Are you “that person” who always seems to be cold?
The one with the space heater at your desk always wrapped up in a blanket?
Typically, women have the reputation of always being cold, but sometimes men suffer from the constant chill too.
If you get cold hands and feet on occasion, especially when it is actually cold outside, there is probably no need to worry.
Even if it’s not cold, Mayo Clinic points out cold hands are part of the body’s attempt to regulate temperature, so you shouldn’t feel too concerned.
However, if you notice a consistent theme and your hands are always cold, there may be a deeper medical issue you may be facing.
Check out these common culprits of cold hands and feet:
- Raynaud’s Disease
One of the first signs of poor circulation is the constant cold feeling in your hands and feet.
The reason your hands and feet are cold is the fact that enough blood isn’t circulating to them.
Raynaud’s disease is painful and can cause extreme pain in hands and feet when the temperature drops.
Medical News Today reported:
“Blood vessels narrow and almost completely shut down. Fingers or toes turn from white to blue and, then, as the blood returns, they flush red.”
It’s critical to keep hands warm, as if they remain cold with no oxygen, they can begin to disform and even develop ulcers.
Many things can cause Raynaud’s Disease, from artery disease to previous injuries.
Pay attention to how your hands respond to frigid temperatures, especially if they don’t respond well to warm gloves or other warming devices.
Remember if you are cold to gradually warm up your hands – as a sudden burst of heat can end up causing more harm than good.
- Peripheral Artery Disease
Typically occurring in adults over 50 with a history of smoking or diabetes, symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) include cold feet, leg cramping, and hair loss on the shins.
The Cleveland Clinic reported:
“Cold hands and feet — especially in older people — also can be caused by PAD, which occurs when arteries become narrowed or blocked as plaque gradually forms inside the artery walls.”
Because your limbs aren’t getting enough blood flowing through them, leg pain and cramping can occur.
Experts recommend walking and a healthy diet to help reduce cholesterol – and quit smoking if you haven’t already!
According to the Mayo Clinic, if left untreated PAD can cause stroke or a heart attack, so it’s definitely something you want to take seriously.
Those with anemia tend to naturally struggle with being cold all over. Those who are anemic aren’t making enough red blood cells, which in turn means enough oxygen isn’t getting carried throughout the body.
Not getting enough iron is serious and can lead not only to cold hands and feet, but can cause pale skin, and even fainting.
Health Status reported:
“Anemia often causes extreme pale skin, fatigue, weakness and cold hands and feet. Iron deficiency anemia often goes undiagnosed until you experience Raynaud’s disease. If your hands and feet stay cold despite warming measures, check your iron levels.”
It’s imperative to make sure you are getting enough iron in your diet.
According to Web MD, there are two types of iron the body absorbs:
“There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry (meat, poultry, and seafood contain both heme and non-heme iron). Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources. Most nonheme iron is from plant sources.”
Top heme iron sources include things like cooked beef, chicken and ham, while nonheme iron sources can be find in foods like spinach and lentils.
Make sure you are getting enough iron in your diet – and if you have an iron deficiency, consider taking an iron supplement, but talk with your doctor first.
If it’s naturally cold outside and you’re always cold, don’t worry!
Cold hands and cold feet could be as simple as… it’s just cold outside!
But if you notice that despite what you do to warm up – put on gloves, warm socks, heater, etc. and you still feel cold, you may have an underlying medical condition.
Be vigilant and notice if you start to experience any other serious issues such as sores that won’t heal or unusual weakness or nerve problems.
Start a log of your symptoms and be sure to talk it out with your primary doctor before it turns into something serious.
However as of today, one of the best things you can do for your body is keep a healthy weight and eat nutritious foods.
And make sure to find time to exercise – even if it is just walking for an hour or two!
Do you suffer from cold hands and feet?
If so, what did you do to overcome this? Or do you currently still struggle with cold hands and feet?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family and let them know the possible underlying causes of their cold hands and feet!