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Raynaud's Association
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Topic Title: Swollen fingers
Topic Summary: Is it really connected to Raynaud's?
Created On: 03/21/2007 02:42 PM
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 03/21/2007 02:42 PM
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Judith

Posts: 767
Joined: 09/29/2006

I've had Raynaud's for more than a decade but never had swollen fingers until last year, after I was diagnosed with scleroderma. In sclero, swollen fingers are often a sign that the skin in the hands is about to harden but. So far, mine hasn't but, because of the timing of my swelling and what I know about sclero, I attribute my "sausage fingers" to sclero.

I've seen a number of posts on this forum in which the author alludes to having swollen fingers and seems to consider it just another symptom of Raynaud's. This surprises me, as I've never seen any documentation that indicates it is. Can anyone point me to a good source (web site, research paper, etc.) showing a causal connection between Raynaud's and swollen fingers?

(I think I drive my doctor crazy wanting to know EXACTLY which of my disorders is causing each of my symptoms.)

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Judith
Secondary Raynaud's with underlying systemic sclerosis
 03/21/2007 02:59 PM
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olebandit

Posts: 1594
Joined: 08/23/2005

Judith,

I don't think a "casual" relation to swollen fingers will be found to Raynaud's. I don't think a casual relation exists between the two.

I have had swollen fingers with my Raynaud's while having the ends of my fingers turning black with ulcers. But that it not a normal situation .... far from casual. They were infected and black and swelling would be a natural thing with something like that occuring.

You notice anytime someone mentions swollen fingers and some things that are signs of other autoimmune diseases rather than just Raynaud's I always jump on the Rheumatologist bandwagon. I do that pretty much anyway.

The fact that we are a little relaxed at times with our forum conversations, where so many of us have overlapping conditions and secondary Raynaud's probably contributes to the confusion some.

Members who are thinking they have a primary condition hear all the talk about symptoms common to secondary Raynaud's they get confused.

We probably need to clarify some of this when we post to make sure we aren't confusing anyone. I am undoubtedly one of the guiltiest. I try to reply to as many posts as I can and I should probably slow down more and verify some things like this as it is important that members get information they understand in the context it's used.

Robert

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I share information based on my years of experience with autoimmune disorders. Your doctor should be consulted when you are at risk for potentially serious problems. I am not a medical professional, just another patient with lots of experiences.
 03/21/2007 03:09 PM
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Sarah

Posts: 2411
Joined: 10/16/2005

Judith

This swollen finger question has puzzled me too in regards to Primary Raynaud's. All my research and talking to doctors has indicated that swollen fingers are only present with Secondary Raynaud's.

Today I read an article where the website is in the Medicine that causes raynaud's thread. This paragraph struck me:

"At first during an attack of Raynaud's, affected areas of your skin usually turn white. Then, the areas often turn blue and feel cold and numb, and your sensory perception is dull. The affected skin may look slightly swollen. As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. The order of the changes of color isn't the same for all people, and not everyone experiences all three colors."

This is a Mayo Clinic article. I tried to copy the link but it is not going to the website. The link can be found in the "What meds or drugs to avoid with Raynaud's" that Lynn posted today.

Sarah

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Secondary Raynaud's with a connective tissue disease

Edited: 03/21/2007 at 03:24 PM by Sarah
 03/21/2007 06:06 PM
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kmcloughlin

Posts: 270
Joined: 11/04/2006

Hello Judith~
I know that we've had the "sausage fingers" conversation before; I think of you & smile now whenever I look at my chubby fingers! I always hestitate to vouch for web-sites, but I thought this description of Raynaud's symptoms was interestingly worded:
"Most persons with RP note cold-induced numbness (pins and needles sensation) of the fingers and toes and occasional discomfort (achy dull pain) with a sense of hand clumsiness. It usually occurs as repeated attacks lasting an average of 15-20 minutes following rewarming."
Hmm, hand clumsiness? It is from the American Autoimmune Related Diseases: http://www.aarda.org/
And the Mayo Clinic article that Sarah mentioned: http://www.mayoclinic.com/heal...se/DS00433/DSECTION=2

So, I wondered if the swelling/clumsiness mentioned in both articles is short-lived, and goes away after the attack when it is primary Raynaud's.
I have my Rheum appt on 4/3, and will be sure to ask him for his thoughts!
Kim

Edited: 03/21/2007 at 06:25 PM by kmcloughlin
 03/21/2007 06:10 PM
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Erin

Posts: 397
Joined: 02/26/2006

Hi Judith,

I get swollen fingers quite a bit. Mine are not always swollen. sometimes though they are so swollen I can't bend them very much at all and the skin gets very tight. I don't think all of this is raynauds alone, but since I don't know everything that is going on with me, I can't give you much info. I think since your raynauds is now a part of your sclero, it is very hard for doctors to tell where one stops and the other begins, with some symptoms.
 03/21/2007 07:46 PM
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Judith

Posts: 767
Joined: 09/29/2006

Thank you for your replies. You've pretty much confirmed what I thought ... that ongoing swelling of the fingers is probably not caused by Raynaud's alone. (Robert: I was asking about a "causal" (not "casual") relationship, so your answer was right on target.) Apparently, though, according the references supplied by Sarah and Kim, temporary swelling can occur as a result of a Raynaud's attack.

Erin, I agree with you that it's often no less difficult for our doctors to understand exactly what's going on with us than it is for us.

P.S. As a vegetarian, it's pretty hard for me to talk about my "sausage fingers!"

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Judith
Secondary Raynaud's with underlying systemic sclerosis

Edited: 03/21/2007 at 07:48 PM by Judith
 03/21/2007 08:56 PM
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legg

Posts: 80
Joined: 01/23/2007

Hi,
You can put me in the camp of one whose rheum. says swelling absolutely can occur with primary Raynaud's. My fingers have been swollen to greater or lesser degree since all my symptoms began in December. There were a few days when I thought it was subsiding, but it came back. Now, during the day they are tolerable (I know they're swollen but if you didn't know me, you probably wouldn't see it...) but they swell up and become painful at night.

The last time I saw rheum, on 3/8, I went in practically frothing at the mouth I was so worried about the swollen fingers. He told me this is the worst case of primary Raynaud's he's ever seen. But he did repeat all the bloodwork just to be sure, and my values hadn't changed (borderline ANA and slight pos CRP)--everything else was normal.

He told me I need to be patient. I do get sick of the swelling, though.
 03/22/2007 01:50 AM
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WarmHeart

Posts: 9
Joined: 03/07/2007

I thought swelling could be part of the rebound process. When I rebound I get red fingers like raw steak color, especially focused on the joints and around my cuticles. It throbs and it feels yukky even though it's a relief the attack is over. Many times I get swelling, not super horrible swelling but plump PMS sausage-like swelling that makes my rings tight but you don't see it by looking at it.
I guess it could be clumsiness too, but mostly it's getting the sensation back in my fingers that make them feel weird, and I'm hyperaware of them because of the throbbing.
 03/24/2007 11:26 AM
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mermie

Posts: 73
Joined: 02/19/2007

i also have swollen fingers especially around my knuckles which makes it painful 2 bend my fingers

they also have bright red patches which kinda get a little embarresing
and are freezing cold

since having it from being small i sort of get used 2 it but oh 2 have lovely slim hands
mermie xx

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peace be with you all
 03/24/2007 11:37 AM
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olebandit

Posts: 1594
Joined: 08/23/2005

Judith,

That was a stupid reply on my part wasn't it? Lots of difference is causal and casual. Looks like I need to open my eyes all the way when I read posts.

Sorry about that!

Robert

-------------------------
I share information based on my years of experience with autoimmune disorders. Your doctor should be consulted when you are at risk for potentially serious problems. I am not a medical professional, just another patient with lots of experiences.
 03/24/2007 08:00 PM
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Judith

Posts: 767
Joined: 09/29/2006

No Robert, not stupid at all ... just human. And, as I said, despite the misinterpretation of the word, your answer made perfect sense.

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Judith
Secondary Raynaud's with underlying systemic sclerosis
 03/25/2007 03:14 AM
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mermie

Posts: 73
Joined: 02/19/2007

u must have had yr sun glasses on robert lol
mermie xx

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peace be with you all
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