Diagnosing Raynaud's

Raynaud's phenomenon can usually be diagnosed after an examination of your symptoms and some blood tests.

Your GP may place your hands in cold water or cool air to see if you show symptoms of Raynauds.

Further testing is usually recommended to find out whether you have primary or secondary Raynauds.

Secondary Raynauds may require more treatment and, in some cases, referral to a specialist.

Secondary Raynauds may be suspected if:

  • your symptoms only started when you were over 30 years of age most cases of primary Raynauds begin between the ages of 20 to 30
  • you're experiencing severe pain during an attack of Raynauds
  • only one side of your body is affected

Your GP may also check the tiny blood vessels, known as capillaries, found where your nail meets the finger. These capillaries are oftenlarger in people with secondary Raynauds, and look like red pen marks.

Blood tests

Your GP may also refer you for Blood tests to check for other health conditionsthat could be causing your symptoms. These tests may include:

  • a full blood count to check forinfection or, much less commonly, a cancer of the blood, such as leukaemia
  • an antinuclear antibodies (ANA) test tocheck for anoveractive immune system, which is common in people with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
  • erythrocyte sedimentation rate to check for an autoimmune disorder

Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)

If you've been diagnosed with Raynauds, Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK) may be helpful.

It is the UKs leading charity for people affected by the condition.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 29 Nov 2016