Raynaud's Awareness Month


Photo Credit in References


There are days my feet ache because of the cold***. As one of the 5-10% of Americans with Raynauds, I try to prepare but Autumn is a tough time for me. Just the other day, I forgot to wear either my boots or wool socks when heading to New Jersey for a business trip.


It was 66 degrees outside but the rain and dampness set my feet to aching. What do you do when driving 7 hours and your feet are aching? You do the “Heat/AC Dance.” Which bascially means, Run the heat to thaw my aching feet until forced to turn on the A/C to cool the vehicle.


This is my life of living with Raynaud’s Syndrome in Virginia. Autumn is tricky, one day it is sunny and warm..the next damp and rainy. Winters can be downright painful, especially when we have record setting 2 degree days, like last year. Why do I share all of this on the Cardinal Institute for Health Careers blog?


The Cardinal Institute for Health Career’s blog’s focus is to educate. Our goal for the last year has been to share information about many topics to include Falls Prevention Awareness, Seniors and Stress, Senior Suicide, and AFib Awareness Month.


We are aware and understand there are real people with these conditions. It is not just about statistics and definitions. With this thought in mind and when possible, our efforts will be to showcase the real people and their own stories.


October is Raynaud’s Awareness Month. Raynaud’s Syndrome, according to Raynauds.org is “a disorder of the small blood vessels of the extremities, reducing blood flow. When exposed to cold, the blood vessels go into spasms, which may cause pain, numbness, throbbing and tingling. Emotional distress may also trigger such a response. The fingers are usually the primary affected areas, although toes, nose, ears and other extremities may be involved.”[1]



Photo Credit in References


Raynaud’s is referred to as a syndrome, phenomonon, and disease by the medical professional world. There are two types of Raynaud’s: Primary and Secondary. Primary is the most common form. What this means is the condition is not associated with other medical conditions. Whereas, Secondary Raynaud’s is associated with other medical conditions such as lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.



Graphic Credit In References


Raynaud’s symptoms include:

· Cold fingers and/or toes (However, can experience on other portions of the body)

· Color changes in skin when exposed to cold or stress

· Numbness or that needle-‘y’ feeling which happens when foot or hand has been asleep


If experiencing Raynaud’s symptoms, it is not uncommon for an underlying condition to be found. With this in mind, if you experience Raynaud’s symptoms, see a rheumatologist who can test for other underlying conditions.


Some people with Raynaud’s call themselves “Frosties.” Frosties have a two-fold mission to inform others about Raynaud’s and to encourage one another.


What I have learned and want others to know:


· There is no current cure but Raynaud’s is not contagious

· Wearing battery-heated gloves or keeping hand warmers with you is a good idea

· Avoid cold places, when possible

· Wear a hat

· Wear clothing in layers

· Wear wool socks and stockings

· Do not smoke

· Minimize stress when possible

· Don’t suggest moving to a warmer climate

· Show compassion


Raynaud’s is manageable but flare-ups will occur. The duration and length of flare-ups can vary. The best advice given to me: Be vigilant about management but understand flare-ups can and will happen.


***Personal Experience from a Cardinal Institute for Health Careers' Employee


REFERENCES:

Reference: Raynaud’s Disease

Accessed at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/raynauds-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20363571

Accessed on: September 27, 2018.


Reference: Raynaud’s Frequently Asked Questions

Accessed at: https://www.raynauds.org/frequently-asked-questions/#FAQ4

Accessed on: September 27, 2018.


Reference Photo One: Raynaud's Awareness Ribbon

Edited by: Cardinal Institute for Heatlh Careers

Accessed on September 27, 2018.


Reference Photo Two: Symptoms Circle

Provided by: Raynaud’s.org through email communication

Accessed on September 27, 2018.


Reference Photo Three: Raynaud's Symptom Graphic

Created by: Cardinal Institute for Health Careers

Accessed on September 27, 2018.


Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of the Cardinal Institute for Health Career’s blog is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

[1] https://www.raynauds.org/frequently-asked-questions/#FAQ1

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