One of the most common causes of cold feet is poor blood circulation, as people with circulation issues may not get enough warm blood in their feet. There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation, here are the most common ones associated with cold extremities:
Certain heart conditions, as well as rarer conditions like Buerger's Disease, which leads to blood clots inside the blood vessels, as well as Raynaud's disease, a rare condition where blood supply is temporarily cut off to the hands and feet in response to cold or stress, can likewise cause cold feet.
Anemia is a condition that occurs when not enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells are being delivered to your body's cells and organs. Our muscles and other tissues require oxygen to produce energy and stay warm, and since the amount of oxygen in the blood of people with anemia is lower than it should be, patients often feel that their feet and hands are chronically cold.
Other symptoms of anemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, and pale skin, but only a blood test can definitively say if you're anemic, so make sure to talk to your health provider if you experience similar concerns.
Diabetics often experience persistently cold hands and feet, too, and there are two ways in which the condition can bring about this symptom. Firstly, diabetes patients may have issues with blood circulation. High blood sugar can result in the narrowing of the blood vessels which, in turn, affects the blood supply to the extremities.
Secondly, diabetic patients can develop a condition called diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage most common in the feet. Diabetic neuropathy is more widespread among type 2 diabetes patients, and about half of them develop the condition compared to around 20% in type 1 diabetes patients.
Nerve damage due to diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are high for long periods of time, especially in untreated patients that don't even realize that they have the condition. Since diabetic nerve damage cannot be cured, it's crucial to diagnose the condition early and prevent the nerve damage altogether. This is especially important in high-risk groups, such as the elderly, people with cardiovascular issues, and overweight individuals, to name a few. To learn more about the risks and types of diabetes, visit our article collection titled 10 Guides to Prevent and Fight Diabetes.
Our thyroid gland controls several key functions in the human body, and an underactive thyroid, a condition called hypothyroidism, is known to manifest itself through cold feet and hands. This is because thyroid hormones play an important role in regulating metabolism, and an underactive thyroid, in turn, worsens blood circulation, decreases the heartbeat, and lowers the body temperature.
Any of the above-mentioned functions can potentially lead to cold feet, and because hypothyroid patients are more sensitive to temperature changes, the symptom is considered to be a common sign of the condition. Read on about hypothyroidism, it's symptoms and risk, in the article 11 Signs Your Thyroid Doesn't Work Properly.
Unfortunately, we've all experienced a great deal of stress due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and other global and local events this year. As a result, anxiety and depression rates worldwide have skyrocketed. And while we're all aware of the emotional and mental toll these conditions may cause, the physical effects of anxiety and stress often go unnoticed.
One of such effects can be cold feet, experts say. When we're stressed, our body produces adrenaline into the bloodstream as part of the fight or flight response. Adrenaline makes the peripheral blood vessels constrict in order to make the body save energy, and this naturally decreases one's circulation and may cause cold hands and feet. Relaxation and plenty of healthy sleep are necessary for our body to switch gears and return to normal.