Raynaud's Phenomenon is a blood vessel spasm disorder that occurs in the fingers or toes, which decreases blood supply to the respective regions. Stress and cold are common triggers that set off the spasms. Now I have a more mild case, and only have complete loss of colour and numbness in my feet when they have been exposed to severe cold (like riding my bike to the gym in -15 degree weather). When this happens, there is a distinct line across my toes where the circulation is cut off. However, my feet are usually always cold, even when I have wool socks on. Sitting and standing tend to be a stress that sets off the spasms, but my feet look nice and pretty when I get out of bed in the morning.
|This is what my feet look like on a regular basis (No, I don't think a pedicure would help make them look any better)|
|This is my foot after giving it a 15 second massage to improve the circulation|
Now I can't exactly remember how long ago I started getting symptoms. The earliest I recall, is when I was a lifeguarding in grade 12, my friend and I were sitting on a table during our break talking about how disgusting my feet looked. I remember rubbing one foot to show that it had something to do with my circulation and that my feet were cold, and then we watched the discolouration creep back in to my feet. Even on a 30 degree summer day, walking around in flip-flops my feet will be cold. Really, the only time they feel pretty normal (if I even know what that is) is when I'm sleeping/lying down under lots of blankets or when I'm exercising.
Knowing this is something I've had for some time now, probably means that it will take a long time to heal. Hopefully signs that my rosacea have already reduced means that I'm heading in the right direction.
Interestingly, Robb Wolf has talked about Raynaud's Phenomenon on his show and has seen family members symptoms drastically improve by changing to a paleo diet. Check out the podcast here: http://robbwolf.com/2011/10/25/the-paleo-solution-episode-103/