February is Raynaud's Awareness Month and the Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are helping to raise awareness and understanding of Raynaud's, and why it is important that everyone knows the signs and symptoms.
Raynaud's is a common condition affecting up to ten million people in the UK. If you often have cold hands or feet, could you be living with this condition?
Raynaud's phenomenon is common and doesn't usually cause any severe problems. You can often treat the symptoms yourself by keeping warm. However, sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious condition.
Raynaud's affects your blood circulation. When you're cold, anxious or stressed, your fingers and toes may change colour.
Other symptoms can include:
- pins and needles
- difficulty moving the affected area
- Some people also find their ears, nose, lips or nipples are affected.
- The symptoms of Raynaud's may last from a few minutes to a few hours.
You should contact your GP practice if:
- your symptoms are very bad or getting worse
- Raynaud's is affecting your daily life
- you only have numbness on one side of your body
- you also have joint pain, skin rashes or muscle weakness
- you're over 30 and get symptoms of Raynaud's for the first time
- your child is under 12 and has symptoms of Raynaud's
Dr Kevin Hill, Lincolnshire GP said:
“There are some things you can do yourself to help with the condition, such as keeping your home warm, wearing warm clothes during cold weather exercise regularly to help improve circulation, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
“If your symptoms are very bad or getting worse, your GP may prescribe medication to help improve your circulation. For some people medication may be needed every day while for others it may be prescribed to help prevent the condition, particularly during cold weather.”
More information can be obtained by visiting www.sruk.co.uk – Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK is a charity for people with scleroderma and Raynaud's.