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BPB ALERT NEWS – RAYNAUD’S AWARENESS MONTH 1-29th FEBRUARY…

February is Raynaud’s Awareness Month – help others to get to know about Raynaud’s condition by posting on media sites with #KnowRaynauds.

Raynaud’s disease (Ray-nodes) means that the small blood vessels in the extremities such as the hands, feet, fingers or toes are over-sensitive to even the slightest changes in temperature, cold conditions and sometimes emotional stress.

When our bodies are exposed to the cold, a normal response is for the blood vessels to become narrower. When someone has Raynaud’s this reaction may be much more extreme. It will sometimes cause a noticeable colour change to the affected areas, with the skin turning white, then blue and finally to red as the circulation returns. This is known as a Raynaud’s attack.

A Raynaud’s attack can be very uncomfortable, and sometimes quite painful. It can also make everyday tasks, like buttoning a jacket or unzipping a purse, very difficult. Raynaud’s symptoms generally affect the fingers and toes, but all extremities can be involved, including the hands, feet, ears, nose, lips, tongue and nipples. Raynaud’s is a common condition thought to affect up to ten million people in the UK.

There are two different types of Raynaud’s: primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud’s is usually less serious as the condition tends to be fairly manageable. People living with secondary Raynaud’s will often experience more severe symptoms.

People with primary Raynaud’s usually have no other related complications, and will rarely go on to develop an additional problem.

If you have primary Raynaud’s, it is important to see your GP if you are worried about the symptoms or any other health issues.

Secondary Raynaud’s needs more investigation and more careful monitoring for complications like ulceration or sores.

If you notice a change in your symptoms or you have any other health concerns, it is important to tell your doctor, who may carry out some tests to rule out other conditions.

To find out much more about the condition and how to get help head over to Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK). It is the only UK Charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with scleroderma and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Their aim is to reach out to every single person who has a Scleroderma or Raynaud’s diagnosis and provide them with the information and support they need.

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9 WAYS TO LIFT YOUR STRESS DURING LOCKDOWN…

At the moment it is understandable that many of us (including me) are incredibly stressed right now. But one of the most powerful tools according to Paul McKenna in Woman & Home is making a daily list of things that we appreciate. So, I will kick of with number …

1. Get a notebook or open a file on your computer, and each day, add at least five things to the list. Then any time you are feeling really stressed read back through what you have written. I’ve ordered a notebook today and plan on trying this straight away.

2. Try and work it out, if you can’t manage an indoor workout then go out for a walk in the fresh air, or do some housework to take your mind off it.

3. Try breathing exercises, whereby you breath out for longer than you breathe in. There are a number of ones you can follow online. The theory is that when you breathe out you signal your nervous system to instruct your body to calm down.

4. During the COVID-19 lockdown it’s been easy to eat all the wrong things especially for anyone who is self isolating but this can have a negative effect on your health, so try eating more healthily. Last week I started a diary of the meals I had cooked during the week so I can look at what we had last week and go for something different this week.

5. Listen to some calming music. Just try and switch off completely by sitting or lying somewhere very peaceful and listen to some lovely soothing music.

6. Apparently we have been watching lots of nature programs during the last few months as they have found these have a very calming effect on children. So, do the same as the younger ones and get yourself in a comfy chair, relax and watch a nature program.

7. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day. Being dehydrated can cause a multiple of different problems. You should try and drink around 2.7 litres for women, and 3.7 litres for men.

8. Read a book, there are so many free and very cheap books to read online now or paperbacks you can buy for a reasonable price. I’ve become hooked on my books and find they help me go to sleep at night. If your having a really bad day there is no harm in binge reading, like binge watching a tv program. If it’s a good book just get yourself comfortable and read it from start to finish.

9. Finally, just laugh and I mean really laugh. It helps to relieve stress big time. If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh you can go online and find funny videos, in particular the animal ones which will definitely have you in stitches.