Living With Raynaud's

Primary Raynaud's (Raynaud's disease) and secondary Raynaud's (Raynaud's phenomenon) can be lifelong conditions. However, you can take steps to help control Raynaud's. Lifestyle changes and ongoing care can help you manage the disorder.

Most people who have primary Raynaud's can manage the disorder with lifestyle changes. People who have secondary Raynaud's may need medicines in addition to lifestyle changes. Rarely, they may need surgery or shots.

Lifestyle Changes

You can take steps to avoid things that trigger Raynaud's attacks. If you have Raynaud's:
  • Protect yourself from cold temperatures.
  • Try to avoid emotional stress and learn ways to cope with stress that you can't avoid.
  • Avoid certain medicines, substances, and activities that can trigger Raynaud's attacks. (For more information, see "What Causes Raynaud's?")
  • Include physical activity as part of your healthy lifestyle and limit your use of caffeine and alcohol. If you smoke, quit. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke.
You also can take steps to stop a Raynaud's attack once it starts. Warm up your hands, feet, or other affected areas right away. For example, place your hands under your armpits, run warm water over your fingers and toes, or massage your hands and feet.
If you have Raynaud's, be sure to take care of your hands and feet. Protect them from cuts, bruises, and other injuries. For example, wear properly fitted shoes and don't walk barefoot. Use lotion to prevent your skin from drying and cracking. Also, avoid tight wristbands and rings.

Ongoing Care

If you have Raynaud's, it's important to get ongoing care. Talk with your doctor about how often to schedule followup visits. Take all medicines as your doctor prescribes.
See your doctor right away if your Raynaud's symptoms get worse or if you develop sores on your fingers, toes, or other parts of your body. Timely treatment can help prevent permanent damage to these areas.


Primary Raynaud's (Raynaud's disease) and secondary Raynaud's (Raynaud's phenomenon) have no cure. However, treatments can reduce the number and severity of Raynaud's attacks. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medicines, and, rarely, surgery.
Most people who have primary Raynaud's can manage the condition with lifestyle changes. People who have secondary Raynaud's may need medicines in addition to lifestyle changes. Rarely, they may need surgery or shots.
If you have Raynaud's and develop sores on your fingers, toes, or other parts of your body, see your doctor right away. Timely treatment can help prevent permanent damage to these areas.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help you avoid things that may trigger a Raynaud's attack. Examples of such triggers include cold temperatures, emotional stress, workplace or recreational factors, and contact with certain chemicals or medicines.

Protect Yourself From Cold Temperatures

To protect yourself from cold temperatures:
  • Wear a hat, mittens (rather than gloves), scarf, coat with snug cuffs, and warm socks and shoes during cold weather. Layer your clothing for extra warmth.
  • Put hand and foot warmers in your mittens, boots, socks, or pockets. Some warmers are small heat packs, and others are battery-operated. These warmers often are available at sporting goods stores.
  • Turn down air conditioning or dress warmly while in an air-conditioned space.
  • Warm up your car before driving in cold weather.
  • Wear gloves or mittens when taking food out of the refrigerator or freezer (if cold temperatures severely affect you).

Avoid Other Triggers

Try to avoid things that make you upset or stressed. Learn ways to
handle stress that you can't avoid. Physical activity helps some people cope with stress. Other people listen to music or focus on something calm or peaceful to reduce stress. Some people learn yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
Try to avoid workplace and recreational triggers. For example, limit the use of vibrating tools, such as drills. Wear proper protective gear if you work with industrial chemicals. Also, try to limit repetitive hand actions, such as typing or playing the piano.
Some medicines can trigger Raynaud's attacks. Examples include:
  • Migraine headache medicines that contain ergotamine. This substance causes your arteries to narrow.
  • Certain cancer medicines, such as cisplatin and vinblastine.
  • Over-the-counter cold or allergy medicines or diet aids. Some of these medicines can narrow your arteries.
  • Beta blockers. These medicines slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
  • Birth control pills. These medicines can affect blood flow.
Talk with your doctor about whether your medicines are safe for you.

Other Lifestyle Changes

Other lifestyle changes also can help you avoid Raynaud's attacks. For example, include physical activity as part of your healthy lifestyle. Physical activity can increase your blood flow and help keep you warm.
Limit your use of caffeine and alcohol. These substances can trigger Raynaud's attacks. If you smoke, quit. Smoking makes Raynaud's worse. Ask your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke.
You also can take steps to help stop Raynaud's attacks when they occur. For example:
  • Move to a warmer spot, such as indoors, during cold weather.
  • Warm your hands or feet. Place your hands under your armpits. Soak your feet or hands in warm water.
  • Wiggle or massage your fingers and toes.
  • Move your arms in circles or shake your arms or feet.
  • Get out of stressful situations and try relaxation techniques.
If you have Raynaud's, be sure to take care of your hands and feet. Protect them from cuts, bruises, and other injuries. For example, wear properly fitted shoes and don't walk barefoot. Use lotion to prevent your skin from drying and cracking. Also, avoid tight wristbands and rings.

Medicines and Surgery

If lifestyle changes don't control Raynaud's, you may need medicines or surgery. Medicines are used to improve blood flow to the fingers and toes.
Examples of medicines used to treat Raynaud's include calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, prescription skin creams, and ACE inhibitors (used less often).
Rarely, people who have severe Raynaud's may develop skin sores or gangrene. "Gangrene" refers to the death or decay of body tissues. If this happens, antibiotics or surgery to cut out the damaged tissue may be needed. In very serious cases, the affected toe or finger may need to be removed.
Another treatment for severe Raynaud's is to block the nerves in the hands or feet that control the arteries. This can help prevent Raynaud's attacks. This treatment is done using surgery or shots.
The surgery often relieves symptoms, but sometimes for only a few years. Shots may need to be repeated if symptoms persist or come back.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Raynaud's Awareness

Raynaud's and breastfeeding

If you have Raynaud's or know someone who does you are aware of the painful symptoms in fingers and toes caused by poor circulation that can be triggered by cold and other things. 

Raynaud's is quite common - apparently 1 in 5 women suffer from it. Raynaud's affects the arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to different parts of your body.
Raynaud's sometimes is called a disease, syndrome, or phenomenon. The disorder is marked by brief episodes of vasospasm (VA-so-spazm), which is a narrowing of the blood vessels.
Vasospasm of the arteries reduces blood flow to the fingers and toes. In people who have Raynaud's, the disorder usually affects the fingers. In about 40 percent of people who have Raynaud's, it affects the toes. 

Are you aware that Raynaud's can affect other parts of the body too?

Raynaud's can affect nipples

Read how this breast feeding doctor found out that Raynaud's can also affect the nipples in a painful way and what drugs she has taken in the past and what she does now to control her symptoms here. 

Thanks Caroline for sharing your helpful story at The Hippocratic Post

Rarely Raynaud's can also affect the nose, ears, and lips.

Important Raynaud's links that can give you more information about this condition which is very common in many autoimmune diseases such as myositis and scleroderma:
RESOURCES: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term

Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term

Even after a change to a healthy diet, body defense remains hyperactive, according to a study by the University of Bonn

On a high-fat and high-calorie diet, the immune system reacts similar to a bacterial infection. This is shown by a recent study led by the University of Bonn. 

Particularly disturbing: Unhealthy eating seems to make bodybuilding more aggressive in the long term. So long after switching to a healthy diet, inflammation occurs faster. These directly promote the development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes. The results appear in the renowned journal "Cell".

The scientists used mice for a month on a so-called "Western diet": high in fat, high in sugar, low in fiber. The animals then developed a massive body-wide inflammation - almost like after infection by dangerous bacteria. "The unhealthy diet has led to an unexpected increase in some immune cells in the blood. This was an indication of the involvement of progenitor cells in the bone marrow in the inflammatory process, "reports Anette Christ, postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Innate Immunity of the University of Bonn. To better understand these changes, scientists isolated the progenitor cells of immune cells from the bone marrow of mice fed with "western diet" or normal diet, and performed a systematic analysis of their function and activation status.
"Genomic studies actually showed that a large number of genes were activated in the precursor cells by the Western diet. Hereditary factors included heredity for their reproduction and maturation. So fast food leads to the fact that the body quickly recruits a huge, powerful fighting force, "explains Prof. Dr. med. Joachim Schultze from the Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) of the University of Bonn and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).
When the researchers offered the rodents their typical cereal diet for another four weeks, the acute inflammation disappeared. What did not go away was the genetic reprogramming of the immune cells: even after these four weeks, many of the hereditary factors active in the fast-food phase were still active in them.
"Fastfood sensor" in the immune cells
"We have only recently known that the innate immune system has a memory," explains Prof. Dr. med. Eicke Latz, director of the Institute for Innate Immunity of the University of Bonn and scientist at the DZNE. "After an infection, the body's defenses remain in a kind of alarm state, so that they can respond more quickly to a new attack." Experts call this the "innate immune training". In the mice, this process was not triggered by a bacterium, but by unhealthy diet.
The scientists even identified the "fast food sensor" in the immune cells responsible for it. They examined blood cells from 120 subjects. In some of these subjects, the innate immune system showed a particularly strong training effect. In them, the researchers found genetic evidence that it is involved in a so-called inflammasome. Inflammasome are sensors of the innate immune system. They detect harmful substances and subsequently release highly inflammatory messengers.
The inflammasome identified in the study is activated by certain food ingredients. Interestingly, this has long-term consequences in addition to the acute inflammatory response: namely, the activation changes the way in which the genetic information is packaged. The genetic material is stored in the DNA. Each cell contains several DNA strands, which together are about two meters long. However, they are wrapped around proteins and strongly entangled. Many genes on the DNA can therefore not be read - they are simply too poorly accessible.
Unhealthy eating causes some of these normally hidden pieces of DNA to unroll - much as if a loop were hanging out of a ball of wool. This area of ​​the genetic material is easier to read in the long term. Scientists speak of epigenetic changes. "The inflammasome triggers such epigenetic changes," explains Prof. Latz. "The immune system reacts in the sequence to small stimuli with stronger inflammatory responses."
Dramatic consequences for the health
These in turn can drastically accelerate the development of vascular diseases or type 2 diabetes. In arteriosclerosis, for example, the typical vascular deposits, the plaques, consist largely of lipids and immune cells. The inflammatory reaction contributes directly to their growth, because constantly new activated immune cells migrate into the altered vessel walls. When the plaques become too large, they burst, are carried away by the bloodstream and can clog other vessels. Possible consequences: stroke or heart attack.
Malnutrition can have dramatic consequences. In recent centuries, average life expectancy has steadily increased in western countries. This trend is being broken for the first time: Anyone born today will probably live shorter on average than his parents. Bad eating and too little exercise should play a decisive role in this.
"These findings therefore have enormous social relevance," explains Latz. "The foundations of a healthy diet need to become much more important than today. Only in this way can we immunize children at an early stage against the temptations of the food industry - before they develop long-term consequences. Children have a choice of what they eat every day. We should enable them to make a conscious choice in their diet. "
The work involved groups from the Netherlands, the USA, Norway and Germany. Latz and Schultze are members of the Cluster of Excellence "ImmunoSensation", which deals with the achievements of the innate immune system. Latz is considered one of the most internationally renowned researchers in this field. In December he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for his work. This is considered one of the most prestigious science awards in Germany.
Publication: Anette Christ, Patrick Günther, Mario AR Lauterbach, Peter Duewell, Debjani Biswas, Karin Pelka, Claus J. Scholz, Marije Oosting, Kristian Haendler, Kevin Baßler, Kathrin Klee, Jonas Schulte-Schrepping, Thomas Ulas, Simone JCFM Moorlag, Vinod Kumar, Min Hi Park, Leo AB Joosten, Laszlo A. Groh, Niels P. Riksen, Terje Espevik, Andreas Schlitzer, Yang Li, Michael L. Fitzgerald, Mihai G. Netea, Joachim L. Schultze and Eicke Latz: Western diet triggers NLRP3-dependent innate immune reprograming; Cell, DOI: 10.1016 / j.cell.2017.12.013
Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz 
Institute for Innate Immunity, University of Bonn 
and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) 
Tel .: 0228 / 287-51223 
University of Bonn. "Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term: Study shows that even after a change to a healthy diet, the body's defenses remain hyperactive." 


Therefore, autoimmune diseases are getting worse and worse

Danish researcher has helped break the code of how diseases where the immune system attacks the body is spreading. 
ARTICLE BY  Kristian Sjøgren Journalist from translated here into English.
Psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases just get worse and worse. (Photo: Shutterstock)

When the immune system attacks the body, it is almost unnoticed, but slowly attacked more powerful and more powerful until it develops into debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases.
Now, a Danish researcher, along with researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, has revealed how the immune system constantly intensifies its attack.
The discovery can eventually help detect and control the diseases before they completely break through.
"It's a big step in the right direction to develop medicine that can effectively slow down the negative spiral that the immune system is taking," says Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University. Søren Egedal Degn, co-author of the study.
The new study is published in the scientific journal Cell.
Professor Gunnar Houen from the State Serum Institute calls it a very large and interesting work.
"The results emphasize the importance of co-operation between the innate and induced immune system and the importance of the B cells in that context," says Gunnar Houen.

Autoimmune diseases make researchers wonder

The immune system is designed to eliminate viruses, bacteria and other foreign bodies by recognizing antibodies and attaching to so-called antigens that can sit on the surface of a bacterium.
Subsequently, the antibodies attract other parts of the immune system that neutralize the threat.
Sometimes it goes wrong.
When the immune system attacks the body, the immune system's B cells make antibodies that recognize antigens in the body's own tissue, own proteins or own DNA and attack them.
From there, things escalate slowly, and in a disease such as lupus, researchers can see traces of the autoimmune reaction up to ten years before, the patient meets the doctor and gets the diagnosis.
This development has for many years led researchers to wonder in the scalp.
"We can understand that the immune system can mistake and attack the body itself. But so far we have not been able to understand why the reaction is constantly getting stronger and stronger while spreading to other tissues and organs. That is what we have now found out, "says Søren Egedal Degn.
Three out of four people affected by autoimmune diseases are women. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The immune system reinforces its attack

Søren Egedal Degn's research shows that the immune system's B cells, which produce the antibodies that react with the body's own cells, constantly recruit other B cells to participate in the fight against what they think is a threat.
It occurs in the so-called 'germ centers' within the lymph nodes and spleen where the B cells develop their antibodies. The purpose of the centers is to ensure that the B cells produce antibodies that recognize the foreign bodies as best as possible, so that they constantly enrich the antibodies' ability to bind to the antigens.
The problem is simply that B cells that are programmed to make a type of antibody raise B cells that make another antibody into the germs. In this way, the immune system goes from attacking one place in the body to two places in the body to three places and so on.
"It is a negative spiral where the B cells continue to recognize something new in the body and constantly enhance their response. In other words, one type B cells, which only attack one place in the body, mean that many B cells attack many different parts of the body. It is spreading as little in the water, thus developing autoimmune diseases to the worse, "explains Søren Egedal Degn.

Discovery can be used diagnostically

According to Søren Egedal Degn, the new discovery can be the starting point for drug development that puts an end to the destructive behavior of B-cells and germs.
He tells that discovery can help put the finger on the mechanism to be controlled if the autoimmune diseases are under control.
"Our results can be used to increase momentum in the direction of developing drugs that aim to try to quench the germs. We may also be able to use diagnostic surveys of the germ centers to see if various autoimmune diseases are on the rise, "says Søren Egedal Degn.
Discovered the behavior of B-cells by one case
The new discovery occurred in a case when Søren Egedal Degn with colleagues examined the autoimmune disease lupus in mice. Here they examined the germ cells to find out how the immune system of the mouse reacts during the disease.
To their great surprise, they also found a lot of other B cells inside the sex centers, many of which recognized antigens in other organs and tissues of the body.
"They would not, under normal circumstances, become autoreactive, but we could see that they became because they were pulled in there by other B cells. From there we went on to study the findings and confirmed it in various museum and cell trials, "says Søren Egedal Degn.


Low-gluten strain of wheat, which could be good news for people with gluten intolerance

Scientists create Low-gluten strain of wheat

A low-gluten strain of wheat has been developed by scientists at the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture in Cordoba, Spain. This is good news for people with gluten intolerance or possibly even celiac disease.

The new cereal has been created using a gene-editing technique called CRISPR/Cas9 tool. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and is a genetic modification technique. This technology has been used to eliminate the majority of the gliadins in wheat. These are the gluten proteins which cause most of the gluten intolerance issues for people triggering celiac disease in genetically predisposed individuals.”

We show that CRISPR/Cas9 technology can be used to precisely and efficiently reduce the amount of α-gliadins in the seed kernel, providing bread and durum wheat lines with reduced immunoreactivity for gluten intolerant consumers. Dr. Francisco Barro Losada, geneticist whose team carried out the research.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It's what gives bread it's soft texture and the lack of it is why many gluten free breads are just not soft like wheat bread.

Certain conditions can cause an adverse reaction to gluten. Many people with autoimmune disease report that they feel better when they remove gluten from their diet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that requires celiacs to completely remove gluten from their diets. Their immune systems respond incorrectly to gluten, which damages the gut lining and can lead to bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, malnutrition, anemia, brain damage and even gut cancers.

Let's hope that this low-gluten strain of wheat will soon be used to make low-gluten bread.

Journal Reference: Low-gluten, nontransgenic wheat engineered with CRISPR/Cas9.

You might also be interested in the video The Difference Between Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity


First RNA-Based Blood Test to Identify IBS and IBD

Diagnostic company IQuity has introduced the first RNA-based blood test to identify Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) share similar symptoms but are very different conditions requiring unique treatment. Current criteria for diagnosing gastrointestinal disorders can take more than a year while abdominal pain and discomfort continues. IQuity

This test will give answers earlier than previously possible for people with IBS and IBD. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule essential in various biological roles in coding and expression of genes.

The researchers conducted longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of both autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases. They found that differences detected at the level of RNA can provide an accurate snapshot of a person’s disease. Using RNA, they can tell at a very early stage if a pattern exists that indicates a specific disease. This means treatments can be started earlier.

Nashville-based life science technology company IQuity has announced the release of IsolateIBS-IBD


Autoimmune Research Roundup 2017

autoimmune research in 2017

Hot Topics from 2017 were:

Vitamin D and Autoimmune diseases

The gut microbiome and responses in the immune system e.g.

Multiple Sclerosis

Systemic lupus erythematous

This is a roundup of recent research that has been done on Autoimmune diseases from around the world - all of them are from 2017. By no means is it a conclusive list. 

An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome from University of Maryland Medical Center
Untreated sleep apnea: higher risk blood sugar level spikes, stress hormones & blood pressure, new study finds.


Health quotes

Health quotes
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, 
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. - World Health Organization
Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings. 
Publilius Syrus
Health quotes
 'I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. 
Caring for myself is an act of survival.'

If you have health, you probably will be happy, 
and if you have health and happiness, 
you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.

 Our illness does not define us. Our strength and courage does.

'Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed.     It means the damage no longer controls our life.'
'Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed

It means the damage no longer controls our life.'


Autoimmune hepatitis

Information about Autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare condition and caused by the body’s immune system attacking the liver. It can affect all age groups, all ethnic groups and all geographical regions though there is a predominance in females.

Autoimmune hepatitis was previously called lupoid hepatitis, as most patients had systemic lupus erythematosus, and also chronic active hepatitis (CAH).


Initial symptoms may include fatigue, muscle aches, fever, abdomen pain and jaunice (yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes). Other symptoms may include weight loss and pain in the small joints of fingers. It is often seen in people with other autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease or autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimto's), primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
liver diagram

13th July 2017: Association of autoimmune hepatitis with Src homology 2 adaptor protein 3 gene polymorphisms in Japanese patients
Takeji Umemura, Satoru Joshita, Hideaki Hamano, Kaname Yoshizawa, Shigeyuki Kawa, Eiji Tanaka and Masao Ota

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic inflammatory liver disease characterized by an autoimmune reaction to hepatocytes. Read more

May 2017: Autoimmune hepatitis: review of histologic features included in the simplified criteria proposed by the international autoimmune hepatitis group and proposal for new histologic criteria
Dana Balitzer, Nafis Shafizadeh, Marion G Peters, Linda D Ferrell, Najeeb Alshak and Sanjay Kakar

Simplified criteria for diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis are based on autoantibodies, serum immunoglobulin G, histologic features, and negative viral serology. Read more

22nd April 2017: Immunoserological and histological differences between autoimmune hepatitis with acute presentation and chronic autoimmune hepatitis

Kazufumi Dohmen, Hirofumi Tanaka, Masatora Haruno, Shinichi Aishima
The histological features of clinically chronic autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) have been well established, with interface hepatitis and plasma cell infiltration as hallmark lesions, however, the immunoserological and histological features of recent-onset and acute AIH remain undefined. Read on

2017: Recurrent Autoimmune Liver Diseases After Liver Transplantation
A. J. Montano-Loza; R. A. Bhanji; S. Wasilenko; A. L. Mason

Indications for liver transplantation (LT) in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) Read more at Medscape

31st August 2016: Autoimmune hepatitis: current challenges and future prospects
Aizawa Y, Hokari A

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic progressive liver disease characterized by high levels of aminotransferases and autoantibodies, hypergammaglobulinemia, and interface hepatitis. Read more

Liver diagram                      
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