About Raynauds Syndrome

"In medicine, Raynaud's phenomenon is a vasospastic disorder causing discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas. This condition can also cause nails to become brittle with longitudinal ridges. Named for French physician Maurice Raynaud (1834–1881), the phenomenon is believed to be the result of vasospasms that decrease blood supply to the respective regions. Emotional stress and cold are classic triggers of the phenomenon. It comprises both Raynaud's disease (also known as "Primary Raynaud's phenomenon" where the phenomenon is idiopathic, and Raynaud's syndrome (secondary Raynaud's), where it is caused by some other instigating factor. Measurement of hand-temperature gradients is one tool used to distinguish between the primary and secondary forms.It is possible for the primary form to progress to the secondary form.In extreme cases, the secondary form can progress to necrosis or gangrene of the fingertips. Raynaud's phenomenon is an exaggeration of vasomotor responses to cold or emotional stress. More specifically, it is a hyperactivation of the sympathetic system causing extreme vasoconstriction of the peripheral blood vessels, leading to tissue hypoxia. Chronic, recurrent cases of Raynaud phenomenon can result in atrophy of the skin, subcutaneous tissues, and muscle. In rare cases it can cause ulceration and ischemic gangreneFrom Wikipedia www.wikipedia.com

"Raynaud's phenomenon is a condition resulting from poor circulation in the extremities (i.e., fingers and toes). In a person with Raynaud's phenomenon, when his or her skin is exposed to cold or the person becomes emotionally upset, the blood vessels under the skin tighten and the blood flow slows. This is called vasospasm. Hands and feet have fewer large blood vessels and, therefore, when a vasospasm occurs, it is harder for the blood to keep flowing and these areas may turn blue because less oxygen is reaching the skin. The skin will also feel cold because less blood is reaching the skin to keep it warm. While attacks of vasospasm may last from minutes to hours, only rarely do they cause severe tissue damage. Raynaud's phenomenon is named after the French doctor Maurice Raynaud, who first described the condition in the mid-1800s. The condition is also known as Raynaud's syndrome or Raynaud's disease." From the Arthritis Society Canada Website www.arthritis.ca

Links To Learn More About Raynauds Syndrome

Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/raynauds-disease/DS00433

MERCK Manual http://merck.com/mmpe/sec07/ch080/ch080g.html

Arthritis Foundation (USA) http://www.arthritis.org/disease-center.php?disease_id=22

Health Link BC http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/mini/hw180981.html