Have you ever heard of Raynaud’s syndrome? If you have fibromyalgia, the answer to this question is likely to be yes. Raynaud is fairly common in people who have fibromyalgia, and can influence one another in interesting ways. And, in fact, some have speculated that the same mechanism that causes Raynaud could have something to do with the pain of fibromyalgia itself.
But what is Raynaud’s syndrome, how can we treat Raynaud, and what exactly is the relationship between fibromyalgia and Raynaud’s
What is Raynaud’s syndrome?
Do you know this feeling when you wake up after sleeping in your hand in a strange way? Do you know this numb stinging sensation? In which your fingers seem to have been drained of blood? Well, that’s basically what the syndrome is. But while this phenomenon is usually caused by something (such as your body) that limits blood flow to the affected limb, in Raynaud, the body seems to trigger this reaction unnecessarily.
Raynaud seems to be the result of too sensitive nerves that respond to normal triggers too easily and dilate the blood vessels, which limits blood flow.
One of the most common things that activates Raynaud is exposure to the cold. Cold temperatures often cause your body to restrict blood flow to your extremities in order to keep your vital organs warm. But in Raynaud’s syndrome, this occurs after a very limited exposure to cold and can last much longer than normal.
This can make Raynaud dangerous. As you probably know, your skin needs a constant blood flow to feed your cells. When blood flow is cut off, as in an episode of Raynaud, the tissue can begin to die. This causes painful ulcers or even gangrene if the attack continues long enough.
How is it treated?
The way Raynaud is usually treated is with drugs that increase blood flow. This makes sense since Raynaud’s root is a constriction of the blood vessels. Then, doctors usually prescribe vasodilators to people with Raynaud. This type of medicine widens the veins, allowing the blood to circulate. Perhaps the most famous of these drugs is Viagra. Viagra stimulates blood circulation, helps men to have erections by opening blood vessels, making it a good choice to treat Raynaud.
But another option for Raynaud’s treatment is with the calcium channel or alpha-blockers. Both drugs work by blocking some of the nerve signals that cause spasms and closure of the blood vessels. And you can also receive injections of other drugs such as Botox that stop the nerves from triggering that person.
In addition, a doctor can surgically cut the nerves that control the blood vessels of the hands and feet, making them difficult to close. In most cases, these methods are effective in controlling Raynaud’s syndrome.
How are Raynaud’s syndrome and fibromyalgia related?
The fundamental relationship between Raynaud’s syndrome and fibromyalgia is related to blood flow to the muscles. Some studies have suggested that people with fibromyalgia have problems with blood circulation to the muscles. In this study that examined whether people with fibromyalgia had less blood flow to their muscles after exercise, the researchers found that fibromyalgia patients had significantly less blood flow to their muscles after exercise than the a group of witnesses.
This suggests that fibromyalgia limits the amount of blood that can enter the muscles, just like Raynaud’s. Now, we also know that people with fibromyalgia often develop Raynaud or have regular episodes of Raynaud. It could be that the same basic mechanism that causes the lack of blood circulation in people with fibromyalgia could also make them suffer from Raynaud.
Essentially, some have suggested that the same on sensitive nerves that cause the constriction of their blood vessels in Raynaud also cause the pain of fibromyalgia in the muscles.
At present, there has not been much research on a possible link between these conditions, so this remains a conjecture. And until we know more about the causes of fibromyalgia, we will have to consider Raynaud’s disease as one of the many annoying secondary syndromes that accompany fibromyalgia ……….