Raynaud’s disease is a disorder affecting blood vessels of the body. It is a rare condition in which there are occasional episodes of reduced blood flow to certain parts of the body. This disease mostly afflicts the fingers and the toes but in some cases, may impact lips, nose, and ears.
The manifestation of Raynauds disease (RD) is linked to a narrowing of blood vessels as a result of exposure to cold or stress. The narrowing of blood vessels is due to an excessive constriction of smaller arteries which have to supply blood to the skin.
In persons suffering from RD, the narrowed blood vessels prevent the blood from getting to the surface of the skin. This results in the discoloration of affected parts to blue or white often accompanied by numbness and pain. The return of blood flow changes the color of the affected part to red and may cause a throbbing/ tingling sensation or swelling.
The episode of reduced blood flow may last a few minutes or for several hours. In most cases, the disease can be managed by self care-like wearing warm clothes. But in some severe cases of the disease, the reduced blood flow can lead to sores (skin ulcers) or death of tissues (gangrene), both of which are tough to treat. Many seek Ayurvedic treatment for Raynaud’s disease.
RD is a disease commonly impacting people living in cold regions. Women have a higher risk than men. RD can be classified into 2 types:
- Primary RD
This is a more common and mild kind of RD that is not caused by any other medical condition. It is mostly manifested within 15 to 30 years of age and resolves on its own.
- Secondary RD
This RD is caused by an underlying medical condition. It is a more severe type and affects those who have crossed 40 years of age.
SYMPTOMS OF RAYNAUDS DISEASE
Some of the symptoms are:
- Numb and cold toes and fingers
- Change in color due to stress or cold
- Pain in toes, fingers and other affected parts
- Difficulty in moving the affected area
- Painful sensation of Pins and Needles on the return of blood flow.
AYURVEDIC APPROACH TO TREATING R.D.
Ayurveda is a holistic medical system. As per this, healthy life is a combined balance of Doshas (energies), Prakriti (physical constitution), Dhatus (tissues), Agni (digestive fires), Mala (waste products) as well as a happy state of mind, sensory organs and Atman (soul).
The main approach of Ayurveda is to reduce both the severity and occurrence of RD symptoms. It goes to the root of the problem causing the disease, treating the body, mind, and soul of the patient. The ayurvedic doctor treats RD using medicines taken from the Rakta-Prasaadak category of ancient Ayurvedic texts.
Medicines include Chopchini (Smilax china), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Suranjaan (Colchicum luteum), Khadeer (Acacia catechu), Mundi (Sphaeranthus indicus), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Arogya-Vardhini, Saarivasav, Kaishor-Guggulu and Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu.
For preventing over reaction to stress, medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Sarpagandha (Raulwofia serpentina) and Vacha (Acorus calamus) are used.
Patients are also advised about lifestyle changes to prevent contact with precipitating factors. Raynaud’s Ayurveda treatment treats both primary and secondary RD in a holistic manner.