My MIL had it. She had severe frostbite, during WWII. She had an autoimmune disease, too. She passed from Scleroderma.
I have had my fingers turn white a couple of times during the time when we lived in NE Ohio. Of course, I was in full blown Sarc back then. Since I have my autoimmune disease in remission right now, I have not had the issue since we moved to KY.
My Chiropracter has gluten issues. She advised me to cut out gluten, too. I have cut down on the amount of gluten that I eat. I have no clue if that is what helped the Reynauds issue or just moving away from the colder climate and finally getting the Sarc under control?
I have it too-since I was a kid-keeping core warm, doing workouts to help the circ in arms and upper body, lots of exercise-all has helped-keeping away from repetitive motion type work, vibration (such as driving)... good luck.
Gluten correlates with MANY autoimmune diseases. I have alopecia, an autoimmune condition where I'm allergic to my own hair. I was amazed to find out that alopcecia correlates with gluten sensitivity too.
Cutting down on the gluten is not good enough, you have to eliminate it. There are SO MANY gluten free items these days that truly it is not hard to do.
Finally, it is documented in the medical literature that you can have gluten sensitivity (causing potentially severe symptoms) without testing positive for celiac. So just b/c you don't have the gene for celiac, and your bloodwork is normal does NOT mean you aren't reacting to gluten. The only way to find out is to really cut gluten out of your diet, and for quite some time to get over the effects of autoimmune conditions. (My digestive symptoms got better in a matter of days; my Reynaud's disappeared after about 6 months of being gluten free, and my joint pain only completely disappeared after a year).
My mom is 89 yo and has diabetes. Her hands and fingers are often purple and cold. Her doctor told her it was related to diabetes, but never put a name to the problem. I mentioned it to her last week and she had never heard the name! Anyway, many people comment that even with gloves, her hands are so cold and purple!
same age as you. Have it along with another auto-immune issue. My DH does appreciate my icy hands in summer Getting cold stuff while shopping or at home can trigger it along with winter. Layers in winter with good gloves and for extended times hand warmers. In the house I also have microwave mittens that I can use to warm my hands when it gets bad.
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I'm kinda hoping mine will go away now that I've quit smoking.
Don't bet on it. I developed Raynaud’s driving to work one morning in early Dec 2010 at the age of 58, which I'm told is is unusual. Quit smoking a few weeks later, but it’s been 2.5 years and the Reynaud’s is unchanged. I no longer smoke. Not saying you shouldn’t quit because it can’t hurt and you’ll feel better.
The only thing that has helped mme with the Raynaud’s part of my "condition" is the immunosuppressive drug, Immuran, and I've been treated with many of these drugs since then, none which have helped with Raynaud's symptoms. Fingers above the first joint, thumbs and toes turn white, then deep blue around the edges, particularly near the cuticles, then bright red, which is sometimes painful. Immuran reduced the severity and frequency of the attacks.
Unfortunately, Immuran didn't do diddly for the more severe aspects of my as yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease. Experts in Boston, the Mayo clinic and the Cleveland Clinic have no idea what’s wrong with me, meaning there apparently is no name for it yet. They all find it "fascinating", even calling me at home on occasion to see how I'm doing. I've found it's not a good thing to be "fascinating" to these types of MDs though.
The condition progressed rapidly from sudden onset Reynaud’s to multiple episodes of severe ischemic (lack of blood flow) colitis within 2 months. My kidneys are now starting to fail but biopsies have ruled out Lupus and Scleroderma as the cause. I taken IV chemo for 6 months (Cytoxin) which helped for awhile but the drug was discontinued symptoms returned. Cytoxin is a nasty drug.
The only thing keeping whatever it is under control (mostly) is prednisone, which I've been taking at high doses for more than 2 years (not good but there’s no alternative yet and I am functioing pretty well which surprises all of the experts). However, all attempts at lowering the dose of prednisone results in an ischemic flare-up pretty quickly. Prednisone doesn't help with Reynaud’s symptoms at all though.
Autoimmune diseases are baffling, scary and can be life changing/threatening when your own immune system targets your major organs. Little is known about most of them with the possible exception of rheumatoid arthritis which is much more common and better studied. There is no cure for any of them.
Fortunately, most cases of Raynaud’s do not develop into something more serious but it is an annoying and sometimes painful condition. I sympathize with anyone who has it.
rcloisonne, I'm not an MD (just a DVM!) but have they tried cyclosporine? It's another immunosuppressant that might help...of course they're the pros, not I! What about Mixed Connective Tissue Disease? I know it's a catch-all, but still..