During the winter, you know to be on the lookout for illnesses such as the common cold and flu. However, there is one that many people overlook. Raynaud's disease is a condition that can have a significant impact on your health in cold weather. Here is what you need to know about the disease so that you can protect yourself.
What Are the Symptoms?
Raynaud's disease occurs when your arteries narrow after exposure to cold air, which results in a decrease of blood circulation. Without blood flowing freely throughout your body, you can experience numbness and changes to the color of your hands and feet.
In most instances, Raynaud's disease does not cause any complications. After taking steps to treat the condition, your symptoms will usually clear without issue. However, some people do experience serious consequences, such as skin ulcers and gangrene. Depending on the severity of the complication, your doctor might recommend amputation to remove the impacted body part.
It is because of this, you need to take action immediately to treat symptoms.
What Can You Do?
The symptoms of Raynaud's disease are usually alleviated by getting warm. After a few minutes of being warm, your skin color should return to normal and any numbness you are experiencing should disappear.
There are steps you can take to potentially avoid experiencing any symptoms. For instance, you can avoid caffeine and smoking. Both can help cause your arteries to narrow.
You also need to focus on alleviating stress. Stress often goes hand in hand with high blood pressure. When your blood pressure rises, your arteries narrow, which makes you more vulnerable to Raynaud's disease.
What If the Symptoms Do Not Improve?
In the event the symptoms of your condition do not improve or the symptoms are occurring more frequently, your primary care physician can provide medical intervention. One of the steps your physician might take is prescribing a calcium-channel blocker.
Calcium-channel blockers work by relaxing your blood vessels so that your circulation functions normally in cold weather. As a result, you should have fewer incidents in which you experience symptoms. It might also help with healing skin ulcers that have developed.
Talk to primary care physician about any other symptoms you have. He or she might have to make modifications to your treatment plan and assess your health to determine if there is another medical condition that is causing you to experience symptoms.
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