Causes of Raynaud's phenomenon


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Triggers list for Raynaud's phenomenon: The list of triggers mentioned in source as possible causal factors for Raynaud's phenomenon includes:

  • Cold weather
  • Cold climate
  • Cold exposure
  • Emotional stress (type of Stress)
  • Smoking

Cause details for Raynaud's phenomenon: Doctors do not completely understand the cause of Raynaud's, but they believe the body's blood vessels overreact to cold.

When the body is exposed to cold, the hands and feet lose heat rapidly. To conserve heat, the body reduces the amount of blood flowing to these areas by narrowing the small arteries that supply them with blood. In persons with Raynaud's, these small blood vessels overrespond to cold. For example, reaching into a refrigerator may trigger an attack.

Cold temperatures are more likely to provoke an attack when the individual is physically or emotionally stressed. For some persons, exposure to cold is not even necessary; stress alone causes vessels to narrow.1

Triggers discussion for Raynaud's phenomenon: For most people, an attack is usually triggered by exposure to cold or emotional stress. In general, attacks affect the fingers or toes but may affect the nose, lips, or ear lobes. 2

Underlying condition causes of Raynaud's phenomenon: The list of possible underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Raynaud's phenomenon) mentioned in various sources as possible causes of Raynaud's phenomenon includes:

Raynaud's phenomenon as a complication: Other conditions that might have Raynaud's phenomenon as a complication might be potential underlying causes of Raynaud's phenomenon. The list of conditions listing Raynaud's phenomenon as a complication in our database includes:

Raynaud's phenomenon as a symptom: Conditions listing Raynaud's phenomenon as a symptom may also be potential underlying causes of Raynaud's phenomenon. The list of conditions listing Raynaud's phenomenon as a symptom in our database includes:

Related information for causes of Raynaud's phenomenon: Further relevant information on causes of Raynaud's phenomenon may be found in the risk factors for Raynaud's phenomenon and underlying causes of Raynaud's phenomenon.

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from NHLBI, Raynaud's Phenomenon: NHLBI
2. excerpt from Questions and Answers about Raynaud's Phenomenon: NIAMS

Last revision: June 12, 2003

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