RAYNAUD’S DISEASE (SYNDROME)
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Raynaud’s it is a disorder that affects small arteries usually in the fingers and sometimes the toes, causing them to narrow and reduce blood flow. Less often, also the nose, lips and ears can be affected.
The key problem in Raynaud’s disease seems to be an abnormal neurovascular reactivity. It means that the nerves controlling blood flow through the small blood vessels somehow become oversensitive and cause a problem. They constrict capillaries in fingers and sometimes also other peripheral parts of the body even though the temperature outside is not low enough to trigger this reaction.
Raynaud’s disease is most common among women, between the ages of 20 and 40.
Fortunately, although sometimes the condition can be severe, yet in most cases it is not difficult to control it.
Symptoms of Raynaud’s disease depend on the duration, frequency, and severity of the blood vessel spasms.
Usually the symptoms include: Colour alterations in skin in reaction to cold and stress, cold fingers and/or toes, stinging pain after warming or stress relief.
Although the disease usually involves fingers and toes, it can also affect other parts of the body, such as your lips, ears, or nose.
After warming, it may take 15 minutes for normal blood flow to return to the area.
During an outbreak of Raynaud’s symptoms, skin usually first turn white, then it may turn blue and feel cold. After warming up and improving circulation, the affected areas of the skin may turn red, tingle or swell. However, the order of these symptoms or colour of the affected areas of the skin may not be the same in everyone with this condition.
Raynaud’s disease may be also associated with some other symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, sometimes constipation, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, and lack of concentration.
– The cause of Raynaud’s disease is still unknown but since it often accompanies or precedes autoimmune conditions such as Raynaud’s disease, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis we can assume that Raynaud’s disease may be triggered by similar factors as autoimmune problems.
The causes of this condition may therefore include lack of sun and vitamin D deficiency, stress, anxiety and depression, leaky gut syndrome, consumption of heated animal protein (especially milk and dairy), nutritional deficiencies (lack of vitamins and minerals), toxins (especially mercury, lead and fluoride), diet low in antioxidants (fresh raw vegetables and fruits), lack of exercise, etc.
– According to the National Institutes of Health, Raynaud’s disease is also closely linked to scleroderma as 9 out of 10 individuals with scleroderma also develop Raynaud’s disease. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system attacking the connective tissue under the skin and around internal organs and blood vessels leading to inflammation and damage.
– The Raynaud’s phenomenon, like autoimmune diseases, can be linked to the lack of probiotic bacteria in the gut due to bad refined diet, antibiotics, consumption of meat and dairy products, sugar, stimulants, overgrowth of harmful bacteria and candida (yeasts), toxins, stress, lack of dietary fibre, etc. All those factors damage the intestinal walls causing increased intestinal permeability and condition called Leaky gut syndrome. As a result toxins instead of being removed from the colon are reabsorbed back into the blood through damaged walls. Because the immune system recognises colon as the source of the problem it attacks the gastrointestinal tract sending antibodies against it causing inflammation and damage.
– Also deficiency of vitamin D may contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases as it is not only the most important immune system booster but also regulator which means it helps to prevent immune system from attacking own body. There is a growing amount of research which suggests that a lack of vitamin D could be an important factor in causing autoimmune diseases. In his bestselling book “China Study” Prof Colin Campbell wrote that, “Autoimmune diseases in general become more common the greater the distance from the equator. This phenomenon has been known since 1922.” This statement leads us to a simple conclusion that Raynaud’s disease may have a lot to do with the vitamin D (“sun vitamin”) deficiency as well as the modern unhealthy lifestyle of North America or Europe. Read more about vitamin D >
– Gluten and heated animal protein (found especially in dairy) may also trigger an autoimmune reaction in the body.
– It is also believed that conditions such as thyroid problems (also mostly autoimmune) or atherosclerosis can increase the risk of Raynaud’s disease.
– Some specialists suggest that it can be triggered by numerous drugs such as high blood pressure medications (especially beta blockers), drugs used to treat migraine headaches, cancer or even popular medication which causes blood vessels to constrict to reduce symptoms of cold.
– Oestrogen dominance (excess of estradiol) may contribute to Raynaud’s phenomenon. Keep in mind that estradiol can be ingested with tap water. Read more about contamination of tap water >
– According to certain theory the abnormal blood vessel constriction in Raynaud’s phenomenon could be triggered by Helicobacter pylori infection (one of the causes of stomach ulcers and stomach cancer). It is interesting that Raynaud’s patients with Helicobacter pylori experienced a complete recovery or a significant reduction of vasospasms after the bacteria were eradicated.
– Raynaud’s can also be secondary to other conditions such as scleroderma, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Such cases are considered to be more serious as patients are more likely to develop skin ulcerations and tissue death.
– Certain drugs can also induce Raynaud’s, including over-the-counter cold and weight-control medications, and beta-blockers, which decrease blood flow.
– Iodine deficiency (due to soil depletion there is not enough iodine in food). The thyroid gland requires iodine to produce its hormones. In fact, it is believed that iodine’s only role in the body is to make thyroid hormones. However, it is important to know that not only too little of iodine can cause impaired thyroid function, but also too much can interfere with the gland’s ability to produce its hormones. Unfortunately there is disagreement with regards to sufficient iodine daily requirements. Some maintain that the dosage range for iodine supplementation should be 300-400 mcg daily but others suggest that it is way too low.
– Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium deficiency.
– Toxins: Mercury (from dental fillings, tap water, fish, flu shots, etc.) lead, fluoride, and other toxins.
– Food intolerances: Gluten and A1 Casein Allergy.
– Hormonal Imbalances: Too much Cortisol (from stress).
– Stress, anxiety and depression. A number of published papers have shown that stress and negative emotions contribute to all autoimmune diseases.
– Consumption of trans fats, margarine and bad oils (high in pro-inflammatory omega 6) and deficiency of omega 3 healthy fats high in foods such as Flax seed, Chia seed, etc..
– Bad lifestyle, unhealthy diet high in sugar, processed refined foods, nutritional deficiencies, artificial sweeteners, lack of exercise, stimulants, drugs, pessimism may lead to the oversensitivity of the immune system which changes its nature and starts attacking own body.
– Consumption of meat and dairy products (can trigger autoimmune response and causes hormonal imbalance), refined, junk and processed foods, refined sugar, white flour products, high glucose (high fructose) syrup, stimulants (including coffee, tea, green tea, cola, etc., nutritional deficiencies, white pasta, white rice, processed foods, stress, lack of exercise, etc.
– According to Dr Michael Greger, “Alkylphenols, flame-retardant chemicals, and perfluorochemicals, industrial pollutants found mostly in fish and meat, may be associated with thyroid disruption in young children and adults. Alpha-gal antibodies in meat may result in autoimmune conditions, including thyroid disorders. The artificial food colouring Red No. 3, too much seaweed of any type, and processed meat consumption may be linked to an increase risk of thyroid cancer. Poultry workers often have thyroid disorders.”
Conventional treatment usually involves blood-thinners (aspirin, etc.), vasodilators (such as reserpine and guanethidine), and calcium-channel blockers (dilate the arteries) are prescribed to reduce the vasospasms. The effectiveness, however, is very limited – and come at the cost of bad side-effects such as sleep disturbances, headaches, psychosis, jaundice, dizziness, hot flushes, nausea, oedema, abnormal heartbeats, etc.
Autoimmune conditions are treated with harmful medication, which have bad side effects. Fortunately it is possible to recover from autoimmune diseases by practicing healthy lifestyle and using natural remedies. The most important element of the treatment is implementing principles from the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
HERBAL REMEDIES & SUPPLEMENTS
– There is a scientific proof that Ginkgo biloba may be effective in reducing symptoms and the number of Raynaud’s attacks.
– You must take Vitamin D3 because almost all patients suffering from autoimmune diseases patients are deficient in Vitamin D! While using vitamin D3 supplements always remember to take also well absorbed magnesium (such as citrate) as vitamin D supplements without enough magnesium in the body are useless and in addition vitamin D leads to magnesium deficiency over time. If you can’t afford higher doses take at least 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day with meal. But since deficiency of this vitamin is so widespread (especially in the UK) it would be better to take 10,000 to 30,000 IU a day with meals with appropriate doses of magnesium. Another requirement for proper absorption of vitamin D is 200 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7 (Derived from Natural Natto) a day. Read more about vitamin D >
– Supplement magnesium (800 mg a day).
– Boost Glutathione levels which is a most powerful of all antioxidants and strengthens the immune system and is one of the most effective remedies against autoimmune diseases . It boosts body’s ability to modulate and regulate the immune system. It is also important to provide body with ingredients that increase glutathione production in the liver by taking turmeric, milk thistle, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), bioactive whey protein, Glutamine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, bilberry, vitamin C, asparagus, broccoli, peaches, avocado, spinach, garlic, squash, grapefruit.
– Alpha lipoic acid: 600mg a day
– Taking selenium supplements and increasing consumption of foods high in selenium (Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, garlic, onions, etc.).
– Take good quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements: 2000 mg a day with meal. Omega-3 Fatty Acids improve symptoms of Raynaud’s disease and may improve cardiovascular function; EPA and DHA have therapeutic value in the treatment of Raynaud’s disease; EPA and DHA induces prolonged remission of Raynaud’s disease without side effects. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in omega-3 is effective in improving Raynaud’s diseasesymptoms, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
– Vitamin B12: 1,000 to 2,000 mcg a day under the tongue (must be sublingual Methylcobalamin!). Many people with autoimmune diseases have low levels of this most important vitamin. Read a fascinating article on B12 >
– Zinc – 30 to 50mg a day after breakfast.
– Take good quality probiotic formulas or make raw sauerkraut and have at least one tablespoon a day.
– Turmeric. Curcumin (the key active ingredient in turmeric) is very helpful in coping inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as Raynaud’s disease.
– Apart from Ashwaganda you can use other herbal remedies and adaptogens such as Rhodiola and Three Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea or capsules.
– Evening primrose oil or Star flower oil
– Vitamin B6: 100mg with meal.
– Chlorella: 2 x a day 10 tablets 30 min before breakfast and lunch with 2 glasses of water or vegetable juice. Start from small doses and slowly increase.
– Milk thistle
NUTRITIONAL AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS
Autoimmune diseases can be reversed by practicing the following guidelines:
– Hallelujah diet or Gerson diet for 6 months leads to recovery! But diet change must be total or no benefit will be achieved!
– Avoid all animal foods including cheese, meat products, all dairy, stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.).
– Go on vegan unrefined diet as it gives best results. Eat especially with lots of raw vegetables salads and raw vegetable juices.
– Proper stress control and positive thinking – extremely important!
– Eliminate all junk food, processed food, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and anything with bad preservatives and chemical.
– Eating whole, unprocessed foods, and choosing as many organics as possible.
– Getting adequate sun exposure if possible (20 minutes a day during summer time between 10 am and 2 pm) to maintain vitamin D levels.
– Avoid gluten (wheat products, etc.). Many people with autoimmune diseases have an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and it usually goes unrecognised. Gluten can cause gastrointestinal system to malfunction, so foods aren’t completely digested. These food particles can then be absorbed into bloodstream where body misidentifies them as antigens and then produces antibodies against them.
– Avoid all dairy products as heated dairy protein (especially A1 casein) often irritates the immune system stimulating it to produce antibodies against different internal organs. The most common allergies and food intolerances today are from wheat and dairy products because of the hybridized proteins of gluten and a1 casein. These proteins can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome which leads to inflammation.
– Use glass bottles as Bisphenol A (BPA) which is found in plastic bottles and cans (they are lined up with plastic) disrupt endocrine system.
– Avoiding chlorine, fluoride (toothpastes with fluoride, etc.), and bromine as they also contribute to autoimmune diseases.
– Avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats (margarines, doughnuts, cakes, etc.) and pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids (soy oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, etc.) except raw organic coconut oil.
– Increase consumption of omega 3 fatty acids in the form of ground flax seeds, chia seeds. Omega 3s are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function and cell growth.
– Detoxifying body from heavy metals by using combination of: Chlorella, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Cilantro.
– Remove any dental fillings containing mercury.
– Increasing intake of healthy fats such as raw coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, chia seeds (soaked for at least 30 minutes or overnight), ground flaxseed, and hemp seeds as they will balance hormones. Coconut oil is a saturated fat comprising medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are known to increase metabolism and promote weight loss. Coconut oil is very stable (shelf life of three to five years at room temperature), so body is much less burdened with oxidative stress than it is from many other vegetable oils.
– Increase consumption of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene found in carrots, apricots, green leafy vegetables, etc.
– Eliminate stimulants (anything with caffeine or other similar harmful alkaloids: coffee, tea, green tea, mate, yerba mate, cola, chocolate, etc.).
– Exercise at least 30–60 minutes per day.
– Get enough sleep.
– Practice deep breathing.
– Address adrenal fatigue. A prolonged stress response can lead to adrenal exhaustion (also known as adrenal fatigue). Find out more about ADRENAL FATIGUE >
– Treat unresolved emotional issues as a source of stress. Autoimmune diseases reflect emotions and mental attitude. When people with autoimmune diseases make progress in treating unresolved emotional issues, their symptoms subside. Stress, anxiety or depression are often key culprits. It is important to identify the stressors and learn use ways such as prayer that can help to control stress and negative emotions.
– Read about the DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF UNFORGIVINGNESS >
– Drink and use for cooking only distilled or at least filtered water. Not all water filters remove fluoride, so make sure the one you have does or use only distilled water (buy a water distiller). Taking chlorella and turmeric help to get rid of fluoride and heavy metals such as mercury.
The most important element of the treatment is implementing principles from the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.