For those who aren't familiar with Raynaud's, you probably know someone who is. It's relatively common, affecting up to 10% of people. That's roughly 35 million people in the United States alone!
Raynaud’s (ray-NODES) 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. In a typical case, fingers turn from white or blue (or both) within minutes of cold exposure then become red when they warm up. These color changes, which may vary from person to person, are an exaggeration of a normal response to cold exposure. A normal cold response in the hands is a blotchy red and white pattern. Raynaud’s-type color changes are distinctively different.
If this sounds like you, you may want to take this quick quiz to determine whether your symptoms should be be evaluated further by a medical professional.
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