If you’re a truck driver, odds are fairly good that you suffer from a condition called Raynaud’s Syndrome — and you might not even know that you have it.
Raynaud’s is a condition that causes certain parts of your body (usually fingers and toes) to turn white and go numb in response to cold. However, the constant vibration of driving a truck combined with exposure to cold can also greatly increase your risk of contracting this circulation disorder. Here are some facts about Raynaud’s that affected truckers need to know.
- A sequence of color changes in your fingers and toes is the biggest warning flag for Raynaud’s. The affected body parts will turn white because of lack of blood flow, blue as the tissues lose oxygen, and then a reddish color as blood vessels relax and blood returns to the tissue.
- 80% of people suffering from Raynaud’s do not know that they have it.
- A Raynaud’s attack is usually triggered by exposure to cold, but extreme emotion can also bring on an attack.
- Though it is less likely, you could experience a Raynaud’s attack in your nose, ears, or tongue.
- 5% of Americans have Raynaud’s — though it is more common in women than men.
- Raynaud’s attacks can be very uncomfortable. Not only do Raynaud’s sufferers experience numbness, but they can also experience painful swelling and throbbing, especially as blood reenters the constricted blood vessels. Many sufferers complain about lack of dexterity — difficulty performing fine motor skills tasks — during an attack.
- Niacin may help. Niacin, also known as Vitamin B-3, helps to widen blood vessels and can improve your symptoms. Daily aspirin could also help by thinning your blood.
The video below is a good example of what a Raynaud’s attack looks like.