Temperatures in Britain have taken a sharp dip today and officials have warned the elderly and those with health conditions take extra care.
It’s been forecast that temperatures during the day over the next week will struggle to get above freezing as bone-chilling winds sweep in from the Russian Arctic.
While many will be excited over a high chance of snowfall in Britain, the cold blast could trigger symptoms of Raynaud’s disease in some people.
What is Raynaud’s disease, what are the symptoms, and how can you treat and prevent it?
Health problems, such as sore throats and cold sores can be worsened by cold weather.
According to the NHS, another ailment that can be triggered by cold conditions is Raynaud’s phenomenon.
This is a common condition that makes your fingers and toes change colour and become very painful in cold weather.
The health body explains on its Choices website: “Fingers can go white, then blue, then red, and throb and tingle. The small blood vessels of the hands and feet go into spasm, temporarily reducing blood flow to your hands and feet.”
So what are the symptoms of Raynaud’s Disease?
- Pins and needles
- Difficulty moving the affected area
Some people also find their ears, nose, lips or nipples are affected.
The symptoms of Raynaud’s may last from a few minutes to a few hours.
If your symptoms are very bad or get worse a GP may prescribe a medicine called nifedipine to help improve your circulation.
But how can you prevent it?
Smoking or drinking caffeine can both worsen symptoms so you should avoid these.
Always wearing warm gloves, socks and shoes when going out in cold weather can also help.
The wintery weather could also trigger symptoms of potentially dangerous condition hypothermia.