Protect Your Health in Freezing Temps

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Actions to protect your health in freezing temperatures include:    

Preparing your family and home:

•Replenish your emergency supply kits including battery-operated radio and flashlights.

•Have extra blankets on hand.

 
•Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.

•Check on family members and neighbors who are elderly or have special needs.

•Move family pets indoors or to an enclosure out of the elements.

•Maintain a sufficient supply of heating fuel.

•Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip during cold weather to avoid freezing.

•Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

 
•Keep fire extinguishers on hand. Make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them.

•Do not bring heating devices, barbecues and other cooking equipment or other fuel burning devices intended for outdoors inside.

Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water, even if you’re not thirsty.

Avoid alcohol, which makes your body lose heat.

Eat Light

Light meals are best before heading out in the cold.

Heavy meals require a large blood flow to the gastrointestinal system to aid in digestion, which may prevent warm blood from circulating to your fingers and toes.

Save the heavier meal for when you are back indoors.

Bundle Up

•Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.

The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.

Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.

•Wear a hat. 50% of heat is lost from your head. 

Wear warm socks.

Outer shell of your layered clothing should shield wind.

Protect your lips with lip balm and any exposed skin with moisturizer.

Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Exercise Indoors

Maintain your exercise routine by doing so indoors

Recognizing symptoms of cold weather exposure

Confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and shivering are signs of possible hypothermia.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

 
Gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy skin are symptoms of frostbite.  See a physician.

 
In the case of overexposure to severe temps, remove wet clothes an warm the body with a blanket or warm fluids.

During a storm

Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. 

Keep warm blankets, extra clothing, hats, scarves, gloves and healthy snacks in  your car during severe temperatures.

If you must drive: travel in day; don’t travel alone; let others know your schedule; stay on main roads; avoid back road shortcuts.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

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For more information visit:
Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety – (CDC)

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Cold Weather Survival Guide from NJ.com  http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/cold_weather_survival_guide_wh.html

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“Baby, It’s Cold Outside…” by Maria Dorfner

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Imagine walking around all day with a handful of ice cubes in your hands and in your socks. 

THAT is what it feels like for children and adults with Raynaud’s.

It happens when they are exposed to extreme temperatures.  Sinatra singing, “Baby, it’s c-o-l-d outside…” takes on a whole new meaning for sufferers.

 
People with Raynaud’s suffer a lot more than the average bloke in cold temps.  Extremities like the nose, feet, hands and lips become extra, extra sensitive during this time.   Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) can cause a series of changes in extreme hot or cold temperature, or even severe emotional events.   It’s actually painful because spasms of the blood vessels will cause not enough blood to get to local tissue in fingers and toes.   Some people aren’t even aware they have it.  Here’s a telltale sign.
 
raynauds2
 
RED, WHITE AND BLUE
 
It’s a patriotic montage of colors.  First, the skin turns white because of the diminished blood supply, then blue because of prolonged lack of oxygen, then red when the blood vessels reopen.  This American flag three-phase color sequence is characteristic of RP.

Raynaud’s phenomenon affects adults and children in the same way. It most frequently affects women, especially in the second, third, or fourth decades of life. People can have Raynaud’s phenomenon alone or as a part of other rheumatic diseases.  When it occurs alone, it is referred to as “Raynaud’s disease” or primary Raynaud’s phenomenon. When it accompanies other diseases, it is called secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon.

WHAT CAUSES IT?

The causes of primary and secondary RP are unknown.  That doesn’t help anyone suffering from it, so below are a few items that can help.  The best thing you can do is bundle up when it’s cold.  For people with Raynaud’s, even walking past the frozen food section in the grocery store can be a trigger for spasms.

Picture of Raynaud's phenomenon
 
 
 

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition that affects blood flow to the extremities and causes pain, numbness and tingling. Extreme temperatures in Winter or Summer (shifts in any Season) or severe stress can trigger it. Some sufferers can’t walk past the frozen food section in a grocery store without it causing painful tingling or numbness or spasms.

Raynauds with Skin Lesions
Raynauds with Skin Lesions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s what happens.

A sudden chill may cause blood vessels to spasm, shutting off circulation and turning affected parts a ghostly shade of white or blue. Fingers, toes, hands, feet, lips and the tongue are most commonly afflicted, and they may become painfully cold, tingling or numb.

SYMPTOMS

Icy cold feet, hands, toes, fingers, less commonly nose and ears, sometimes with pain and numbness. Skin color changes of white/blue/red as peripheral blood flow is reduced by the spasmodic contraction of the muscles in the blood vessel walls (the digits are usually affected), tissues become starved of oxygen (cyanosis), and blood flow returns (rubor). Not all color changes may be present or in that order nor are color changes necessary to be diagnosed with Raynaud’s, but they may develop later.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon At A Glance

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon is characterized by a pale to blue to red sequence of color changes of the digits, most commonly after exposure to cold.
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs because of spasm of blood vessels.
  • The cause of Raynaud’s phenomenon is unknown, although abnormal nerve control of blood-vessel diameter and nerve sensitivity to cold are suspected of being involved.
  • Symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon depend on the severity, frequency, and duration of the blood-vessel spasm.
  • There is no blood test for diagnosing Raynaud’s phenomenon.

TREATMENT

  • Treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon involves protection of the digits, medications, and avoiding emotional stresses, smoking, cold temperature, and tools that vibrate the hands.

Good News: A new gel is being studied which might promote local production of nitric oxide in involved digits. The local nitric oxide, it seems, may open the blood vessels and improve the impaired circulation.

 

Until then, instead of wishing it away, below are the Best Gadgets for Raynaud’s to help keep you warm:

 

  
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HOT HANDS! Traditional winter gloves don’t work with touchscreens, forcing smartphone users to freeze their fingers when they answer their phones, post to Facebook or send a text or tweet. But Agloves®, America’s best winter touchscreen gloves and the ultimate fusion of fashion and technology, work with all touchscreen devices and they can be worn indoors or out if you suffer from Raynaud’s. Cost $23.99. Available online at agloves.com and at selected retailers, including Best Buy and Verizon Wireless.

  • Heated Socks
  • G3 Gloveliners
  • WT2 Gloveliners
  • Heatdevil
  • Hotmitts
  • Heated Vest
  • G4 Fingerheaters
  • sports injury hot cold pain relief
  • Heated Socks

Warm mouse, warm hands, warm outlook

A company called ValueRays, sells heated keyboard wrist pads, mouse pads, and other computer peripherals, all emitting USB infrared heat. They specialize in heated computer gadgets. These products are used by regular folks, as well as suffers of Raynauds, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and a host of other ailments.

Here’s a website with all the products.

TheFatcat ChargeCarddistributed by Mango International is just-under 2-x4-inch device, billed as the lightest, slimmest portable charger available, allows you to charge your gadgets on the go, especially helpful if you can’t find a power source, don’t have time to sit there while charging, or are in a country or outdoor setting where power is unavailable.

The card weighs 2 ounces and is a quarter of an inch thick. It has a 2000 mAh lithium battery, twice the capacity of the typical cell phone battery, and comes outfitted with tips to fit a variety of popular cell phones, smartphones, iPods, GPS units, etc.

If you are usually working on the road, this is a product to consider purchasing. It’s sold online from $30 to $50. Of course you have to keep the charger charged, and you have to remember to bring it with you.

Wessel’s parents have the most amazing solution for cold feet of the literal kind — an electric “voetenwarmzak” — a “warm sack” for your feet.

Here’s a new Dutch modelonline, for $47.

Usb_glovesThese USB-heated gloves might be good for the blogger with Raynaud’s Syndrome.
Usb_slippers
The heated slippers don’t match the gloves, but who cares if your tootsies are toasty.

FIR Raynaud’s Gloves, Hottest Product for Raynaud’s Symptom
The Far Infrared therapy Raynauds gloves have been proven in clinical trials to improve blood circulation and relieve pain associated with Raynaud’s disease, currently on sale at Far Infrared Clothing Market of firheals.com .
http://www.firheals.com/raynauds-gloves


Heatbands are a brand new product, designed specifically for Raynaud’s sufferers to help keep the hands warm. They can be worn all day around the wrists and unlike heated gloves or many types of hand warmer, they work by preventing heat loss from the wrists, the most vulnerable area directly effecting the hands. Heatbands are attractive (available in a choice of 4 colours), convenient and unobtrusive and can be worn with your normal clothing and are inexpensive at £12.95 for a months supply (pack of 60).

Heatbands can help to keep your hands warm during any activity including: walking, shopping, running, cycling, tennis, golf, fishing, mountain biking, gardening, horse-riding, working on the computer, etc etc. For more information visit http://www.heatbands.com

For the best doctors, tips around the web and latest news on Raynaud’s, please visit THE RAYNAUD’S ASSOCIATION at www.raynauds.org

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FAST FACTS ABOUT RAYNAUD’S: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Raynauds_Phenomenon/raynauds_ff.as

 

Hope this helps you or someone you love.  Stay toasty!!!  🙂

MD

 

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If you like the Sinatra print, visit www.Giftarium.com  Enter Gift Code____  for a Discount on Prints. (I’ll have the code later)