Raynaud's Syndrome

Raynaud's Syndrome is a disorder of the blood vessels in your hands and feet. It occurs when small arteries of the arms/hands or legs/feet become sensitive to cold or emotional upset. This causes the arteries to constrict, or narrow, and reduces blood flow to the area. The color in the fingers or toes changes from white to bluish to red and this is not usually painful. There may be numbness and tingling. Sores on the skin (ulcers) can form. Symptoms are usually relieved by warming.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Avoid exposure to cold. Keep your whole body warm and dry. Dress in layers. Wear mittens or gloves when handling ice or frozen food and when outdoors. Use holders for glasses or cans containing cold drinks. If possible, stay indoors during cold weather.

  • Limit your use of caffeine. Switch to decaffeinated coffee, tea, and soda pop. Avoid chocolate.

  • Avoid smoking or being around cigarette smoke. Smoke will make symptoms worse.

  • Wear loose fitting socks and comfortable, roomy shoes.

  • Avoid vibrating tools and machinery.

  • If possible, avoid stressful and emotional situations. Exercise, meditation and yoga may help you cope with stress. Biofeedback may be useful.

  • Ask your caregiver about medicine (calcium channel blockers) that may control Raynaud's phenomena.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your discomfort becomes worse, despite conservative treatment.

  • You develop sores on your fingers and toes that do not heal.