Raynaud's

by Livia Hernon

Raynaud's is a disease that causes capillaries to constrict due to the cold or emotional stress and reduce blood flow to the fingers and toes. The lack of blood causes fingers and toes to turn white and feel numb.

What Body Systems Are Affected?

Raynaud's affects the circulatory system.

How Is The Body Affected With This Disease?

Raynaud's causes fingers, toes, or much less commonly, ears, lips, and nose to turn white and blue because of different conditions. Experiencing cold or emotional stress prompts the capillaries to constrict and cuts off blood flow in fingers or other affected areas. This is what makes them turn white. They can also turn blue if there is a lack of oxygen in the blood of the affected area. When the blood returns to that area, they can turn red and appear swollen from the rush of blood.

What Is The Target Population?

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How Does This Condition Arise?

Although there is no clear reason to why people get Raynaud's, some factors include typing a lot, playing piano, prior injuries to the hands and feet, smoking, and certain medications. It also may be hereditary. Raynaud's episodes are triggered by the cold or emotional stress. For many people with Raynaud's, it doesn't have to be very cold out for an episode to happen. It could be as much as walking into an air conditioned room or grabbing ice cream out of the freezer.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms?

When it's cold out, fingers turn white and feel numb and stiff, making it hard to move them. A lack of oxygen in the blood causes the fingers to turn blue. When the blood returns in the fingers or other areas, they turn red and may appear swollen and will tingle, sting, and/or throb.

How Is It Diagnosed?

It can be determined that someone has this condition if fingers turn white, blue, or red. Blood tests can be run to make a final diagnosis.

How Is It Treated?

Although a definite cure has not been found, for some cases, options that may work are some medications, chemical injections, and surgeries that cut sympathetic nerves. Usually, treatment isn't sought out. During episodes of Raynaud's, to return blood to the fingers, create warmth or stimulate blood flow.

What Is The Prognosis?

Raynaud's isn't life threatening.

Connections

I choose to do Raynaud's for my health project because I have it.

Works Cited

Badash, Michelle MS. "Raynauds Disease and Phenomenon." Consumer Health Complete. EBSCOhost, 1 Jan. 2015. Web.


Komaroff, Anthony L. "Heart, Blood Vessels, and Circulation." The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. 705-06. Print.


"The Big Chill: Raynaud's Phenomenon." Harvard Health Letter 29.1 (2003): 3. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.


"Raynaud's Phenomenon." Harvard Women's Health Watch 2.5 (1995): 6. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 28 Jan. 2016


"Cold Fingers, Cold Toes? Could Be Raynaud's." Harvard Women's Health Watch 16.7 (2009): 4. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.