Nine Reasons and Remedies for Constantly Chilly Feet
Your feet may have already resigned themselves to the fact that you are always going to be cold, even though you are currently wearing two pairs of fuzzy socks. However, if you consistently experience cold feet, it may be a sign of a health problem that needs to be checked out. This refers to having cold feet in the literal sense, not to being overly nervous about something.
If the rest of your body is cold, chances are your feet will be too. Warming up occurs naturally once you enter a heated area or put on some wool socks. Nonetheless, Dr. Saylee Tulpule of Washington, D.C. C states: "When cold feet continue to progress—they're cold even if you're at home, or the feet are cold and causing pain—that's a warning sign that must get treated by a physician." ”
Feet can feel cold, tingle, change color, and even hurt due to a number of medical issues, most notably circulation issues. These problems won't go away without medical intervention. Without intervention, poor circulation can have serious consequences for one's health.
Good Housekeeping Has More!
Good Housekeeping consulted with medical professionals to learn more about the causes of perpetually cold feet, as well as other warning signs. When you should start worrying about your toes getting cold and how to keep them toasty in the meantime
Could you please explain your shivering?
Poor circulation is the main cause for alarm, and many factors, such as smoking, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems, may be affecting this aspect of your cardiovascular health. This article will examine the specific causes of your perpetually chilly feet:
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It's possible that you have peripheral artery disease (1).
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease, is one form of circulatory disease that can lead to numbness and tingling in the feet Tulpule says this is because less blood is able to flow to the feet because the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs narrow or become blocked. In addition to these, other symptoms of PAD include skin discoloration, poor nail growth, slow wound healing, pain or cramping in the legs, and pain when walking.
PAD is a potentially fatal disease. Tulpule warns that if left untreated, it can lead to gangrene, infections, and even amputation of the affected limb or foot. American Heart Association resources indicate that it also raises the probability of hypertension, cardiac arrest, and cerebrovascular accident.
Second, you have a heart condition.
A symptom of a more serious cardiovascular issue, and probably one involving the heart, is cold feet. Having poor blood flow because of arterial plaque is a serious problem. Since the heart can't pump enough blood to supply the entire body, Sonia Rivera-Martinez, DO, explains that the body prioritizes supplying the brain and lungs with blood. This often results in decreased blood flow to the limbs. a member of the AOA board of trustees and a doctor of osteopathic family medicine with board certification. Your extremities (toes, knees, and elbows) may become chilly as a result.
Your doctor may be able to help you figure out what's causing your chronically cold feet if you bring up the possibility of screenings for heart-related issues when you bring up your symptoms.
3 You could have Reynaud's syndrome
The small blood vessels in your fingers and toes spasm due to Reynaud's syndrome. This condition reduces blood flow, leading to discomfort and discoloration of the digits (which can range from white to red to blue at the very tips). To add insult to injury, Tulpule claims it can cause pain and tingling or numbness. One of the most common causes of Reynaud's is being outside in chilly temperatures. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there is currently no cure for Reynaud's syndrome; however, the condition can be managed by avoiding cold temperatures, wearing extra layers of clothing, or taking medication.
4 You may be experiencing nerve problems.
Mayo Clinic: damage to nerves outside the brain and spinal cord causes peripheral neuropathy. As a result, your hands and feet become progressively weaker, numb, painful, and sensitive to temperature changes. The tingling and numbness could travel up your legs and make you shiver.
Injuries, infectious diseases like Lyme disease and hepatitis, autoimmune diseases like lupus, and, most frequently, diabetes can all trigger this condition. Rivera-Martinez claims that numb feet are a symptom of diabetes because the disease "damages the nerves." ”
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5. You're deficient in vitamin B12
Numbness and tingling in the feet may be the result of nerve damage brought on by vitamin B12 deficiency. Board-certified osteopathic family physician and incoming AOA president Ira Monka, DO, explains: "It's interpreted as a cold sensation." Meat, poultry, shellfish, and eggs are all good sources of vitamin B12, but you can also take a supplement to make sure you're getting the recommended daily allowance.
You're anemic (6 points)
Anemia, which results from a lack of healthy red blood cells in the body, is a common complication of iron deficiency. According to Rivera-Martinez, it is normal to experience a lack of body heat. You can lower your risk of anemia by eating foods like dark green vegetables, fortified breads and cereals, eggs, and red meat. Talking to your doctor is also a good idea because he or she may recommend iron supplements.
It's possible that your thyroid isn't doing its job
Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is characterized by insufficient thyroid hormone production and manifests itself in a variety of ways, one of which is increased sensitivity to cold. Cold feet are the result of a slowed metabolism and impaired circulation, as explained by Rivera-Martinez.
8) It's the drugs, stupid
You may be more sensitive to the cold if you take certain medications, according to Monka. These include beta-blockers, pseudoephedrine, migraine therapies, drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and most forms of chemotherapy. Talk to your doctor about possible drug interactions if you're taking these and still can't get your toes toasty.
You're just a cold-hearted person, number nine
If you've tried to talk to your doctor about the problems listed above but have gotten nowhere, it's possible that you were born with them. According to Tulpule, "I certainly get a fair amount of patients that come in and their circulation's strong, they don't have any risk factors — they don't smoke, they eat well, they exercise — and their feet are just cold." Dress in several pairs of warm, fuzzy socks.
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Does poor circulation or heart health cause chilly feet?
According to Tulpule, poor circulation due to a heart condition, smoking, high blood pressure, Reynaud's syndrome, or diabetes is the leading cause of chronically cold feet. When blood vessels become blocked or narrowed, normal blood flow is restricted. Your toes will get cold because blood will take longer to reach them.
One of the signs of circulatory problems is cold feet. The Cleveland Clinic warns that you should also be on the lookout for other symptoms, such as tingling, numbness, pain, or pale or blue skin, in your feet. Without treatment, Tulpule says, "poor circulation is not going to get better." If you have a poor diet or a history of smoking, for example, you may have significant blockages but be completely unaware of it. ”
If your feet are always cold, what does that indicate about you?
Constantly feeling your feet getting cold is a major pain. You may spend all your time looking for the warmest socks available or try to avoid going anywhere near the outdoors when it's particularly cold. See a doctor if your feet won't warm up or if they feel colder than they have in the past.
Seeing a primary care physician quickly "will get you answers sooner rather than later," as Monka puts it, "since there are many causes of cold extremities with poor circulation."
Other than the obvious symptom of cold feet, pay attention to any of the following signs that may indicate a problem with your feet or legs:
- Discomfort or cramping (at rest or while attempting to move).
- Altering Skin Tone
- Shiny skin
- Not feeling a pulse (or only a weak one)
Tulpule recommends seeing a primary care physician first; if necessary, they can refer you to a cardiologist, vascular surgeon, or other specialist. It is common knowledge that alleviating the symptoms of cold feet requires treating the underlying cause.
How to Treat Cold Feet
Doctors say the only permanent solution to cold feet is medical treatment, but there are some short-term fixes.
- Put on some toasty socks: fuzzy socks may seem like an unnecessary remedy for cold feet, but they will help. Rather than wearing cotton socks, opt for synthetic materials like wool, nylon, or polyester. Sweat and other forms of moisture are retained by cotton, according to Tulpule. For example: "If it's a cold, slushy day outside, and that happens to penetrate your socks, you're introducing cold to your feet." ”
- Invest in some foot warmers: items like the HotHands Insole Foot Warmers can help you maintain a comfortable body temperature while keeping your toes and feet toasty. A heating pad applied to the feet is another option. Tulpule warns, however, that you should exercise caution when using warmers if you don't have full sensation in your feet.
- Walking or otherwise moving around will help you warm up your feet and body. According to Rivera-Martinez, "Movement propels circulation," so any movement, no matter how light, is beneficial. ”
- Soak your feet in lukewarm water; place them in a bowl or basin filled with tepid water. Despite popular belief, Tulpule advises against using hot water on cold feet. "The thawing process ought to be a slow one. ”
- Exactly why do I keep getting chilly?
Author: Erica Sweeney
Writer Erica Sweeney focuses on topics related to health, wellness, and employment. In addition to The New York Times, she has contributed to HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Parade, Money, and Business Insider.
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