is often done to rule out other underlying conditions such as atherosclerosis or connective tissue diseases.
- Blood tests include Antinuclear antibody (ANA), total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, Lipoprotein A, Apolipoprotein B, fibrinogen, homocysteine, ferritin, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), lipid peroxides, testosterone, uric acid, bilirubin, platelet.
- Other diagnostic testing may include: Allen test or Plethysmography before and after cold exposure.
Related Symptoms and Conditions
- Any conditions that causes an imbalance of vasoconstriction and vasodilation due to issues with neural control of vascular tone can increase the risk of Raynaud's such as:
- Pulmonary hypertension
- variant Angina
- Thromobangiitis obliterans
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Migraine headaches
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjögren’s syndrome
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Home Care strategies include:
- Protect the hands and feet from cold as much as possible.
- Avoid going outside when cold.
Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND 
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