DEALING WITH RAYNAUD’S

  If I’m able to bring some awareness, ideas, and tips to someone, anyone than putting my thoughts down in a blog is important. Many times we aren’t sure if we should do what our doctors say or find alternatives or do a mixture of both. Hopefully you trust your Rheumatologist and will use their knowledge and follow what they ask of you. One of the hardest parts for me manage is my Raynaud’s. The clinical term is a vasospastic disorder causing discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas. My hands are effected the most and my feet in the winter. I live in Maine so our winters are long and cold and protecting my hands is difficult. When the Raynaud’s comes on it can be painful so some things I do to manage this has come with trial and error but I think I’m making headway. I take procardia which is a blood pressure medicine but only a very low dose that is extended throughout the day and that keeps the blood flowing, I also take 1000mg of Niacin which has really helped and keeps my veins wide open and keeps the blood flowing. About 4 years ago my nail on my ring finger lifted and I couldn’t get it to reattach for 3 years. Finally my doctor was doing some research and found out that Niacin has helped people with Raynaud’s and I’m willing to try almost anything. Within a month of taking it my nail reattached and I have not had any problems since. The gluten free diet also helps with the Raynaud’s and if you live in a cold climate like Maine I suggest keeping hand warmers with you at all times and just break them open and hold them whenever needed. When the hands hurt it makes it hard to write, type, lift anything and just function normally.

 In case you weren’t aware, exercise helps with the increase of blood flow and opening up the veins so keep on moving every day. I also find that my regular practice of Bikram has helped a lot. The warmth of the studio along with the postures is opening up my blood vessels and allowing a more even flow so I have gradually seen the pain go away even if the purple color hasn’t.

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