NHS Inform is Scotland’s national health information service with a mission to provide accurate and relevant information for making informed health decisions.
In addition to information about medical conditions and related news and events, the service offers interactive self-help guides and a National Services Directory containing hundreds of support groups and thousands of NHS services in Scotland.
Their information on Raynaud’s is one of the more thorough resources we’ve found to date. It includes:
- An Overview – Describing basic symptoms and types of Raynaud’s, with links to treatment options and potential applications.
- Causes – One of the most comprehensive lists we’ve seen published, going beyond the primary ailments involved in secondary Raynaud’s to include: infections, cancer, medications, work-related Vibration White Finger and other sources of injuries, along with lifestyle issues like smoking.
- Diagnosis – Primarily covering the signals and tests used to detect secondary Raynaud’s, as there are no formal tests to diagnose the primary form. (Some doctors will use ice water to try and trigger and witness an attack.)
- Treatment – Including lifestyle and self-help tips, medications, and surgical options for more severe cases.
- Complications – While it’s rare, scleroderma is listed as a primary cause of Raynaud’s, likely because while few Raynaud’s sufferers will ever develop scleroderma, the large majority of scleroderma patients (90+%) will have Raynaud’s, and because Raynaud’s detected in scleroderma patients can be the first sign of a serious medical issue that deserves attention. For extreme cases, digital ulcers and gangrene are the most important complications to address.
We also appreciate that the Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK organization is mentioned, as it’s an excellent resource for UK Raynaud’s patients and their families. We’ve been trying for years to get the NIH to list us as a resource on their site’s Raynaud’s information, but to no success…But the NIH has updated its site information on Raynaud’s, and it is more comprehensive than in the past, which is good to see.
We do find one statement on the NHS site surprising: “Raynaud’s is slightly more common in women than men.” Our stats show that 90% of sufferers are female, so this appears to be quite an understatement. Also they state that Raynaud’s affects 20% of the adult population worldwide – this is the largest statistic we’ve seen and would love to know their source for the information. The more common numbers published are 5 to 10% of the U.S. population. This is a difficult statistic to confirm as more recent research states that only 1 in 10 sufferers are aware that their pain and discomfort have a medical explanation and will seek treatment.
Let’s hope that government sources around the world continue to update and expand their information on Raynaud’s so that awareness will grow and more sufferers will find warmth and comfort with proper care and treatment.
Click here for the NHS Inform information on Raynaud’s.