Health and Wellbeing
How To Combat Raynaud’s This Winter
What is Raynaud’s?
Raynaud’s phenomenon doesn’t cause severe problems and is quite common. It affects the blood supply to your extremities due to oversensitive blood vessels. When your body experiences the cold your blood vessels contract, to retain your overall body heat. If you have Raynaud’s, the blood vessels in your extremities are more sensitive meaning even less blood flows through them. The condition can also be triggered by anxiety and emotional stress.
In this blog, we’ve put together some ways you can treat your symptoms at home. Be aware that sometimes it can be a sign of something serious caused by circulation, so always go and see your GP if you’re worried.
Go and see you GP if:
- Your symptoms are very bad or are getting worse.
- Raynaud’s is affecting your daily life.
- You only have numbness on one side of your body.
- You have joint pain, skin rashes or muscle weakness.
- You’re over 30 and get symptoms of Raynaud’s for the first time.
- Your child is under 12 and has symptoms of Raynaud’s.
If your symptoms are bad or are getting worse, your GP might prescribe you nifedipine to help improve your circulation. Your GP will advise you on the frequency of dosage. You may have to have blood tests because the symptoms of Raynaud’s could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
What are the symptoms?
Raynaud’s affects your blood circulation and causes your fingers or toes to change colour. Your extremities can turn white due to the restriction of blood flow, sometimes the skin turns blue as the blood vessels react and then turns red as the blood flow returns. Symptoms can also include:
- Pins and needles.
- Difficulty moving the affected area.
Some people also find that their ears, nose, lips or nipples are affected and symptoms may last for a few minutes to a few hours.
Things to do to help with Raynaud’s
Keep your home warm
Health conditions related to circulation get worse during the winter. So make sure to keep the house nice and warm. Another way to keep warm in your house during the winter is getting the ‘Heat’ add-on when you buy an Oak Tree rise and recline chair. The addition of heat will help stimulate blood flow around the body helping relieve the symptoms of Raynaud’s in the winter months.
Wear warm clothes during cold weather
Counter the cold by keeping your extremities warm. Doing this will reverse the effects of Raynaud’s and keep the blood in your fingers and toes. This happens because the blood vessels will contract less.
Regular exercise is an important part of staying healthy. A lack of exercise can lead to multiple health issues, one of which is poor circulation. It won’t happen overnight, but years of inactivity will eventually take its toll on the circulatory system, which requires regular movement to function properly.
Try breathing exercises or yoga to help you relax
To combat the effects of stress on your body and circulatory system you could try breathing exercises or yoga. Stress and anxiety can cause knots in the muscles, especially in the shoulders and neck. These knots can put pressure on your arteries, impairing circulation and restricting blood flow to the major organs.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
One of the most common causes of poor circulation is a bad diet. When the body doesn’t get the right amount of essential minerals, vitamins and other nutrients, blood vessels become fragile, making it difficult for the blood to circulate properly. High cholesterol resulting from an unbalanced diet can also cause plaque to build up in the arteries. This reduces blood volume and impedes circulation.
Diabetes can affect more than your blood sugar. It can even cause poor circulation in certain areas of the body. For instance, it might cause cramping in your legs and pain in your calves, thighs or buttocks.
Excessive weight applies pressure and stress on the tissues, leading to circulation problems. Obesity is often linked with a sedentary lifestyle, which compounds the problems related to blood flow and circulation.
Things not to do
As everyone knows, smoking is responsible for a huge number of health issues, ranging from the minor to the severe. One effect of smoking is that it thickens the blood and increases the likelihood of blood clots, which in turn restrict blood flow. Smoking also leads to a narrowing of the arteries, which makes it harder for oxygenated blood to circulate to the organs.
Avoid caffeine and other stimulants
How can Oak Tree products help prevent the effects of Raynaud’s?
Have a bath
A bath is a great way to warm the body on a cold winter’s night. Stress and anxiety can also aggravate the symptoms of Raynaud’s, so baths are perfect for unwinding. The heat will also stimulate your blood flow around the body.
But what if you can’t get into the bath anymore? Losing your mobility can be distressing and upsetting, but with an Oak Tree Bath Lift, you can bathe in comfort again. Get all the benefits of a warm bath without straining your muscles or joints. Simply sit on the bath lift belt and at the touch of a button, allow the bath lift to lower you comfortably into warm water for ultimate relaxation. Discover our bath lift.
Relax in a rise and recline chair
Part of reducing the effects of Raynaud’s is improving circulation. Our rise and recline chairs do just that. By raising your ankles to a height level with your heart it allows your heart to pump blood around your body more easily.
Add heat and massage to your rise and recline chair to keep you warm and stimulate blood flow. Having the addition of heat will warm during the cold winter days and reduce the effects of Raynaud’s and the in-built massage system will help your circulation. Browse our range of Rise and Recline Chairs.
Snuggle up during the cold winter months in a luxury adjustable bed
Our adjustable beds also help improve your circulation. At the touch of a button, they bend into a semi-contoured position that perfectly supports your body while you sleep. It does this by supporting your joints allowing blood to flow more easily. Explore our Adjustable Bed range.