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)
  • Silicone Disease
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
severe muscle weakness
severe non-specific arm pain
having foamy urine
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
muscle pains in family members
inflamed cuticles
frequent sore throats
frequent unexplained fevers
morning stiffness lasting hours
unsound sleep
mouth sores
... 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
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 98% Confirm
Lupus (SLE) 18% Unlikely
Dermatomyositis 5% Ruled out
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity 3% Ruled out
Silicone Disease 0% 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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