Raynaud's Disease

Archived Q&A and Reviews

March 2008

My daughter was diagnosed with Raynaud's this year at the age of fifteen. Raynaud's is basically a condition which involves episodes of ''cold hands and feet,'' sometimes resulting in an extreme but transitory change of color from red to white in the fingers and toes, although, with her, it's mainly her hands. Most of the time it does not seem to be a big problem (although she really struggled with it when she went skiing this winter). What worries me is that Raynaud's can be associated with some pretty scary connective-tissue disorder like lupus and scleroderma and is considered an auto-immune disprder. She has also tested postive for the anti-nuclear antibodies which, along with Raynaud's, can indicate a higher possibility for developing an underlying disease. I am planning to get her evaluated by a rheumatologist but am curious if anyone has dealt with this syndrome in their child. I did not see any posts on Raynaud's in the archive and am feeling extremely anxious about what she may be facing in the future. Thanks. hoping its only cold hands

Hi, I'll be curious to read other responses on this topic. I am a 40-something woman and I diagnosed myself as having Raynaud's disease when I was in my 20's because of the cold hands and feet, quickly changing from white to red. I have never had any treatment for it (but again, will be interested in hearing responses). I think I read that biofeedback might be helpful but I never got around to doing it. Other than that I'm extremely healthy (knock on wood). So, I don't think having Raynaud's disease necessarily means that one will have other health problems. I have decided, however, that I probably shouldn't go on an expedition to Antarctica, as I think I'd be more vulnerable to frostbite due to poor circulation. I would guess that this isn't something to worry about, but I'd love to hear from some better-informed folks. cold hands, warm heart
I have had Raynaud's for 18 years. I am 58. My Raynaud's is associated with an elevated ANA. Each elevated ANA is correlated to a different auto-immune disorder. My Raynaud's has been stable for the past 10 years and has not progressed to any serious auto-immune disorder. Some Raynaud's is not associated with auto immune disorders, when the ANA is not elevated. Long story short...get excellent information on Raynauds.org

Stay warm. I make heat socks out of baby socks filled with white rice. Close with a rubber band and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Ahhh... Living with Raynaud's

I've had Raynaud's for many years. My fingers and toes turn yellow (no blood circulating at all) when it is chilly cold, especially if there is an emotional component to the situation. The best quick solution is to use centrifugal force. The ''windmill'' technique (swinging your arms vigorously like you are winding up for the pitch) works well for fingers, if you don't mind looking like an idiot in a public place. (Of course, it doesn't work for toes.) Warm water also works, though it takes time. Rubbing, putting on gloves, or breathing warm air on the effected extremities haven't ever worked for me. I've researched biofeedback and other forms of conditioning. Aside from being very expensive, it is time-consuming and uncomfortable. Imagine sitting in a cold room without a jacket but with your hands (and feet) in an insulated container of warm water, 20 minutes at a time, several times per week, for weeks. The idea is to ''teach'' your blood vessels to open when you are cold. I recommend just trying to avoid situations that bring on the Raynaud's. Good luck! Ruth