Raynaud Syndrome and Raynaud Phenomenon
Alternate Names : Raynaud Disease
Raynaud syndrome is a condition that causes repeated episodes of
tightening, or constriction, of the blood vessels called arteries. The
tightening of the arteries interrupts the blood flow to the fingertips or toes.
Raynaud phenomenon is a related condition that is linked to an underlying
What is going on in the body?
In both Raynaud syndrome and Raynaud phenomenon, the blood vessels
that supply an area constrict. During an attack, little or no blood flow
reaches affected areas, which become cold and pale. Attacks may last a few
minutes or as long as several hours. They may be mild or severe. Rarely, the
tissue of the fingers can die from complete blockage of a blood
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Raynaud syndrome may be triggered by several factors, including
repeated vibrations, as in workers who use power tools
Raynaud phenomenon is linked to underlying health problems, such
atherosclerosis, or blockage and hardening of the arteries
such as scleroderma
which is marked by pain in the fingers or toes and occurs in some heavy
syndrome, a condition caused by pressure on the median nerve at the
condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland
Certain medicines can cause Raynaud phenomenon. These include:
beta-blockers used to treat high
ergotamine used for
over-the-counter cold medicines
Raynaud syndrome is five times more common among women
than men. The disorder is usually diagnosed before age 40. In fact, 75% of the
cases of Raynaud syndrome occur in women who are 15 to 40 years old. It occurs
more often during the winter and in cold climates.