shopping suggestions for Raynaud's syndrome
November 27, 2018 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend tech/clothes/brands etc that work well for someone with Raynaud's syndrome?

I'm looking to buy gear for my wife who has Raynaud's syndrome, and is really acting up this year. I'm not looking for anything in particular; it's just to have an idea of what's out there, and what works.
posted by dhruva to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The only thing I've found that works is to anticipate when a Raynaud's attack is coming on so I can fire up the reusable handwarmer I always have in my jacket pocket. I'll be watching this thread carefully, though, for other suggestions.
posted by DrGail at 6:54 PM on November 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Friend of mine with Raynaud's swears by this USB handwarmer.
posted by jessamyn at 7:13 PM on November 27, 2018

Ok, this is not your question but I happened about this keyboard and mouse handwarmer tonight and you might find it relevant. (Supposedly they have begun production/shipping according to the imgur post where I found it)(aah! My reading comprehension is lacking! This is a direct answer ti your question)
posted by mmkhd at 7:21 PM on November 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Everyone focuses on Raynaud's in your fingers and toes, but I also get it in my ears and nipples. In general, layering works. I wear an ear-covering headband or a balaclava tucked beneath my chin to cover my ears, and then I wear a really warm hat over that. I wear undershirts, and when I'm outside I put on a bulky sweater over my usual outfit and then put my coat on over that. I wear two pairs of socks, and I wear mittens over thin gloves.

I'm a knitter, so I've knit some fingerless gloves to wear inside. I think you can also buy them.

Whatever she wears, she should make sure that it isn't tight, because cutting off circulation makes Raynaud's worse. My rule is that my inner layer should be thin but not tight, and my outer layer should be loose enough so that there's an air pocket between the inner layer and the outer layer.

My doctor prescribed calcium channel blockers for my Raynaud's, but I didn't notice much difference, and I didn't like the side effects, so I stopped taking them. But that's a possibility. My doctor spotted tiny lesions in my fingernail beds and made all sorts of threatening noises about gangrene, and I think they may only prescribe medication when your Raynaud's is pretty bad.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:37 PM on November 27, 2018 [4 favorites]

I rely on good wool socks (Darn Tough brand if possible, they're great), insulated boots with lots of toe wiggle room, and chemical toe-warmers (you can get them in an enormous box at Costco or in smaller packages at most drugstores) to bike through the winter in spite of my Raynaud's. I've been eyeing some electric heated socks like these, but those would pay for a lot of disposable toe warmers.

Keeping my hands warm is harder, since they're not encased in boots. If it's cold enough that enormous lobster gloves aren't going to help, pogies are where it's at.

Also, several pairs of good, thin, comfortable long underwear, so that there's always a set clean. My special insulated winter bike helmet helps a lot, along with neck warmers, earbands, goggles. And heavier clothing generally: sweater dresses are wonderful for providing an extra layer of butt-coverage over thick leggings, and sweaters over that. Wool wherever possible.

There are lots of good options for heating up the extremities when we're sitting around at home or the office, but not getting daily exercise makes my Raynaud's (and everything else) worse, so finding ways to keep the chilblains at bay without giving up entirely and staying indoors half the year has been important for me. (And lots of the outdoor-specific heating options are aimed at hunters, who sit still a lot. Heat without getting too hot while moving is hard, and temperature regulation generally is hard with Raynaud's, so.)
posted by asperity at 8:49 AM on November 28, 2018

Also: down comforter.
posted by asperity at 8:51 AM on November 28, 2018

-wool socks in various weights (although they don't help if your feet are already cold)
-sock-type slippers so I don't take them off when I put my feet on the couch
-hot water bottle (I had a silicone one that was nice)
-rice/buckwheat pillow to microwave
-usb handwarmer (lots will also act as phone power bricks, which is handy)
-acetate handwarmers for when cold will drain the usb handwarmer battery (the pouches you boil to reuse)
- thin stretchy gloves under big snowboarding-style mittens (some have zipper pockets you can put handwarmers in)
-hot tea all the time
-space heater
-down vest
-moisturizing products to cope with my tendency to linger in hot showers

Mindfulness about noticing I'm getting cold before I have white extremities is the most helpful tactic. I took a vasodilator (it's typically used for high blood pressure) for a while, but it made me tired and didn't help that much.
posted by momus_window at 11:19 AM on November 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

My mother had neuropathy in her feet which could sometimes lead to having big trouble warming them up. She got a pair of Heat Holders (very lofty socks which can insulate without being tight and creating pressure spots, sort of like what A&C mentions above. I love changing from outside socks into these socks when I'm inside because it gives my feet a chance to warm while still being insulated from the outside.
posted by jessamyn at 11:40 AM on November 28, 2018

A muff or mittens.
posted by serena15221 at 4:57 PM on November 29, 2018

Carbon fiber heat I purchased a set of pre made foldable panels that are meant to be sewn into apparel and powered via USB power bank. It came with an LED switch with three different heat levels (mine heated up to 98°F)

My abdomen gets cold, but I have a down jacket with two front inner pockets for storage of gloves and ski masks which I tuck the carbon tape panels into.

If you are a DIY type, you can buy the components to sew a garment which will keep the entire body heated externally. The carbon tape can be laundered with the apparel. The site has instructions on how
posted by ayc200 at 5:57 AM on November 30, 2018

Thank you for all your suggestions , I’ll be showing my wife this post and hopefully we’ll be able to get some of these things.
posted by dhruva at 6:27 PM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

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