Raynaud's Phenomenon - Topic Overview
How is it treated?
If you have Raynaud's that is caused by another disease, your doctor can treat that disease. This may relieve your symptoms.
There is no cure for Raynaud's that occurs on its own (primary Raynaud's). But you may be able to control it by avoiding the things that trigger it.
- Keep your body warm.
- Don't smoke.
- Avoid caffeine and certain medicines, including cold medicines with pseudoephedrine and beta-blockers. (Don't stop taking prescribed medicines unless you talk to your doctor first.)
- Reduce stress.
If you can't control your symptoms with these steps, your doctor may give you a medicine called a calcium channel blocker. This may increase blood flow to your hands and feet and relieve symptoms.
Some alternative treatments, such as herbal supplements and biofeedback training, have shown promise in treating Raynaud's. But they haven't been shown to work for everyone. Talk with your doctor if you're interested in trying any of these.
What are some tips for staying warm?
To keep your hands and feet warm:
- Wear mittens or gloves when it's cold outside. (Mittens are warmer than gloves, because they keep your fingers together.)
- Use potholders or oven mitts when you get something from the refrigerator or freezer.
- When you drink from a cold can or bottle, use an insulated cover.
- Wear wool or synthetic socks rather than cotton ones.
- Use foot powder to help absorb moisture from your feet. When your feet are damp, they are more easily chilled.
- Swing your arms rapidly in a circle at the sides of your body ("windmilling"). This can increase blood flow into your fingers.
- If your hands or feet get cold, run warm (not hot) water over them. This can increase blood flow to them.
To keep your whole body warm:
- Wear layers of warm clothing. The inner layer should be made of a fabric such as polypropylene that pulls moisture away from your body.
- Wear a hat. You lose more body heat from your head than from any other part of your body.
- Don't wear clothing that is too tight. Tight clothes can decrease or cut off circulation.
- Try to stay dry. Choose waterproof, breathable clothes and shoes. Being wet makes you more likely to become chilled.
- Drink hot liquids. This helps maintain your internal body temperature.
- Try eating a hot meal before you go outside. Some people notice that it keeps them warmer.