(NAPSI) — “Zombie Hands.” That’s what can happen to an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the population when temperatures start to fall.
In a typical case of Raynaud’s phenomenon, also known as Raynaud’s disease or syndrome, sufferers experience numbness and pain in their fingers, toes and other extremities. Fingers turn white, blue or red as the small blood vessels go into spasm within minutes of exposure to cold or stress, and they appear to be “dead” as blood flow is constricted.
Named for the French physician Maurice Raynaud, who first recognized the condition in 1862, it causes an interruption of blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose or ears. There may be associated tingling, swelling or painful throbbing. The attacks may last from minutes to hours. In severe cases, the area may develop ulcerations and infections, which can lead to gangrene.
Raynaud’s can occur as a “primary” disease—that is, with no associated disorder—or as a “secondary” condition related to other diseases, such as scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Ninety percent of Raynaud’s sufferers don’t seek treatment and too many physicians pay short shrift to those who do,” says Lynn Wunderman, founder and chair of the Raynaud’s Association. “Treatment is important because some sufferers may have an underlying condition such as systemic scleroderma or lupus. Awareness of such a problem may allow for earlier medical intervention.” Simple blood tests can rule out the presence of antibodies associated with diseases that have Raynaud’s as a component.
What’s Being Done
To help, the Raynaud’s Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit health organization, launched a new and assertive campaign,”Don’t Turn a Cold Shoulder to Painful Fingers,” to urge those with the disorder—and their doctors—not to dismiss the pain that Raynaud’s sufferers endure, or the lifestyle adjustments they make to minimize exposure to cold or stress.
Although there is no known cure as yet, treatment options such as calcium channel blocker drugs have been clinically proven to alleviate symptoms by opening up the blood vessels so blood circulates more freely.
How To Lend A Warm Helping Hand
You can support the Raynaud’s Association with a tax-deductible donation. Contributions help fund member mailings, the website, awareness-building efforts, and thousands of educational materials distributed each year to sufferers.
For more facts, visit www.raynauds.org.
Responsible journalism is hard work!
It is also expensive!
If you enjoy reading The Town Line and the good news we bring you each week, would you consider a donation to help us continue the work we’re doing?
The Town Line is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation, and all donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Service code.
To help, please visit our online donation page or mail a check payable to The Town Line, PO Box 89, South China, ME 04358. Your contribution is appreciated!
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Health Benefits Of Plant-Based Nutrition
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Talking With Your Health Care Provider About Kidney Health
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Major Changes Headed To A Product Label Near You
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: What You Need To Know About Heart Valve Disease
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Small Changes Can Mean Big Differences In Blood Pressure Control
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Can You Afford an Unexpected Hospital Bill? Preparing Your Family for Unforeseen Costs
- Debunking the myths about donating bone marrow
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Do I Need Bunion Surgery?
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: Age Healthier With These Five Tips
- FOR YOUR HEALTH: New Brain Health Initiative Could Unlock Mysteries Of Alzheimer’s, Dementia