Raynaud's and Statins?

A forum to discuss personal experiences of Neuropathy associated with statin drug use.

Raynaud's and Statins?

Postby Nancy W » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:57 am

Raynaud phenomenon and syndrome are processes in which the autonomic nervous system, particularly the sympathetic nervous system, goes into overdrive, usually in the fingers and toes, hands and feet...causing a sudden vasospasm that causes the affected part to blanch, or go completely pale. This usually happens when the person touches something cold, or walks around on something cold, or in cold weather more than warm. The blanching goes on for some period of time, until the body part, without it's normal circulation turns blue, or cyanotic. After some period of cyanosis, the vasospasm eases up and then the body part turns bright red. The return of circulation is often quite painful.

In the last 6 months, my fingers and toes, already suffering from the ongoing neuropathy, now appear to have Raynaud. Great. So I have been doing some reading. I wondered if the Raynaud was coincidental, or could there be autonomic nerve damage related to statins? I realize that I started having cold hands and feet AFTER the statin issues...I have been wearing socks to bed for the last several years. My dad had this issue, too, and now, I realize he had been on statins too. Great. Anyone else out there?
Nancy W
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Re: Raynaud's and Statins?

Postby lars999 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:59 pm

I have suspected that I had/have a less extensive version of Raynauds in my right foot and ankle, at least during the years I was taking Lipitor and for a year or so afterwards.

I used to spend lots of time outdoors in sub 0C weather, sometimes well below freezing, say even -20C. After an hour or so, when on Lipitor (hindsight!) I would have to get up and walk briskly for 10-20 minutes to get my right foot and ankle to feel and be warm again. After I quit Lipitor I had both legs, ankles and feet analysed for blood flow because my cardiologist was convenced that strong pains in my lower right leg, ankle and foot were from thrombosis. I was convenced by then that they were from Lipitor. Tests showed same and excellent blood flow in both legs, both feet, all toes, at least in a 25C room. Lars 1, cardiologist 0!!!

SO, I did the logical next test -- went out on nice cold, subfreezing day, found nice snowbank and stuck both feet (in skiboots and warm socks) deep into snowbank. YEP!! after an hour or so right foot and ankle were "icy cold" and painful, but not left foot and ankle. Took both boots off and, yep, right foot and ankle were quite cold to touch and pale. Left foot and ankle were cool and pink. Boots and socks were same on both feet -- same ones I wore cross country skiing on such days.

I considered this adequate evidence of "limited Raynaud's". I say limited because right foot and ankle never got to blue, perhaps cause I warmed that foot up before it got blue. There was little or no pain as right foot and ankle warmed up. My Norwegian ski buddy had same situation with her right hand and I would have to warm up her hand so that we could continue skiing (which was more than adequate to keep the rest of her nice and warm, as it had for 60 years). She had never taken any statins and condition of her hand was later diagnosed as Raynaud's.

It is not clear that I am free from this "syndrom" because in recent winters I am seldom stationary long enough when on cross country ski tours for right foot and ankle to get painfully cold, or even noticably cold. I am now an "old wimp" that goes to toasty ski centers, put my warm socks and boots on and ski directly from the ski center, then return and change out of my still warm boots and socks. No more 6-8 hour ski tours ..... bummer!!

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