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911Doctor
911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Emergency Physician
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What Treatments are there for Raynauds, Specifically Medications,

This answer was rated:

What Treatments are there for Raynauds, Specifically Medications, is there something that can be taken as needed as opposed to taking a Calcium Channel Blocker Full Time, what Options are there?

911Doctor :

Calcium channel blockers are the standard of care.

911Doctor :

But there is good evidence to show

911Doctor :

that you can use a biofeedback method to improve if not get rid of the Raynaud's

911Doctor :

stand by for a reference

Customer:

What are the standard Medications? And theres no Alternetive that acts like/as a Vasodilator?

911Doctor :

Calcium channel blockers ARE the standard medication

Customer:

Yeah, I meant Which ones

911Doctor :

diltiazem is commonly given

911Doctor :

stand by

Customer:

Any of them able to be used on an As Needed basis as opposed to continuously? And Standing by.

911Doctor :

that's a great question

911Doctor :

as you can see toward the bottom of the page there is a list of potential medicines

911Doctor :

as well as some vasodilatory medicines

911Doctor :

like cozaar or even Viagra

911Doctor :

the problem with an 'as needed' medicine

911Doctor :

is that the blanching and vasocostriction comes on suddenly

911Doctor :

and there is no medicine by mouth that would work that quickly

911Doctor :

it is also important

911Doctor :

as you can see by the Mayo reference

911Doctor :

that your doctor has made sure that your Raynaud's is not a manifestation of another problem such as lupus or scleroderma

911Doctor :

this can be done with lab testing

Customer:

Likely related to my RA

911Doctor :

and there IS a way to try to help yourself with this at home

911Doctor :

ah, got it

911Doctor :

so the 'home remedy' for Raynaud's is as follows

911Doctor :

on a day where the temps are low enough to cause your Raynauds

911Doctor :

go outside and wait for the raynaud's to hit

911Doctor :

when it does you should have two buckets or containers of hot water

911Doctor :

let the blanching occur

911Doctor :

then put your hands in the water till it resolves

911Doctor :

over time this can greatly decrease the severity and even the frequency of your Raynaud's episoces

911Doctor :

'episodes'

911Doctor :

standing by

Customer:

and that should last after removing hands from the bucket?

911Doctor :

you need to do this many times on different days... when it works it works by repetition and retraining your body in how it responds to cold

Customer:

And is it normal to feel it in the arms and calves as opposed to just the hands and feet?

911Doctor :

not typically

Customer:

As it is it feels like i stuck my arm in a bucket of ice water

911Doctor :

sounds like a pretty severe case

911Doctor :

do you have a rheumatologist caring for you

911Doctor :

?

Customer:

the veins hurt slightly but its a different feeling than i feel with my hands and feet

Customer:

yes i do

911Doctor :

hard to say what that may meahn

911Doctor :

have you had vascular studies of your arms and legs? typically an ultrasound?

911Doctor :

to check blood flow?

Customer:

she wanted to address it at our next appt in september, she didnt want to add another new medication when i called her about it, she offered some suggestions that didnt work in the past and said there were no alternatives

Customer:

have not had studies of that type done

911Doctor :

I don't think at age 22 that this is anything related to blood flow issues in and of themselves

911Doctor :

sounds like vasoconstriction

911Doctor :

sounds like Raynauds

911Doctor :

stand by one more minute

Customer:

standing by

911Doctor :

trying to find a reference that describes the hot water biofeedback treatment, but i can not

911Doctor :

the first reference might be useful to print and show your Rheumatologist

911Doctor :

if you can try the hot water treatment prior to seeing your Doctor you may be able to help them by saying, 'hey this worked great' or 'tried this and it didn't work'....

Customer:

I will attempt to try that

911Doctor :

but other than that I do not know of, not can I find any 'as needed' medicines

911Doctor :

okay

911Doctor :

do you smoke?

Customer:

not really

911Doctor :

that's a yes!

Customer:

once or twice in my life more is what i mean

911Doctor :

okay, that's a real 'no'

Customer:

oh

911Doctor :

do you have any final questions for me?

911Doctor :

that Mayo reference is easy to read and quite complete

Customer:

any natural or otc remedies aside from the biofeedback?

Customer:

and warm water

911Doctor :

stand by

Customer:

i noticed beta blockers worsen raynauds, i do take one, would it be worth discussing the possibility of discontinuing that medication if possible?

911Doctor :

looks like some practitioners recommend ginko biloba, I can't endorse it but it can't hurt to give it a shot

911Doctor :

and yes to the beta blocker question

911Doctor :

why do you take it

Customer:

anxiety

911Doctor :

hmmm

911Doctor :

what beta blocker

Customer:

propranolol

911Doctor :

check this out

Customer:

and for essential tremor, i forgot that

911Doctor :

there is probably a better medicine for your anxiety

911Doctor :

and anxiety can itself cause Raynaud's

911Doctor :

still, maybe a better choice for you than propranolol

911Doctor :

standing by

911Doctor :

do you have any durther question for me?

Customer:

nope thats all, alright, thank you for all your help

911Doctor :

you are most welcome

911Doctor :

if this has been helpful positive feedback is always appreciated

911Doctor :

have a great day

911Doctor :

and ask for me anytime

Customer:

you too

911Doctor :

'911doc'

911Doctor :

good night

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