Raynaud’s on Trust Me I’m a Doctor – this subject was covered on BBC2 on January 17th 2018 at 8.30 pm – Series 7 episode 3. I have captured the key points below. www.lovelyhands.co.uk sells Raynaud’s gloves – thermal gloves, waterproof gloves, windproof gloves, thinsulate leather gloves, cotton glove liners.
Raynaud’s Syndrome or disease (pronounced ‘Ray nodes’).
Winter time, up to 10 million people in the UK are thought to be affected by a painful and potentially disabling condition that often goes unrecognised. GP Zoe Williams investigates.
Feeling cold is unpleasant for many people, for someone with Raynauds Syndrome the winter months can bring with them a sense of absolute dread. The drop in temperature can cause their fingers and toes to to be extremely cold and numb and simple things like fastening up a coat can become impossible.
It can also be extremely painful but many sufferers simply live with it. It is estimated that there are millions of people with undiagnosed Raynauds in the UK, to help change this the pop up clinic is giving people the chance to be tested for Raynaud’s, sponsored by sruk. Leading the initiative is Dr Francesco Delgaldo. To show me what is happening inside the hands of people with Raynauds he set up a test with a thermal camera . Yvonne Serle is one of his patients.
Yvonnne and Zoe place one hand each in a thin nitrile glove and place it in a dish of cold water, 15°C for 1 minute. We are comparing how are hands respond to changes in temperature.
Our hands have been kept dry so should warm up quickly. Both ladies hands are viewed through a thermal imaging camera.
Zoe’s hand on the right has red and yellow areas which show that it is warming up quickly, back to normal body temperature. Yvonne’s hand is on the left, the green blue and purple colours show that most of her hand and fingers are still cold. Yvonne’s fingers have disappeared, they are the same temperature as the table now. Unlike mine, Yvonne’s hand is just not warming up so why is that? Normally when we are exposed to cold our blood circulation changes to help us conserve heat. The blood vessels in our hands and feet narrow, this reduces blood flow to the extremities of our body and helps keep our vital organs warm. But in Yvonne’s hands the blood vessels are hypersensitive and shut down with even the mildest drop in temperature.
Zoe can feel her fingers getting warmer, Yvonne says hers are cold. They look fine visually but on the thermal imaging screen the cold temperature of her hand can clearly be seen.
Yvonne says she wishes she had Zoe’s hands. Did you expect such a difference? ‘No, its quite a contrast to see it there’. As well as shutting down more readily the blood vessels in someone with Raynaud’s will also take longer to reopen fully, and then the blood returning to the fingertips causes pain.
It’s not just cold that can trigger the symptoms its anything that affects the circulation – anxiety, stress or simply gripping a heavy bag. But for 1/10 sufferers its more serious. And that’s because their Raynaud’s is caused by an underlying disease or an injury that’s permanently damaged the arteries or the nerves that supply them and this is known as secondary Raynaud’s. Causes include some autoimmune diseases, vibration damage, smoking, and can be a side effect of some medicines – so do check with your Doctor.
How can you spot if you might have Raynaud’s and what can you do about it?
- One common sign is if your fingers change colour when they are cold, they may go white or blue and have a waxy texture and you will experience numbness and pain. But there are some simple steps to take to help.
- To improve your circulation quit smoking and exercise regularly.
- To avoid pain wear gloves, more than 1 pair if its cold. Start wearing your gloves before you go outside and once you are outside keep moving to increase your circulation.*
- Some people do need medication to help manage their Raynaud’s but the most effective drug is Viagra! Sildenafil is the generic name. Viagra was branded for one extremity, but can work on all extremities! Men on the drug didn’t mention anything as a side effect!
If you have unusually cold hands or the tips of your fingers go white and waxy or you get pain when they are warming up then you could have Raynaud’s. there are effective treatments to treat the discomfort and it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If you think you might have it please do go and see your GP.
*Clare says – I don’t have Raynaud’s but my Mum and I both have hands that get cold and pink easily so we try to look after them. I set up Lovely hands in 2017 to offer people protective gloves that hug and caring creams that love so they can look after their hands with better quality products. The gloves are from industry and have gone through rigorous tests and assessments to make the claims that they do. The skin and nail treatments are from the beauty industry. I am a trained manicurist who is also practical and outdoorsy, so I need quality, effective products to protect my hands, and that’s what I now offer to my manicure clients and online customers.
Since starting in the glove business I have been asked a lot about product suitability for people with Raynaud’s, have a look at the 3 categories below, they will demonstrate the quality and versatility of these amazing gloves. I care about getting the correct fit for everyone so I am happy to help, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me, alternatively order to try on at home and return the ones you don’t want for a refund (in the same condition they were sent of course).
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