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Raynaud’s Disease – Home Remedies

May 29, 2013

body tempLifestyle and home remedies
By Mayo Clinic staff

A variety of steps can decrease Raynaud’s attacks and help you feel better overall:

  • Don’t smoke. Smoking causes skin temperature to drop by constricting blood vessels, which may lead to an attack. Inhaling secondhand smoke also may aggravate Raynaud’s.
  • Exercise. Your doctor may encourage you to exercise regularly, particularly if you have primary Raynaud’s. Exercise can increase circulation, among other health benefits.
  • Control stress. Because stress may trigger an attack, learning to recognize and avoid stressful situations may help control the number of attacks.
  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine causes your blood vessels to narrow and may increase the signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s.
  • Take care of your hands and feet. If you have Raynaud’s, guard your hands and feet from injury. Don’t walk barefoot. Take care of your nails to avoid injuring sensitive toes and fingertips. In addition, avoid wearing anything that compresses blood vessels in your hands or feet, such as tight wristbands, rings or [tight shoes].
  • Avoid workplace triggers. Avoiding tools that vibrate the hand may reduce the frequency of attacks.

During an attack: What should you do?
What should you do if you’re experiencing an attack of Raynaud’s? The first and most important action is to warm your hands or feet or any other affected areas of skin. The following steps can help you gently warm your fingers and toes:

  • Move to a warmer area.
  • Place your hands under your armpits.
  • Wiggle your fingers and toes.
  • Make wide circles (windmills) with your arms.
  • Run warm — but not hot — water over your fingers and toes.
  • Massage your hands and feet.

If a stressful situation triggers an attack, you can help stop the attack by getting out of the stressful situation and relaxing. If you’re trained in biofeedback, you can use this technique along with warming your hands or feet in water to help lessen the attack.

Alternative medicine

Lifestyle changes and supplements that encourage better circulation may be effective alternatives for managing Raynaud’s. If you’re interested, talk to your doctor about:

  • Fish oil. Taking fish oil supplements could help improve your tolerance to cold and delay the narrowing of your blood vessels that triggers Raynaud’s syndrome attacks.
  • Ginkgo. Ginkgo supplements could help decrease the number of Raynaud’s attacks you have.
  • Biofeedback. Using your mind to control body temperature (biofeedback) may help decrease the severity and frequency of attacks. Biofeedback includes guided imagery to increase the temperature of hands and feet, deep breathing, and other relaxation exercises. Your doctor may be able to suggest a therapist who can help you learn biofeedback techniques. Books and tapes also are available on the subject.

As with any supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor before adding it to your treatment regimen. Work with your doctor to manage your condition and maintain a positive attitude. The majority of people with Raynaud’s respond to treatment.

Prevention

Raynaud’s is a condition that you may need to manage for life once it develops. But there are ways to help prevent attacks:

  • Dress warmly outdoors. In winter, wear a hat, scarf, socks and boots, and mittens or gloves under mittens when you go outside. Put them on before you go outside. A hat is important because you lose a great deal of body heat through your head. Wear a coat with fairly snug cuffs to go around your mittens or gloves, to prevent cold air from reaching your hands. Wear earmuffs and a face mask if the tip of your nose and your earlobes are sensitive to cold. Run your car heater for a few minutes before driving in cold weather.
  • Take precautions indoors. Wear socks. When taking food out of the refrigerator or freezer, wear gloves, mittens or oven mitts. Some people find it helpful to wear mittens and socks to bed during winter. Because air conditioning can trigger attacks, setting your air conditioner to a warmer temperature may help prevent attacks. You may also find it helpful to use insulated drinking glasses.
  • Consider moving to a location with a milder climate. Moving to a warmer climate may help people with severe Raynaud’s. However, Raynaud’s can occur even in warmer climates when the temperature decreases.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/raynauds-disease/DS00433/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies

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