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Primary Raynaud's Case Study

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Early presenting signs and symptoms of both, Primary Raynaud’s (PR) and Secondary Raynaud’s include complaints of or evidence of sudden intermittent episodes of skin color changes, pain, feeling of coldness, and pins-and-needles sensation in the affected areas. When an episode or an attack occurs, the area first becomes white, as the blood flow decreases; a blue color follows, due to decreased oxygen delivery to the tissues; and lastly, the area becomes red when the blood flow returns. Attacks can last minutes to hours, and can be initiated by temperature change or stress. The intermittent attacks of PR generally do not result in tissue injury, and is not associated with an underlying disease process. The diagnosis usually occurs between the ages of 15-30. Attacks with Secondary Raynaud’s are triggered by cold exposure and stress as well, can last longer and result in damage to the tissues, leading to ulcers, gangrene, and loss of the digit(s). Secondary Raynaud’s is associated with an underlying disease, and is usually diagnosed after the…show more content…
The thumb is not normally involved. “In a small number of people … the skin may thicken or tighten but ulcers or sores do not occur” (Ratchford & Evan, 2015). Although the presenting symptoms are the same with Secondary Raynaud’s, other processes of the underlying disease can evolve into multi-system and/or organ involvement. The cause of PR is idiopathic, or without known reason; whereas the cause of Secondary Raynaud’s is the associated disease process. Depending on the underlying disease process, the symptoms are varied. For instance, with Rheumatoid Arthritis joint pain, swelling, and joint changes can occur. Secondary Raynaud’s does not cause systemic dysfunction, but is a symptom of the underlying disease; the underlying disease process causes the systemic symptoms that commonly present with Raynaud’s
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