Any home remedies for Raynaud's

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    I don't really know that's what it is, but SOMETHING over the past few years has happened to make my fingers act as though they are frost bitten in even a moderate amount of cold (particularly if my hands are wet). My hands will go bright red from the knuckles down, my fingers go kind of numb, and I'll get extreme pain when my hands warm up again. Needless to say, this is a royal pain when working outdoors in the winter. Just wondering if anybody has heard of a remedy.
     
  2. Cindy in Nebraska

    Cindy in Nebraska Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    HI Amelia,
    I have had raynauds for at least 16 years. I only use the natural methods. Procardia,etc. causes heart disease. That is the meds that they wanted me to take. If you are interested send me private message and I will give more details. You live in a great state to get help. Cindy
     

  3. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    VT
    Wait! Don't post privately! I mean... unless your recommendations aren't suitable for a family audience!

    Raynauds is a condition where the body misinterperts signals from the extremities... simple chilling is interpreted as 'oh my gosh we're gonna die!' and the body reacts by closing down the blood vessles in the extremities to bring the blood back and save the core.

    In advanced stages the extremities can look and act like someone in advanced stages of diabetes: you'll have such constant numbness you won't be able to tell if your hands (or in my case feet) really are cold, damp, bruised, etc... and you'll lose toes and fingers.

    I agree with Amelia... pain in the tushie doesn't begin to quite cover it. On a cold day I will get through roughly 1/3 of the chores before the toes start to "go." Then it is a race with disaster. If I lose, my toes will swell and be extrememly painful for days... days in which, of course, life doesn't just stop for my toes, so it gets worse and worse.

    So.. this is what I've found that helps:

    Because this is an issue of my body being confused by signals, I use good old fashioned "wristers," an old fisherman's fingerless mitten (think "Bob Cratchet" in his office hunched over his books) under my mittens or gloves. If I need my fingers my wrists are still protected from the cold, and this seems to help keep my body from deciding a few seconds of cold air constitutes an emergency.

    I wear a hat.. wear a hat! Seriously. Give up on the hairstyle and wear a hat every time you go out.

    I get my boots off as soon as I get back in the house and check my feet... if they are chilled (as in cold to the touch but not painful) I wrap a hot soapstone brick in a towel and plunk my feet on the warmth until they're nice and warm again (you could do the same thing by clutching a nice hot cup of coffee for fingers).

    We've been told that people who suffer from this benefit greatly from a sauna. Not something in our budget, but apparently the dry intense heat of a sauna opens all those little blood vessles up full bore and to great benefit. I do know that I once had a gym membership with sauna facilities and it was the most comfortable winter I've ever spent... so there could be something to this.

    But your most important tool in the war is your brain. Think every step through before you do it. "I'm going outside... I absolutely need to do this, so I'll do this first, then if my hands are ok I'll..." and you need to stop and rewarm if you have to. In my case keeping a couple pair of thick slippers around so I always have something on my feet is helpful... in Amelia's case investing in gloves for household chores, anything to protect your hands... might be a plan.

    Just the most annoying condition, isn't it?
     
  4. Cindy in Nebraska

    Cindy in Nebraska Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Ok I won't post privately.
    I did use the sauna in the beginning for three hours a day as part of a detox program. Then I had a colonic everyday for five days a week for six weeks. I exercised, cleaned up the diet, and took a variety of vitamins, B shots , minerals, and some herbs. Massage in the beginning was once a week but went to twice a week later. They explained that I was just that bad. I felt pretty bad when I went to Seattle. But with this program I had no symptoms of Raynauds for at least three years. The doctor explained that this part of Nebraska is way too toxic for me to live in but my husband refused to move. I am worse now just as the doctor says. We live in the cornbelt and the chemicals these idiots use is unblievable. One of those idiots is my son. The more I learn about our food and how it is raised the more I feel our society is screwed. We have a neighbor south of us who claims to be organic but he sprayed for thistles in his pasture. My son was in the tree when he did the spraying. This farmer is selling his meat to people in New York as organic.
    My raynauds is secondary to scleroderma. Raynauds really is serious and you should be evaluated by a doctor. I refused to take procardia 16 years ago and now I find out it causes heart disease. The doctors here get pretty upset with me. But every single drug they want me to take such as Viox, Celebrex, Bextra, etc. causes more problems.
    I am currently working with a naturopath in Billings, MT and they use the same program. The people are watching me very closely here. some are convinced that the natural way is better, less side effects.
    The other thing I do is take MSM by iv therapy. Unbelievable results. With scleroderma your skin turns hard but my does not. I could talk forever on this. Let me know if you have anymore questions. Cindy
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

    Messages:
    30,688
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
  6. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    My dad has Reynauds and uses the B vitamins to keep it at bay. I'd have to ask specificially but I believe it's a combination of all the B's, taken each day. A while back he had surgery, didn't take his vitamins and within a week or so his Reynauds was back. After starting his vitamins again he noticed it gone again in about 2 weeks. Dad has alot of cardiovascular problems which doesn't help.

    Good luck.

    LisaBug
     
  7. jejabean

    jejabean Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have Reynauds...and I am so glad someone posted it, as there are a lot of people who have no idea they have the syndrome. I mentioned it on another board, and a person had no idea what she had...so keep up the good info!
     
  8. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    So glad someone has posted about this...I have this,too. Found out after having spells where I would black out just sitting at my desk...my astute doc asked me if I had ever noticed my hands going dead white when cold and it was so true. The feet that itch like fire when cold was another sign that I had ignored. My hands can do this in an overly air-conditioned store for heavens sake! Glad I'm not still living in MI but we get cold here in Mo,too. Wear wool gloves/mittens always that I knit....try finding wool these days. Always wear a hat and wool socks...try those wool Smartsocks that you can wash in the machine--they are the berries. A tad expensive but they last forever even wearing clogs which wear out all my socks. Cheaper than loosing toes.
    Can't do much more to improve diet as we grow our own meat,eggs,veggies. Have a deep well. Take vitamins daily. Glad to say I never took any of the drugs since it seems they all come back to bite you in the future. Hate to say I pooh-poohed this dx. until my daughter started telling me about a resident in her nursing home that had had most of her fingers amputated d/t constant pain...now I am much more diligent about my self!! DEE
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Your feet will be more comfortable if you will keep them absolutely dry. You need a min of two pairs of each footwear. Two prs of slippers, two prs snow boots, two prs work shoes etc. Change your socks several times a day and put them to dry. You don't need to get freshly washed socks that often, just dry the ones you take off. Change shoes each time you change socks and put the shoes where they can dry. Don't leave the shoes on the floor.

    You are right about the chemicals being the root cause of both the scleroderma and the Reynaud's. Look up multiple chemical sensitivity on the web. There is lots of info on it. This world is getting more toxic by the day. I try to make my home a safe haven from all the chemicals that I can, but there is only so much I can do. I had to move from CO because of the air pollution. The odd thing is how many people thought the air was ok. Even the ones who were sick because of the pollution couldn't seem to equate the two.
     
  10. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

    Messages:
    14,723
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Back in the USA
    I haven't heard of this as a remedy, but gingko dilates the fine capillaries if you take it consistantly. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to start seeing the effects. It's used extensively in Europe for memory enhancement by enabling the brain to get more oxygen. By counteracting the bodys' attempts to shut down blood flow to the extremities you may get some relief.
     
  11. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Messages:
    3,471
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    I've got it, too, secondary to...who knows? After years of testing, they still don't know...

    At any rate, I use heat packs. They make reusable ones, and disposable chemical, air activated (that use iron, water, cellulose, vermiculite, activated carbon and salt) packs. There are insoles for shoes that hold small ones next to your toes. I also use them in my mittens. (I never use gloves, as that separates my fingers and makes them less able to retain heat).

    To do morning chores, I pop one in a mitten. My hands are much worse than my feet, so I only put them in my boots on Saturday, which is long-chore day. I can't actually Use my hands in the mittens, but I switch the hot pack back and forth, from one mitten to the other. When the free hand starts to get cold, I switch. I also wear lots of layers, a big down coat with hood, and both mittens and boots are sheepskin.

    My husband laughs at me, but Raynauds attacks can be extremely painful when the blood starts coming back.

    Remember...never rub or massage those affected parts. That can break those blood vessels and lead to worse problems. It's tempting, but don't do it!

    Meg :)
     
  12. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,891
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    No offense, Darren, but PLEASE don't go to the store and buy gingko and just start taking it. Gingko can mess with blood pressure, and even cause eye capillary bleeding. I am all for using natural methods over prescriptions, I really am, but do your research well. Many pharmacists are now educated on interactions between herbs and drugs, and there are a lot of good books available.

    I worked in a natural foods store for many, many years. It was frightening how many folks came in off the street and bought stuff that they knew almost nothing about. Thanks for starting this thread, as my best friend also suffers from this condition.
     
  13. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    How does one know if he/she has reynaud's vs. chronic cold feet and hands?

    I've often wondered if I have it because in the winter my feet and hands get cold in the house with the temp at 70.

    I've asked my doctor and he just says some people stint more blood in their extremeties.

    MY hands and feet have always gotten colder faster than other people's. When I was a kid, I felt like such a wimp.
     
  14. Cindy in Nebraska

    Cindy in Nebraska Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Darren,
    You have to be so careful taking herbs with any autoimmune disease!!!!! That is why I said to work with a qualified naturopath. The only naturopaths I would consider seeing is if they graduated from Bastyr or the one in Arizona. Herbs can do alot of damage.
    It is interesting that the heart doctor here gives his patients B vitamins for the circulation.
    All these treatments are good for lupus, etc. When I was in Billings last they were working with a ms patient. I have no idea what they were doing.
    My regular doctor wants to give me predinizone(sp). I won't take it. He said it was there when I was ready for it. I won't take it. Cindy
     
  15. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

    Messages:
    14,723
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Back in the USA
    Daisy, like you, I believe in doing the research. One of the definitive sources of herbal uses is The Complete German Commission E Monographs. It lists as contraindications hypersensitivity to Ginkgo biloba preparations. Side effects are listed as very seldom stomach or intestinal upsets, headaches, or allergic skin reactions. There are no special cautions for use. There are no known interactions with other drugs. It's also shown as safe for use during pregnancy and lactation. Also shown is no known possibility of overdosage.

    The German Commission E is one of the many German commissions that review studies to determine which treatments are approved. They operate somewhat like our FDA.

    The phramacological effects established experimentally include:

    Improvement of hypoxic tolerance, particularyly in the cerebral tissue.

    Inhibition of the development of traumatically or toxically induced cerebral edema, and acceleration of it regression.

    Reduction of retinal edema and of cellular lesions in the retina.

    Increased memory performance and learning capacity.

    Improvement in the compensation of disturbed equilibrium.

    Improvement of blood flow, particularly in the region of microcirculation.

    Neuroprotective effect.

    I didn't list them all but the studies don't indicate that ginkgo affects blood pressure or causes capillary eye bleeding. I'm not a doctor, but I do search out herbal info and like you suggest others do the same.
     
  16. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I'm glad this thread got started. I did some reading about scleroderma, and I think my daughter has it. She has thick, hard patches of skin on her hands and one on her right ankle bone. I can't remember if I ever asked a doctor about it or not -- we recently moved here, and haven't found a new doctor yet (but I guess it's time). She's twenty-four, and I think she's had this for at least ten or twelve years -- I've been trying to remember when I first noticed it. She has other autoimmune issues; she's autistic, has celiac disease and vitiligo. She also has a couple of issues that, from the reading I've just been doing, may be related to the scleroderma. I don't know. I'm going to have to find a doctor and see what we can find out. It's hard to tell what else might be going on besides the things I've noticed, as she doesn't often tell me when something is hurting or bothering her.

    Kathleen
     
  17. horselogger

    horselogger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    a covered wagon crossing america
    exerciseing in a manner that is reasonable ......It increases circulationetc etc etc. One thing that I will commment about is that stress will only make things worse.
     
  18. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Thoughthound, one symptom of Reynauds is the flattening of the finger tips. Another is the affected extremities turning white. I have cold feet and hands 99% of the year but don't have Reynauds. Dad has tried alot of different things, warm water, electric heated gloves, exercise and none of them worked for him. The B vitamins are the only thing that help him. Keep in mind it may take some experimenting to find the right combination of 'cures'.

    LisaBug
     
  19. Natureschild

    Natureschild Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    What about cayenne? Has anyone tried that?
    I dont have raynauds, so I dont know for sure it would help, but cayenne is pretty impressive.
    I was doing some 'health benefits of...' google searches and I did cayenne and came up with tons of good info and studies too.
     
  20. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    323
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    I have Raynauds and started taking Norvasc this fall. I live in northern Minnesota and chores were nearly impossible. We have had some pretty mild temps this year, but I have to say I think the Norvasc has helped. Not cured - but eased some of the issues.
    I ride horses competitively and still must stop ever 10 minutes or so to "windmill" my arms to gain feeling back in my hands.
    I am interested to hear what others have done to ease their pains...