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Last month, science moved one step closer to working out what causes a chronic cold hands condition that blights hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

The study found changes to two genes were responsible for Raynaud’s syndrome, a chronic condition that makes it difficult for blood supply to reach the fingers and toes.

In the meantime, healthcare experts recommend a series of rapid remedies that can provide at least some relief when the condition’s notorious symptoms – freezing cold hands and feet – strikes.

While healthcare experts have identified risk factors and lifestyle or medical issues related to the syndrome, until now, no known genetic cause had been discovered

Raynaud’s – estimated to impact two to five percent of people – causes miniature spasms in the blood vessels, cutting off the blood supply to the fingers and toes

Run warm water over your hands and feet

When a Raynaud’s attack hits, warm water can ease muscles and improve circulation. 

This is because warm water is a vasodilator, meaning it expands blood vessels, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cautions against using hot water because it can burn the skin or numb your extremities, making it difficult to feel any relief. 

Run your hands under a warm tap and throw on some extra layers of clothes afterwards to try and retain the heat. 

Swing your arms in circles over the body

The National Institutes for Health also recommends swinging your arms in a windmill pattern to improve blood flow to the arms and hands. 

This can be done when you’re standing or out for a walk. 

Similarly, the Mayo Clinic also suggests wiggling your fingers and toes or placing your hands under your armpits, which are naturally warm and help keep body heat close to you. 

Bundle up

At the first sign of a Raynaud’s attack, reach for mittens or a pair of wool socks to warm up your body fast. 

Alberta Health Services in Canada suggests opting for mittens over gloves because mittens keep fingers together, which helps increase body heat. 

However, while indoors, try fingerless gloves so you can still type or perform other tasks that require using your hands. 

There are several fingerless gloves on Amazon and other retailers that are designed for offices – so if you don’t mind a few funny looks, this could be the way to go. 

And while it might sound counterintuitive – experts recommend you avoid tight clothing because that can restrict blood flow.  

Stay away from the AC

The Mayo Clinic advises patients with Raynaud’s to avoid rapidly changing temperatures, such as going from a hot location to a cold location quickly. This could be ducking into the produce aisle of a grocery store on a hot summer day. 

If you do have to step into the AC, layer with warm clothing to avoid your body temperature changing too quickly. 

The American College of Rheumatology also suggests not keeping AC settings on too strong during the summer.

Go for a walk

If the weather allows, getting out for a short walk can bring some warmth to cold hands and feet. 

This is because walking increases heart rate. As your heart rate goes up, the blood vessels expand. 

In turn, this improves circulation and allows for more oxygen to flow through your hands and feet.

What is Raynaud’s disease?

Raynaud’s condition, triggered by drops in temperature or an increase in stress, causes the blood vessels in the fingers and toes contract, cutting off blood supply.

It can also affect the tiny arteries in the nose, ears and tongue.

Typically, Raynaud’s causes the fingers or toes to turn white and numb.

Then, as the blood flow returns, they turn blue and eventually red, accompanied by a burning sensation. Attacks can last from a few minutes to an hour.

Nine out of ten cases are in women, with most sufferers having their first attack before the age of 40.

Although attacks peak in the cold winter months, symptoms can be triggered by everyday tasks such as taking food out of the freezer, air conditioning, or even stress — all of which cause blood vessels to contract.

Most patients can cope by wrapping up warm, although some develop painful weeping ulcers, which can become infected. 

Although Raynaud’s is common, only a small number of patients go on to develop a more serious connective tissue disease called scleroderma.

It can cause disability and can be life-threatening, which is why it is important to be diagnosed early on so any complications of the condition can be properly treated.

Raynaud’s has a straightforward treatment and can be temporarily cured with a drug called nifedipine which relaxes the muscles of your heart and blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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