I have Raynaud's syndrome. When I get cold, my fingers turn white, then turn blue and then go red. When they turn white, it feels like I've been out in the snow for hours. My doctor told me to move to a warmer climate. That's impractical. I hope you have some advice.
Spasms in small blood vessels are thought to precipitate an attack, especially in response to cold.
Staying warm is the usual recommendation for Raynaud's, but as you point out, that's not always practical. Doctors sometimes prescribe blood pressure medicines such as prazosin or nifedipine. Pentoxifylline may also improve circulation.
Viagra might help Raynaud's victims when other approaches do not work. New research in the Nov. 8 journal Circulation suggests that this drug for erectile dysfunction can also relieve symptoms of Raynaud's.
Long ago, when I was in high school, my baseball coach provided oil of wintergreen for our sore muscles. Is this approach still considered valid?
Oil of wintergreen, also known as methyl salicylate, is a time-honored rub or liniment used for sprains, strains, aches, pains and arthritis.
You will find this compound in products such as Bengay original formula, Icy Hot cream, Musterole Deep Strength Rub, Mentholatum Deep Heating Lotion and Thera-Gesic Creme. It stimulates pain receptors for heat or cold and interferes with messages from sore muscles or joints.
Joe Graedon, a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon, an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition, can be reached at http://www.peoplespharmacy.com .