Raynaud's is a condition in which the blood supply
to the extremities,usually the fingers and toes,
but sometimes also the ears
and nose, is interrupted.
During an attack they first become white
and dead looking then red and burning.
There may be
numbness or tingling.
These symptoms are due to an intermittent
lack of blood in the affected parts when the
arteries normally supplying them
An attack will often be triggered by
touching cold objects or exposure
to cold of any kind. Emotions,
such as anxiety, also play a part,
as can smoking. People who work
with vibratory tools are prone to Raynaud's
appears to be permanent
even when the work is stopped.
This condition is known as Vibration
Induced White Finger and is
as an industrial disease eligible for compensation.
The condition can range in severity from
minor discomfort to the onset of ulcers
or even gangrene. The disease often starts
the very young or during the
early teens and progresses slowly
over a period of thirty years or more.
Primary Raynaud's occurs spontaneously,
without any underlying condition
present. It can be hereditary,
in which case it
is usually fairly mild.
Women are affected nine times more than men.
Secondary Raynaud's is less common
and is associated with underlying
diseases such as Scleroderma,
Sjögrens syndrome and rheumatoid
arthritis. This is more serious and
early and accurate diagnosis is essential.