Raynaud’s disease causes episodes of vasospasm during conditions of emotional stress or extreme cold climatic conditions. Usually the toes and fingers are the primary parts that are affected; however in certain instances, the lips, nipples or nose may also get affected. The attacks are short lived but can occur frequently. The following are the various signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s disease.
A preliminary history of the disease will be taken followed by a physical examination of the affected areas. In addition, various other laboratory tests and imaging studies would also be carried out to diagnose the condition . These include:
Raynaud’s disease can be treated by adopting simple lifestyle changes. In addition, medications are also employed to reduce the symptoms and prevent future attacks. The following are the various methods for treating Raynaud’s disease:
In majority of the cases, prognosis of Raynaud’s disease is extremely favorable. So far no cases of mortality associated with this disease condition has been noted. However, there have been certain pieces of evidences suggesting that if ischemia of the affected body develops then it can lead to necrosis .
The exact factors that lead to development of Raynaud’s disease are unknown. However, extreme cold temperatures or stressful conditions can predispose an individual to develop such a condition . Exposure to extreme cold climates or inserting hands in cold water can trigger an attack of Raynaud’s disease. Women are more prone to develop such a condition and those with a family history of this disease are also at an increased risk.
In the United States, it has been estimated that about 2.2% of women and 1.5% of men per year develop Raynaud’s disease . Globally the rate of prevalence of Raynaud’s disease varies from 4.9% to 20.1% in women, to about 3.8% to 13.5% amongst the men population. The disease usually shows signs of development in individuals aged 20 to 30 years.
In extreme cold temperatures or in conditions of stress, the body parts such as fingers and toes may develop a condition known as vasospasm. This is a condition characterized by narrowing of the arteries that limits blood supply to the affected area.
The condition often develops in 3 distinct stages defined as vasoconstriction (initial white coloration), accompanied by cyanosis (development of blue color) and finally rapid blood flow that causes development of red color. The parts that are most exposed to extreme cold temperatures such as the toes and fingers develop this condition .
Individuals prone to develop Raynaud’s disease should consider the following to prevent attacks of the disease:
Raynaud’s disease is a rare condition characterized by narrowing of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to different parts of the body. Such a process limits blood circulation to the affected areas . Occurrence of short episodes of vasopasm defined as narrowing of blood vessels mark the development of Raynaud’s disease.
Raynaud’s is basically divided into 2 categories, namely primary and secondary phenomenon. Both these conditions share the same name but have distinct features. The primary Raynaud’s phenomenon is also known as the Raynaud’s disease. This disease was named after the medical student Maurice Raynaud who first defined the characteristics of this condition .
Raynaud’s disease is characterized by attacks of vasospasm that mainly affects the toes and fingers. These are the parts usually exposed to cold climate or extreme conditions. In this condition, the blood supply to the affected area is restricted causing development of vasoconstriction, cyanosis and rapid blood flow. The condition is more common in women than men.
The exact cause of Raynaud’s disease is unknown. Extreme cold temperatures and conditions of stress are known to induce attacks of vasospasm. The exposed areas of the body, most commonly the toes and fingers are known to get affected.
Symptoms of Raynaud’s disease include color changes of the affected areas. Toes and fingers may first turn white color which may then turn blue. Numbness can also set in.
Diagnosis consists of blood tests to rule out underlying disease conditions. In addition, antinuclear antibody test is also done to assess the levels of the antibody.
Treatment of Raynaud’s disease includes making certain lifestyle changes to manage the symptoms and prevent future attacks. In addition, certain medications are also given such as calcium channel blockers to relieve the symptoms. In many cases, topical application of nitroglycerin is also advised.