Louise Minchin: Star advised to ‘dip fingers in whiskey’ to help ‘strange’ condition

I'm A Celeb: Ant and Dec's cheeky dig at Louise Minchin

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Back in 2019 the former BBC Breakfast presenter revealed that she suffers with Raynaud’s – a condition that affects your blood circulation. Posting a picture on Twitter Louise thanked other “sufferers” for their remedies, as her fingers started to turn some “strange shades”, even when the weather wasn’t particularly cold.

The NHS explains that Raynaud’s is a common condition, but persisting symptoms can be a sign of a more serious condition.

Typically, a tell-tale sign of the condition is when the skin on people’s fingers, ears, nose, lips and nipples turns a shade of white, blue or red, as blood flow to the areas becomes restricted.

Other common symptoms of the condition include the following:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Difficulty moving the affected area.

When affected, symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, and as previously mentioned, can be made worse by other underlying health conditions.

Diseases most often linked with Raynaud’s are autoimmune or connective tissue diseases such as:

  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • CREST syndrome (a form of scleroderma)
  • Buerger disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Occlusive vascular disease, such as atherosclerosis
  • Polymyositis
  • Blood disorders
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pulmonary hypertension.

Like Louise said, symptoms frequently appear when individuals get cold as blood vessels begin to spasm in response. However, symptoms can also occur when the individual gets stressed or emotionally upset.

Speaking about her experience with the condition, Louise said: “I feel the cold really badly. I have this thing called Raynaud’s syndrome, which means my hand and feet go numb very quickly, even in supermarkets. So cold is a big thing for me.”

However, pre-empting that she would struggle with the colder weather inside the Welsh castle, Louise hoped that her luxury item will help keep her condition at bay.

“I have brought with me a fluffy hot water bottle that actually belongs to my daughter,” she added before she went into the castle.

“So not only is it going to be very helpful to keep me warm, but it’ll also remind me of home.”

In an attempt to find ways in which she can keep her condition at bay, Louise took to social media, where suggestions included exposing her hands to cold water more regularly, dipping her fingers in whiskey and going on medication.

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK) is a UK charity working to improve the lives of people with scleroderma and Raynaud’s disease. The charity provides their own natural remedies for keeping the condition at bay.

The charity recommends taking gamolenic acid (GLA), specifically 320mg daily in order to help the condition.

This acid is essentially a fatty acid found in various plant seed oils such as evening primrose oil. The charity goes on to explain that it can also be found in linseed, flaxseed and Omega-3 fish oils.

GLA is often used to treat other chronic conditions such as nerve pain in people with diabetes, eczema, arthritis and high blood pressure.

In addition to GLA, a daily 2000mg-4000mg intake of ginger has also been suggested to improve the condition. Ginger extracts can be brought over the counter in pharmacies in capsule or oil form.

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A post shared by Louise Minchin (@louiseminchin)

Overall the charity suggests that incorporating “warming foods” such as ginger, chillies and cayenne peppers into your diet can help to improve Raynaud’s in the long-run.

At the Korean College of Medicine, a research team led by Dr Jun-Sang Yu found that in 14 studies, groups that were given herbal medicines showed fewer symptoms of Raynaud’s in comparison to control groups.

The results indicated that herbal medicine is a relatively safe and effective treatment for symptoms of Raynaud’s, but the potentially high bias of all the existing studies makes this a very tentative conclusion.

The NHS recommends the following to try and help Raynaud’s:

  • Keep your home warm
  • Wear warm clothes during cold weather, especially on your hands and feet
  • Exercise regularly – this helps improve circulation
  • Try breathing exercises or yoga to help you relax
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.

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