The Return of Raynaud's

It was not until I became a winter runner, that I discovered that I was actually allergic to the cold. It's not the type of allergy that makes you sneeze or makes your eyes all puffy, but it causes extremities, like fingers and toes, to have limited blood circulation and turn white.

A photo posted by Lindsey (Run Freckles Run) (@lindseyszakacs) on

For those of you who are not familiar with this, the medical term is Raynaud's Disease. To me, it sounds more serious than what it is and Mayo Clinic states, "For most people, Raynaud's disease isn't disabling, but can affect quality of life." In my case, this quality of life is running comfortably in colder temperatures.

Last night, Peter and I went for a 5 mile run. The temperatures were in the 30s at the start, but as the sun set, they dropped into the low 20s.

Despite wearing my heaviest gloves, my fingers still suffered. Rather than seeing it happen by noticing white fingers, I can feel that it happening when I get the "pins and needles" sensation. Sometimes there's a numbness to it as well. This feeling alone can be distracting and can ruin a perfectly good run!

The worst symptom of Raynaud's is not the color changing fingers or the tingling, it's the pain felt when I warm up those areas. Upon returning home and getting my hands warm, I began to feel intense pain that made me sick to my stomach. I had to lay down, wrap my hands in a blanket, and grit my teeth until it finally dissipated. It took about 30 minutes to get through it.

Mayo Clinic suggests several medications and even surgery to fix the issue, but I will not recommend that here. I am more of a home remedy and alternative medicine type of girl. Luckily, they did include a list alternatives.

  • Fish Oil Supplements
  • Gingko Supplements
  • Biofeedback Mayo Clinic advises that this is a way of using your mind to control body temperature (May have to look into this one)
  • Acupuncture

I, for one, have not tried any of the above, but may start from the top with Fish Oil since I already have a bottle. If I find it does not give any relief, I will move on to the next option.

I have found that I am just one of many runners who have this issue and it's almost comforting to know that we all are in this together. Still, it's not like we are happy to be apart of a club where you have pain after subjecting yourself to a cold weather run. At the same time though, it shows our dedication. We will suck up the pain and go outside to run rather than stay inside and treadmill it...or skip the workout altogether. Good job, runners!

So tell me! Do you suffer from Raynaud's? How do you cope?


  1. a total Reynaud's sufferer as the middle of the summer I can go into a highly air conditioned building and BAM, my fingers turn white. It's awful, right? Sigh. For me, I buy the boxes from Costco of the hand warmers and always have a pair in my mitts (walking the dog, running, skiing, grocery shopping lol), I try to never go outside with my hands already being cold and I NEVER wear gloves - ALWAYS mitts. But despite all that, I still suffer. Makes us stronger, right? lol

    1. Have you always had this issue or was it something you noticed later on in life. I never suffered like this as a child playing for hours in the snow. Weird how I only got it about 3 years ago.

      I haven't tried mittens yet.

  2. My mother has this problem too, and it's always been very difficult for her. It sounds extremely uncomfortable!

    1. I am so sorry that your mother has to deal with it too, Lisa. It is something I would not wish upon anyone. It may be so minor, but it's like a paper cut. May seem small, but it can sure hurt!


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