Raynaud’s Disease – What is it?

It is a condition that causes the arteries that supply certain parts of the body to go into a sudden temporary spasm which causes intermittent narrowing.  The affected part of the body is often the fingers or toes but ears and nipples can also be affected by the restricted flow of blood to these areas.

Are there physical changes?  What will it feel like?

As the arteries narrow, the part of the body affected by a lack of blood flow can change colour from white to blue and when the blood is able to flow again red.  As this happens it can cause:

  • Numbness
  • Pain, this can either be mild pain or excruciating
  • Throbbing
  • Pins and needles
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling

Although this is not a life threatening condition it can last from a few minutes to several hours and can be painful, making the affected part difficult to use.

What causes it?

There is no known cause in most cases and this is called primary Raynaud’s.  It can be caused by:

  • another condition such as an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • an infection
  • side effect of medicine that’s being taken
  • cancer
  • illegal drugs
  • injury
  • overuse
  • smoking
  • vibration white finger
  • emotional stress

Can you do anything to help the condition?

If you have secondary Raynaud’s which means it has been caused by something, treating the underlying condition or changing our medication may help.  You will need to see your GP for advice on this.

Can you do anything to help yourself?  Good News – yes you can!!!!!

  • Keep warm wear layers, gloves and warm footwear
  • Stop smoking – Sally Race, Acorns hypnotherapist can help you with this, contact Sally for a free consultation.
  • Turmeric added into your diet helps to keep your arteries from being blocked
  • Help improve your circulation by taking regular exercise
  • Reflexology, massage and aromatherapy can all help with Raynaud’s. Contact me, Anne Marie, to book an appointment.
  • Diet –Speak to Acorn’s nutritional therapist Helen for advice on dietary changes you can make
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Green tea, this wonderful tea is rich in anti-oxidants and helps to relax the arteries and improves circulation.
  • Avoid direct contact with cold objects
  • Try to avoid stressful situations, stress can trigger attacks taking up meditation or yoga can help you to manage and lower your stress levels – Acorn have regular yoga and mindfulness courses see their website for more details.


To book an appointment or find out more please contact us, call Anne Marie, Sally or Helen on 01773 687349 at Acorn Natural Health Centre, 17a Market Place, Heanor, Derby DE75 7AA (next to Birds)