Raynaud’s Awareness Month

February 2019 is Raynaud’s Awareness Month!

” Raynaud’s affects between 5% to 10% of the population” – Source – Raynaud’s Association

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a condition which affects the digits (fingers/toes). The most common trigger is when a person is exposed to cold temperatures or high levels of stress. This causes the arteries, in our digits, to become narrow which leads a person to experience an ‘attack’. This attack can present as numbness, change in colour, coldness and pain in our extremities.

“Raynaud’s affects 1 in 6 people, in the UK” – Source – Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK

My Story

Back in November 2009, I suddenly began experiencing excruciating pain in my feet. It was really painful to walk. It stopped me from sleeping and the only way I managed to get some sleep was by placing a heat pad underneath my feet. They were ice cold too.

Doctors assured me that it was Frostbite or Cramps. I kept fighting until I got a firm diagnosis.

It was not until February 2011 that I was finally referred to a rheumatologist that I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s. I had never heard of it before so I had no idea what the condition was. I don’t think I am the first person that researches a diagnosis on good old Google! After reading various information I began to have a better understanding.

At first, I was prescribed Nifedipine however these did not relieve any of my symptoms. I was referred to a day clinic to receive Illoprost infusion. Illoprost is a drug which pumps through the arteries to relax them and expand to their normal size. I had to endure this for 6 hours each day for 5 days, every 6 months. It was definitely worth it as it helped dramatically!

Unfortunately, when I moved to a new area, my new rheumatologist was adamant that I did not have Raynaud’s and discharged me. I will be seeking a second opinion from a different rheumatologist.

There are 2 different types of Raynaud’s: Primary and Secondary.

There is no cause for primary, however for secondary, there most likely is an underlying condition which has caused it.

Ways To Prevent An Attack

  • Try not to be exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time.
  • Relax! Take it easy as Mika once sang – Seriously though, stress can trigger an attack and this will just cause more stress. There are hundreds of ways to relax, find one that is best suited to you.
  • Exercise – I’m not talking pumping iron at the gym! Go slow and steady.
  • Wrap up! – That’s right, get your thermals out!

Posted by

Hey fellow superheroes! I'm Ami, I'm 24 and I live in Norfolk, UK. On my blog, UndercoverSuperhero, I openly talk about my recovery journey which stemmed from being in hospital and a specialist neurological rehabilitation centre for 9 months. I talk about how I maintain a positive mindset whilst coming to terms with my disability. I love superheroes, so much so that my partner and I are having a superhero themed wedding! I generally like to talk about anything and everything on my blog, I also have an ongoing series called "The Reality of..." which allows readers and bloggers to raise awareness of the disabilities, mental illnesses, chronic illnesses, impairments, that they live with as it is so important to raise awareness! Everybody has a voice! πŸ’š

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