Raynaud's Phenomenon

What Causes Raynaud's Phenomenon?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of Raynaud's phenomenon we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow Raynaud's phenomenon to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind Raynaud's phenomenon consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to Raynaud's phenomenon.  Here are five possibilities:
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Silicone Disease

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
having foamy urine
minor joint pain/swelling/stiffness
major unexplained weight loss
gradual decline in speaking ability
poor recovery from exertion
high sensitivity to bright light
strong-smelling urine
minor pain in cold/cool/damp weather
low alcohol consumption
shortness of breath when at rest
multiple swollen axillary nodes
frequent meal-related bloating
... and more than 70 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of Raynaud's phenomenon:
Cause Probability Status
Silicone Disease 98% Confirm
Dermatomyositis 17% Unlikely
Lupus (SLE) 5% Ruled out
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 5% Ruled out
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Cardiovascular Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about Raynaud's phenomenon:
Do you have Raynaud's Phenomenon (extreme loss of circulation to fingers and/or toes)?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Probably had it / minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of Raynaud's phenomenon or Raynaud's phenomenon, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Raynaud's phenomenon is found in between 30% to 50% of CFS/FMS sufferers.

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Raynaud's phenomenon has been observed in 17-30% of patients with SLE, depending on the study.

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