The Aword

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Raynauds Phenomenon

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This is a condition in which the blood supply to the extremities, in particular the fingers and toes, but also the nose and ears, is interrupted by spasm in the blood vessels.

Episodes cause the affected part to turn first white, then blue and finally red.

Attacks are often triggered by touching something cold, or by exposure to cold conditions.

Operators of vibratory tools may be affected and smoking is a factor.

Secondary Raynaud's is associated with conditions such as Sjogren's, Rheumatoid arthritis and Systemic Lupus, which are seen in a few people with arachnoiditis.

It may be that the attacks represent excessive sympathetic activity in the localised areas.

26 cases (out of 317) of Raynaud's were seen in the global survey.