Q. I've suffered with Raynaud’s disease in my hands for two years. There is no underlying cause for it such as lupus.
My doctor has prescribed various blood pressure medicines that are supposed to work for this condition, but nothing seems to help. Is there a natural remedy that might help? Would acupuncture possibly work? Any suggestions would be most appreciated, as cold weather makes it very hard for me to function.
A. People with Raynaud’s syndrome really suffer in the winter. In this condition, blood vessels in the hands and feet constrict. Fingers may turn white or blue and be painful or numb. The colder the temperature, the worse the symptoms.
Acupuncture may be somewhat helpful. One small study found that acupuncture reduced attacks by 63 percent compared to a 27 percent reduction in the control patients (Journal of Internal Medicine, Feb. 1997).
A reader of this column reported that taking cinnamon capsules alleviated her Raynaud’s symptoms. In Chinese medicine, both cinnamon and astragalus have been used for circulatory problems of this sort.