Living With Raynaud's Disease: Scottish TV Host Jenni Falconer Reveals Her Condition
Raynaud's disease is a condition that causes blood vessels on fingers and toes to shrink in the cold, so significantly, that it cut off the blood flow.
If you've ever wondered what Raynaud's disease looks like, this is it. People often mistake it for frostbite. It's not frostbite. I dress warmly. I wear gloves, even in the house sometimes. But there are times I just can't prevent an episode. Although it's a reaction to cold, it doesn't always have to be that cold. Sometimes a difference of just a couple degrees can trigger an episode for me. It can happen during summer if I'm drenched in sweat. It can even happen if I'm stressed out about something or having anxiety. But generally, this time of year is the worst for me. It's still chilly...and because it's always wet, the cold tends to penetrate more. Today it's cold and rainy, and I happened to be out running errands when this episode happened. I went immediately to my car and cranked the heat. When it happens, the small arteries in your extremities narrow, limiting blood flow to those areas, which causes them to turn purple or white and go numb. It can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes for the blood to return to those areas. For some, it can be really painful; I'm lucky my case is fairly mild. This isn't a pity post. Just trying to raise awareness. This is a condition people often don't know they have, or that goes undiagnosed. It's not just a case of bad circulation; it's something that's specifically triggered by cold. There are certain medications (calcium channel blockers or vasodilators) that have been known to help in more severe cases, but in my case, I just try to keep as warm as possible. #raynauds #raynaudsdisease #raynaudsdiseasesucks #raynaudsphenomenon
Nearly 80% of patients with Raynaud's are women. The condition can occur randomly or due to an autoimmune disorder. The affected areas usually feel very cold and numb as well as can change color from white to blue and red. Common risk factors include smoking, stress, gender, and long exposure to cold.
Recently, a Scottish television host, Jenni Falconer, revealed on her Instagram that she is suffering from Raynaud's.
She asked her followers if any of them are facing the same problems, and people started sharing their stories in comments. Some even started giving each other tips on how to ease the symptoms. Jenni practically opened a chat for those affected by the condition.
Raynaud's attacks prevention
In case you already have the condition, there are a few tips that can significantly help and reduce chances of Raynaud's attack, such as:
- always dress warm even if it's not too cold outside, have a spare pair of gloves or socks at your disposal;
- learn to relieve stress, as it can be a major trigger;
- don't drive in cold cars, make sure to warm it up prior to driving;
- increase physical activities, because exercising helps improve circulation;
- consult your doctor about any prescribed medications.