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Vitamin B-6 and Raynaud's Disease

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition that can cause feelings of coldness or numbness in certain parts of your body, such as your fingers, nose, ears and toes. This is due to a narrowing of the small arteries that supply blood to the skin. Taking vitamin B-6 may help to alleviate the symptoms.

Symptoms

Although Raynaud’s phenomenon is often more of an annoyance than a disability, it is more complicated than merely having cold extremities. Symptoms vary considerably depending on how often the blood vessels narrow and the severity and duration of their spasms. Symptoms include a chill feeling or numbness in the fingers or toes and color changes in the skin in response to cold temperatures or stress. During a Raynaud’s attack, the skin will first turn white and then blue as the area becomes increasingly numb. As the temperature returns the skin will redden and may throb or swell slightly.

  • Although Raynaud’s phenomenon is often more of an annoyance than a disability, it is more complicated than merely having cold extremities.
  • During a Raynaud’s attack, the skin will first turn white and then blue as the area becomes increasingly numb.

Causes

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The cause of Raynaud’s is unknown, though it is thought that when suffers become cold or stressed, their blood vessels narrow more than those of non-sufferers, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. There are two forms of this condition: Primary Raynaud’s is more commonly found in people who inhabit cold climates. Secondary Raynaud’s has a number of risk factors including previous frostbite, cigarette smoking, using vibrating tools, carpel tunnel syndrome and conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Research

According to a study published in the May 2002 issue of the "Journal for Vascular Diseases," people who suffer from Raynaud’s disease often have higher levels of homocysteine than non-sufferers 3. Homocysteine is an amino acid produced in the body. It plays a key role in cardiovascular health and high levels can also lead to heart disease.

Vitamin B-6

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Vitamin B-6 is a water-soluble vitamin that your body cannot make, so you must obtained it from your diet. B-6 helps the brain synthesize neurotransmitters, assists red blood cell formation and helps with hormone function. Along with folic acid and vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6 also helps regulate the amino acid homocysteine. This vitamin may, therefore, be useful for the treatment of Raynaud’s disease.

  • Vitamin B-6 is a water-soluble vitamin that your body cannot make, so you must obtained it from your diet.
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