3. Relieving an Attack
No matter how diligently you avoid triggers, there are times Raynaud’s attacks will occur. When this happens, gently warm the affected areas. If you are outside in the cold, get inside where it is warm. Gently restore warmth to your fingers or toes by wiggling and then massaging them. You can warm them in warm water, but do not use hot water. Place your hands under your armpits for added warmth. Try exercises like spinning your arms in wide circles to get the blood flowing. If stress is your trigger, try closing your eyes and taking deep, calming breaths. Exercise can help decrease stress and get your blood pumping while releasing endorphins.
2. Complications from Raynaud’s
While the effects of Raynaud’s are usually limited to a temporary decrease in blood flow to the fingers or toes, in rare cases the effects can be more severe. If an artery becomes completely blocked and blood flow is not able to return to the affected area, sores may develop. These painful ulcers can be difficult to heal. If untreated, the loss of circulation can cause the death of tissue in the area. This results in gangrene. Very rarely, tissue death and gangrene can necessitate the amputation of the affected area.
1. Alternative Medicine for Raynaud’s
Alternative medicine offers some possibilities for those living with Raynaud’s syndrome. Ask your doctor if any of the following treatments may be worth trying. Studies show fish oil supplements may improve tolerance to cold temperatures and decrease vasospasm in people with primary Raynaud’s syndrome. Since acupuncture increases blood flow, it may be helpful for improving blood flow in those affected by Raynaud’s. Biofeedback techniques may be able to help patients control the constriction of blood flow in their hands and feet as well.