This infographic and the accompanying content provides some useful information to lupus sufferers and those looking to learn more about the symptoms of the disorder.
This video defines Raynaud’s and provides some useful information on alternative treatment options for the condition.
There’s no magic mushroom, but basics such as ginger, Cayenne pepper, chili peppers and Niacin (vitamin B3) may help dilate the blood vessels and boost circulation.
Also self-help techniques, such as biofeedback, Thi Chi, yoga and other mind-body techniques can potentially help reduce the frequency and severity of Raynaud’s attacks, particularly those triggered by stress. Keep in mind these activities require commitment and practice to see results, and won’t necessarily work for all sufferers, especially those with secondary Raynaud’s related to more serious autoimmune diseases. But for the majority of sufferers, they may be worth a try.
We were happy to see an article in a UK nursing magazine, Nursing in Practice, with advice on diagnosing and treating Raynaud’s phenomenon. More knowledgeable medical professionals will result in better treatment for Frosties across the globe.
The article contains a good overview of the condition, including:
In addition to the scientific side of the condition, the author does a nice job of reporting the type of everyday activities Frosties can find difficult. For example, “Going to the supermarket especially in the refrigerated or freezer aisles can be a real challenge, turning keys in locks on a cold day, putting hands on a cold steering wheel or holding a cold glass of drink on a summer day all present hurdles that are often taken for granted. The increasing prevalence of air conditioning can also be a test of endurance.” It’s important for medical professionals to understand the challenges facing Raynaud’s patients that non-sufferers take for granted. We’re not imagining the pain and discomfort, it’s real!”
Another good point is how the author recognizes that each case is unique: “…severity of symptoms can vary from person to person…some patients will only need some of these measures…everyone has their own way of coping with Raynaud’s.” That’s the first time we’ve seen this point highlighted so consistently in print.
Self-management suggestions include:
Dietary supplements are mentioned, but keep in mind there’s no clinical support for supplements being effective in reducing the frequency or severity of Raynaud’s attacks. However, the suggestion for adding garlic, chili and ginger when cooking may prove helpful, as these foods are known to have some warming properties.
For medications, they suggest the use of calcium channel blockers, which are the most commonly prescribed drugs for Raynaud’s patients. Surprised they suggest considering the use of anti-depressants, which, while they may reduce Raynaud’s symptoms, are generally not considered unless there’s a more serious medical issue involved more specific to the use of these drugs for treatment. In severe cases where a patient may be in danger of gangrene or losing a digit, iloprost is suggested – a very potent vasodilator requiring hospital in-patient care as it’s distributed through IV treatments.
Here’s the link to the full article. Wish it were published in the U.S., as it could be useful in educating our nursing population here in the states!
Most academic articles require a medical dictionary to understand them, but this one titled Raynaud’s Phenomenon by Frank L. Urbano, MD published in Hospital Physician several years ago does a good job of educating readers who aren’t part of the medical community (give or take a few words or phrases in medicalese, particularly the Pathogenesis section).
As this article was written in 2001, it unfortunately doesn’t cover some of the more recent treatments, such as ED drugs and Botox injections, but it does offer a helpful and educational summary that can arm patients with a good foundation of knowledge for a productive conversation with their physician.
Click here for the full article.
One of our Facebook followers shared an article published in BuzzFeed titled 16 Genius Ways To Keep Your Feet Toasty, According to Lumberjacks and we wanted to pass along some of their tips to fellow Frosties.
BuzzFeed has a formula for maximizing impressions, and lists are one of their favorite techniques for attracting readers. In reviewing the list of 16 tips, close to half of them have to do with socks, and several are specific to the benefits of wool – specifically merino wool. So don’t be disappointed if you don’t walk away with 16 separate unique ideas for warming frosted feet, it’s just their way getting your attention (and it works!).
Their love for merino wool relates to its temperature regulation feature (keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer) and its superior moisture management. Managing moisture is important for keeping feet dry, and wool does a good job of wicking moisture away from the skin. Some technical terms are used explaining why the fabric is able to both repel and absorb water at the same time, but you don’t need to be a scientific expert to get the concept. By the way, alpaca wool offers similar thermal and moisture wicking features.
Other sock recommendations include:
Other useful tips include using disposable toe warmers (check out our member discounts on Grabber and HotHands warmers), the use of sock liners and winter footbeds. The footbeds offer a Thinsulate© layer of insulation on the bottom, which helps shield feet from the cold, but the construction of the inserts appears to take up a lot of space in your shoes and has a molded arch support that may not be to everyone’s liking.
In summary, check out merino wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry – they come in a number of different lengths and thicknesses for different occasions. Better yet, check out Heat Holders socks – proven seven-times warmer than cotton socks, and are three times more effective at keeping feet warmer than standard thermal socks. There you have it, 16 tips narrowed down to just one!