October is Raynaud’s Awareness Month
It’s estimated that 28 million people in the United States alone have Raynaud’s disease (that’s roughly 5 to 10% of the population), according to raynauds.org.
*For this post, I’ll be using information from raynauds.org
It has also been suggested that Raynaud’s Disease is under-diagnosed as the pain, discomfort, and discoloration is not always looked into as closely as it should be, and many people do not seek treatment for the pain. Possibly because their pain is mild, out of fear of judgment, or lack of accessible medical care. However, this is important because Raynaud’s can cause long term damage if early steps are not taken.
A while back I wrote a little bit about my experience with Raynaud’s (you can find it here ), but now that it’s October, I want to remind everyone that this is Raynaud’s Awareness Month.
The condition was discovered over 100 years ago, but there is not much known about Raynaud’s or how to possibly cure it.
So what is Raynaud’s?
-“Raynaud’s a disorder of the small blood vessels of the extremities, reducing blood flow” (raynauds.org). Being exposed to the cold causes the blood vessels to spasm,which can lead to throbbing, pain, lack of feeling, and tingling. Strong emotional reactions can also trigger symptoms. Fingers, toes, nose, ears, and other parts of the body might be effected.
There are also two kids of Raynaud’s. Primary and Secondary.
Primary Raynaud’s is the more common of the two. While very painful and requiring lifestyle changes, it is not linked to any other medical issues. In fact, there is no reason for it to occur. It just does.
Secondary Raynaud’s is when Raynaud’s is linked to another medical condition or even a disease. Some examples can include lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Secondary Raynaud’s is more likely to cause more serious damage.
Other Raynaud’s Information:
It was discovered by French physician, Dr. Maurice Raynayd, in the 1860’s.
It is more common in women than men.
The basic cause of the disease is still unknown, although there is a link to it with some autoimmune disease (however most people with Raynaud’s do not have an autoimmune disease).
It may or may not be hereditary. There isn’t a specific link in genetics that has been discovered, but often more than one person in a family will have it. (My aunt and I both do).
There is no cure for Raynaud’s and the current treatment is to avoid the cold and not be stressed, which is pretty impossible for most people. There are some drugs that may reduce some pain associated with Raynaud’s.
There’s a lot left to be discovered, and hopefully one day there will be a cure or better treatment for Raynaud’s, but for now, this is what we have.
Thanks for reading this post! I hope I was able to provide a little information about Raynaud’s Disease. Although I can’t speak as a professional or for all people with Raynaud’s, feel free to ask any questions. I can speak from experience as someone living in Northern Ohio (very cold area) who was diagnosed about 6 years ago.
The Cold Facts on Raynauds. (2018). Retrieved October 20, 2019, from https://www.raynauds.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Raynauds-Guide-PDF-V3C.pdf.