Under Flammer syndrome, a group of vascular and non-vascular symptoms is summarized. These are caused by the dysregulation of the blood flow and the patient’s increased sensitivity to various stimuli.
What is Flammer Syndrome?
According to AVIATIONOPEDIA.COM,flammer’s syndrome describes a variety of symptoms that are mainly caused by primary vascular dysfunction (PVD). The cause of this PVD is an innate increased sensitivity of the blood vessels to external stimuli such as cold or stress. The vascular dysregulation is accompanied by non-vascular symptoms.
Perceptions such as smells, pain or vibrations can be intensified by the increased sensitivity. Outwardly, the Flammer syndrome is sometimes understood as the counterpart to the metabolic syndrome. The patients often show a slim, sporty and agile appearance.
The causes for the occurrence of the syndrome are not clearly understood, but seem to be hereditary predisposing. The syndrome is associated with some unfavorable symptoms such as low blood pressure and can thus promote the development of various diseases. It has therefore been understood as a risk factor for diseases such as normal pressure glaucoma since 2013.
The cause of the symptoms summarized under the name Flammer Syndrome is an inborn increased sensitivity of the affected person, which on the one hand relates to the perception of external stimuli, but in particular is characterized by a dysregulation of the blood vessels. The primary vascular dysfunction manifests itself on the one hand by spasms of the vessels.
On the other hand, by an inadequately strong or weak dilation of the blood vessels in response to stimulation. The cause of the hypersensitivity is likely to be hereditary; an increased incidence of the syndrome in family history has been observed. Women are more often affected than men and there is evidence of a hormonal connection.
The symptoms increase during puberty and weaken again with age, especially after menopause. Lack of light exposure is considered a risk factor, as Flammer’s syndrome is less common in professionals who work outdoors. Affected people are often underweight.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
The symptoms of Flammer’s syndrome are largely shaped by the circulatory disorders. Usually cold hands and feet occur. The affected people suffer from low blood pressure and often an inhomogeneity of the skin temperature, which is noticeable when excited by white or red spots.
Blood pressure may drop at night. The subsequent symptoms are often tinnitus, migraines or dizziness, as well as nocturnal myocardial circulatory disorders or muscle cramps in general. The symptoms caused by the vascular system are typically associated with a large number of unspecific symptoms in Flammer’s syndrome.
The affected people often complain of problems falling asleep or have a reduced feeling of thirst. In addition, there may be sensitivities to medication, smells, pain or vibrations. Also in the weather, and greater susceptibility to altitude sickness have been reported. People affected by Flammer Syndrome often stand out for their conscientiousness that borders on perfectionism.
Diagnosis & course
Flammer syndrome is diagnosed primarily through a medical history. In addition, a nail capillary microscopy can be performed, in which small bleeding occurs on the fingertips due to the effects of cold. Thermography of the extremities can provide information about impaired blood flow.
The measurement of the retinal venous pressure or the endothelin level is rarely done. The quantification of the gene expression of the lymphocytes or a dynamic vascular analysis are only used for confirmation in special cases. There are some typical changes in the diseased eye that speak for Flammer’s syndrome as the cause.
These include, among other things, a reduced autoregulation of the blood flow and changes in the diameter and flexibility of the retinal blood vessels. People who are affected by Flammer Syndrome are not considered sick and do not necessarily have to suffer from secondary diseases. For atherosclerosis, there is even less risk of disease.
People often suffer from side effects such as migraines, tinnitus or muscle tension. The risk of Flammer’s syndrome is the likelihood of causing diseases of the eye. The most common associated disease is normal pressure glaucoma.
There are many different complications associated with Flammer syndrome. In general, the person affected reacts very strongly to external stimuli, which restricts everyday life. Cold extremities and low blood pressure develop. The overall body temperature and skin temperature are also lower.
Red spots appear on the body during stressful situations or physical exertion. These can lead to problems, especially in the face, as patients feel disfigured. In addition to the spots, tinnitus also occurs. This causes insomnia and concentration problems.
The affected person also develops a strong sensitivity to the weather, so that even low fluctuations in air pressure can lead to earache or headache. These complications can be treated well. In most cases, changing your lifestyle and diet will help. Relaxation exercises and yoga also help. If Flammer Syndrome is caused by stress, antioxidants can help and alleviate the symptoms.
These are mainly found in various juices. Treatment with medication does not take place directly. However, omega-3 fatty acids can promote blood circulation. Magnesium also has a positive effect on blood circulation and can be taken in the form of tablets. There are no further complications from Flammer Syndrome.
When should you go to the doctor?
Since Flammer’s syndrome does not heal itself and in most cases the symptoms worsen, a doctor must always be consulted. The doctor should then be consulted if the person concerned suffers from disorders of the blood circulation.
These can show up as low blood pressure or parts of the body that are too cold or too warm. Red spots on the skin can also indicate Flammer syndrome. The patients also often suffer from tinnitus or severe headaches and migraines. Muscle cramps are also very often indicative of Flammer’s syndrome and must be investigated.
Most patients are very sensitive to changes in the weather and also suffer from dizziness or sleep problems. If these symptoms persist over a longer period of time and for no particular reason, a doctor must always be consulted. Tension in the muscles can also indicate the disease.
The treatment is carried out by a general practitioner and with various therapies and exercises. As a rule, the symptoms of Flammer’s syndrome can be limited very well in this way. However, treatment is only necessary if the symptoms significantly restrict the person’s everyday life and reduce the quality of life.
Treatment & Therapy
Flammer syndrome is usually associated with harmless symptoms. Treatment is only necessary if the person’s quality of life suffers or if secondary diseases occur. Therapy is traditionally based on changes in lifestyle and diet, as well as drug intervention.
Triggering factors such as cold or vasoconstrictive factors should be avoided. Stress can be counteracted with autogenic training or yoga. A healthy sleep rhythm and regular light exercise can relieve symptoms. A low BMI is considered a risk factor for Flammer Syndrome.
Affected people should therefore aim for a healthy normal weight and keep it as constant as possible. Longer periods of abstinence from food such as fasting cures are contrainduced. In the case of low blood pressure, increasing the intake of salt and fluids helps. The increased oxidative stress caused by the circulatory disorder must be counteracted by a diet rich in antioxidants.
Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the function and health of blood vessels. Medicinally, the circulatory disturbance can be weakened by taking magnesium. Ginko bilboa has also proven to be effective. If normal pressure glaucoma is already present, the patient’s blood pressure must be adjusted in addition to glaucoma therapy. Above all, the nocturnal drop in blood pressure must be prevented with dietary measures or low-dose steroids.
Outlook & forecast
The prognosis for Flammer syndrome is usually very good. Often it has no disease value at all. Only the increased sensitivity to cold, the occurrence of cold feet and hands and the low blood pressure are perceived as disturbing. Because of the low blood pressure, there is even a reduced likelihood of developing certain diseases such as arteriosclerosis or cardiovascular diseases.
However, there is a higher risk of developing normal pressure glaucoma. A normal tension glaucoma is characterized in that, in spite of the normal intraocular pressure glaucoma damage. Most patients with this disease also suffer from Flammer’s syndrome. However, the eye disease is caused by increased pressure in the veins of the retina.
If normal pressure glaucoma is not treated, there is increasing damage to the optic nerve with deterioration in visual acuity and visual field defects. Vein occlusions in the eyes can also lead to other eye diseases. In severe cases, there is a risk of complete blindness.
Sometimes Flammer syndrome also leads to hearing loss or tinnitus. It is not uncommon for headaches similar to migraines to occur. A possible connection between Flammer’s syndrome and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis or breast cancer is currently being investigated in studies, but has not yet been proven. The symptoms of the disease can be alleviated by a lifestyle with lots of exercise, a balanced diet with an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids, increased fluid and salt intake and possibly also medication that regulates blood pressure.
The manifestation of Flammer’s syndrome can be counteracted symptomatically. Protection against triggering factors such as cold or stress is important. A healthy lifestyle with a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the severity of symptoms.
Foods with a high antioxidant potential are red and blue fruits, vegetables such as tomatoes and kale, but also beverages such as green tea or coffee. Oily fish is considered to be the optimal source of omega-3 fatty acids.
With Flammer syndrome, the options for follow-up care are very limited in most cases. The person concerned is first of all dependent on correct medical treatment by a doctor in order to prevent further complications and, even in the worst case, to prevent death of the person concerned. The earlier the Flammer syndrome is detected, the better the further course of this disease is usually.
For this reason, a doctor should be consulted at the first signs and symptoms of Flammer’s syndrome. The syndrome is usually treated with the help of various relaxation exercises or yoga. Many exercises from such therapies can also be carried out in your own home, which may accelerate healing.
A healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet can also have a positive effect on the course of Flammer’s syndrome and avoid further complications. The affected person should take a lot of antioxidants and if possible refrain from smoking or alcohol. Care and support from family and friends can also have a very positive effect on Flammer Syndrome. In some cases, contact with other sufferers of the syndrome can be helpful and useful.
You can do that yourself
In many cases, those affected can counteract the symptoms of Flammer’s syndrome themselves and thus avoid complications. As a rule, a healthy lifestyle has a very positive effect on the course of the disease and on the symptoms.
This includes eating a healthy diet and exercising at regular intervals. However, the symptoms can be limited relatively well through yoga or other relaxation techniques. Especially light and relaxing sports of your own are included in order to fight the Flammer Syndrome. Furthermore, a too low BMI factor should be avoided in this syndrome. For this reason, the person concerned should pay attention to his diet and avoid being underweight in any case. It is also important to avoid stress.
When it comes to nutrition, antioxidants have a very positive effect on the course of Flammer’s syndrome. The intake of magnesium can limit the circulatory disorders well. However, if the self-help measures cannot eliminate the symptoms, the person affected should also resort to drug treatment. Talking to friends or acquaintances about the illness can also help to avoid the development of psychological complaints or depression.