You can usually treat Raynaud's phenomenon yourself, although medication is sometimes necessary.
If you've been diagnosed with secondary Raynauds, you may be referred to a specialist in the treatment of the underlying condition.
If your secondary Raynauds may be a side effect of a medication, you may be asked to stop taking it, to see if your symptoms improve.
The following advice is recommended forboth primary and secondary Raynauds.
If you find it difficult to control feelings of stress, you may require additional treatment, such as counselling. This is the only medicine licensed to treat Raynaud's phenomenon in the UK. It doesn't cure Raynaud's, but can help to relieve the symptoms.
Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker a type of medication that encourages the blood vessels to widen.
Depending on the pattern of your symptoms and how well you respond to treatment, you may be asked to take your medication every day. Alternatively, you may only need to take it as prevention; for example, duringa sudden snap of cold weather.
Side effects are common and include:
Don't drink grapefruit juice when taking nifedipine, as this could make side effects worse.
The side effects should improve as your body gets used to the medicine, but tell your GP if you find them particularly troublesome. There are alternative calcium channel blockers that may suit you better.
Other medications have been used to treat Raynauds, but their use is controversial, as there is limited evidence to show they're effective in most people. However, some people have claimed to benefit from treatment. These medications include:
These medicines are not licensed for the treatment of Raynaud's in the UK, but you may be prescribed them if it's thought the potential benefit outweighs the possible risks. It's usually only recommended if your symptoms are so severe that there's a risk the affected body part, such as your fingers, could lose their blood supply and begin to die. It involves cutting the nerves causing the affected blood vessels to spasm.
The results of a sympathectomy are often only temporary and further treatment and possibly more surgery may be required after a few years.
Raynauds phenomenon is a common condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body usually the fingers and toes.
Raynaud's phenomenon is the result of over-sensitive blood vessels in the extremities of our body. In many cases, no cause is identified.
Raynaud's phenomenon can usually be diagnosed after an examination of your symptoms and some blood tests.