A to Z of EDS: R is for Raynaud’s

Many people who get symptoms of Raynaud’s associated with EDS refer to it as Reynaud’s Disease. However, as explained by Wikipedia  below, it is more properly referred to as Reynaud’s Phenomenon:

When the disorder’s cause is idiopathic, it is referred to as Raynaud’s disease (also called primary Raynaud’s); if the syndrome is secondary to another disease such as systemic sclerosis, Scleroderma, or other connective tissue disorders, it is correctly referred to as Raynaud’s phenomenon (secondary Raynaud’s).[1] 

It is basically caused by faulty capillaries in our extremities reacting inappropriately to cold. I used to get chilblains, which are related, on my toes as a child. But my first ‘proper’ encounter with this phenomenon didn’t happen till last winter. Maybe that’s because I hardly ever venture out without gloves. But on this occasion, I did. Not only did my fingers turn white when outside, but upon re-entry to the warmth indoors, they first started tingling really badly, and then actually hurt as the blood flowed back into them. I was surprised by how strong the pain was. Lesson learnt, and I have only forgotten to bring gloves with me once since. 

I have yet to mention this new symptom to my doctor. I may, but only if I remember and there’s nothing more pressing. Because, there’s not really much she can suggest, and the best solution is simply not to let my fingers and toes get too cold. And the pain, though intense, doesn’t last too long. I realise that chronic and severe Raynaud’s can cause things like ulceration, but at the moment mine is mild. 

So, if you notice I always wear socks in bed, and gloves even in Summer, now you know why!
[image is of a orange-red background, with the words ‘R is for Raynaud’s’ in white]

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