by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2010, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Definition of RaynaudŐs syndrome. Excessively reduced blood flow in response to cold or emotional stress. This causes discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas. They may turn white or blue. This condition may also cause nails to become brittle with longitudinal ridges.
Terminology. RaynaudŐs syndrome is also called RaynaudŐs disease or RaynaudŐs phenomenon. On this website, I use the terms interchangeably.
Impaired circulation and RaynaudŐs syndrome are extremely common conditions today. They usually go away or diminish if one follows a nutritional balancing program. This article discusses the symptoms, causes and correction of these circulation problems.
Problems with blood circulation are extremely common. The main problem they cause is reduced oxygenation, nutrition and hydration of the cells. Reduced circulation also causes impaired elimination of all cellular waste products. This may not sound serious, but it is one of the major causes of illness and even death in the body.
The major symptom for many people is they experience cold hands and/or feet, especially in colder weather. RaynaudŐs syndrome or disease is a more extreme form in which the hands and feet can turn white or blue with cold, even when the ambient temperature is not that cold.
Another symptom is impaired healing of wounds, injuries, bruises and other trauma to the hands and feet. One can even have impaired nail growth, splitting of the nails, ridges on the nails and other abnormalities of the extremities due to impaired circulation.
Another symptom can be baldness or hair loss. Another is impaired memory, dementia, and other mental symptoms that are due to impaired circulation to the brain. Another symptom is pain. Many peopleŐs pain is due to impaired circulation to some area of the body. This may be due to muscle tension, arteriosclerosis, cancer and other causes.
There are so many causes of impaired circulation that I will only name the most common of them. Some are quite rare, for example, such as parasites that block blood vessels and some infections. However, the most common reasons include:
Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. These occur mainly in people over the age of 40 or so. However, they can occur in younger people as well. As the arteries become clogged, circulation to the part of the body served by the arteries diminishes.
Many older people have diminished circulation to the brain, for example, for this reason. It gives rise to dementias and many other problems associated with aging.
Nutritional balancing is excellent to reverse this condition. We do not recommend or need chelation therapy to reverse arteriosclerosis. However, chelation is often better than bypass surgery and other surgeries for impaired circulation.
Sympathetic overdrive. This is a specific kind of overuse and irritation of the sympathetic or fight-or-flight nervous system. This activity tends to draw the blood toward the center of the body and away from the extremities.
It is part of a fight-or-flight reaction. In an evolutionary sense, it is designed so that in the event of a severe trauma, one may have a better chance of survival if blood is not pooled in the limbs, but is moved to the trunk of the body. For more about sympathetic dominance, read the article on this site titled sympathetic dominance.
Sluggish oxidation. Slow oxidation means that the thyroid and adrenal glands are underactive and the body is generally quite tired. A common effect is a slowing of circulation, as well as a lower body temperature. These combine to cause impaired circulation and cold hands and feet.
The causes of slow oxidation are many, from fatigue and exhaustion to vegetarian or other inadequate diets, to various illnesses. For more on this topic, read slow oxidation on this website.
Excessive levels of toxic metals or toxic chemicals. This is usually an indirect cause, but often plays a role. Certain toxic metals such as mercury and excessive copper affect the thyroid gland, for example, and can cause cold hands and feet.
Fatigue. Fatigue often causes impaired circulation
Sugar eating. Certain foods are ŇyinÓ or cold in Chinese medical terminology. They include anything containing sugar, such as candy, cookies, fruit, juices, ice cream, fruit smoothies and even hot chocolate or hot apple cider. Juices are especially yin as they usually contain more sugar than solid food. These may all cause a person to feel cold.
Sugars also contribute to slow oxidation and damage the adrenal glands. Thus sugars can contribute to cold hands and feet in a number of ways.
Hormone imbalances. Certain hormones, especially estrogen, may control circulation as well. The mechanism is not known. However, this may be one reason that young women, in particular, and all women, in general, have warmer extremities at times than men or older people, as a group.
For example, many women experience hot flashes to some degree during menopause. This is related to the hormone levels as well. While the adrenal and thyroid glands play a role, their exact mechanism is not fully understood.
Other hormones such as testosterone and others may also improve circulation. Nutritional balancing programs can help balance all hormones. We never suggest hormone replacement, even with bio-identical or natural hormones. It is not needed and often unbalances the body after a while in subtle but harmful ways.
CORRECTION OF RAYNAUDŐS SYNDROME AND IMPAIRED CIRCULATION
Correction involves reversing the causes above. Nutritional balancing programs emphasize balancing the oxidation rate using the slow oxidizer diet and nutritional supplements. Avoiding all sweets, including artificial sweeteners and other food chemicals, may be another key to overcoming cold hands and feet.
It also involves lifestyle modifications such as more rest and sleep and a detoxification protocol to remove toxic metals and toxic chemicals.
Sweating to improve circulation. A fabulous therapy for all circulatory problems that I am aware of is sauna therapy, particularly with a near infrared sauna. The sauna benefits circulation for at least a dozen reasons. These range from relaxing the sympathetic nervous system to removing toxins in the skin and extremities. The sauna is also relaxing, safe, powerful and inexpensive to use at home on a daily basis.
Relaxation and meditation. At times, meditation and relaxation exercises are also extremely helpful. This is particularly the case if a person demonstrates the sympathetic dominance pattern on a hair mineral analysis.
Other corrective measures may seem simple, but can be most helpful. These include always dressing very warmly, even if it is embarrassing to wear gloves, a hat, boots and a long coat. This can be excellent to help prevent the body from going into sympathetic dominance, for example.
Making sure one rests and sleeps at least 9 or 10 hours every night and learning to stay calm all the time are also very helpful. Using all these methods together, most cases of RaynaudŐs syndrome and other types of poor circulation usually improve easily and rapidly.
Symptomatic remedies. At times, extra remedies in addition to the nutritional balancing program are needed or helpful for a while until general health improves. These may include extra vitamin E, gingko biloba, higher dose niacin and perhaps simple and fairly safe nutrients or herbs. However, these will be much less effective if one does not also use a complete nutritional balancing program. For information about how to begin such a program, see the home page of this website.
OTHER ARTICLES ABOUT CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONS
There are numerous articles about cardiovascular health conditions on this website. They are available by clicking here.