February is Raynaud’s Awareness Month, so follow in Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK’s (SRUK) footsteps and #RaiseYourHands this Raynaud’s Awareness Month. Despite affecting around 10 million people in the UK and commonly being found in those with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it is still a mainly unknown condition, it’s time to make that change!
As it’s fairly unheard of, many of you might not be aware of the symptoms those with Raynaud’s experience, I thought I’d include a few of the most common symptoms. SRUK recommend taking a test on their website if you think you have any of these symptoms, you can find that test here, obviously this isn’t proper medical advice so if you’re worried, speak to a pharmacist or your GP.
- Cold fingers and/or toes.
- Colour changes in the skin in response to cold or stress.
- Colour changes in the affected area to white, then blue and then red.
- Numbness, tingling or pain in fingers and/or toes.
- Stinging or throbbing pain upon warming or stress relief.
Now to the most important part, my favourite ways of minimising the symptoms I experience.
Wrist support gloves. I was given these by the occupational therapist but they are available to buy. These are perfect for me, they help to minimise raynaud’s symptoms but also give extra support to my wrists which are weak and painful due to EDS. The supports are lightweight so perfect for inside (yes raynaud’s is affected indoors too!) and don’t get in the way during daily life, but also perfect to go under gloves when outdoors, for an extra, breathable, layer.
Feet Heaters. Jack and I discovered these in Primark last month and I’m now obsessed with them, I need ALL the patterns they make. They’re similar to thermal socks, come in beautiful patterns and are the fluffiest, cosy socks I’ve found so far. My feet are affected by Raynaud’s a lot more than my hands, my feet are always icy cold and go all sorts of funny colours, now I have my Feet Heaters to use instead of Jack! I haven’t found these anywhere other than Primark, where they cost £3 a pair, although they do occasionally have certain pairs reduced to £2.
Hats, scarves and all kinds of warm gloves. I don’t manage to leave the house very often, and even when I do it often involves being outside for a matter of minutes, times when I will have to brave the cold for a little longer call for plenty of winter accessories. My fingers and toes aren’t the only places I experience symptoms, I also find I get fairly severe symptoms in my ears and nose. I have wooly hats and earmuffs to protect my ears and many scarves to wrap around my neck and across my nose, it’s not easy to keep your nose warm! Finally, the gloves. I have the afore-mentioned wrist support gloves, some lovely handmade hand/arm warmers, cosy mittens of various thickness and a pair of thermal gloves. I’m not above wearing these in the house if my symptoms are particularly aggravated!
Do you suffer from Raynaud’s? Have you found some useful ways to minimise the effect the cold has on you?
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