Raynaud’s disease is a condition in which the arteries of the hands and sometimes the feet are reactive and become spastic when cold. As a result, the toes and fingers are deprived of adequate amounts of oxygenated blood and become whitish or bluish.
Gangrene or ulceration of the fingertips and toes may result from a lack of blood to the affected part. This often leads to chronic infection under and around the finger or toenails.
The symptoms can come on quickly, and may be triggered by emotional stress. Over time, the condition may result in a general shrinkage of the affected area.
Raynaud’s disease – What are the Causes?
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Complications from surgery
- Arteriosclerosis or angina (caused by spasms in the coronary arteries)
- Side effect of prescription drugs
- Calcium channel blockers (usually given for high blood pressure, angina or migraines)
- Ergot preparations (drugs given for fungus)
- Alpha-and-beta-adgrenergic blockers (usually given for high blood pressure, angina, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, benign prostatic hyperplasia, etc)
Diet and Lifestyle
A clean, organic diet with lots of fresh raw fruits and vegetables is the most beneficial. Avoid friend foods and avoids hydrogenated oils and polyunsaturated oils like corn, soy, safflower and cottonseed. Also avoid canola oil. Use olive oil, ghee and coconut oil only. Avoid a diet high in phytic acid (cereal, crackers, cookies, muffins, cake, bread) because it blocks important minerals. Choose millet and brown rice with consuming grains, and sourdough versions of bread (sparingly).
Living in a warm climate, practicing yoga and daily walks will bring the best results for improving circulation.
A study found that patients with primary and secondary RP had significantly higher homocysteine concentration compared to healthy controls. After matching for age and sex, patients with either primary or secondary RP showed significantly higher homocysteine levels.
To keep homocysteine levels normal, it requires B12, B6, folate, zinc and magnesium in the right form and dose. While folate and B12 did not differ in patients in this study, it did not tell us if they were taking folic acid or methylfolate, cyanocobalamin or methylB12. People with MTHFR, MTR, MTRR and DHFR mutations may have normal blood concentrations of B12 and folate, but this does not mean is getting into the cell.
This formula has methyl-folate, methylfolate, the right form of B6, zinc, magnesium and many other cofactors. We highly recommended getting a genetic analysis done at Nutrition Genome to find the exact nutrients and form needed to lower homocysteine.
Cod liver oil contains vitamin A, D and omega-3 fatty acids. A double blind placebo, controlled study found that the ingestion of fish oil improves tolerance to cold exposure and delays the onset of vasospasm in patients with primary, but not secondary, Raynaud’s phenomenon. These improvements are associated with significantly increased digital systolic blood pressures in cold temperatures.
Vitamin D has been speculated to be a vasodilator in those with Raynaud’s disease, and raising levels to 35-40 ng/ml is highly recommended.
In one study, researchers found that median plasma levels of vitamin C were 4.8 mg/L in patients with primary Raynaud’s phenomenon, 2.5 mg/L in those with limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis, and 6.8 mg/L in those with diffuse systemic sclerosis. These were all significantly lower than the amount found in healthy subjects (10.6 mg/L).
One study concluded that exposure to cold under standardized conditions may decrease the magnesium level in women with primary Raynaud’s. If you are exposed to cold, increasing magnesium during this time could be helpful relieving symptoms.