If you live with Raynaud’s phenomenon or suspect you might have the disease, you need to learn how to manage your symptoms with proper medication and natural supplements. The right treatment plan can help alleviate the symptoms of the condition, including sores and spasms that can often be painful. There are a number of reasons which can cause Raynaud’s disease, and while there is no absolute cure for the condition, the symptoms can be managed with the right diet and medications to help you stay healthy and improve your quality of life.
It is important to get the professional medical opinion of a doctor who can effectively diagnose the condition with certain tests, and if you want to take your treatment plan up and arch, you can also discuss the introduction of certain natural supplements that can assist in the management of the condition. In this article, we will be discussing the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for Raynaud’s disease, along with our list of the 7 best natural supplements for Raynaud’s disease.
What Is Raynaud’s Disease?
Raynaud’s disease is a disorder that affects blood vessels, specifically the arteries that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. The condition mainly manifests itself in the form of brief periods of vasospasms, which reduces the amount of blood flowing through arteries and capillaries as the overall diameter of these blood vessels decreases during these episodes.
The disease mainly affects blood vessels in the fingers and toes; however, it can also affect the vessels in the nose, lips, nipples, and earlobes, depending on where the vasospasms occur. These vasospastic episodes can occur at any time, and they may last a few minutes or hours. Regardless of the type of Raynaud’s disease, the attacks can occur due to brief or moderate fluctuations in temperature from warm to cool or by exposure to cold temperatures and stressful situations. The spasms occur as part of the body’s natural defense mechanism, and it is similar to shivering, which allows the body to retain heat in cold temperatures by using muscular contractions. However, in this case, the blood vessels constrict to reduce the blood supply and prevent a loss of heat from the body.
Raynaud’s disease manifests itself changing the color of the skin of the affected area, which is why if you have this disease, you’ll find that your skin might turn white due to the absence of blood in the area, which can eventually even turn blue due to the oxygen deprivation in the area due to blocked blood flow in the arteries. When the attack or spasm is over, the blood rushes back into the area, and it might turn red while also creating a tingling, throbbing, burning, or a numbing feeling.
While Raynaud’s does not typically cause long-term tissue damage, individuals affected by the ailment can often develop painful skin sores, which can even become gangrenous due to consistent or prolonged attacks or spasms. If the gangrene or decay of tissue gets too severe, the finger or toe might need to be amputated to prevent it from spreading to healthy tissue.
Types of Raynaud’s Disease?
Raynaud’s disease has two main types – primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud is also known as Raynaud’s disease, and it is often less severe than secondary Raynaud’s. In primary Raynaud, the disease occurs in the majority of Raynaud cases even though the cause of the condition is not known, but the disease is not as serious as the alternative, and it can typically be managed by making diet and lifestyle changes.
Secondary Raynaud’s is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, and it results from an underlying illness, disease, condition, or any other external factor. The most common diseases associated with Raynaud’s are autoimmune or connective tissue diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis, and it is more difficult to manage as in addition to treating the symptoms, you also have to treat the underlying condition.
Who Is At Risk of Raynaud’s Disease?
The cause of Raynaud’s disease it’s not known in its entirety, but we do have some triggers, warning signs, and factors that can increase the risk of developing the condition, including:
- Age factors
- Underlying diseases, specifically connective tissue or autoimmune diseases
- Residing in cold climates
- Cigarette smoking
- Chemical exposure
- Repetitive actions that produce vibrating motions
- Injury or trauma
- Medicinal side effects
7 Best Natural Supplements For Raynaud’s Disease
Magnesium is an essential element used by the body to regulate its metabolism, and an abnormal amount of magnesium in the blood is typically reported in individuals with Raynaud’s disease. Magnesium allows the nerves and heart to work properly and it maintains blood pressure. Additionally, the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease closely mimic those of magnesium deficiency as a lack of the mineral in the blood causes spasms in blood vessels, twitching, and cramps. Here are some of our top picks for magnesium supplements:
- Trace Minerals Liquid Ionic Magnesium Supplement(ASIN : B006NXSKFU)
- MegaFood, Relax + Calm Magnesium Soft Chews(ASIN : B086P4T6SX)
- Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium Powder(ASIN : B016KO48Y8)
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
Fish oil is a potent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and in double-blind trial research, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduced to the severity of spastic activity in half of the test subjects. However, it is to be noted that fish oil was effective in reducing symptoms in people with primary Raynaud’s disease, but they were not as effective in those with secondary Raynaud’s disease. Fish oil is also known to improve tolerance to exposure to cold environments as they increase the systolic blood pressure in cold temperatures.
Unrefined cold-pressed flaxseed oil is also a great source of essential omega-3 fatty acids that can improve blood circulation. In addition to omega-3, cold-pressed and unrefined nut and seed oils are also full of vitamin E, which is known to have a therapeutic effect and relieve the numbness caused by a lack of blood due to constricted blood vessels a specific area. Here are some of our top picks for omega-3 fatty acid supplements:
- Nature Made Organic Flaxseed Oil(ASIN : B00GLIY7EA)
- Fish Oil by Nature’s Bounty(ASIN : B000NPYY04)
- Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega-3 Soft Gels(ASIN : B07QHP2ZNQ)
3. Inositol Hexaniacinate
While Inositol Hexaniacinate might have a complicated name, in essence, it is actually a special form of vitamin B3 and a variation of niacin that can be used to alleviate the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. Studies conducted with inositol hexaniacinate show that individuals taking the supplement can decrease the occurrence of arterial spasms while improving overall blood circulation in the body. The quantity of the supplement should be discussed with your doctor before you implement inositol hexaniacinate in your routine. Here are some of our top picks for inositol hexaniacinate supplements:
- Nutricost Inositol Powder(ASIN : B08QC4V25L)
- Member’s Mark – Flush Free (B3) Niacin Inositol Hexanicotinate Capsules(ASIN : B001MH2AJE)
4. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil contains fatty acids that limit the creation of prostaglandins in the body which improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and are responsible for blood vessel constriction in individuals with Raynaud’s disease. According to research, the consumption of evening primrose oil reduce the severity and occurrence of spasmatic attacks even if the overall blood flow in the region did not increase. Here are some of our top picks for evening primrose oil supplements:
- Zhou Nutrition Evening Primrose Oil Capsules(ASIN : B07FQ1TPG5)
- NOW Supplements, Evening Primrose Oil Softgel(ASIN : B078TGP8BK)
- PURA D’OR Organic Evening Primrose Oil(ASIN : B0892PK526)
5. Pine Bark Extract
Pine bark or pycnogenol is extracted from tree species in the Mediterranean region, specifically Pinus Maritima and Pinus Pinaster. Pycnogenol is known to have properties that significantly improve symptoms of Raynaud’s disease, including coldness, burning sensations, pain, paresthesias, and discoloration in the skin. Overall, pine bark is linked with improving systolic and diastolic blood pressure and maintaining the health of the circulatory system, which allows the body to have a rich supply of blood and oxygen.
Pine bark extract also reduces information in certain parts of the body, including the limbs, as it contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds known as procyanidin oligomers. The procyanidin oligomers are also effective in managing secondary diseases that can cause the occurrence of Raynaud’s disease. By managing the symptoms of the initial disease, the symptoms of secondary Raynaud’s can also be medicated. Pycnogenol also has properties that support the structures are blood vessels and insurers there is a smooth flow of blood to and from the heart. The pine bark extract contains flavonoids such as taxifolin and catechin that are responsible for increasing the body’s nitric oxide levels, which dilate blood vessels and allow them to reach all parts of the body. Here are some of our top picks for pine bark extract:
- Nugenix Essentials Pine Bark Extract Capsules(ASIN: B07Q38XCG3)
- com Pine Bark Extract Powder(ASIN: B00F7VZIDG)
- Pine Bark Tincture Alcohol-Free Extract(ASIN: B06Y2GZXK6)
6. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is also known as maidenhair, and it is a tree commonly used in Chinese medicine as this ancient tree is native to China and boasts medical properties that allow it to be used in medicines and supplements.
Ginkgo biloba has been reported to improve circulation in small blood vessels as there is research available that suggests there is an increase in nitric oxide levels in the blood of those who consume ginkgo biloba, which was effective in alleviating the symptoms of those suffering from Raynaud’s disease. Nitric oxide allows blood vessels to dilate and increases blood flow to the arteries and capillaries to ensure they reach the areas which are not densely packed with blood vessels.
The leaves of Ginkgo biloba contain bioflavonoids known as rutosides or rutin that possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can make it especially effective if the individual is suffering from secondary Raynaud’s. Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Buerger’s disease can benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of ginkgo biloba as they can relieve the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. Here are some of our top picks for products with ginkgo biloba:
- Naturevibe Botanicals Ginkgo Biloba Extract Powder(ASIN: B08HL3NYR5)
- Panax Ginseng + Ginkgo Biloba Tablets – Premium Non-GMO/Veggie Superfood Tablets(ASIN: B081JBM8G3)
- Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Liquid Extract(ASIN: B07HZ6FVPP)
Our Final Thoughts
Raynaud’s Phenomenon or disease can affect people due to certain underlying conditions or even manifest as primary Raynaud’s where the cause is not known. The condition might be chronic, but that does not mean the symptoms cannot be managed through an effective treatment plan. Once the disease is diagnosed, your doctor can determine the best medication for you, but you will normally need to tailor your diet to suit your medical needs. To help you understand what nutrients, minerals, and supplements your body needs to limit the effects of the disease, we have shared our list of the best natural supplements for Raynaud’s disease. However, be sure to discuss these supplements with your doctor before you incorporate them into your routine to prevent any unforeseen complications.