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Raynauds part of Arthiritis & if not-how to manage
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Raynauds part of Arthiritis & if not-how to manage

Raynauds is not mentioned in any subject titles so I went under Arthritis. I have recently been diagnosed with Raynauds-Also Carpel tunnel. There seems to be some confusion among Drs as to what is going on. I had blood tests that came back negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. An Ortho Dr said there could be Sero-negative results. implying it could be hereditary. I have no family history of Raynauds and no one in immediate family has lupus or arthritis. I read that Raynauds can also be caused by constant repetitive motions such as being a cashier etc which is what I am. My primary Dr told me it was work related. With Raynauds, my fingers have gotten calloused from the constant hammering on keys and handing of cold products which have caused then to heal slowly like 3 months. I am now on temporary disability. Which is the correct Dr/specialist to see for this? Will I ever be able to return to the checkstand to be a cashier or look for other work? The callouses, hematoma (as my dr put it), under my nails, and numbness, pain tingling is sometimes pretty bad. If there are no underlying causes what do I do to help control this and is there a cure? Could it possibly be just a pinched nerve in my neck or back? Thank you kindly.  
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1193998_tn?1265121197
Many autoimmune disorders seem to occur together, for example RA and fibromyalgia, RA and Sjogrens syndrome, Lupus and RA. It wouldn't surprise me if Raynaud's was occurring along with sero-neg RA.

It isn't at all uncommon to test negative and still have all the symptoms. A good rheumatologist will treat you based on your symptoms and not rely solely on blood test results. I have a strong family history of RA and was dx'ed at age 5. My grandmother had RA, and two uncles - one dx'ed as a child and the other after he retired. It can occur at any age.

RA can and does affect the spine (don't let any doctor tell you it doesn't), so there is a possibility that some of your symptoms could be due to a pinched nerve.

If you haven't seen a rheumatologist, ask for a referral. Good luck, hope you feel better soon!
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I should have added that there is no known cure for RA and related auto immune disorders, but there are a number of medications and therapies that can help you manage the pain. Physical and occupational therapists can help you extend your working life as long as possible. Medical social workers can hook you up with services and job retraining, if necessary.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your insights.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just thought I'd add that I have raynauds (and some other autoimmune disorder(s).) Raynauds alone does change your life/the way you do things... Or should at least. It is chronic. It doesn't go away. It can lead to ulcers or even worse. (I took care of a patient when I worked as a nurse who had developed gangrene in several fingertips from raynauds.)
I've found I cannot for instance wash my veggies in cold water. I absolutely must wear gloves (or mittens even better) in cold weather. Drops in temperature even subtle make me vulnerable so I dress in layers usually b/c keeping your core warm seems to help some imo. I sleep with socks on most of the time. I have found the least painful and most effective way to warm my hands or feet or even nose is skin to skin contact. Meaning I will put my hands (though so unpleasantly freezing) on my bare stomach or another warm area of my skin. In very bad episodes, I used to run my hands under warm water. Ugh so extremely painful, not the way to go. If I'm doing something and my fingers start to get cold (raynauds cold) I stop and I get them warm. That may sound obvious but just in case, please do take care. I get ulcers when I'm not super careful and once you have them they're harder to heal than to prevent. I took procardia (a calcium-channel blocker) for awhile which worked really well. But that was years ago. I think they still prescribe them for raynauds. I hope so b/c once I'm done having and nursing babies I may very well go back on it!
I hope you find healing! God bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your kind words and insight. I a, doing the same thing. Warming my hands on my bare skin. wearing gloves, and socks for my feet pretty much all the time and I live in San Diego, Ca. So far, haven't found any underlying disease  so I am just doing the best I can with the symptoms and triggers of Raynauds. I do have carpel tunnel. Dr is thinking of letting me go back to wkr, which means I will be on light duty with restrictions not using my hands so I will basically stand there greeting customers. With Gloves on!!! Sadly workers comp keeps disregarding the constant repetitive motions which can trigger Raynauds or in some cases cause it  with Carpel tunnel. They keep treating me only for Carpel tunnel. Here's hoping something gets done. God Bless you as well and thank you kindly for your response!
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1193998_tn?1265121197
Interesting - I've been doing the same thing with my hands and feet that you describe! Somewhat less since I hit menopause and am hot most of the time, but definitely in the past, and mainly during the winter. There were some nights my feet would get cold and nothing would warm them up, even a heating pad. I figured it was part of my RA and never really considered Raynaud's!
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Avatar_f_tn
Sounds suspicious! The thing is if you're doing all the preventative things you won't necessarily see the three color changes they talk about in order to diagnose. Mine have only gone through the white-blue-red when I was young and didn't pay attention and let it get bad.
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Avatar_n_tn
Molly,
What happened when it got bad?
Mine still do the white thing when I touch something cold. But mostly now they turn blue when exposed to cold like air conditioning.I work in a grocery store and will have to wear gloves even being just a greeter at the door. when it is warm outdoors.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the most problems in the fall or winter. (I have lived thusfar in the midwest. Moving to CA soon though!)
Yes one or more of my fingers or toes will turn white randomly when it's chilly. But the more severe times they turn blue straightaway and I lose feeling in them and I can't really move them. Then as they are warmed they become very bright red and very painful with a throbbing sensation. I think I'm decently good at handling pain, but when these episodes have happened they are so intense tears just stream down my face.
For the last several years even if I don't have a more intense episode like that I still seem to get the beginnings of ulcers or an actual ulcer if my hands or feet get cold very often. I have found it seems like if I'm very careful to always be aware of keeping them warm I don't have problems with the ulcers.
I hope returning to work goes well for you! If you feel silly ever or get a funny look just remind yourself you're saving your fingers and toes! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I just reread your original post and wanted to encourage you to probably see a rheumatologist on at least an occasional basis. They specialize in autoimmune disorders and raynauds is considered one of these. Raynauds presented first for me - a few years before anything else. And for years my bloodwork was negative, but now that is not the case. It would be good to be able to be followed by a doctor who could keep an eye on you even if just for the raynauds.
How are your callouses healing? I bet that a calcium-channel blocker may really help you.
I wish you the best!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi And thank you. I am waiting for workers comp to authorize my visit to a Rheumatologist. It's a little slow in coming. I have reads about Raynauds coming on and tests coming back negative then yrs later something manifests. You are so correct. Being followed up on with this is imperative. My callouses have finally (after 4 months) healed. Whew!!! Peeled off like an old blister. I will ask my Dr about channel blockers. While I was on Drs leave my hands have had less episodes of Ranyauds for which Im thankful. I have started exercising about a month ago on a regular basis. For some reason, I feel this may be helping. Here's hoping the Rheumatologist can help. Oh and one ore thing I have noticed and it could be sheer coincidence. I was getting my feet rubbed because they hurt so bad from the arch to the heels and while they were being rubbed, these red bumps started popping up on my lower legs. It was the freakiest thing ever. It was like poison was being released from my feet into my lower legs. Itched a bit too. Now I am wondering if that is something that may be related to Raynauds or an underlying illness for I have a bit of Raynauds in my feet too. I will mention that previously last week memorial weekend, I walked through a field and lower legs itched when i returned from the weeds etc. I thought it was poison ivy but it stopped itching within 5 minutes so I was ok. No marks no thing that I noticed throughout the whole week so I doubt it had anything to do with the walk. I looked up rashes on lower legs etc and the only thing that came back was something called Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count). DO you happen to know anything about it? or any ideas of what this rash could be related to??? I'll be going to Dr Wednesday for my foot pain issue and will bring it up to him there. I wish you the best as well.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yah that does seem strange. I don't really know, but do mention it to your doctor! And the rheumatologist when you get in!
I have actually always gotten itchy red bumps on my inner knees and thighs every time I get very warm (ie. exercise or shower). I say always but I remember it started in my teens 13 ish which coincidentally was when the raynauds started. Weird. I've just assumed it was just my normal. But since yours is new onset that is somewhat concerning. For what it's worth my bloodwork seems to indicated CREST (limited systemic scleroderma and autoimmune hepatitis). But waiting to get into the rhuemy to confirm (or deny:) ) that. Scleroderma is apparently much more rare and most doctors don't even understand or know much about it. But raynauds is the first thing it presents with usually though a lot of autoimmune disorders can though.
I wish you the best in your journey in all this!
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Avatar_n_tn
went to my primary Dr he said blood some blood vessels burt in my legs called it vasculitis or something liek that but since he also said he believes it is related to Raynauds hypersensitivity etc, it is work related so today i go to workers comp dr to see what he says...more work restrictions, maybe it will go away, or he may take me off work who knows! Hope you are ho,ding up alright. Blessings!
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Avatar_n_tn
Went to Drs, I can still work as a greeter, he will look into ordering orthotics in the meantime, now waiting for vascular surgeon & Rheumatologists appts. Here's hoping they come soon. Blessings to you!
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