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Raynaud’s Awareness Month (UK)

February 1, 2021 February 28, 2021 CST

Raynaud’s Awareness Month (UK), recognizing Raynaud’s Disease or Raynaud’s Phenomenon, is observed in February, and a time to increase awareness about Raynaud’s Disease. It is also a time to promote the need for a cure, and to spur advocacy on behalf of those suffering with Raynaud’s Disease. Although it’s been over one hundred years since Raynaud’s was recognized, little is still known about the condition, its cause, or its cure. The Raynaud’s Association seeks to raise awareness and understanding of this perplexing phenomenon.

Raynaud’s Awareness Month (UK) educates the public that Raynaud’s Disease or Raynaud’s Phenomenon is an interruption of blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose, and/or ears when a spasm occurs in the blood vessels of these areas. Spasms are caused by exposure to cold or emotional stress. Typically, the affected area turns white, then blue, then bright red over the course of the attack. There may be associated tingling, swelling, or painful throbbing. The attacks may last from minutes to hours. In severe cases, the area may develop ulcerations and infections, which can lead to gangrene. Raynaud’s can occur as a “primary” disease, that is, with no associated disorder. It can also occur as a “secondary” condition related to other diseases, such as scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

In the United States, October is Raynaud’s Awareness Month. “An estimated 15-30 million Americans have Raynaud’s but only one in 10 seeks treatment,” according to Lynn Wunderman, founder and chair of the Raynaud’s Association, the national 501(c)3 nonprofit group.

Raynaud’s phenomenon (aka Raynaud’s disease or syndrome) is far from rare. The condition is characterized by numbness, throbbing and pain in fingers, toes and other extremities when a person is exposed to cold or feels stressed. In a typical case, fingers turn white, blue or red as the small blood vessels go into spasm within minutes of exposure.

Raynaud’s may be a signal that a more serious medical issue is involved, which is why seeking medical treatment is important for ruling out other causes. For people with systemic scleroderma, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, Raynaud’s is often the first sign something is wrong. The Raynaud’s Association points out that 90% of Raynaud’s sufferers have the primary form of Raynaud’s with nothing more serious as the culprit. The cause in these cases is unknown.



February 1, 2021
February 28, 2021