A Raynaud’s attack occurs when stress or cold causes arteries delivering blood from the heart to the periphery of the body to spasm and narrow. Restricted blood flow causes the fingers or toes to feel numb with cold and they may turn white or blue. A serious risk with this condition is amputation. Some people are unable to feel minor cuts or injuries on their feet, meaning they could become severely infected.
Both types of Raynaud’s are rare. The more common of the two is Primary Raynaud’s, which generally presents less severe symptoms. Secondary Raynaud’s is more common in older people and is caused by an underlying disease, disorder or illness. As even brief exposure to cold temperatures while retrieving food from the freezer may trigger an attack.