Some of the home remedies for Raynaud’s Disease include relaxation techniques, biofeedback training, increased amounts of vitamin B3, bananas and other potassium-heavy foods, ginkgo biloba, ginger, magnesium supplements, nuts, seafood, leafy vegetables, eggs, and citrus fruits, as well as behavioral changes such as avoiding caffeine, reducing stress, and quitting smoking.
Introduction to Raynaud’s Disease
Raynaud’s Disease is an unusual condition that is actually a symptom of something else, perhaps more serious. Basically, it is a hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in an extreme constriction of the blood vessels, therefore slowing down circulation and resulting in localized hypoxia (a lack of air/blood to cells). When these secondary blood vessels are unable to push blood through, the skin loses its color and sensation. This is called Raynaud’s Phenomenon, but it is often called Raynaud’s Disease when this becomes a chronic problem. Sometimes, chronic Raynaud’d Disease is an indication of systemic lupus erythematosus.
Some of the most common symptoms of Raynaud’s Disease is numbness or discoloration in the extremities of your vascular system (fingers and toes), emotional stress, and long, brittle nails. When the skin is exposed to cold, and the temperature of the body srops, the skin turns pale or white, evidence of a loss of blood to the area. This is usually in the hands, fingers, toes, feet, and earlobes. However, when the ocygen supply is depleted, the skin turns blue, so this condition manifests in two different ways. In both instances, when blood or oxygen is returned, the color flushes back to red, often accompanied by swelling and more pain as the tissues and cells regain their functionality. This can be compared to a foot “falling asleep” or getting “pins and needles”. The numbness is quickly replaced by painful tingling for a few moments. This effect lasts even longer with Raynaud’s Disease.
Primary Raynaud’s Disease is when the condition is idiopathic, meaning that it is not caused in conjunction with any other disease. Obviously, there are a number of conditions that can result in low blood or oxygen flow to the body’s extremities, but Raynaud’s disease that stands alone is often hereditary. Also, smoking can cause the disease to develop, or can exacerbate any symptoms, since it is a natural vasoconstrictor. You can go to your doctor and ask for the normal medicinal treatments, but there are a number of home remedies that can take care of the condition’s symptoms for you. These home remedies are much milder on your system and do not have nearly as many side effects as what a doctor might prescribe. Some of the most popular and effective home remedies are explained below!
Home Remedies for Raynaud’s Disease
Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba has been one of the most trusted natural remedies for a massive range of health conditions. Ginkgo biloba has long been known as a vasodilator and a stimulant for the circulatory system. It is a slow remedy to become effective, simply because it takes a few months for all of the ginkgo biloba to build up in your system. However, it has been proven to reduce Raynaud’s Disease symptoms by approximately 50%, and has been used for other circulatory issues for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In the war of staying warm and keeping your blood flowing, ginkgo biloba might be best!
Relaxation Techniques: Much of the research about Raynaud’s points to mental health as a major trigger for the disease. It is also one of the major symptoms – additional emotional stress. For this reason, most alternative treatments should be coupled with relaxation techniques of some kind, which have been shown to relax tension in the body, thereby increasing circulation and positive endorphins. Yoga, pilates, and meditation are all known to help reduce the occurrence of Raynaud’s episodes.
Biofeedback Training: Biofeedback training is like meditation 2.0, and combines relaxation techniques with instructional lessons on how to control the body’s processes consciously. It does include some technological devices, and it isn’t a total “home” remedy, but it is an alternative solution for many people who are looking for relief without turning to the pharmaceutical industry.
Vitamin B-3 Supplementation: Although all vitamins are important for the body, vitamin B3 plays a key role in increasing blood flow to the surface of the skin and regulating the dilation of blood vessels throughout the body. Also known as niacin, vitamin B-3 can be increased by taking specific supplements, or by increasing the consumption of foods, such as seafood, pork, chicken, liver, portobello mushrooms, green peas, and sunflower seeds, all of which are high in niacin.
Potassium Power: Potassium is an essential mineral that controls both the fluid balance in the body (along with sodium) and the dilation of the blood vessels and arteries. Since Raynaud’s decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the extremities, food like bananas and other potassium-packed foods are very important to prevent episodes from striking. Potassium reduces tension throughout the cardiovascular system, so Raynaud’s flare ups have a far less noticeable effect.
Ginger: Ginger and ginger tea have long been suggested for people struggling with circulation issues. It is also considered a “warm” food, that provides the body with additional warmth in cold conditions. Therefore, ginger and ginger tea tackle both issues of Raynaud’s disease, both issues from cold and from blood constriction. Preparing ginger tea has dozens of other health effects as well!
Vitamin E: Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is well-known as a boosting skin agent, but it can also protect the integrity of other cells, especially blood vessels. For that reason, vitamin E is very important in the natural treatment of Raynaud’s, to make sure that the blood vessels are maintained so blood and oxygen can get through easily and efficiently. By eating things like avocados, nuts, seafood, and green leafy vegetables, you can guarantee your vitamin E levels are appropriately high, and your blood vessels are healthy and functional!
Citrus Fruits (Vitamin C): In terms of boosting the immune system, nothing is better than vitamin C. It is an antioxidant and an immune system stimulant, as well as being important in hundreds of bodily functions, including the creation of new skin cells, the protection of vessels from damage, and the creation of collagen. Eating citrus fruits and other vitamin C-heavy foods is a wonderful way to reduce the effects of Raynaud’s Disease.
A Few Words of Caution: Although Primary Raynaud’s is a disease that stands alone, the majority of Raynaud’s cases are secondary, meaning they are a symptom of another condition or problem, some of which could be quite serious. Be sure to check with a doctor so he can tell you which type you are likely suffering from, and to make sure you are not facing any of the truly nast diseases that can also manifest in Raynaud’s phenomenon.