Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Lifestyle changes and supplements that encourage better circulation may be effective alternatives for managing Raynaud's. If you're interested, talk to your doctor about:

  • Fish oil. Taking fish oil supplements could help improve your tolerance to cold and delay the narrowing of your blood vessels that triggers Raynaud's syndrome attacks.
  • Ginkgo. Ginkgo supplements could help decrease the number of Raynaud's attacks you have.
  • Biofeedback. Using your mind to control body temperature (biofeedback) may help decrease the severity and frequency of attacks. Biofeedback includes guided imagery to increase the temperature of hands and feet, deep breathing, and other relaxation exercises. Your doctor may be able to suggest a therapist who can help you learn biofeedback techniques. Books and tapes also are available on the subject.

As with any supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor before adding it to your treatment regimen. Your doctor can warn you if there are any potential drug interactions or side effects of alternative treatments.

Coping with the stress and nuisance of Raynaud's takes patience and effort. Work with your doctor to manage your condition and maintain a positive attitude. The majority of people with Raynaud's respond to treatment.

Oct. 20, 2011

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