Discovered in 1862 by French doctor Maurice Raynaud, Raynauds Syndrome is a very uncomfortable and painful
condition that many people suffer from, in varying degrees.
It affects up to five per cent of the population, and there is no guaranteed medical cure. Amongst those
affected there are five times as many women as men.
It is far worse in cold weather and although it can be associated with other conditions such as rheumatoid
arthritis it is just as likely to be a standalone condition.
The symptoms of Raynaud's are obvious. The fingers turn white and may wrinkle, because the blood is being
withdrawn from the hands to feed other parts of the body.
Blood vessels normally become slightly restricted when cold or under stress, but in Raynauds sufferers this
response is exaggerated.
When the blood vessels are narrowed, the tissues receive less oxygen and fingers start to look and feel
Sometimes the toes, earlobes, nose and lips are also affected and can take on a bluish-white tinge. This happens
when there is a drop in temperature.
In severe cases, any sudden change - such as leaving a warm room to go into a cooler corridor - can bring it on.
Even handling frozen food can affect sufferers.
The worst part, though, is when you warm up again and the blood starts to rush back into your fingertips. At
that point the pain can be unbearable, like pins and needles except they are red hot!
Young women between the ages of twenty and forty are particularly susceptible, but the condition can get worse
It is believed that stress can make this condition worse, so a 'vicious circle' may arise where cold weather
makes the potential sufferer apprehensive, and therefore more likely to have an attack.
The causes are not always known, but certain risk factors have been identified such as smoking, using vibrating
tools such as chainsaws, carpal tunnel syndrome and if you have ever had frostbite.
For many people the only way to combat this painful disease is to avoid the cold altogether, if possible.
However, there is a way of alleviating this condition that does not involve taking pharmaceutical drugs.
The Raynauds and Scleredoma Association recognizes the connection between magnesium deficiency and Raynauds
This is a vital mineral for health, but modern diets do not always provide enough. It is suggested that some
people may need a magnesium supplement of 200 mg three times a day, with food.
Magnesium is a multi-functional mineral needed for very many physical processes.
It works to open up the blood vessels so that oxygen can pass more freely through the body. The link has been
well established between magnesium deficiency and Raynauds Syndrome.
In fact, a Swedish scientific study showed that women suffering from Raynauds had significantly less magnesium
in their body during the winter months than healthy women.
So if you believe you may be suffering from magnesium deficiency and Raynauds Syndrome it would certainly be
worthwhile going on a course of magnesium supplements to see if your painful symptoms reduce.