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Hi, I have systemic lupus erythematosus for five years. So far the condition only affected my joints and sometimes, when I wasn't careful, my skin. But know I have some new problems. I have noticed that when it is a bit colder outside my fingers turn white. I went to see my doctor and he told me that I have lupus induced Raynaud's. When I asked him how the condition is treated, he told me to wear gloves when it is cold outside. Could you tell me something more about lupus induced Raynaud's? Is there really no other treatment option?

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Hi, it is very good that you keep your lupus symptoms under control. However, sometimes lupus can induce other conditions. Raynaud's phenomenon is one of these illnesses. What happens is that your immune system attacks connective tissue not only in the joints, but in the blood vessels as well. This causes damage to them that is seen as secondary Raynaud's phenomenon. What happens is that because of the damage to the blood vessels your fingers are not getting enough blood and oxygen. That is why your fingers turn white. I am sorry to say that your doctor is right when it comes to treatment of secondary Raynaud's. You should keep your hands warm. Actually the best thing you can do is to keep your lupus under control. If the underlying condition is treated, the symptoms of lupus induced Raynaud's will be controlled too.
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