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

sinatra1 

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:

 

  
wishing10

 

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

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 
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

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Cool Allergy Relief Tip

Nearly 20% of Americans will suffer from Spring allergies.

Dr. David Lang, an allergist at Cleveland Clinic brings us a “cool” tip.  He says one of the easiest things you can do this time of year to ease allergies is turn up the AC.

“Air conditioning is a major measure that can be effective.  With the air conditioner on and windows closed, you cut down your indoor pollen count by 90 percent or more.  So air conditioning in buildings and cars is key for reducing level of symptoms, medication reliance.”

Dr. Lang recommends seeing an allergist if symptoms don’t respond to natural or over the counter remedies, and interfere with daily functioning.  Right now, tree and grass pollen are at their peak.  Children and pets can be affected too.

Symptoms of Grass Allergies:

Irritated Nose, Throat and Eyes

  • People who suffer from grass allergies may suffer from watering eyes, sneezing and congestion, post-nasal drip, sore throats and dry, constant coughing. A grass allergy can cause a full range of breathing problems, from wheezing to triggering a full-blown asthma attack. Allergic conjunctivitis can also occur, which is an inflammation of the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids. This causes red-rimmed, swollen eyes and sometimes even a crusting of the eyelids. Allergic shiners–which are dark circles under the eyes that are caused by increased blood flow in irritated sinuses–may also occur with a grass allergy.

Skin Irritation

  • Irritated skin, including redness, itching, rashes, bumps and hives can all occur due to a grass allergy. These reactions can occur anywhere on the body, but often show up on the hands and fingers. Some doctors call this reaction “hayfever of the skin.” Treatment with antihistamines is usually the best way to handle this symptom. Reactions can be severe (even anaphylactic) if the allergen comes into direct contact with open skin, such as when a soccer player falls and scrapes her leg on the grassy field.

General Unwellness

  • As with other seasonal allergies, many people who suffer from grass allergies also complain of extreme fatigue, and feeling mentally dull or “out of it.” These people complain of feeling spacey, unable to concentrate and foggy much of the time. Headaches, mood swings and even nausea can result from a grass allergy.

Natural Relief and Prevention

  • There are many ways to prevent reactions and naturally provide relief once symptoms occur. Daily nasal cleansing with either a neti pot or nasal squirt bottle can be an effective way to irrigate the sinuses and flush allergens from the nasal passages. Another preventative measure is to always wear a mask when you mow the grass, and keep grass cut short. Use air conditioners indoors and in cars whenever possible. Instead of drying clothes on the line, where they can pick up allergens, dry clothes in a dryer during grass pollen season. Shower each night before bed to wash off pollen. For a sore throat due to post nasal drip or coughing, try gargling with warm salt water.

Medication

  • There are many different kinds of over-the-counter and prescription medications available for sufferers of grass allergies. Eye drops, nasal sprays, decongestants and antihistamines are the most popular. There are also various prescription medications available that work with the body in different ways to hinder the release of histamines. According to Medicine Online, immunotherapy allergy shots help many patients.

Read more: Symptoms of a Grass Allergy | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5057895_symptoms-grass-allergy.html#ixzz1sqHCqlyx

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month: Know the Signs!

According to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, over 50,000 new cases of Parkinson’s Disease are diagnosed each year.  Dr. Ryan Walsh is a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic Ruvo Center for Brain Health and says there are early signs.

“There are early symptoms that may be related to the development of Parkinson’s Disease, for example, the loss of smell, although not specific to Parkinson’s Disease, is a prominent feature of the disease.”

The other early signs are anxiety and depression.

There is no one test to give you a 100% diagnosis, so the goal is to treat patients before they develop tremors.

Walsh says, “If you can slow it down here, rather than trying to slow it down later, you may actually have more of an impact on the disease.”

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, almost 200 years after Parkinson’s was first discovered and after many new discoveries about the biology of the disease, a diagnosis still depends on identifying the core features — tremor, slowness and stiffness — described by James Parkinson.

The diagnosis of Parkinson’s does not come from a test, but instead requires a careful medical history and a physical examination to detect the cardinal signs of the disease, including the one Walsh mentions:

  • Resting Tremor: In the early stages of the disease, about 70 percent of people experience a slight tremor in the hand or foot on one side of the body, or less commonly in the jaw or face. A typical onset is tremor in one finger. The tremor consists of a shaking or oscillating movement, and usually appears when a person’s muscles are relaxed, or at rest, hence the term “resting tremor.”
  • The affected body part trembles when it is not performing an action. Typically, the fingers or hand will tremble when folded in the lap, or when the arm is held loosely at the side, i.e., when the limb is at rest. The tremor usually ceases when a person begins an action. Some people with PD have noticed that they can stop a hand tremor by keeping the hand in motion or in a flexed grip. The tremor of PD can be exacerbated by stress or excitement, sometimes attracting unwanted notice. The tremor often spreads to the other side of the body as the disease progresses, but usually remains most apparent on the initially affected side. Although tremor is the most noticeable outward sign of the disease, not all people with PD will develop tremor.
  • Bradykinesia: Bradykinesia means “slow movement.” A defining feature of Parkinson’s, bradykinesia also describes a general reduction of spontaneous movement, which can give the appearance of abnormal stillness and a decrease in facial expressivity. Bradykinesia causes difficulty with repetitive movements, such as finger tapping. Due to bradykinesia, a person with Parkinson’s may have difficulty performing everyday functions,such as buttoning a shirt, cutting food or brushing his or her teeth. People who experience bradykinesia may walk with short, shuffling steps. The reduction in movement and the limited range of movement caused by bradykinesia can affect a person’s speech, which may become quieter and less distinct as Parkinson’s progresses.
  • Rigidity: Rigidity causes stiffness and inflexibility of the limbs, neck and trunk. Muscles normally stretch when they move, and then relax when they are at rest. In Parkinson’s rigidity, the muscle tone of an affected limb is always stiff and does not relax, sometimes contributing to a decreased range of motion. People with PD most commonly experience tightness of the neck, shoulder and leg. A person with rigidity and bradykinesia tends to not swing his or her arms when walking. Rigidity can be uncomfortable or even painful.
  • Postural Instability: One of the most important signs of Parkinson’s is postural instability, a tendency to be unstable when standing upright. A person with posturalinstability has lost some of the reflexes needed for maintaining an upright posture, and may topple backwards if jostled even slightly. Some develop a dangerous tendency to sway backwards when rising from a chair, standing or turning. This problem is called retropulsion and may result in a backwards fall. People with balance problems may have particular difficulty when pivoting or making turns or quick movements. Doctors test postural stability by using the “pull test.” During this test, the neurologist gives a moderately forceful backwards tug on the standing individual and observes how well the person recovers. The normal response is a quick backwards step to prevent a fall; but many people with Parkinson’s are unable to recover, and would tumble backwards if the neurologist were not right there to catch him or her.

Secondary Motor Symptoms

In addition to the cardinal signs of Parkinson’s, there are many other motor symptoms associated with the disease.

  • Freezing: Freezing of gait is an important sign of PD that is not explained by rigidity or bradykinesia. People who experience freezing will normally hesitate before stepping forward. They feel as if their feet are glued to the floor. Often, freezing is temporary, and a person can enter a normal stride once he or she gets past the first step. Freezing can occur in very specific situations, such as when starting to walk, when pivoting, when crossing a threshold or doorway, and when approaching a chair. For reasons unknown, freezing rarely happens on stairs. Various types of cues, such as an exaggerated first step, can help with freezing. Some individuals have severe freezing, in which they simply cannot take a step. Freezing is a potentially serious problem in Parkinson’s disease, as it may increase a person’s risk of falling forward.
  • Micrographia: This term is the name for a shrinkage in handwriting that progresses the more a person with Parkinson’s writes. This occurs as a result of bradykinesia, which causes difficulty with repetitive actions. Drooling and excess saliva result from reduced swallowing movements.
  • Mask-like Expression: This expression, found in Parkinson’s, meaning a person’s face may appear less expressive than usual, can occur because of decreased unconscious facial movements. The flexed posture of PD may result from a combination of rigidity and bradykinesia.
  • Unwanted Accelerations: It is worth noting that some people with Parkinson’s experience movements that are too quick, not too slow. These unwanted accelerations are especially troublesome in speech and movement. People with excessively fast speech, tachyphemia, produce a rapid stammering that is hard to understand. Those who experience festination, an uncontrollable acceleration in gait, may be at increased risk for falls.

Additional secondary motor symptoms include those below, but not all people with Parkinson’s will experience all of these.  

  • Stooped posture, a tendency to lean forward
  • Dystonia
  • Impaired fine motor dexterity and motor coordination
  • Impaired gross motor coordination
  • Poverty of movement (decreased arm swing)
  • Akathisia
  • Speech problems, such as softness of voice or slurred speech caused by lack of muscle control
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Cramping
  • Drooling

Nonmotor Symptoms

Most people with Parkinson’s experience nonmotor symptoms, those that do not involve movement, coordination, physical tasks or mobility. While a person’s family and friends may not be able to see them, these “invisible” symptoms can actually be more troublesome for some people than the motor impairments of PD.

Early Symptoms

Many researchers believe that nonmotor symptoms may precede motor symptoms — and a Parkinson’s diagnosis — by years. The most recognizable early symptoms include:

  • loss of sense of smell, constipation
  • REM behavior disorder (a sleep disorder)
  • mood disorders
  • orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing up).

If a person has one or more of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that individual will develop Parkinson’s, but these markers are helping scientists to better understand the disease process.

Other Nonmotor Symptoms

Some of these important and distressing symptoms include:

  • sleep disturbances
  • constipation
  • bladder problems
  • sexual problems
  • excessive saliva
  • weight loss or gain
  • vision and dental problems
  • fatigue and loss of energy.
  • depression
  • fear and anxiety
  • skin problems
  • cognitive issues, such as memory difficulties, slowed thinking, confusion and in some cases, dementia
  •  medication side effects, such as impulsive behaviors


TODAY’S LATEST PARKINSON’S DISEASE NEWS FROM REUTERS HEALTH

(Reuters Health) – People with diabetes may have a heightened risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, especially at a relatively young age, a new study finds.

Published in the journal Diabetes Care, the study adds to recent research linking diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

But neither this report nor the earlier ones prove that diabetes, itself, raises a person’s risk of Parkinson’s — a disorder in which movement-regulating brain cells gradually become disabled or die.

Instead, researchers suspect that it’s more likely diabetes and Parkinson’s share some common underlying causes.

The new study looked at health insurance claims from more than one million Taiwanese adults — including a little over 600,000 with diabetes.

Researchers found that over nine years, people with diabetes were more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. They were diagnosed at a rate of 3.6 cases per 10,000 people each year, versus 2.1 per 10,000 among people without diabetes.

When the researchers factored in age, sex and certain other health conditions, they found that diabetes was still linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s — especially at a relatively young age.

Among women in their 40s and 50s, those with diabetes had twice the risk of Parkinson’s that diabetes-free women did.

The same was true among men in their 20s and 30s, though that was based on only a handful of Parkinson’s cases: there were four cases among young men with diabetes, and two among those without diabetes.

Exactly what it all means is unclear, according to Drs. Yu Sun and Chung-Yi Li, who led the study.

But on average, people develop Parkinson’s diagnosis around age 60, the researchers noted in an email to Reuters Health.

“Our findings tend to suggest a relationship between diabetes and early-onset Parkinson’s disease,” said Sun and Li, who are based at En Chu Kong Hospital and National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.

That’s in line with a study of Danish adults published last year, the researchers noted. (See Reuters Health story of April 15, 2011).

Still, it’s impossible to say for sure that diabetes, itself, is to blame.

One reason is that the current study had limited information, according to Sun and Li.

“Because our study was based on claims data,” they said, “it lacks information on some of the known risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, such as pesticide exposure.”

Researchers have speculated on the potential reasons for the diabetes-Parkinson’s link, and they suspect there might be certain biological mechanisms that contribute to both conditions.

One possibility is chronic, low-level inflammation throughout the body, which is suspected of contributing to a number of chronic diseases by damaging cells. There might also be a common genetic susceptibility to both diabetes and Parkinson’s.

But even if people with diabetes have a relatively elevated risk of Parkinson’s, it’s still a low risk, Sun and Li pointed out.

In this study, there were fewer than four cases per 10,000 diabetic adults each year.

A recent U.S. study found a similar pattern: Of 21,600 older adults with diabetes, 0.8 percent were diagnosed with Parkinson’s over 15 years. That compared with 0.5 percent of people who were diabetes-free at the study’s start.

The researchers on that study said that people with diabetes should simply continue to do the things already recommended for their overall health — like eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

Sun and Li agreed with that advice. “There is no need for patients with diabetes to worry too much about the development of Parkinson’s disease,” they said.

More studies are needed, the researchers said, to understand why diabetes is related to a higher Parkinson’s risk — and what, if anything, can be done about it.

Diabetes arises when the body can no longer properly use the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. Parkinson’s occurs when movement-regulating cells in the brain die off or become disabled, leading to symptoms like tremors, rigidity in the joints, slowed movement and balance problems.

Researchers say it’s possible that something about diabetes — like a problem regulating insulin — might somehow contribute to Parkinson’s. But that remains unproven.

SOURCE: bit.ly/HdmwiU Diabetes Care, online March 19, 2012.

Springtime Allergies Are Here: Tips to Cope

If your eyes are suddenly itchy and you’re rubbing them a lot, it’s probably allergies.

Check pollen count in your area at http://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts.aspx

Below is a Symptom Checklist to  tell the difference between allergies and a cold.

                                                          SYMPTOM CHECKLIST:

                                                   ALLERGY SYMPTOMS:   

Itchy Eyes

Itchy Nose

Itchy Throat

Headache Behind Eyes

Clear Mucus if Nose is Runny

Onset Immediate

Sometimes Fatigue

No Fever

Cough

Doesn’t Go Away

vs.

                              COLD SYMPTOMS:

Sneezing

Sore Throat

Headache

Sometimes Fever

No Itchy Eyes

Lack of Appetite

Fatigue

Achy Body

Comes on Slowly

Cough

Yellow or Green Mucus if Nose is Runny

Last 5-10 Days (more than that could be a sinus infection, see doctor)

                            TIPS TO HELP YOU COPE WITH ALLERGIES:

ALLERGIES:

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says avoiding allergy triggers is the best way to reduce symptoms. Here’s how:

  1. Limit outdoor activities during days with high pollen counts.
  2. Keep windows closed (at home or in the car) to keep pollens out.
  3. Take a shower after coming indoors. Otherwise, pollen in your hair may bother you all night.
4.  Wear sunglasses to keep pollen from getting in your eyes.

 

5. Keep pets away from plants and trees (good luck with THAT).

…and there’s always over-the-counter help.

COLDS: Drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest, lozengers if your throat is sore, chicken soup, TLC and wait it out, over-the-counter help if it’s bad.  See a physician if it lasts more than 10-days.   A sinus infection will require antibiotics.

April 02, 2009 – COMING UP…Tonight at 11 p.m. Eastern tune into ABC7 in New York or at abclocal.com to find out the latest in help for allergies!

abclogo

Remember…you can manage the symptoms…and enjoy a Happy Spring! 🙂 -Maria Dorfner

Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD and Healthy Within Network. This is her blog.

 

Stay healthy!

@Maria_Dorfner

Best Gadgets for Raynaud’s by Maria Dorfner

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. Here’s what happens.

Raynauds with Skin Lesions
Image via Wikipedia

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


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, here are some great gadgets that may help.

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


ValueRays® Warm Mouse

 

ValueRays® Mouse Hand Warmer

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.

The Fatcat ChargeCard

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.


The `voetenwarmzak` is the perfect antidote for cold feet.  Sure it looks funny. But your feet are warm!

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

Product Reviews & Discounts from THE RAYNAUD’S ASSOCIATION:

Every now and again we are able to arrange special offers for our members. Please feel free to take advantage of those we have available now!

Note: Product Reviews are the opinion of the reviewer based on personal experience and the input of our members. While the evaluation process is not clinically-based or scientific in nature, they are tested by real Raynaud’s sufferers for their benefit in real life situations. Products have not been tested nor regulated by the FDA.

Agloves

A gloves are lightweight, stretchy gloves knitted with silver nylon that helps to keep heat in and to even out the temperature across the palm and fingers.  The silver content means these gloves are great for using touch screen devices, like smartphones, iPads, iPods and other mobile devices – without taking your gloves off and feeling the cold – amen!

FootHugger Comfort Socks

FootHugger Comfort Socks do a great job of keeping feet warm with a soft, cushiony, stretchy feel.

Gerbing’s Heated Clothing

The gloves keep you warm with Gerbing’s patented Microwire™ heating technology that is woven throughout to provide intense heat that surrounds the hand – including the thumb – with warmth all the way to the fingertips.

Grabber Warmers

Air-activated hand, toe, foot and body warmers… Grabber has the head-to-toe solution to keep you toasty and comfortable, no matter the temperature. Grabber Warmers give continuous heat to hands, toes and the entire body. Just open the package and expose warmers to the oxygen in the air for hours of relief.  All Grabber Warmers are designed for one-time, disposable use.

HandCandy Mittens

Born from recycled sweaters and lined with cushy new polar fleece, these are some of the warmest mittens you’ll ever love to wear! They are good for the environment, and great for Raynaud’s sufferers.

Helios Soaking Salts

Helios soaking salts are made from a unique Blend of Helios Essential Oils combined with the therapeutic benefits of Himalayan, Dead Sea and Epsom salts providing soothing relief for sore muscles, arthritis, body aches carpel tunnel and Raynaud’s.

LegHuggers

LegHuggers keep calves and shins toasty while making a cool fashion statement..

ProNeema™

ProNeema™ is a non-greasy skin cream originally designed for the special needs of diabetic patients to help heal and protect their skin, particularly their feet, which can become dangerously dry and prone to nerve damage and infection. But the ingredients in ProNeema also provide first aid and warmth for us Frosties.

Volt™ Indoor/Outdoor Heated Slippers

The inventor created these heated slippers for his mother who suffered from both Raynaud’s and peripheral neuropathy.  The lightweight and fairly flat rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have a built-in thermostat control that automatically adjusts the temperature output for optimal comfort.

WristHuggers

WristHuggers are fingerless gloves with one large hole for fingers; separate hole for thumb.

Wristies®

Wristies are fingerless gloves, glove liners, cuffs, and a fashion accessory — all in one!
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Members of the Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Association have tried and tested a variety of heating aids and warm clothing which have proved to be helpful in keeping warm. It really is a matter of finding which is most suitable for your particular circumstances.To order from their online shop click here.
Mycoal Hand, Foot and Body Warmers
132-mycoalOnce opened, the disposable heat packs are activated by gently shaking or squeezing and can then be placed within a fleece mitten, wrist warmer or in your pocket, glove or mitten. These heat packs warm within minutes and generate heat of 50-70ûC. Ideal for outdoor activities. The hand and foot warmers (the size of a tea bag), come in twin packs. The hand warmers stay hot for up to 7 hours, the foot warmers up to 5 hours and the larger body warmer for up to 20 hours. Mycoal foot, hand and body warmers cost £5.75 for 4 packs plus p & pThermogels therm– Reusable Hand Warmers
These hand warmers are activated by the press of a button. Flex the metal disc until the crystals form, the gel will then generate heat for up to 30 minutes. They are ideal when instant heat is required for a short period of time. To reactivate simply boil in a pan of water for 5-10 minutes. They can then be used many times. £4.50 pack of two plus p & p
cozypakwebHot Pak
The microwaveable Hot Pak is the perfect shape for treating almost every part of the body. The classic design is great value and suitable for all uses.
£10 plus p & p
Warmies Bottle (New Design)
warmiesweb
This luxurious soft material contains treated millet seeds and soothing lavender. Simply heat in a microwave to provide hours of soothing warmth and comfort. It’s easier to use and much safer than a traditional hot water bottle as it completely removes the risk of scalding.
£12.95 each plus p & pSilver Gloves
132-silverwebThese gloves could help to ward off Raynaud’s attacks and help keep your hands warm. They are made from a specialised medical product using a safe and natural pure silver providing medical benefits and natural healing which can help ease suffering and manage bacterial skin infections. Dry cracked hands can be treated by wearing cotton/silver fibre gloves.
£14 for 2 pairs of the same size plus p & p
Sizes – XS (Small) S-M (Medium) L-XL (Large)


Silver Socks
132-Short SockfiAll of us at some point in our daily lives and routines are forced to sit or stand frequent for long periods where leg movement, activity and exercise is restricted. These silver socks are suitable for both for prevention and therapy with increased circulation and warmth.
Silver is highly conductive and is able to take the electrical pulses of the leg nerves and convert this into a passive magnetic field which increase’s the blood circulation and regulate the skin temperature at 37º therefore keeping the feet warmer.This makes the silver socks extremely comfortable to wear and also helps to prevent that feeling of heavy legs due to the extra wellbeing effect produced by the natural silver fibre, swelling can be reduced and therefore thrombosis and cramped veins can help to be prevented.
The socks are made with pure silver fibre which is safe and natural, completely non-toxic and 100% free of all hazardous substances, there are no chemicals and pesticides. The medical and security effects described have been proven by many different International institutions across the world.

BEST4FEET Short & Long Socks with 9% Silver
The silver socks reflect 95% of the body’s energy back to the skin continually adjusting to a core of 37° temperature and will keep the feet warmer in the winter but cool and fresh in the summer.
Silver is also widely recognised as a safe and extremely effective broad-spectrum anti-microbial agent for skin infection control. This has been validated by prodigious institutions throughout the world and has been the focus of numerous medical abstracts published over many years. Silver provides unparalleled antibacterial performance eliminating 99.9% of bacteria in less than one hour of exposure.
Price Short socks £10 plus p & p
Price Long socks 9% silver £12.50 plus p & p
Sizes – Small (2-4) Medium (5-6.5) Large (7-9)

Short & Long Socks for Diabetics with 12% Silver
These contain silver pure fibre which helps connect the medical characteristics of natural silver and the clinical effect of passive magnetic therapy.  Silver is highly conductive and is able to create a passive magnetic field. This can help to increase the blood circulation in the leg. Improved circulation will help reduce swelling, lowering the risk of thrombosis and cramped veins.
Price Short socks £10.50 plus p & p
Price Long socks 12% silver £13.50 plus p & p
Sizes – Medium (5-6.5) Large (7-9)

mfleeceFleece Mittens
These are made from soft fleecy material with a built in pouch into which a hand warmer can be placed. The fleece mitts are fingerless enabling you to be free to type and write etc. without having anything bulky on your hands. They are very effective for keeping hands warm and are available in red, royal blue and black. Each pair comes complete with a pair of disposable hand warmers.
£5.00 per pair plus p & p
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The following companies offer heated or warm items of clothing

Celtic Sheepskin – Warm sheepskin clothing and footwear

Cosy Feet – Shoes and slippers giving ‘ultra roomy fitting’, also available is the Circulation Booster.

EX02 – Suppliers of heated garments. To read reviews of EX02 products click here.

Footessentials –  Provide a range of natural alternative products, which have many therapeutic, anti-bacterial and naturally effective properties to optimise health and wellbeing.

Pharma Nord – Bio-Biloba, a product containing Ginkgo biloba. A 10% discount is available to members of the RSA when quoting your membership number. Call: 0800 591756.

TDS Healthcare – Medical Healthcare products with natural silver fibre and soft cotton – a solution for cold body, hands and feet.

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

Warm Shopping!

MD

http://www.askdoctork.com/what-is-raynauds-disease-201201181119

TODAY – Olympic Hopeful Runs with Celiac disease

About 2 million people in the United States have Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that prevents the body from absorbing nutrients such as iron, calcium, fat and Vitamin D, all of which are critical to a distance runner’s ability to recover from training, or heal.  Distance running isn’t just a hobby for Stephanie Rothstein. It’s her life. She’s an Olympic hopeful AND the founder of a new biz (gluten-free food).



Saturday, Jan. 14 –   TODAY, Stephanie Rothstein, competes in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston. It is also her Birthday.  The best present she could receive is a trip to London this Summer. Her battle with Celiac disease has her not only running the distance, but running a new business, which her illness inspired.

Her diagnosis.

Rothstein’s discovery that she had Celiac disease forced her to make a radical change to her diet, which now excludes any food with “gluten, dairy or soy,” but it also provided a sense of relief that there was a physiological reason preventing her from reaching her athletic goals.

The 2007 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, who now competes for McMillan Elite in Flagstaff, Ariz., is back in Houston, where she set her personal best a year ago with a third-place finish at the 2011 Houston Marathon, her second marathon.  But it is her first since a Portland naturopathic doctor diagnosed her with Celiac disease in the spring of 2010.

Nagging injuries.

Rothstein placed 12th in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field, and as she trained for her first marathon, she was plagued by a series of nagging injuries that refused to heal.  She missed nearly all of the 2009 season before finally getting the answer she sought from the Portland naturopath.

Finally running pain-free.

She placed second at the U.S. 20K championships in the fall, which secured a spot on the U.S. team for the 2010 World Half Marathon Championships in China, where she was the top American finisher in 19th place.

The top three finishers in both the men’s and women’s marathons, which will be run on the same day on the same course for the first time, will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  NBC will broadcast two hours of same-day coverage starting at noon.

That didn’t stop Rothstein.

In fact, she not  only kept running, but she also founded a gluten-and-diary-free homemade energy bar business.  Rothstein moved to Flagstaff in April 2010 to work with Greg McMillan, coach of Team USA Arizona, but not before the business collaboration that created Picky Bars was launched.  The former Eugene resident — who is engaged to ex-Oregon Track Club Elite steeplechaser Ben Bruce and is a co-founder of Picky Bars, a gluten- and dairy-free homemade energy bar business, with OTC Elite’s Lauren Fleshman.

RUNNING A BUSINESSMeet the group of pro athletes who are the founding team at Picky Bars.  Here’s how they are described on the Picky Bars website:

Stephanie Rothstein

Steph:  Gluten-Free Guru, Social Media Master!

AKA “Tiny,” is a pro-marathoner.  She is just like a regular person, except smaller. When her fiance Ben does her laundry, he can’t even fold her clothes with his big hands.  Her marathon PR is 2:29.35 from Houston 2011.”  She is an emerging star with her recent top 20 World Half Marathon finish, and has her eye on the Marathon Olympic Trials January 14, 2012( that may of may not be her birthday).  Her laugh is pee-your-pants ridiculous, and she will literally fold in half in utter despair at a good joke.  Since discovering she has Celiac disease, she laid the smack down on her diet and set the standard for quality in our bars.

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/stephazona

Lauren

Lauren:  Mad Scientist/Kitchen Genius, Ambassador Extraordinaire!

AKA “L-Train” is essentially a quirky dork but we love her.  When she went cliff diving at the age of six with the teenagers, her Dad proudly proclaimed, “My girl’s got balls the size of Texas!”  And for some strange reason, Lauren thinks that’s the coolest compliment ever and continues to try to earn it.  She writes advice, blogs, and takes issue with not being able to lead four lives simultaneously.  She graduated Stanford as one of the most decorated American distance runners of all time, has gone on to win two USA titles, and expects the next few years to be her best yet.

Web: http://asklaurenfleshman.com, Twitter: http://twitter.com/laurenfleshman

Jesse

Jesse:  Biz Freak/Marketing Machine, The Man Behind the Curtain!

Jesse is the most talented person we know.  Listed among his accomplishments are All-American runner, mechanical engineering master, broken neck survivor, high tech company founder and MBA receiver.  Even his gluten derived “aroma” became the inspiration for an amazing energy bar!   Now he splits time between professional triathlon, building the Picky Empire, and last but certainly not least, husband duties. You could call also call him our lead tester – between work and training for three sports, he literally takes down six Picky Bars a day.  In exchange, he provides some quirky marketing ideas and is responsible for making sure the business doesn’t go broke.

Why They Created Picky Bars:

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  • Be what we consider “ideal size:” 200 calories or less.  Great size for <30min post-workout recovery, one hour before exercise (or cut in half for 20-30 min before), or the perfect snack size between meals.)
  • Have a 4:1 carbohydrate/protein ratio that is ideal for recovery and maximizes absorption of nutrients.
  • Be gluten and dairy free (for the sake of those with intolerances, or for people who just want variety in their diet)
  • Have balanced macro-nutrients (25% fat, 60% carbohydrate, 15% protein) for hunger control and happy digestion.
  • Select carbohydrate sources that promote level blood sugar, sustained energy, and nutrient absorption.
  • Use whole foods that are geographically nearby whenever we can.
  • Minimize soy content (less than 1%) since most people get too much of it daily without realizing it.
  • Provide a mixture of nuts and seeds for nutrient diversity (e.g. cashews are good for vitamin K while almonds are high in vitamin E).

ORDER GLUTEN-FREE PICKY BARS HEREhttp://www.pickybars.com/buy

ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE

Until recently, celiac disease was thought to be rare in the United States. However, studies have shown that celiac disease is very common. Recent findings estimate about 2 million people in the United States have celiac disease, or about 1 in 133 people. Among people who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with celiac disease, as many as 1 in 22 people may have the disease.
About 3 to 8 percent of people with type 1 diabetes will have biopsy-confirmed celiac disease, and 5 to 10 percent of people with Down syndrome will be diagnosed with celiac disease.
Celiac disease could be underdiagnosed in the United States for a number of reasons, including:
  • Many doctors are not knowledgeable about the disease
  • Only a small number of US laboratories are experienced and skilled in testing for the disease.
    More research is needed to learn the true prevalence of celiac disease among Americans.
SYMPTOMS OF CELIAC DISEASE

People with celiac disease often have general gastric complaints, such as bloating, abdominal pain and  intermittent diarrhea.  Celiac symptoms can mimic symptoms of other conditions, such  gastric ulcers, irritable bowel, Crohns disease, Anemia, parasitic infection, even various skin disorders or nervous conditions. Some people with celiac disease, however, suffer no gastrointestinal discomfort.

Some symptoms are vague like stomach discomfort, skin rash, joint pain muscle cramps, tingling in the legs or feet, depression, irritability, joint pain, mouth sores, dental and bone disorders.

Lastly, Dermatitis herpetiformis is an itchy, blistering skin disease that also associated with gluten intolerance. Rashes usually occurs on the elbows, knees and buttocks.

Signs and symptoms and can vary greatly from person to person.

TREATMENT

Treatment with a gluten-free diet, in addition to medication to control the rash, usually brings about significant improvement.

Allowed foods

  • Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products

It’s important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff

Always avoid

  • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat

Be aware of many types of wheat flour on supermarket shelves — bromated, enriched, phosphated, plain and self-rising. Here are other wheat products to avoid:

  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

Avoid unless labeled ‘gluten-free’

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production.

You should also be alert for other products that may contain gluten:

  • Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
  • Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
  • Play dough

Watch for cross-contamination

Cross-contamination occurs when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten. It can happen during the manufacturing process.  You need to check the actual ingredient list. If you’re not sure whether a food contains gluten, don’t buy it or check with the manufacturer first to ask what it contains.

Cross-contamination can also occur if foods are prepared at home on common surfaces or with utensils that weren’t thoroughly cleaned after being used to prepare gluten-containing foods.

People with celiac disease must eat a strictly gluten-free diet and must remain on the diet for the remainder of their lives.

In some severe cases, a gluten-free diet alone can’t stop the symptoms and complications of celiac disease. In these cases, doctors might prescribe medications to suppress the immune system.

Risks

Not getting enough vitamins People who follow a gluten-free diet may have low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Many grains are enriched with vitamins. Avoiding grains with a gluten-free diet may mean eating fewer of these enriched products. Ask your dietitian to review your diet to see that you’re getting enough of these key nutrients:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate

WHERE TO SHOP FOR GLUTEN-FREE FOOD:

Kroger Fred Meyer Ralphs King Soopers Fry’s Food Dillons Smith’s Food and Drug Quality Food Centers Food 4 Less City Market Owen’s Market Jay C Foods Highlander Gerbes

Publix The Publix list of gluten-free itemsis available online.

Shoprite Shoprite’s list of gluten-free itemsis available online.

Stop and Shop Stop and Shop Supermarkets’ list of gluten-free productsis available on their website.

Trader Joe’s Trader Joe’s offers a downloadable product listof their gluten-free items.

Wegmans The Wegmans list of gluten-free items is updated weekly and can be reached from the company’s “Gluten Sensitivity” page. Wegmans also offers a list of products that are free of both gluten andlactose.

Whole Foods The Whole Foods website provides store-specific lists of gluten-free items.

Supermarkets for Gluten-Free Shopping: Outside North America

Sainsbury’s (U.K.) In addition to its list of gluten-free products, Sainsbury’s also publishes gluten-free recipes on its website. On the recipe page, enter “gluten” as a search term. (My brother and sister-in-law lived in London for many years, and I can tell you that Sainsbury’s was stocking an amazing selection of delicious gluten-free foods years before any similar products started to show up in American stores. When I visited London, my sister-in-law would buy me the Sainsbury’s gluten-free fish sticks and pizzas, and I would fight my little (non-celiac) nephews for them. When they visited me in the U.S., I would make them bring me half a dozen boxes of the Sainsbury’s gluten-free bread mixes.)

Delhaize (Belgium) The Delhaize company has developed an assortment of specialty food products for people with special dietary requirements, including those on gluten-free diets. These foods are displayed in a separate section in its stores. A list of these items(in French) is available on their website.

www.GlutenFree.co.il (Israel) This is the largest store in Israel for Kosher gluten-free products. They ship worldwide.

Not sticking to the gluten-free diet If you accidentally eat a product that contains gluten, you may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. Even trace amounts of gluten in your diet may be damaging, whether or not they cause signs or symptoms.

  • See Also

YOU CAN CHEER STEPHANIE ON TODAY for HER BIRTHDAY on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/stephazona