Raynaud’s Disease (also Raynaud’s phenomenon or Raynaud’s syndrome) is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by color changes, loss of sensation and pain in the fingers and toes. It is classified as primary or secondary.
Primary Raynaud’s is thought to be at least partly congenital, but the cause is not fully understood. In both types the blood vessels in the affected areas become narrower (vasospasm) and circulation is drastically reduced. It strikes females more often than males and those in cooler locations.
The causes of secondary Raynaud’s syndrome can be far more serious and may include:
The symptoms of Raynaud’s disease vary according to the severity of whatever it is that triggers the vasospasms. Symptoms may include:
Treating secondary Raynaud’s syndrome involves treating the underlying cause. In any case, it is extremely important to prevent tissue damage by making specific lifestyle changes and avoiding triggers. Treatment may include: