feeling cold in feet

Why Are My Feet Always Cold?

Often, no matter the number of pairs of wool socks you use, your feet just can’t appear to heat up. If you’re reasonably healthy, chances are the cause of your cold feet is likely something safe. But there are severe health conditions that can make your feet forever chilled.

The simplest reason is a lack of heat. Another typical reason is bad circulation, when inadequate blood is getting to your feet to keep them warm. This can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle if you invest much of your day sitting at a desk. You can correct that by getting up more often and moving around throughout the day. Circulation issues can also be brought on by underlying health problems.

Here’s a look at a few of the more serious reasons you might be suffering from feet that always seem to be cold:

Raynaud’s disease

Raynaud’s disease typically causes your fingers and toes to feel cold and numb, typically when they’re exposed to cold temperatures or even stress. With this condition, the little arteries that bring blood to your skin become narrow, restricting circulation in some areas, inning accordance with the Mayo Clinic.

Raynaud’s disease (likewise called Raynaud’s syndrome or phenomenon) is more common in women and in people who reside in colder environments.

In addition to sensation cold, skin normally changes colors. Impacted areas turn white, then blue and later turn red when they heat up. As skin warms, you may experience a prickly, painful, burning experience.

In moderate cases, you can treat Raynaud’s by dressing in layers and wearing heavy socks to remain warm. In many cases, your doctor may recommend medication to assist with flow. Some non-prescription cold medications and prescription heart medications can make the condition worse, so contact your doctor if you’re having symptoms.


An under-active thyroid- or hypothyroidism- is when your thyroid gland doesn’t make adequate of the hormone that helps keep many of the body’s systems running smoothly. The symptoms are subtle and begin gradually, reports WebMD. “You might mistake them for aging or stress.”

Hypothyroidism symptoms consist of sensitivity to cold, as well as tiredness, weight gain and memory issues. Your skin might feel cool, dry and itchy.

Your doctor can identify thyroid issues with a blood test. Hypothyroidism is treated with an artificial thyroid hormone taken daily.


Anemia is when you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. The most typical symptom of anemia is feeling weak and tired, inning accordance with the National Institutes of Health, however other symptoms include cold hands and feet, along with dizziness, shortness of breath, headache and pale skin.

Treatment depends upon the type, cause and seriousness of anemia, however it often includes dietary modifications and supplements consisting of iron, folic acid, vitamin C, and/or vitamin B12.

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Also called peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, this typical condition occurs when cholesterol, fat or some other compounds build up in the walls of the arteries. These deposits form difficult structures called plaques and cause the walls of the arteries to narrow.

It can take years for the walls of the arteries to solidify and years for symptoms to reveal. Generally, the earliest signs are leg discomfort, pain and cramping, inning accordance with the Cleveland Clinic. Other symptoms consist of cool skin in the feet and soreness or pain in the feet and toes.

Speak with your doctor if you are having symptoms. Treatment depends on how far the disease has actually advanced and can consist of lifestyle changes and medication.


Hyperhidrosis is extreme sweating that is frequent or constant and normally occurs in the hands, feet and armpits. Heavy sweating appears like it would have nothing to do with cold feet. However hyperhidrosis is overactivity of the considerate nerve system, according to Cedars-Sinai.

That causes narrowing of arteries, so while hands and feet are sweating, they are also getting less blood circulation, making them cold in addition to wet. Prescription medications are frequently used to treat the condition.

Diabetic Nerve Damage

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a kind of nerve damage that can happen to people with diabetes who have chronically high blood sugar. Symptoms consist of numbness, tingling, burning, pain and a feeling of cold in the feet, legs or hands. Symptoms are typically even worse in the evening, states Diabetes Monitor.

Avoid soaking your feet in hot water to warm them up (you may not realize the water is too hot). Instead, constantly wear warm socks, even to bed, and use an electrical blanket during the night. It’s likewise a great idea to work out routinely and wiggle your toes and feet when sitting to help with flow.

Other Nerve Damage

In addition to nerve damage from diabetes, you can also experience peripheral neuropathy as an outcome of an injury or some other underlying medical condition. This nerve pain, which can offer the sensation of cold feet, can be a result of a vitamin shortage, kidney or liver disease, infection, metabolic concern, and even a direct exposure to some sort of toxin, inning accordance with the Mayo Clinic. The condition may likewise be hereditary and sometimes the cause is never uncovered.


Flow issues caused by smoking cigarettes can lead to cold feet. One such uncommon, however severe, complication consists of Buerger’s disease, which impacts capillary in the limbs. The blood vessels swell, which can prevent blood circulation and can cause clots to form, according to the CDC. Early symptoms consist of cold hands and feet, however can lead to tissue damage, pain and painful sores, ulcers as well as gangrene.

Just a Footnote

By the way, did you ever question where the expression “getting cold feet” comes from? “Cold feet” as an expression connotes loss of courage, such as when an entertainer gets cold feet right prior to he goes on stage to countless waiting fans or a bride-to-be gets cold feet before her big day. Linguists trace it back to possibly English playwright Ben Jonson in 1605 or German author Fritz Reuter in an 1862 novel. The earliest use of it in the English language likely goes back to author Stephen Crane in his 1896 book, “Maggie: I knew this was the method it would be. They got cold feet.”

No matter where the phrase originates from and no matter the underlying cause, cold feet can be unpleasant, and in many cases, a sign that something more serious is going on. Make sure to consult your doctor if you believe this may be the case.

What can cause your feet to feel cold?
However when feet feel cold but are not cold to the touch, a possible cause is a neurologic problem, such as peripheral neuropathy. For instance, peripheral neuropathy can cause this symptom. Peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of nerve damage triggered by injury or a hidden medical disorder.

How can I improve flow in my feet?
After a medical examination, you can treat poor flow by altering your unhealthy habits and handling the medical conditions that may be causing it:

  • Stop cigarette smoking.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in a healthy variety.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid long periods of immobility.
  • Elevate your legs.

Last modified: November 23, 2017


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