These Forums have been Archived.

You cannot post new messages or reply to old ones here.

Please use our new forums located here
or click "Discuss" in the menu on our new site.

Raynaud's Association
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: raynauds and blisters
Topic Summary:
Created On: 01/18/2007 09:21 PM
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 01/18/2007 09:21 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
angiec

Posts: 4
Joined: 01/18/2007

Hi Everyone,

I have been diagnosed with Raynauds, but question whether or not its accurate.  I do in fact have color change in my toes when I get cold, but I don't have pain when they are discolored.  I also seem to be extremely sensitive to bliters on my toes in the winter time.  Occassionally I get them in the summer, but primarily in the winter, restricting outdoor activity (I'm a runner).  I have no problems with my fingers, just toes.  When I do get blisters, its almost like my entire toe kind of swells and gets tight.  Often the blister will cover a large area - like the entire end of my toe.  They tend to take a really long time to go away.  I am taking a blood pressure medication that my GP prescribed and it seems to help some.

I have really poor insurance right now....I can't afford to see a specialist, but I think that's where I need to go next.

Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
 01/18/2007 11:39 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
olebandit

Posts: 1594
Joined: 08/23/2005

Hi Angie,

Welcome to the forum.  You will find lots of support here.

I would guess that your diagnosis of Raynaud's was made by your primary care doctor from your post.  How was the diagnosis made?  Was it simply a visual diagnosis?  Were any tests of any kind done? Tell us how your doctor arrived at the diagnosis of Raynauds. 

Raynaud's can affect the feet without affecting the hands at times.  You are experiencing color changes in your feet, but please explain the color change in more detail.  The reason I am asking this is that Raynaud's color changes are usually a three color change ..... from a pale white, to blue and then back to red when blood starts to flow into the affected extremity once again.

You mentioned a blood pressure medication.  What medication are you taking for your blood pressure and are you taking any other medications?

You have some symptoms, depending on your answers to the above questions, that could be Raynaud's.  You also have some symptoms of a condition known as Chilblains.  It is important to hear how you answer the above questions. 

Please give us some more information about your condition and the specific treatment you have received so far.  You might also go to the FAQ section of this web site and read about Raynaud's.  See if the information there sounds like you. 

I look forward to hearing back from you with more specific information and we will be able to make some more suggestions.                                   

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.
 01/20/2007 04:56 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
angiec

Posts: 4
Joined: 01/18/2007

Hi Robert,

Thanks so much for your reply.  Yes, my GP is the one who diagnosed me.  He also sent me to a sports medicine doctor (because I am very active - running, biking, hiking, etc) who confirmed the diagnosis (toes turned blue as we talked in his office).  No tests have been done.  My GP diagnosed it visually as did the sports med. doctor.  My toes don't turn white, they generally turn blue then red.   I have a friend who has raynauds that affects one of her fingers.  Her finger turns white - I have never had my toes turn white like her fingers do.

I am currently taking Norvac 2.5 mg twice a day during the winter months only.  I am also taking fish oil and a supplement called Q10 (co-enzym maybe?) that was suggested to me at the health food store.  I have looked at  lots of website about chilblains and raynauds.  I from the descriptions I don't think I have chilblains.  

One thing that I keep noticing is Raynauds supposely causes ulcerations.  What are uclerations?  Are they open sores?  I have never had open sores, only red puffy tender blister areas. 

Angie
 01/20/2007 06:17 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
olebandit

Posts: 1594
Joined: 08/23/2005

Angie,

Sounds like from your symptoms and from the additional info you have provided that you could very possibly have Raynaud's. Understand that I am not making a diagnosis, just an observation.  I am not a doctor.  I will make a couple of suggestions and comments though.

Norvasc is a drug in the class of medications known as calcium channel blockers.  This is the class of medications most commonly prescribed for Raynaud's. This is a medication that is often prescribed.  
A 5mg daily dose is not a high dosage.  But it is prudent to see how it works for you as far as side effects go before moving ahead.  There are many medications in the CCB class.

It is good that you have done some reading about both Raynaud's and Chilblains.  The friend with Raynaud's can also help you with advice and support. That is what this site is for as well.  We would love to have your friend join us too.

Raynaud's does not always cause ulcers, which can start to appear in a number of ways, but ultimately end up being sores.  When they occur you experience pain and they take a long time to heal.  That time will vary. You want to keep warm at all costs and you need to follow up with some different medical treatment.

I am reluctant to advise you to take dietary supplements recommended by a health food store.  There can be ingredients that are not good for your Raynaud's.  Check the contents label and see if they contain any Vitamin K. This is just one example. It is a blood coagulant.  With Raynaud's your blood vessels constrict affecting your blood flow.  A lot of dietary supplements contain ingredients that work in conflict with they way your medication is designed to help you.  I would not take anything on the advice of a health food store employee. They are not medical professionals, even though they may sound like the "one and only" as an authority on what you need.  Don't base what you do on what they say.  You should not take any supplements unless it is done under the direction of a medical doctor with your health conditions and medication.  The health food store is trying to sell supplements.  Think about it logically. I would refer you to the following web site for starters. Go to http://www.nyp.org/nutrition/herbal.html.  I can give you a long list of reputable sites about the use of dietary supplements, herbs, certain vitamins, etc.  Think whether what I am saying makes sense.  You sound like an intelligent young woman.  Think about this.

Raynaud's is a rheumatic disease.  A primary care doctor, as well as a sports medicine doctor, while they have the best of intentions are not trained in the specialty field of medicine that deals with Raynaud's.  You should get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a Rheumatologist. You mentioned knowing you need to see a specialist.  Listen to what I am saying.  I spent 25 years in competitive racquetball tournaments, ran cross country for years, did the weights, etc.  My Raynaud's, which I chose to ignore for the most part, was allowed to progress with me not knowing all along that I had underlying conditions that should have been dealt with while I was young.  I now have irreversible tissue damage that could have been treated decades before I went to a Rheumatologist and had the proper testing done and got on the proper medical treatment program.This would have possibly eliminated many of my probldms.

I ended up having five knee operations, now have degenerative disc disease, all kinds of problems including Rheumatoid Arthritis and more I won't go into now.  I always emphasize, especially to young athletes, don't blow this off.   I have been there.  You may not have the problems I have.  But get to a Rheumatologist, have a series of blood work done to determine what your situation is. 

The blood work itself is not that expensive. You could almost pay for the blood work for the cost of the dietary supplements you are taking.  If you can't afford the Rheumatologist today, tell your primary care doctor you want to have the following tests done.  Have them do an ANA test, an RF test, an ESR and a CBC for now. You may just have Primary Raynaud's and this can be dealt with fairly easily.  But if you happen to be like me, you can have these problems progress and as you get older, the problems will start to overlap and then your treatment can become an absolute nightmare.  Get the results of the blood work and if you can't get to a Rheumatologist, then post the results here on the forum and we can try to help you further with suggestions.

The testing procedures I am talking about are not a big deal.  But it can make a huge difference in your life as a few years go by.  I hope you follow my advice and seek the attention of a Rheumatologist.  I promise you, it is in your best interest.  It is like going to an ear, nose and throat specialist about a knee operation.  Your present doctors are doctors, but rheumatic illnesses are not their deal.

Read the FAQ section of the site.  Read some posts of other members.  See if the things they describe on the posts sound like something that you want to deal with in the future.  If you take aggressive action now and seek the advice of the right doctor, that being the Rheumatologist, you may save yourself a life of misery.  The worse that can happen is that you blow a couple bucks on some tests and you get the wonderful news that I am wrong and you don't have any other problems except for  the Primary Raynaud's.  I hope, as well as I am sure you do, that is the case.

Good luck and let us know what action you decide to take.  You have to look out for your own best interest or no one else will.  I will have you in my thoughts.

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.
 01/21/2007 03:36 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Sarah

Posts: 2411
Joined: 10/16/2005

Hi Angie

Welcome. Blisters are common with playing sports. Both my girls played soccer and blisters were a common occurance. But blisters are not a common symptom of Raynaud's. The ulcers common in Raynaud's are open sores that develop a scab over them. They take forever to go away unless medicine is prescribed to increase the blood flow to the extremities.The most common medicine used is a calcium channel blocker which your doctor has prescribed.

There is a lot of controversy about using supplements to help Raynaud's. We have had several threads on this subject. Always check with your doctor before taking a supplement for Raynaud's. Some supplements can make your condition worse.

Though we cannot say whether or not what you are experiencing is Raynaud's, we can support you as you learn more about Raynaud's.

Sarah




-------------------------
Secondary Raynaud's with a connective tissue disease
 01/22/2007 12:45 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
angiec

Posts: 4
Joined: 01/18/2007

Robert,

Thanks for your input.  I appreciate it.

Angie
 01/22/2007 12:52 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
angiec

Posts: 4
Joined: 01/18/2007

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your response!

As an athelete (former soccer player myself), I am well aware that blisters are a common occurance. The odd thing is that my blisters generally seem to happen most often during cold months and they take a very long time to heal.  My blisters aren't like a normal blister with a distinct edge and a blister sack - a good portion of the end of my toe will be puffy, red, and painful (like blister pain).   I increased the amount of norvasc I am taking and it helped speed the healing.

My husband is between jobs and we have very poor insurance right now as I am self employeed.  I am hopeful he will have a job in the next couple of months and I can schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist.

Angie
 01/22/2007 01:17 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Sarah

Posts: 2411
Joined: 10/16/2005

Angie

The sore you described definitely sounds like a Raynaud's ulcer. In people with Raynaud's a scratch or open place on the finger or toes can quickly turn into a nonhealing ulcer because of the lack of blood flow to these digits. I am glad that you were able to speed the healing by taking more Norvasc. I take Procardia Extended Release and have used it for many years. Procardia has really helped me with Raynaud's attacks.

I understand about the insurance. I hope that things go well for your husband and you will have better insurance soon.
Sarah

  

-------------------------
Secondary Raynaud's with a connective tissue disease
 01/22/2007 01:21 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
olebandit

Posts: 1594
Joined: 08/23/2005

Angie,

I appreciate your thanks, but it is not necessary.  Supporting one another is what we do.  Perhaps you can provide support to others based on your experiences.  That is what this is all about. 

I hope you are able to get in to see the Rheumatologist ASAP.  That is where you will find the medical advice that you need.  While we are able to make suggestions on this forum based on our personal experiences with these autoimmune diseases, I would never tell someone what to do when your health and well being is at stake.  I am obviously not a doctor.  That is a job for the specialist, in our case with the problems we have, being a Rheumatologist.

The lack of insurance is a problem when we have condtions that require a specialist.  As I mentioned before, I would lay off the dietary supplements.  The money you save may help you be able to put that money back towards a visit to the Rheumatologist.  Besides, you don't know whether or not the supplements  may in fact be affecting you negatively, actually contributing to your medical problems.  I would never put anything in my system unless it was prescribed by a medical doctor, especially with the problems you have described that you are having.

Continue to read, post any questions you have and share any problems you are having.  Knowledgeable people are always available to provide support and answers to your questions when possible.

Good luck in getting in to see the Rheumatologist.  Let us know how you are doing.

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.

Edited: 01/22/2007 at 01:24 PM by olebandit
 02/18/2008 01:25 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
avadon

Posts: 3
Joined: 02/18/2008

I'm having this exact same issue right now. Big swollen areas on the tips of two of my toes on my left foot. The big toe and toe next to my pinky toe. Angiec and sarah are right. Any kind of irritation can cause problems when you have raynauds especially if you have fairly blue and fairly red toes, indicative of a more substantial condition. I think i remember having these unopen ulcers before. I've had chillblanes before as well. Not all raynauds ulcers are open sores, in fact chillblaines looks a lot like little red dots and they hurt and are uncomfortable. They make walking miserable, kinda like getting stung by a jellyfish.

I'm currently off of nifedipine and lodapine cause i hated the way they were effecting my body. Lately though my toes have gotten so cold that I literally can't sleep. It's like someone has my feet in a bucket of ice water. Everynight I wrap my feet in a blanket to keep them moderately warm. It's really a pain. I'm glad to know that someone else though is having the same blister problem, cause at first I thought it was my shoe rubbing me, but i've worn these shoes very often, and these look more like ulcerated skin (big large reddish area the size of a dime) and not like a fluid filled blister. I wouldn't advise anyone popping this kinda blister either since it's not a typical fluid filled irritation. I will probably have to go back on medicine at this point, cause my raynauds is getting so bad. In the summer it's the exact opposite, my toes are painfully red all the time and same with my fingers. Why isn't someone going to find a cure for this!!

Edited: 02/18/2008 at 12:35 PM by Raynaud's Association Moderator
 02/18/2008 06:14 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
nurseannie

Posts: 22
Joined: 12/20/2007

Hi Avadon,

I'm sure you've thought of this, but have you tried an electric blanket? also, there are these things called "bed buddies" (i think you can get them from bed, bath, and beyond). you put them in the microwave and they stay nice and toasty...hopefully allowing you some rest! good luck.

annie
Statistics
62901 users are registered to the Raynaud's Association forum.
There are currently 0 users logged in.
The most users ever online was 7413 on 06/05/2013 at 11:35 PM.
There are currently 463 guests browsing this forum, which makes a total of 463 users using this forum.

FuseTalk Basic Edition - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.