October Is Raynaud’s Awareness Month; A Disorder That May Be More Than A Nuisance
September 24, 2019 Redding, CT – Orange is the color of pumpkins and everything Halloween during October, but for one group of people, the dominant colors are red, white and blue year-round.
Those colors are the hallmark of a medical condition known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, also known as Raynaud’s syndrome or disease. It’s a painful condition triggered by cold or stress, causing the small blood vessels in the fingers, toes and other extremities to go into spasms and reduce blood flow. When spasms occur extremities can turn colors in response to the lack of oxygen to the digits.
Raynaud’s isn’t serious but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. If you have Raynaud’s, it might be a sign – often the first sign – that a serious autoimmune disease like scleroderma or lupus is the culprit. Tweet
“Raynaud’s is far more common than people think,” says Lynn Wunderman, founder and chair of the Raynaud’s Association (www.raynauds.org). An estimated 5 to 10 percent of the population has Raynaud’s, and nine out of ten are female. “The condition can be triggered by cold temperatures indoors and out, and by everyday tasks like holding a cold glass or putting a hand in the freezer.”
The group is stepping up its activities during October – Raynaud’s Awareness Month – to build awareness and help sufferers seek treatment and cope with the disorder.
Equally important, the organization is working to change attitudes. According to Wunderman, people often brush off the condition as a mere nuisance. “They say simply that they have ‘poor circulation.’ Sometimes even doctors will tell them just to ‘move south’ or ‘keep warm.’”
For most sufferers, she says, Raynaud’s isn’t serious but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. “If you have Raynaud’s, it might be a sign – often the first sign – that a serious autoimmune disease like scleroderma or lupus is the culprit.”
Although there is no single test for diagnosing Raynaud’s, there is a panel of lab tests that can determine whether the condition requires further investigation and treatment. “Everyone’s fingers and toes get numb when the weather is freezing,” says Wunderman, “but Raynaud’s is an extreme reaction.”
The Raynaud’s Association offers several resources to help bring warmth and comfort to Raynaud’s sufferers:
The Cold Facts on Raynaud’s – A comprehensive guide incorporating educational materials from the organization’s web site, brochures, and newsletters.
Raynaud’s Marketplace – A selection of products evaluated by the organization with the potential to benefit Raynaud’s sufferers and offer warmth and comfort to those living with Raynaud’s.
Membership Sign-Up Form – Become a member of the Raynaud’s Association to receive quarterly newsletters and information about upcoming events.
Lend a Warm Helping Hand – Donations to support the work of the Raynaud’s Association are fully tax-deductible. Contributions help fund member mailings, the web site, awareness-building efforts and thousands of educational materials distributed each year to sufferers.