Raynaud’s Syndrome in Fibromyalgia: Cold Feet and Hands

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If your feet and hands are cold all the time, then well that’s a common complaint in victims of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FMS). In some situations, it is just a symptom. In some other circumstances, though, it could be as a result of a common overlapping situation called Raynaud’s syndrome (which is also recognized as Raynaud’s phenomenon).

What Is Raynaud’s Syndrome?

The blood vessels contract in Raynaud’s syndrome, which permits less blood to go through. That not only makes your boundaries cold, it makes them exceptionally hard to warm up. The most frequently affected body parts are the toes and fingers, but your ear lobes, lips, knees, nipples and nose may also be involved. However, Raynaud’s is not all about the cold. The reduced blood flow can cause pain in the pretentious areas, and it can also cause the skin there to turn blue. Skin ulcers (sores) are likely, since persistent episodes may possibly harm tissue. Amplified symptoms, known as attacks, are frequently caused by exposure to high levels of stress or cold.

An attack can last for just a few minutes or might last for several hours. Some people have Raynaud’s syndrome as a prime situation which means that it does not go along with another illness. In some other people, it is a secondary situation which means that it would not be existing without the other illness. Raynaud’s is also common in Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. However, up till now we do not know what causes Raynaud’s and there is no remedy.

Cold Feet and Hands

The cold weather is frequently challenging for fibro patients, and because of our temperature sensitivity it can be tough to warm up. Some of us experience freezing cold feet and hands which leads to extreme pain. Keeping your boundaries as warm as possible is vital during this time and even if it means wearing gloves in summers.

Analyzing Raynaud’s Syndrome

A Raynaud’s syndrome analysis is more likely established on a physical exam and symptoms. Though, your doctor can also instruct a cold stimulation test, where heat sensors will record the temperature in your fingers earlier and after soaking them in cold water. Your doctor can also ask you a whole heap of queries about your medical account and carry out additional tests to look for causes of secondary Raynaud’s syndrome. These tests are also common in the elimination process for an analysis of fibromyalgia, and may possibly be part of the chronic fatigue syndrome diagnostic procedure depending on your symptoms. They may include:

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (sedrate)
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test

Managing/Treating Raynaud’s Syndrome

Numerous management and treatment policies can help ease the symptoms of Raynaud’s. The first line of protection is adjusting your habits to help avoid symptoms. You may do this by:

  • exercise to improve circulation
  • avoid possible symptom triggers, including vibrations
  • manage your stress
  • do not smoke
  • do not expose your hands to cold or guarding them when you cannot avoid exposure
  • do not wear whatever thing that compresses blood flow, including tight socks or rings

When a Raynaud’s attack happens, you may help comfort it by:

  • Running warm (not hot!) water over the cold areas
  • Finding a warmer place
  • Massaging or moving the affected parts

Medical therapy options comprise:

  • Drugs, such as vasodilators, calcium channel blockers and alpha blockers, which all have impact on blood vessels
  • In some rare cases, tissue damage may also occur and can also require to be surgically removed
  • Injections of chemicals that block nerves in your feet or hands

Some substitute remedies, comprising biofeedback and supplementation with gingko or fish oil, have been suggested for treating Raynaud’s. Though, a 2009 examination of available research found that they did not make a momentous transformation.

Raynaud’s in Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

We do not know precisely why Raynaud’s is so common in people having fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, but it is likely that they do share fundamental physiological belongings. Raynaud’s symptoms are majorly caused by insufficient blood flow, and some examination specifies reduced blood flow in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Raynaud’s symptoms may worsen certain symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which frequently include temperature sensitivity.

Triumph chilled can also cause pain for someone with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome, and in some cases it may trigger a symptom flare. That makes it particularly important to avoid Raynaud’s symptoms in such patients. While treatments for Raynaud’s and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are not the same, daily routine changes such as managing stress, not smoking and mild exercise (suitable to your tolerance level) can also help alleviate symptoms of all those situations. If you suspect that you have Raynaud’s syndrome, be certain to bring it up with your doctor so you can be appropriately treated and diagnosed.

Reference: Connections Between Raynaud’s Phenomenon And Fibromyalgia via Fibromyalgia Treating

Sources:

Malenfant D, Catton M, Pope JE. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Jul;48(7):791-5. the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon: a literature review and meta-analysis.

Pope JE. Drugs. 2007;67(4):517-25. The diagnosis and treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon: a practical approach.

Smith NL. Journal of pain & palliative care pharmacotherapy. 2004;18(4):31-45. Serotonin mechanisms in pain and functional syndrome: managemtne implications in comorbid fibromyalgia, headache, and irritable bowel syndrome – case study and discussion.

Staud R. Future rheumatology. 2008 Oct 1;3(5):475-483. Heart rate variability as a biomarker of fibromyalgia syndrome.

Wigley FM. Patient information: Raynaud phenomenon UpToDate.com. All rights reserved. Accessed December 2011.

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