Medical News Today Article on Raynaud’s

Medical News Today LogoMedical News Today published an article titled “What you need to know about Raynaud’s disease.”  The article on Raynaud’s is pretty comprehensive, covering:

  • Fast Facts
  • Treatment Options (including drugs, surgery and injections)
  • Lifestyle Tips
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis Process
  • Potential Complications

Most of the material is pretty basic that we’ve seen in the past.  However, when they discuss possible causes, there’s a section on “Possible Pathways” with theories on medical explanations for Raynaud’s worth noting including:

Vascular Mediators

They state that nitric oxide is a strong vasodilator, and has more often been found in people with secondary Raynaud’s.  Seems like if that’s the case, it would help sufferers with secondary Raynaud’s have better circulation, not more severe attacks, so we don’t understand this reference.

Endothelin-1 is a potent vasoconstrictor, and primary Raynaud’s sufferers are more likely to have high levels of this protein.  Again, you’d expect those with secondary Raynaud’s to be more likely to have the presence of vasoconstrictors than those with primary Raynaud’s, but it does offer an explanation for the cause in primary sufferers who have no other ailments contributing to their condition.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, has been found in higher concentrations of Raynaud’s sufferers.  This might explain the exaggerated nerve impulse to constrict the blood vessels triggered by cold temperatures or stress.

Other Possibilities

Platelet activation appears higher in people with Raynaud’s. Platelets in the blood work to clump together to help prevent bleeding.  We’ve seen reports that studies on this subject have produced mixed results.

Fibrinolysis is a natural reaction that takes place in the body to reduce clotting. Some studies have linked low levels of fibrinolysis with Raynaud’s.  This ties in with the above statement.  So maybe Raynaud’s patients have more of the blood components that promote clotting and fewer of those that help prevent it?

Oxidative stress is caused by an increase in free radicals, and it could be involved in Raynaud’s.  Most of the material we’ve seen on this theory relates to those with more serious primary autoimmune conditions to which Raynaud’s is secondary.

Conclusion

While the causal pathways mentioned in this article are interesting potential medical explanations, they don’t really offer much in the way of how to use the information to cure or reduce the symptoms in Raynaud’s patients.

We continue to believe the best treatment for those with Raynaud’s is to know your triggers and seek medical attention if needed.

Here’s the full article in Medical News Today:  “What you need to know about Raynaud’s disease.”