Your family doctor or general practitioner will likely be able to diagnose Raynaud's based on your signs and symptoms. In some cases, however, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in disorders of the joints, bones and muscles (rheumatologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
Write down the following:
- Signs and symptoms. Your doctor will want to know when you first noticed these and what seems to trigger them.
- Other medical conditions. Your doctor will want to know if you've been diagnosed with a disorder commonly associated with Raynaud's, such as scleroderma, lupus or Sjogren's syndrome.
- Medications. Include in your list all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies you take.
- Questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
Some questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my signs and symptoms?
- If I have Raynaud's, is it primary or secondary?
- Am I at risk of complications from this condition?
- What treatment do you recommend, if any?
- How can I reduce the risk of a Raynaud's attack?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
Oct. 07, 2014
- When did you notice your symptoms?
- During a Raynaud's attack, do your fingers or toes change color or feel numb or painful?
- What seems to trigger an attack?
- Have you been diagnosed with other medical conditions?
- Do you take prescription or over-the-counter medications?
- Has anyone else in your family been diagnosed with Raynaud's?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you use caffeine?
- What do you do for a living and for recreation?
- Wigley FM. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of the Raynaud phenomenon. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Questions and answers about Raynaud's phenomenon. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Raynauds_Phenomenon/default.asp. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Wigley FM. Initial treatment of the Raynaud phenomenon. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Raynaud's disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/raynaud/ray_all.html. Accessed Aug. 20, 2014.
- Malenfant D, et al. The efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon: A literature review and meta-analysis. Rheumatology. 2009;48:791.
- Natural product effectiveness checker: Raynaud's syndrome. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Aug. 28, 2014.
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