Monday, January 7, 2013

Raynaud's

I first started noticing my toes becoming really tingly and numb when I'd go outside in the cold. Since I had shoes on, I didn't really notice the way they looked, so I didn't really think anything of it, other than it was cold outside and my toes were getting too cold. But then I started noticing that they would get numb at the slightest cold temperatures. I couldn't go anywhere without them feeling numb. One of my toes in particular felt like it had a string tight around it. I thought that I had a string on my sock that had wrapped itself around, so I took my sock off, didn't see a string, and assumed it had come off when I took the sock off. Again, I didn't really think too much into it. But then last winter when I went to Cosco with my mom and dad, and my finger suddenly went numb and the top part of it turned white (like in the photo below), I knew it wasn't just because it was cold.
I was really scared, thinking it was a blood clot or something. I was overwhelmed with fear, thinking I was going to die. I started praying and asked my mom if she knew what it was. She looked worried, too. I rubbed it a lot and eventually it went away, so when I got home I did a search on the internet to see what it could be. I found Raynaud's. It's sometimes classified as a disease, syndrome, or phenomenon.  Nobody knows why it happens or why some people have it and others don't. Basically what happens is when a person gets cold, the body goes overboard with protecting the vital organs by constricting blood vessels to the lesser important parts of the body, aka fingers and toes. So then the fingers turn white and go numb. If prolonged, a person could lose their fingers/toes.

Here is a picture of what happens:
Photo by Rheumatology Image Bank

So I have discovered ways to help prevent me from having an episode, or at least lessen it. I bundle up, wear two pairs of socks, gloves, and when it's really cold, two or three shirts or sweaters. I absolutely cannot go anywhere without gloves.  Another thing that helps tremendously is Circulation Essentials by Swanson Vitamins.


There's no need to take them during the warm months, believe me--I took them one day when it was hot outside and I was frying. So I just take them during the winter months. I can notice my body getting warm immediately (within 10 minutes) after taking them.