Why Are My Feet Always Cold?Print
It’s natural to get cold feet in winter. But some people have cold feet year round.
I’ll bet that you or someone you know complains of a spouse with cold feet. You can practically feel the temperature of your bedroom drop when they crawl under the sheets and, if their icy toes touch yours, it’s like hitting an iceberg.
Sometimes cold feet are caused by the environment, as in cold winter temperatures. But there are certain conditions that can cause or contribute to perpetually icy feet, regardless of season.
COMMON CAUSES OF COLD FEET
- The most common cause of cold feet is poor or impaired circulation. Quite simply, not enough blood is flowing to the skin of your feet. This can usually be remedied by movement—get up and walk around, and put on a pair of slippers or heavy socks (like the wool thermal kind). But poor circulation can also be caused by other factors, such as low iron, poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of sleep or wearing shoes that are too tight.
- Another very common cause of cold feet, especially in women, is hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid gland is underactive. Cold hands usually accompany the cold feet, along with hair loss and weight gain. A simple blood test ordered by your physician can determine if your thyroid is underactive; oral medicines can correct it.
- Raynaud’s Syndrome, although rare, is usually seen in young women. The loss of blood flow to the hands and feet is caused by spasms in the blood vessels.
- Cold feet also go hand in hand with aging, a condition called distal hypothermia. In this case, the once-generous blood supply becomes stingy in the extremities—the blood no longer flows as dynamically as it once did. The hands and feet are the first to feel the effects, as the capillaries that feed the fingers and toes become damaged or blocked.
But sometimes people just have cold feet, especially women. In fact, it’s been reported that women are nine times more likely to have cold feet than men are. It may be due to the difference in fat and muscle distribution between the sexes. Men have considerably more muscle mass in their feet and, consequently, more blood flow. In women, the blood supply favors their trunk and core, not their extremities.
Warm feet are a good sign that you’re healthy. If your feet are constantly cold, visit your podiatrist for an examination and diagnosis. Conditions treated early in their development are more easily resolved than those that have progressed far along.
Res-Q offers a number of products to help with impaired circulation, such as Res-Q Leg & Vein Support. This supplement has bioflavonoids and OPCs which are powerful antioxidants to help promote healthy circulation, especially in the delicate blood vessels and capillaries of the legs. These antioxidants strengthen blood vessels, capillaries and vein walls, as well as increase the elasticity of blood vessels, which may help to relieve your cold feet.
Dr. Adam J. Teichman is a board-certified podiatric physician and surgeon. He is Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, PA, where he is also a member of the Limb Salvage Team. He serves as a surgical instructor at the Podiatric Residency program at St. Luke’s Hospital and Health System in Bethlehem, PA; is a panel physician at Sacred Heart Wound Center and Shire Regenerative Medicine; and is the official team podiatrist of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.