Friday, May 22, 2009

Tunnel Vision

Image found here. 

I posted earlier about the effects of summertime on Sjogren's syndrome. After receiving a great comment from Lisa, a fellow Sjoggie, I realized that I was looking at this season of warmth and sunshine with a narrow focus - mine. 

Yup, all the heat and sunshine - related factors apply to me and several other Sjoggies. But Lisa pointed out that she throughly enjoys the warm weather since it provides her with relief from a cold-season Sjogren's symptom which many other autoimmune disease patients deal with - Raynaud's phenomenon. defines Raynaud's this way:

Raynaud's disease is more than simply having cold hands and cold feet, and it's not the same as frostbite. Signs and symptoms of Raynaud's depend on the frequency, duration and severity of the blood vessel spasms that underlie the disorder. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Sequence of color changes in your skin in response to cold or stress
  • Numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or relief of stress

During an attack of Raynaud's, affected areas of your skin usually turn white at first. Then, the areas often turn blue and feel cold and numb, and your sensory perception is dulled. As circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. The order of the changes of color isn't the same for all people, and not everyone experiences all three colors.

Occasionally, an attack affects just one or two fingers or toes. Attacks don't necessarily always affect the same digits. Although Raynaud's most commonly affects your fingers and toes, the condition can also affect other areas of your body, such as your nose, lips, ears and even nipples. An attack may last less than a minute to several hours.

Not fun, not fun at all. 

Good comment, Lisa. Vicky, over at Sjogren's and Me, has also written an interesting post about Raynaud's. Check it out.  

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