How is Raynaud's diagnosed?

Marie D. Gerhard-Herman, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Diagnosing Raynaud's is fairly simple, says cardiovascular medicine specialist Marie Gerhard-Herman, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital. In this video, she explains how doctors diagnose Raynaud's.
Your doctor will diagnose primary Raynaud's (Raynaud's disease) or secondary Raynaud's (Raynaud's phenomenon) based on your medical history, a physical exam, and the results from tests.
Specialists Involved
Primary care doctors and internists often diagnose and treat Raynaud's.
If you have the disorder, you also may see a rheumatologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the joints, bones, and muscles.
Rheumatologists diagnose and treat many of the diseases that may be linked to secondary Raynaud's, such as scleroderma and lupus.
Medical History
Your doctor may ask about your risk factors for Raynaud's. He or she also may ask about your signs and symptoms when you're exposed to cold temperatures or stress.
For example, your doctor may ask whether your fingers or toes:
  • Change color or feel numb or painful when they're exposed to cold temperatures
  • Turn white, blue, or both when they're exposed to cold temperatures
This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.