Are you ready for a pop quiz? What condition did Frenchman Maurice Raynaud discover in 1862? Here’s a hint—the answer is in his name. Raynaud’s bears the surname of its founding physician. He determined that this disease involved the disruption of the flow of blood to particular areas including the nose, ears, fingers, and toes. The triggers have been identified as stress and coldness.
This disease can present alone or be related to another serious medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. The sufferer can see and feel the symptoms which include discolouration of the area that often escalates from white to blue to red. Pain, swelling and tingling may also be experienced as blood flow returns to normal.
While many people have cold hands and feet during the winter, Raynaud’s is more complex than that. A higher number of women versus men develop the disease and attacks can last for a short time or for many hours. Cold and stress play a role in this condition, but the exact cause is still unknown. This uncertainty makes diagnosing the disease more difficult and time is taken to rule out other illnesses that can cause these blood vessel spasms to occur.
Treatment ranges from wearing the proper gear during the winter to medications for severe cases. The idea is to address the primary cause, or if Raynaud’s is present on its own, to decrease the spasms which will preserve tissue. Damaged skin is susceptible to infection including gangrene.
Don’t get cold feet when it comes to foot care. If you have questions, visit Chiropodist Tony Abbott for answers. Many major medical concerns reveal themselves in the feet, so never ignore changes or symptoms. Call (705) 444-9929 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.
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