What’s Happening to My Fingers?

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Hello friends! 

Today I have a bit of an odd one for you, but I am thinking more of you may actually relate to this than expected! 

Let’s start with a bit of an anecdote. I am a sailor, a coach, and an instructor evaluator. As an evaluator, I would spend a lot of time on water pre-season, and as some of you may know Lake Ontario is not exactly the warmest in April, May, or June. I was noticing more and more that my fingertips were going numb and very white. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but then it became regular and of course I wanted to know what was happening to my fingers! I also started to notice that it was always the same finger that had it worse, and it began to hurt as well.

I mentioned it to my Doctor and showed him a picture of it, and turns out I have something called Raynaud’s. 

Has anyone ever heard of Raynaud’s? Sometimes known as Raynaud’s syndrome, phenomenon, or disease.
There is Primary and Secondary Raynaud’s, and the secondary is a bit less common and tends to be more serious. 

Raynaud’s is more common in cold climates, so Canada seems to fit the bill. Other risk factors could include your age with people between 15-30 being more at risk to get it, and family history. 

The way my doctor explained it is as a blood circulation issue, but they don’t have a clear-cut cause. It also is not really something that can easily be treated, as it is more of a nuisance than anything but there are things you can do to prevent and help during a flare up. 

Things you can do yourself:

  • Keep warm! This is actually the number one thing to do to prevent any attacks. This may mean wearing gloves on days that you may not feel it necessary to. 

  • Stay active to keep that blood flowing! 

  • Try yoga and breathing

  • Use insulated glasses

  • Avoid holding anything cold for too long 

It is pretty important to make sure you keep warm and bundle up, but even more so if you notice a flare up to avoid having your extremities turn blue.  Unfortunately, these attacks or flare-ups are becoming quite common for me especially in the cold rainy Scottish climate.  

With happy vibes, 

Mary-Catherine xx