Sclerodoma is a condition where there are often circulating auto-antibodies but the mechanism whereby they damage tissue is unclear. this disorder, also called systemic sclerosis, affects tissues throughout the body and particularly blood vessels and skin. The effect on the blood vessels is that when they are exposed to cold, they go into spasm.
Raynaud’s disease is the name given to this constriction and spasm of small arteries, usually in the hands and sometimes toes, cheeks, nose, or ears. This can be seen as white or bluish discolouration of the hands which occurs after exposure to cold or emotional stress. The fingers (generally not the thumb) or other affected parts of the body may feel numb or cold during an episode, and later, after warming, may become bright red with a throbbing painful sensation.
The effect on the skin may be localised or widespread, initially there is oedema as a result of inflammatory stimulation of cells which produce collagen. The fibres that are laid down cause hardening of the skin which is what the name sclerodoma means.
Nutritional Supplements that could help. (Refer to the individual supplement for cautions in use.)
|Supplement/Herb||What it does||Dosage|
|Vitamin E||To improve circulation.||500iu daily|
|Fish Oils||May help to reduce the severity of blood-vessel spasm.||1000mg daily|
|Co-enzyme Q10||This helps improve tissue oxygenation.||100 to 200mg daily|
|B vitamin complex and B3 (niacin)||A B vitamin complex can help boost circulation, take as directed. Extra B3 up to 100mg daily, has been used with some success for relieving symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. Be aware that niacin often triggers harmless blushing which can last about half an hour.||as directed|
|Evening Primrose Oil||Fatty acids in evening primrose oil inhibit the formation of biochemical messengers (prostaglandins) that promote blood vessel constriction.||3,000–6,000 mg daily|
|Magnesium||A deficiency of this mineral results in spasm of blood vessels. Some doctors recommend that people with Raynaud’s disease supplement with 200–600 mg of magnesium per day.||200 – 600mg daily|
|Ginkgo Biloba||Ginkgo biloba has been reported to improve the circulation in small blood vessels and reduce the severity and frequency of attacks.||120 – 1240mg daily|
|Gotu Kola||A number of studies have shown that extracts of gotu kola are effective in the treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Gotu kola appears to enhance the connective tissue structure and improve venous circulation.||1 to 4gm daily|
|MSM||MSM may provide significant relief from arthritis and other types of joint injury.||can be used as a gel topically|
Diet and Lifestyle Factors
If you suffer with Raynaud’s disease, you will probably already know that dressing warmly and wearing gloves or mittens can help prevent attacks. Layers of clothing can be helpful, lightweight thermal gloves under thicker wool ones, two pairs of socks for instance.
Nicotine decreases blood flow to the extremities so it is important not to smoke cigarettes.
Women with Raynaud’s disease should not use birth control pills, as this method of contraception can adversely affect circulation.
Cut down on tea, coffee, cola drinks, alcohol and chocolate as they all affect circulation.
Include garlic, cayenne and ginger in cooking to help improve circulation. Try drinking ginger tea.
Eat nuts, seeds and avocados for their Vitamin E contents.
Eat blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrants for bioflavanoids.
Avoid eating very cold foods during the winter months as the body has to expend energy to bring them up to body temperature. Keep warm and circulation flowing by having warming soups and hot meals.
Moderate exercise is a key for improving circulation, however if you are deficient in magnesium that will affect muscle function and the capillaries. Excessive exercise can worsen Raynauds.
Homoeopathic Remedies which may help. (Refer to the individual remedy for guidance on the one that is most appropriate for you.)
- Arsenicum alb
- Carbo veg
- Hepar sulphuris