Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Raynaud's Triggers - a List

Cont'd from What is Raynaud's Phenomenon?

A trigger is something that makes it more likely a Raynaud's attack will occur. It does not cause the condition, but often encourages the attack.

Each person is different. Not all will have the same triggers. What triggers an attack today, may not tomorrow. Additionally, each attack is different. It may affect only your fingertips today, but your whole hand and arm tomorrow - even with the same trigger.

Here is a list of some potential Raynaud's triggers:

Cool temperatures trigger an attack because the body overreacts to the temperature change - even a mild change - constricting vessels to preserve body temperature of its core. It is 'sacrificing' the extremities for the most crucial organs.

* Air conditioner breezes
* Opening the freezer or refrigerator
* Touching something cool or cold - even a cool glass of something to drink, or cutting veggies
* Walking outdoors
* Sitting next to something cool
* Temperature changes from warm to tepid, cool or cold
* Eating or drinking something cool
* Eating or drinking large amounts at a time.
* Breathing in cool air
* Holding hands under running cool water, swimming in a pool, or leaving a hot tub

Other miscellaneous triggers

* Vibration - sitting in a car or holding the steering wheel. Tools that vibrate like a sander, a saw, a grinder, etc.
* Trauma and repetitive trauma, or carpal tunnel syndrome - may damage the nerves responsible for normal response.
* Stress - all types including physical, mental and emotional. Release of cortisol and other adrenal hormones cause constriction of blood vessels and can trigger an attack. Pain is a frequent trigger.
* Disease - endocrine, autoimmune, illness in general, etc.
* Medications - Some medications will trigger Raynaud's including Migraine medicines, blood pressure medicines, anxiety medications, anti-histamines, hormone and birth control medicines, etc. Always check with the doctor, pharmacist, online and with the label before beginning a new medicine.
* Caffeine - and other stimulants can be found in strange places, including candy, shampoo and soaps, cosmetics and OTC medications.
* Magnesium deficiency - Mag is the mineral responsible for muscle relaxation, including the vascular muscles.
* Chemical exposure
* Smoking
* Fluorescent lights

Do you have some triggers to add?

Thursday: Neat tools for living with Raynaud's and autoimmune disease

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