One in six people in the UK have Raynaud’s phenomenon, and while the condition is not deadly it can signal other more serious conditions or lead to tissue death and a need for amputation. It’s normal to get chilly hands in cold weather, but if any of the following five signs accompany the coldness you may have Raynaud’s phenomenon. Express.co.uk reveals the most common symptoms of Raynaud’s, according to Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK (SRUK).
The five worrying signs of Raynaud’s
Cold hands and/or cold fingers
As mentioned, the most obvious symptom of Raynaud’s is that you acutely feel the cold in your extremities.
Most people think about Raynaud’s as existing exclusively in the hands, but the conditions can affect all extremities.
The Mayo Clinic points out that Raynaud’s affects your hands and feet mainly but it can also impact your nose, lips, ears and even nipples.
However, it’s worth mentioning that experiencing a chill in your hands and feet does not necessarily mean you have Raynaud’s.
The experts at SRUK pointed out: “Poor circulation and genetics can also be a factor.
“If you’re concerned that you experience the cold abnormally, check whether or not you have some of the other signs in this list, or speak to your GP.”
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Visible reactions to stress or anxiety
Raynaud’s comes in bouts, it isn’t usually a 24/7 condition.
The symptoms can last from a few minutes to several hours and sometimes people can go for long periods without any symptoms or find the condition has disappeared completely.
SRUK explained: “Though Raynaud’s is most often associated with a drop in temperature, attacks can actually be triggered by stress as well.
“The phenomenon is caused by over-sensitive small blood vessels, which means they react in a similar way to stress as they do to cold.
“If you’ve noticed that your hands display any of these symptoms when you’re experiencing periods of enhanced stress, Raynaud’s might be the culprit.”
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Stinging or painful fingers afterwards
After a Raynaud’s attack, the blood vessels begin to relax and expand again, allowing blood to flow back into your extremities.
This is a good thing, but it comes with its downside and a lot of pain.
SRUK explained: “Unfortunately, upon warming up or alleviating your stress, you may encounter a stinging sensation or throbbing pain in your fingers or throughout your hands.”