You've probably heard of Raynaud's phenomena/syndrome/disease. People with the disorder experience intermittent episodes when arteries--usually in the fingers--clamp down, blocking blood circulation and causing the fingers to get white, blue, and painful. Sometimes Raynaud's exists by itself, but it can also be a symptom of a connective tissue or autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis. This week, The New England Journal of Medicine reports on a woman with Raynaud's who started having similar symptoms in her tongue. She took a photo during an attack to show her doctor. You can see it here or read the brief article. She had previously been diagnosed with mixed connective-tissue disease, a type of autoimmune disease.
Although Raynaud's usually occurs in the fingers, it can actually occur in the arteries of any organ. I had a reason to remember this today, and it's ironic that this story appeared in this issue. RIP MVA.