Raynaud’s disease, which was first recognised as a disease by French physician Maurice Raynaud in 1862 is a condition where it causes an interruption of blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose and/or ears when a spasm occurs in the blood vessels of these areas. This is usually caused by the cold, emotional stress. However, another cause can be from the occupational you work within such as a labour-based job using vibrating tools. Typically, the areas that are common to suffer from Raynaud’s can turn white, blue, or even red. These three colours that can occur are for the three different phases of a Raynaud’s attack –
- Pallor (whiteness) – occurs in response to the collapse of the arteries in the effected body part.
- Cyanosis (blueness) – this colouration occurs when the affected area is not getting enough oxygen rich blood.
- Rubor (redness) – this is when the blood flow is returning to normal in the affected areas.
Primary and Secondary Raynaud’s
Primary Raynaud’s phenomenon also known as Raynaud’s disease is the most common of the two and occurs on its own, meaning no other disease/condition had a factor within a person developing the Raynaud’s. It is known as the milder out of the two and people who do suffer with Primary Raynaud’s are less likely to develop any other diseases such as Lupus from it.
Secondary Raynaud’s is the less common of the two but is the more serious one. It is caused by underlying health issues such as people who suffer with connective tissue diseases are at a risk of developing Raynaud’s from this. However, other causes of Secondary Raynaud’s Phenomenon can include:
- Traumatic vasospasm from vibrating tools
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Obstructive Arterial Disease
- Thyroid Disorders
Some symptoms that are associated with Raynaud’s disease can be things such as:
- Pins and needles
- Difficulty moving the affected area
How can you relieve your Raynaud’s?
- One simple thing that can be used to help Raynaud’s is to stay warm. The cold can often be a trigger for a Raynaud’s attack so staying warm can reduce this being a factor is a Raynaud’s attack occurring.
- Doctors do suggest that if you suffer with then quitting smoking is a good option. This is because when smoking the nicotine brings down your skins temperature making you colder.
- Learning to manage your stress can help reduce the number of attacks you have as it won’t trigger one.
- Medication is offered out to some people who suffer with Raynaud’s. It is often given to people who suffer with Secondary Raynaud’s and the most common medication used is calcium channel blockers. This medication helps relax and dilate small blood vessels which reduces the number of attacks. It is known to decrease the frequency and severity or attacks in around two thirds of people who take this medication.
- You may be able to claim for Raynaud’s if it is work related and If you have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s in the last three years and you have used vibration tools within the last two years.
Raynaud’s Awareness Month
The full month of February is all about raising awareness for Raynaud’s. With it being a disease to be affecting up to ten million people within the UK it needs more awareness to it. This month is a crucial month for more light to be brought to the disease and for more people to hear about it. The charity SRUK is one of the many that are trying to put more research into this disease.
Industrial diseases such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Vibration White Finger (VWF) are linked to Raynaud’s. VWF is a secondary form of Raynaud’s and is caused by an excessive use of vibrating tools such as Wacker plates, Breakers, Pneumatic drills, etc. CTS is also, linked to Raynaud’s as it can be a cause for someone to develop Raynaud’s. Here at UKExpertMedical, we have a team of specialists who deal with Industrial Disease Reports who understand the urgency within these cases- that’s why that’s why we work with speed and efficiency to ensure you get the Medico-Legal reports you need to bring your case to a prompt conclusion.