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:
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • 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:
major inflamed cuticles
poor recovery from exertion
history of tender muscles
specific muscle weakness
high sensitivity to bright light
unexplained high fevers
dark urine color
disturbed sleep
recent silicone breast implants
tender muscles
frequent infections
... 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
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity 91% Confirm
Silicone Disease 29% Unlikely
Dermatomyositis 1% Ruled out
Lupus (SLE) 0% Ruled out
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 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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