Raynaud syndrome

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A disorder, which “cuts” the blood flow to the extremities

Cold hands and feet are quite common, but cold proved torture for patients suffering from Raynaud syndrome. According to newspaper Times of London the disorder is caused by spasms because of the cold in arteries that supply blood to the fingers.

The result is fingers to be pale when the patient comes to cold, then purple and finally bright red when restoring blood circulation. This disorder can cause severe pain and numbness that accompanies reduced blood flow to inhibit activities from wearing shoes to walk. In extreme cases, blood flow is stopped completely and there is a gangrene possibility. In some cases the syndrome is  associated with severe, underlying diseases (i.e. autoimmune diseases, diseases of the bone marrow), so other possible causes must be first rule out for the symptoms of the patient. In most cases, those who have the above symptoms have idiopathic (ie unknown) Reynaud syndrome, which tends to onset at a young age and is 10 times more frequent in women than in men: it is estimated that affects one in five women in 20’s and 30’s.

The treatment is based in good protection from the cold, thermal socks and a good pair of gloves. Other measures include stopping smoking and the regulation of any disease that affects the blood circulation (eg diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol). There are also medicines that disrupt blood circulation, and so the physician should always be informed of any drug taking by patients. If these measures do not work, your doctor may prescribe drugs that stimulate blood circulation, while in severe cases surgery would be an option.

Exercise in cold and metabolism



Have you ever wondered if exercise in the cold can increase fat burning? Although the common sense is that this is likely, studies show that not only increase but they can be reduced instead. As stated in the newspaper New York Times, one of the studies took place years ago at the Naval Medical Research Institute of Bethesda, Maryland. The researchers found in some of the physical processes associated with metabolism (burning) of fat a slowing effect of low temperatures, perhaps because the blood vessels in the peripheral adipose tissues constrict when we go out in the cold. The same study also showed that when working out in the cold initially increases the volume of air inhaled and exhaled, but after some time returns to normal, and the heartbeat can also be slowed.

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