How can I prevent myself from getting Raynaud’s Syndrome?
Whether primary (cause unknown) or secondly to another underlying condition, the mechanism involved in Raynaud’s phenomenon creates, upon certain provocations, an exaggerated vascular response leading to diminished blood supply to the smaller arteries in the hands, feet, ears, or areas of the body near the terminal branches of the arterial tree.
To prevent the paresthesia, numbness, or aching that results, avoidance of the provocations is the best prevention. In secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon, adequate management of the underlying illness will help decrease episodes.
- Management of autoimmune disease medically, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus, or Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Surgical treatment of vasoconstrictive causes such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Smoking cessation to obviate the vasoconstriction from nicotine.
- Avoidance of exposure to cold weather; avoid exposing the fingers, specifically, to cold ingredients of food preparation, snow, cold beverages in containers that transmit cold, etc. (Exposure of any part of the body can evoke the changes in the fingers.)
- Avoid repetitive strain injury, such as typing.
- Avoid vasoconstrictive medications by using substitutes that are efficacious without causing symptoms of Raynaud’s.
- Avoid substance abuse that has sympathomimetic effects, such as cocaine and amphetamines.
- Avoid undue stress that provokes Raynaud’s; if stress is unavoidable in domestic situations, seek counseling for coping strategies.