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Raynaud Syndrome: Reduced Blood Flow To Fingers

Raynaud Syndrome: Reduced Blood Flow To Fingers
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Raynaud Syndrome

reduced blood flow to hands


Raynaud Syndrome is also known as Raynaud’s Phenomenon. It refers to a reduction in blood flow to the fingers that is caused by spasms in the blood vessels leading to the fingers. This effect can also, less frequently,  be found in the toes. Raynaud Syndrome occurs most often in individuals between the ages of 15 and 25 and is found more frequently in females than males.

What Causes Raynaud Syndrome?

  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Polymyositis
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Cold agglutinin disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Anorexia
  • Artherosclerosis
  • Buerger’s disease
  • Takayasu’s arteritis
  • Subclavian aneurysms
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Certain medications
    • Beta blockers
    • Ciclosporin
    • Sulfasalazine
    • Anthrax vaccines
    • Stimulant medications
  • Lyme disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Malignancy
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Erythromelalgia
  • Physical trauma

Types of Raynaud Syndrome

Primary Raynaud Syndrome

This type of Raynaud Syndrome occurs on its own and is not the result of an underlying condition.

Secondary Raynaud Syndrome

This type of Raynaud Syndrome is caused by an underlying condition or disease.

white fingertips

Raynaud Syndrome Symptoms

  • Cold fingers or toes
  • Numbness in fingers or toes
  • Blue/white fingers or toes
  • Pain in fingers or toes upon temperature changes

Diagnosing Raynaud Syndrome

A primary care physician can diagnose your Raynaud Syndrome based on your reported symptoms, medical history and a physical examination. They may use a diagnostic tool called a dermascope to assess the size of the blood vessels in your hand. They may refer you to a specialist to determine the underlying cause of your Raynaud Syndrome.

Treating Raynaud Syndrome

Treating Raynaud Syndrome often depends on the underlying cause. Once the underlying condition is treated or managed, the Raynaud’s Phenomenon is likely to resolve. Avoiding triggers like extremely cold weather will reduce the likelihood of Raynaud’s symptoms. Medications like calcium-channel blockers can reduce Raynaud Syndrome by widening tiny blood vessels in your hands.

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