February is Raynaud’s awareness month. Approximately 10 million people* in the UK suffer from a condition called Raynaud’s Syndrome. This is a heightened sensitivity to the cold with some experiencing discomfort all year around. Exposure to the cold causes the arteries to go into spasm, closing off the blood supply to the extremities. The fingers and toes being the most affected. The skin turns white, and in some people blue before eventually going bright red as the spasm fades and the blood supply is restored. The phenomenon is named after Maurice Raynaud, who defined the first case in 1862. Despite more than 150 years of research there is still no cure or gold standard therapy. Nutrition therapy may prove helpful as getting sufficient antioxidants from the diet and taking certain supplements can improve the circulation. A high strength fish oil supplement or flaxseed supplement in a oil or capsule may help in addition to Gingko biloba- a herbal remedy that may also help improve circulation. Gingko is not suitable for everyone so please do check with a health consultant first.
*statistics from the RSA association. http://www.raynauds.org.uk