Friday 17 March 2017

Managing Primary Raynaud’s – Jane Ogilvie

  Managing Primary Raynaud’s – Jane Ogilvie 

Having been loosely diagnosed with primary Raynaud’s by my GP in my mid-twenties, nearly 20 years ago, I have been learning since then, what helps me to manage my Raynaud’s and what does not.  

I am quite lucky as I am not severely affected compared to some.  However, I am regularly exposed to the elements and the outdoors when looking after my pony. 

I was also a motorcyclist until 3 years ago – but a fair weather biker, so I only ventured out when the weather was fit (not all that often in the UK!). I still have my pony, andso, I am out in all weathers at least twice daily. 

Over the years I have tried ginger and gingko biloba supplements – neither of which I felt provided any benefit.

I have tried a few different types of clothing, thermal base layers work well with many layers over the top, finished off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer if possible. 

It means feeling like the Michelin man and I have often worn two coats at the same time, but it is worth it.  

Neck tubes and scarves are a must, both together for extra heat retention!  Deerstalker style hats really help, especially when protecting the ears against a biting wind. 

Footwear in a muddy field for me has to be neoprene wellingtons, there are several brands around and all, I assume, are similar.  I have found it is important to not have socks which make footwear tight, as this can also compromise circulation. 

Neoprene face masks, sold for use by skiers or motorcyclists, are excellent too. 

Despite all of this I still get cold hands and good gloves have not been so easy to find. Neoprene gloves are not very useful in my experience- sailing neoprene gloves are combined with other materials, I think, to make them more durable, but thermal qualities are poor.  

Mittens are, of course, better than gloves, but can be very restricting when you are trying to open and close gates, do/undo buckles on horse head collars and rugs etc. 

I have ended up using ski gloves and mountaineering mittens (fit for serious subzero temperatures).  

I have never had much joy with heated gloves, although I guess they must work for some. 

Heat pads are all very well, but impractical when you are constantly using your hands, I have tried the 'teabag-like' ones and also the ones that have a little metal disc inside that you flex to activate. 

Aside from neoprene, and thermals, my other favourite material is sheepskin – and before I had an electric blanket, I used to have sheepskin rugs in bed.  

When I replace my feather duvet I plan to try a duvet made of wool.   

I wear sheepskin boots  to work all year round as the office is cool even in summer.  

I keep fleecy wristies, a bit like fingerless gloves, in my desk drawer for chilly days when typing isn’t easy.

Overall my advice would be:


Waterproof and windproof outer layers                      

Wear thermals / Wear layers                                        


Sheepskin / wool, neoprene

Gloves, hats, scarves

Bed socks


Going outside in the cold if underdressed

Standing around in the cold

Putting cold hands / feet directly on to a radiator


Wearing thin flimsy smart / dressy clothes

Driving the car before it is warmed up

Winter sports

Swimming in a pool or outdoor swimming

A few years ago, my symptoms were extremely painful during a particularly cold winter.

I went to see my GP and was prescribed calcium channel blockers. Sadly, I could not tolerate the side effects of headaches and a rapid heartbeat, despite the novelty of having lovely warm hands and feet!  

My strategy now, is to stop getting cold – and for the most part it works well.  Some things are off the cards these days like standing outside to watch a firework display, going swimming or a skiing holiday, it’s just a case of knowing my limitations I guess.

Jane is a scientist who lives in Nottingham, UK.



To view the UK treatment guidelines for Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Click here   

To view the EULAR treatment guidelines, Click here    
To view Thermograph Video, Click here   
To view Thermograph image, Click here   
My Raynaud’s reality, Click here   

To view Nailfold Capillaroscopy equipment (used to identify possible blood vessel damage), Click here 
To read My ‘Invisible Disability’ experience, Click here
Please DONATE to help fund medical research into the cause and cure for Raynaud's, at the Raynaud's Unit, The Royal Free Hospital, UK.

All of your monies will be used for medical research purposes only, lead being, the world trail blazer Dr Kevin Howell.   

Dr Howell and I, Sept 2017

#RaynaudsFreeWorld #RaynaudsAwarenessMonth

Facebook Page: Raynauds Unit Royal Free Hospital
Twitter: @RaynaudsRf

Living the dream, hoping for a cure ....

Click here for Twibbon  

October 2017. 

To read my articles: 

Rare Disease Day 2018, Research - Taking Part in Clinical Trials, Click here   

March Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month 2018, Click here   

Global patient video, Click here   

Becoming a Patient Research Ambassador for the NIHR, Click here  

If we only had more RESEARCH investment for Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease, Click here   

The Importance of Medical Research and Awareness to the Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease patient, Click here   

Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017 Patient Profiles Campaign, Click here     
Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017 Patient Profiles Campaign Patient Index, Click here        
The Pandora’s Box of the rare autoimmune disease Scleroderma, Raynaud's and Cancer, Click here

Key Event Dates 2018, Click here     

Importance of an Early Diagnosis, Click here     

Taking Part in Clinical Research Trials, Click here   

The Importance of a Multi Disciplinary Medical ‘Dream Team’, Click here 

Expert Specialist Centres, Click here      

My Skin is Cured from Scleroderma, Click here      

UK Guidelines for Managing and Treating Scleroderma, Click here      

Fatigue, Click here      

Mobility, Click here    

Diet and nutrition, Click here     

Raynaud's, Click here  

World Scleroderma Day 29th June 2016, Click here

World Scleroderma Day 29th June 2017, Click here   

Why Global Collaboration is important to the Rare Disease Patient, Click here      

The theme to this years Rare Disease Day is Research

Rare Disease Day 2018 – Research, Taking Part in Clinical Trials. Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease, Click here     

2016 Rare Disease Day Patient Voice
2016 Rare Disease UK Parliamentary Reception   

2017 Rare Disease Day Flashback  

Rare Disease Day is a fantastic opportunity for the entire rare disease community to shine a spotlight on their reality, combining as one unified voice. Where, at least one commonality presides –  
Medical Research provides the brightest light
for the illumination of the rare disease patients’ plight. 

I highlighted other areas of medical research interest within Week 3 of my Patient Profiles Campaign for Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017. 


Although rare disease patients are few in number, eg. 2.5 million scleroderma patients worldwide, (the World Scleroderma Foundation), the commonalities and golden hallmark for each rare disease patient are the same: 

Early Diagnosis
Expert Specialist Centres
Access to Innovative Medicines

Where MEDICAL RESEARCH investment is VITAL.

Research is the key. Abstracts from 2016 World Congress, Click here

Scleroderma Awareness Month Campaign 2016, Click here


View video, here   

Preamble - here

The Family Day at the Scleroderma Unit, The Royal Free Hospital is taking place on the 19th May 2018. Browse the program, here

This year, I am celebrating 20 years of being a patient at this world leading expert specialist research centre. 

Sept 2017

I am eternally grateful to the global scleroderma trail blazers Dame Prof Black and Prof Chris Denton, whose commitment and dedication to unlocking the scleroderma enigma, is nothing other than, superhuman.
I am truly humbled and inspired by their work ethic. I am wholly appreciative for Prof Denton’s continued medical expertise and support, especially during my barrister qualifying years, 1997 - 2004. 

1st March 2004, I qualified as a self employed practising barrister. Further to having been told in 1997, by my diagnosing doctor, that I was looking at a 15month prognosis. 

I very much hope to utilise my professional skills and qualifications along with my patient experience, to help achieve the #SclerodermaFreeWorld dream, hoping to improve understanding and best practice, in the meantime.
For latest updates follow: 

Facebook Page:

Twitter: @SclerodermaRF  @RaynaudsRf  

#SclerodermaFreeWorld           #RaynaudsFreeWorld
#ADAM #Scleroderma

Living the dream, scleroderma style.  

Please DONATE to help fund medical research at The Scleroderma Unit,The Royal Free Hospital, London.  

100% of your monies will be used for medical research purposes only. No wages or admin costs. Thank You.


Last Update: April 2018 

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