Raynaud’s Syndrome chosen as highlight for ‘raise your hands’ campaign

RAISE your hands campaign has been active throughout February; highlighting Raynaud’s disease in the UK.

Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK is the only charity dedicated to improving the lives of those suffering with the condition.

This year, they are concentrating on getting the community to unite, and to help increase awareness.

This very common condition, which relates to blood circulation issues, affects the lives of 1 in 6 people, making up to 10 million people in the UK.

How do those with Raynaud’s experience the cold differently?

The normal body function is where the body gets cold, and the blood vessels constrict in order to keep the organs and the main body warm.

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Raynaud’s attacks can be caused by cold temperatures

A person with Raynaud’s reacts more severely to the cold; any slight change in temperature or even stress can cause the body to react like it would in extreme temperature change.

This causes the blood vessels to constrict, altering parts of the body such as the hands and feet to a white, blue or even red colour.

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More women are affected by primary Raynaud’s than men

There are different types to this condition, and some can have it in mild form. Regardless, it can impact the everyday life of sufferers.

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Raynaud’s Disease is genetic in many cases

The range of drug treatments can cause side effects.

Nifediphine, the only approved medication in the UK for Raynaud’s Syndrome, is one which helps to open the blood vessels, by deterring them from constricting as frequently as they normally would; opening them up allows more blood to reach.

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Some medications can worsen the condition

Amy Baker, Head of Engagement and Development at Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK, has said: “We have really seen that there needs to be much greater awareness, much more research into the condition, and better access to care and treatment for people that are affected.

This is something that we are dedicated to doing, and we are currently putting together our research strategy.

As a charity, we invested 10million pounds into research, and our strategy is based on what our community thinks is important, also what our clinical community thinks is achievable.

We will be putting more money into the research over the next 5 years to really try and combat the issues we are seeing with effective treatments”

Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK have online tests which are there to help people identify if they might have Raynaud’s symptoms.

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Treatment only relieves symptoms, there is no cure

Amy Baker has also said: “Once people realise that it is a condition and they are not sure what to do next, our test helps them to know what the next steps are to take.”

Some are aware that they have the symptoms of this condition, but do not necessarily deem it worthy of treatment, or a a simple check-up.

This is why raising awareness on Raynaud’s Disease is key in order for people to know that it can potentially cause medical issues if left long enough for the symptoms to worsen.

Listen below to hear even more from Amy Baker on the importance of raising awareness on Raynaud’s Disease.

by Savannah Smith (@Smith1311A), Salma Ammar (@salmammammar), and Aimée Barnes (@_AimeeBarnes)