Custom Search

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What is Raynauds?

Raynauds phenomena is a vasospastic disorder of the hands that manifest as intermittent episodes of extreme pallor, followed by cyanosis, and extreme vasodilation and redness of the hands.

Basically the hands turn white, blue, and then red because the blood vessels first constrict and the tissues lose oxygen, followed by vasodilation of the vessels resulting in intense redness, swelling, throbbing, and paresthesias.

Episodes may be triggered by emotional upset and typically resolve with warming.

What natural treatments can I use for Raynauds?

The latest complementary and alternative medicine research shows great promise for those with Raynaud’s disease and phenomena. Raynaud’s phenomena is typically associated with autoimmune diseases and will benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet as well as an allergy elimination diet.

In addition to diet, herbs, and nutritional therapies; be sure to investigate the root cause of the disease. Sit down with a naturopath and have them go through your complete health history.

Lifestyle Remedies for Raynauds

  • Try acupuncture! Acupuncture was shown to be effective for those with Raynauds.
  • Quit smoking! Smoking has been shown to exacerbate symptoms by creating inflammatory oxidative stress to the system, as well as affecting nitric oxide levels which dilate our blood vessels.
  • Stress management. Stress constricts our blood vessels, and exacerbates nearly all health conditions. Try a stress management technique such as “Five Minutes to Zen”.

Diet for Raynauds

  • Anti-inflammatory diet
  • Allergy Elimination diet.
  • Trial three week elimination of gluten (wheat, barley, oats, and rye) or testing for Celiac disease via small bowel biopsy (gold standard) or blood testing via celiac panel (about 98% accurate and should include tissue transglutaminase and anti-gliadin antibodies). Note if improvement in symptom frequency, duration, and severity improve. Challenge with pure forms of wheat for three days straight, and note if symptoms worsen. Several published reports have seen correlations with Celiac disease, a form of extreme gluten intolerance.

Raynauds and Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba 120mg standardized extract. Ginkgo biloba is fabulous for the ciruclatory system, and is also helpful for vision, memory, and cognition.

Raynauds and Evening Primrose

Evening primrose oil at 500mg daily was shown to be somewhat effective. I would opt for fish oil unless you are vegetarian as fish oil is a more potent anti-inflammatory agent.

Vitamin E and Raynauds

Vitamin E at 800 IU resulted in improvement from an individual case report. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin E work to reduce oxidative stress to tissues.


This website is intended for educational purposes only. Read our full disclaimer. Always work with your physician for proper care and supervision. Never make any changes to your health care without first consulting with your physician. Have your physician check for drug interactions, and always be cautious when combining natural medicines and prescription drugs for Raynauds.