Raynaud’s is a common condition - yet many people don’t even know they have it. As part of Raynaud’s Awareness Month, we take a look at the phenomenon and explain why you may need Raynaud’s travel insurance next time you’re on holiday.
What is Raynaud’s?
Bbrr. Everyone gets cold hands and feet from time to time - especially at this time of year. But if it’s happening to you regularly, it could be a sign of Raynaud’s. With this common condition, the hands and feet are over-sensitive to changes in temperature and stress. During what’s known as a Raynaud’s attack, fingers and toes change colour (to white or blue) and may feel numb as tiny blood vessels constrict. When blood flow returns, the affected areas may become red and sting. The condition typically affects fingers and toes but may also be experienced on the ears, lips and nipples.
How common is Raynaud’s?
Raynaud’s is common and affects up to 10 million people in the UK. That’s around 1 in 6. Onset of the condition normally begins between the ages of 20 and 40, but can affect anyone at any stage in their life.
How is Raynaud’s treated?
Most cases of Raynaud’s are mild. Patients can manage their condition by making small adjustments to their lifestyle, such as protecting themselves from the cold and avoiding dramatic changes in temperature. However in a small number of cases Raynaud’s is a precursor to a more serious condition called scleroderma, which requires more considered treatment.
What is Raynaud’s Awareness Month
Raynaud’s Awareness Month is held by the Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK) charity. The campaign aims to promote a greater understanding of Raynaud’s: a condition that, though common, many people are unaware of.
Is there anything you could do to help? Yes, actually. Especially if you’re partial to a cup of joe. SRUK is asking supporters to grab their friends, family or colleagues and cosy up with a coffee. You could also fund research by making a small donation. Or buy something from SRUK’s online shop. (We’re fond of the gloves - and if you spend £10 or more you’ll get a free pair of Heat Holders socks, ideal for chilly evenings.)
Raynaud’s travel insurance
Right now, you may be wondering how Raynaud’s could affect your next travel insurance policy. Well - as you may already know - it’s really important to declare your medical conditions to your travel insurer when you’re taking out a policy. The thing is, lots of people forget about relatively minor conditions such as Raynaud’s. (Seriously, it can happen to anyone - even the mum of World First’s boss momentarily forgot to declare her Raynaud’s condition on her last policy.)
So what? Why does it matter if you forget to declare a minor condition? It’s not going to affect you on holiday, so why bother? Hmm, that’s all well and good. But the fact is that travel insurers absolutely must know about your medical conditions - however minor. If you don’t tell them, you will most likely invalidate your entire travel insurance policy. That’s the same as travelling without any cover at all.
Some people worry that declaring minor conditions will add to the cost of their travel insurance policy. But it needn’t cost any extra. In fact with World First there’s often no extra charge on your premium for covering Raynaud’s, unless you are awaiting any non-routine treatment for your condition. Bottom line? It’s always best to be up front with your travel insurer about your entire medical profile. Otherwise you risk invalidating your policy.