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supplements for Raynaud's Disease

raynauds dopamine racetams piracetam

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13 replies to this topic

#1 jibby

  • Location:California

Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:17 AM


I have a condition where my hands are almost always cold and blue-ish in color, even at about 70F. This affects other extremities as well; the skin on my face is extremely dry and flakes if I don’t apply strong moisturizer, my legs are also cold though not to the same extent. The medical community calls this condition “Raynaud’s Syndrome”, but the cause is rarely known and the disease is not well understood.

A good overview if you're interested: http://www.lef.org/p...syndrome_01.htm

I went to an endocrinologist and ruled out the obvious causes, like hypothyroidism or adrenal dysfunction. I’ve had blood tests done that showed no abnormalities. You’re probably wondering, why post in the Brain supplement section? The reason is that I suspect that it is a malfunction in the brain. For example, I’ve read about differences in circulating dopamine. Here’s one study:

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/3425974

Piracetam in large doses has been used in treatments with successful results:


http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/8328997


So my question is: are there any other supplements you think might be helpful in my situation? I’m especially interested in trying those affecting the reward centers, including dopamine. The racetams seem promising, but I’m not sure which ones are best or how to dose. Any suggestions or even speculations might be useful. I’m obviously going out on a limb here, but I figure incremental experimentation with safe substances can’t hurt much. I'm hoping that some of the supplements used for long-term cognitive health might also be useful for this condition.


Edited by jibby, 25 June 2012 - 05:18 AM.


#2 fenn Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:san francisco, ca

Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:51 PM

raynaud's may be caused by magnesium deficiency, which itself is often caused by chronic stress and poor diet. easy enough to try drinking a solution of 1-2 grams dissolved magnesium citrate in the morning and see if your symptoms improve. another option is soaking your feet in an epsom salt bath. whenever you read "calcium channel blocker" think magnesium! these two elements are very similar chemically and compete for binding throughout the body. serum blood tests cannot measure the level of intracellular magnesium, so your blood test will look normal. it's estimated that over 50% of americans are deficient in magnesium, but the symptoms vary.

piracetam helps with circulation in general by thinning the blood (inhibits platelet aggregation) and so it may help with raynaud's, but really this is an endothelial disorder and so you should be looking for substances which affect the vascular system.

i think you are on the wrong track with dopamine-related supplements. this is a particularly bad move because anything that alters brain dopamine is likely to be addictive. if you just want to do some street drugs, don't invent a crazy pseudo-medical reason to do it. if you are dead set on messing with your dopamine levels, start with something gentle like tyrosine. however, your endocrinologist is probably correct.

perhaps the reason for the depleted neurotransmitters dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline) in your study is also due to chronic stress, and is a correlated effect, not causative. excess release of epinephrine due to stress will cause more dopamine to be converted to epinephrine, resulting in a lack of dopamine.

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#3 zrbarnes Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:USA

Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:30 PM

Definitely recommend trying the Epsom salt bath right off. If it works, you can experiment with oral magnesium, staying away from Magnesium Oxide as it is the least bioavailable form, and most likely to cause a laxative effect. The best absorbed (and most expensive at ~$25 a bottle) is Magnesium L-Threonate.

But Magnesium Sulfate absorbed intradermally (epsom salt bath) is very effective without any laxative effect since it isn't going through your bowels.

If it doesn't work, at least you will feel pleasantly relaxed, and your muscles will thank you. Then we can start getting into the more exotic stuff. But believe me, if you can fix it easy, always go with easy.

Edited by zrbarnes, 25 June 2012 - 08:33 PM.


#4 jibby Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:California

Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:55 PM

Thank you for your reply, Fenn. I have tried taking Magnesium Malate pills previously, but it doesn't seem to have a noticeable affect (other than as a laxative). Maybe my dosing was wrong or I should try a different form.

In regards to dopamine, I am not looking to blindly increase their levels, just entertaining the possibility that neurotransmitters may play a role in this condition.

This study about Raynaud's sufferers and sympathetic system is particularly intriguing, though not conclusive or prescriptive: http://edoc.hu-berli...91.29.2.111.pdf

30 min after the cold test, plasma dopamine significantly increased in controls but remained unchanged in patients.


Since dopamine has been hypothesized to be involved in vasodilatation (31, 32), it is tempting to speculate that circulating dopamine might be a physiological mediator for post-ischaemic vasodilatation. However, because of the variable dopamine increase in controls during the recovery phase, the physiological importance of the small but significantly different dopamine behaviour between patients and controls, which we found in the recovery phase, is still unclear.


The changes in circulating dopamine might indicate that dopamine plays a role in post-ischaemic vasodilatation, a role which would be impaired in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon. Further evidence is necessary to evaluate the physiological role of dopamine in the post-ischaemic vasodilatation


I don't want to draw any conclusions, but don't you agree that there might be something else going on other than Magnesium? Practically everything else about my health is good. My diet is healthy, with plenty of magnesium. I exercise (both aerobic and weights). I am a 24 year old male. I do, however, get stressed out easily, but then again plenty of people lead stressful lives without this strange phenomenon.

#5 searchfunction Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:Canada

Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:56 PM

The neurotransmitters do affect the vascular system; they affect nearly everything we care about. If "Practically everything else about [your] health is good", you should probably not pursue treatment options that are the most likely to change that. I suggest researching much more targeted treatment.

"There are specific medicines that are peripheral vasodilators, and the wearing of gloves may alleviate the disorder. The colour changes are usually from white to blue and then red. White occurs with the vasospasm, blue is due to cyanosis and red is from the resultant vasospasm related to prolonged vasoconstriction."

"Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by intense vasospasm of the digital arteries on cold exposure or emotional stress, leading to well-defined colour changes in the skin of the fingers. Behind the clinical manifestations, there is an imbalance between vasoconstrictor and vasodilator factors. It may be primary or secondary to an underlying condition, including autoimmune diseases. Physical examination, nail fold capillaroscopy and immunological tests can differentiate primary forms from secondary ones. The treatment is based on preventing exposure to cold, emotional stress and the administration of certain drugs and, if attacks are present, vasodilators, prostaglandin analogues and anticoagulants may be given."

#6 jibby Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:California

Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:15 AM

The reason I am concerned is because I suspect something insidious is happening. Of course I can mask the symptoms of cold hands by wearing gloves, staying warm, etc., but that doesn't get to the root of the disease. By saying that I'm healthy, I meant that my body composition would be considered "fit". But in addition to my hands, my circulation to my extremities, including extremely dry skin, is worrying.

RS is closely associated with more serious diseases (especially scleroderma, a connective tissue disorder). Many scientists believe that RS may be the initial diagnosis, before the actual diagnosis of scleroderma is recognized.

....

In each case, RS may contribute to the more serious disease by encouraging the formation of scar tissue in the connective tissue and through damage to arteries.



#7 knutsayang Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:Australia

Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:40 AM

I have a condition where my hands are almost always cold and blue-ish in color, even at about 70F. This affects other extremities as well; the skin on my face is extremely dry and flakes if I don’t apply strong moisturizer, my legs are also cold though not to the same extent. The medical community calls this condition “Raynaud’s Syndrome”, but the cause is rarely known and the disease is not well understood.

So my question is: are there any other supplements you think might be helpful in my situation? I’m especially interested in trying those affecting the reward centers, including dopamine. The racetams seem promising, but I’m not sure which ones are best or how to dose. Any suggestions or even speculations might be useful. I’m obviously going out on a limb here, but I figure incremental experimentation with safe substances can’t hurt much. I'm hoping that some of the supplements used for long-term cognitive health might also be useful for this condition.


Ginkgo might be useful. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/12710841

And L-Arginine as well http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/1815764

#8 fenn Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:san francisco, ca

Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:47 AM

look at table 1 in the paper by marasini and you'll see that the epinephrine levels of raynauds patients were about half that of healthy controls. why are their epinephrine levels so low? i also have an explanation for the patients' lack of dopamine uptick after the stress episode; (this uptick is why people look forward to jumping out of airplanes.) the epinephrine deficiency is caused by adrenal tissue exhaustion from chronic stress. after repeated stressful stimulation, the brain "learns" not to respond anymore to it, and so no more dopamine uptick. chronic stress (cortisol) has another biochemical side effect, which is inhibition of phospholipase which is required for the synthesis of prostaglandins and thromboxanes, which locally control the relaxation or contraction of vasculature. the vasoconstrictive effect of cortisol (which is released when you're cold) goes unchecked because there are no vasodilatory prostaglandins, and thus we have raynaud's. well, it's a theory.

the scant information i can find on dopamine's vasodilatory effect portrays it as primarily affecting the heart, intestines, brain, and kidneys, but not the fingers!

I was curious how accurate my recommendations were so i broke out my copy of "disease prevention and treatment" to compare - here's the summary:
- keep warm [duh! cold increases stress] wear mittens and move around to improve circulation. do "windmills" or wiggle your fingers/toes. use warm water and/or microwave a sock full of rice.
- avoid smoking and caffeine as they are vasoconstrictors [and cause stress and magnesium loss]
- stay calm. practice biofeedback by putting your hands in a bowl of cold water in a warm room for 5 min, then go outside and put your hands in a bowl of warm water for 10 min. repeat.
- avoid vibrating tools and shopping bags with handles
- calcium channel blockers nifedipine, diltiazem [side effects] (not recommended)
- vasodilators reserpine, guanethidine [more side effects] (not recommended)
- pentoxifylline [prescription blood thinner] (400mg twice a day)
- vitamin E stabilizes red blood cells, protects EFA's (take 400IU daily)
- vitamin C repairs blood vessel collagen, and prostaglandin synthesis (2500mg daily)
- niacin, vasodilation and fibrinolysis (750mg or less, or 1500-4000mg inositol hexanicotinate in 3 divided doses)
- magnesium (1000mg along with 1000mg calcium)
- essential fatty acids (900mg GLA from evening primrose [this seems like a lot to me] 1000mg DHA and 400mg EPA from fish oil)
- ginkgo (120mg)
- aspirin (81-325mg)
- other possible new treatments: iloprost, piracetam, ketanserin, dazoxiben

personally i think stress reduction and fish oil are the most important things to focus on.

regarding magnesium supplements, i haven't tried malate but i expect the dosing to be similar to citrate, i.e. more than 400mg a day will not be absorbed and thus the laxative effect. you can take more in the form of amino acid chelate (glycinate) and also i hear aspirin has a magnesium sparing effect.

there are a lot of possible treatment options, so the most important thing you should start doing is keep track of your raynaud's events and do some basic experiments and data analysis to see what actually works.

#9 searchfunction Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:Canada

Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:59 AM

The reason I am concerned is because I suspect something insidious is happening. Of course I can mask the symptoms of cold hands by wearing gloves, staying warm, etc., but that doesn't get to the root of the disease. By saying that I'm healthy, I meant that my body composition would be considered "fit". But in addition to my hands, my circulation to my extremities, including extremely dry skin, is worrying.



A completely legitimate concern that I sympathize with. I happen to have a connective tissue disorder myself, and a 20F temperature difference between my lower leg and foot. I could wear heated socks, but that doesn't fix the problem. My post was not to state that nothing was wrong with you that gloves wouldn't fix, but to state that taking drugs "affecting the reward centers, including dopamine" isn't getting to the root of the disease either. If you have access to medical testing, you can try nail fold capillaroscopy and immunological tests as mentioned above to determine if you have primary Raynaud's, or secondary. If you do not, you can use anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, and vasodilators separately for a "diagnostic treatment". If something works or doesn't, you have more information towards finding the cause of the problem. Even Viagra at 100mg has been studied in relation to Reynaud's for improving skin temperature and perfusion.

All of that said, if you wish to play around with the neurotransmitters, that could be fun. Selegiline is legal without prescription in Canada. It fulfills your request of "supplements used for long-term cognitive health" (unless there is new info I am unaware of) and has been discussed often on this forum. Incremental experimentation is a must.

#10 jibby Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:California

Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:15 AM

Thank you all for suggestions. I will have to do some more research and start incrementally experimenting, as you say. Maybe I will try to find a rheumatologist as well, since I've only been to an endocrinologist so far. Don't worry, I will try to not do anything rash in terms of altering my brain chemistry.

#11 Eng_Girl Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:Australia

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

I know I am coming very late to the discussion, but as someone that suffered with Raynaud's for years, I thought I should chime in.
Over the years, I'd tried various natural supplements, such as gingko and ginger, but they didn't seem to help at all.
For the past 6 months or so, though, I've had no issues with bad circulation to my hands and feet and all I can put it down to is having started taking piracetam.

If you search for Raynaud's and piracetam, you'll come across several studies where they've shown promising signs with it.

Hope this helps someone.

#12 jibby Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:California

Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

Thank you for joining in on the conversation, Eng_girl!

Since starting this topic, I still haven't found any miracle substance that helps my condition. Incidentally, I have been taking fairly high doses (~10g/day) of piracetam for the past couple weeks and I think it has been helping. Can I ask what your dosage was and how long you took it before noticing an improvement? Also, have you tried any other racetams?

#13 12 String Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:South Carolina

Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

I'm always interested in posts about Reynaud's having suffered for years, and it's getting worse. In regards to the first post re:calcium channel blockers - Norvasc controlled my problem for 10 years in upstate NY, at least until the generic version came out. The generic "amlodipine" doesn't work for me.
Stress: if I have to rush to do anything, my fingers will turn white, even in 60 degree weather.
It takes about an hour of exercise when outdoors to return to normal. It's like a switch is thrown and my fingers become normal.
As for vasoconstriction, yeah, I drink a lot of coffee. But a few times trying the EC stack (google it), my inner core temp seems to get higher and the problem is a better.
I know this isn't very specific, but a few more data points might help. Please post if you find a solution.

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#14 jibby Re: supplements for Raynaud's Disease

  • Location:California

Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

It is interesting that you mention core temps. I've long wondered whether the condition was due to low core temps in general or a disfunction of the vascular system in particular. Since body temperature is notoriously hard to measure accurately, I can't say for sure, though I frequently notice getting as low as 95F. If it is core temps, then probably ramping up calories and exercising on a regular basis would solve the problem (it does so short-term, just not sure about long-term). On the other hand, if it is indeed a disfunction of the vascular system, then we are left in the dark. Hell, apart from calcium channel blockers, piracetam is the most widely researched substance for this disease.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: raynauds, dopamine, racetams, piracetam

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