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Hi, my friend's brother has Raynaud's. My friend says that because of this illness, his brother's fingers turn white whenever he is exposed to cold. I don't understand why is this illness. I mean, when we were kids and played in the snow our fingers would turn white too. This would mean that we all have Raynaud's. Could you explain how is a person diagnosed with Raynaud's?

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Hi, Raynaud's disease is a serious illness and not everyone who has had his fingers turn white after playing in the snow for hours has it. The people with Raynaud's react in a very specific way to temperature changes and stress. These situations cause the abnormal constriction of the blood vessels, mostly in fingers and toes. When the blood vessels constrict the cells are not getting enough oxygen and this causes the fingers to turn white. After a while, because of the oxygen deficiency, the fingers turn blue and finally as the blood starts to come back, fingers turn white. Sometimes pain can be felt because nerves don't get enough oxygen as well. If a person has all these symptoms the Raynaud's is not hard to diagnose. But, sometimes these symptoms are not that evident and in these cases a doctor can order certain blood analyses to confirm suspected Raynaud’s.
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