While experiencing the occasional cold feet is common, chronically cold feet can be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you experience cold feet on a daily or even weekly basis, schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out conditions or diseases commonly associated with chronic cold feet.
Here are some of the most common medical conditions that result in cold feet.
When fatty deposits clog your arteries, they constrict normal blood flow throughout your body. Without normal blood flow, circulation is affected and warm blood may not flow to your feet, causing cold feet. The arteries found in our feet are very small and are the first to be affected by poor circulation. Artherosclerosis is commonly caused by any or all of the following:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from Raynaud's disease. It is a disorder of the small blood vessels leading to the extremities, reducing the flow of blood. When Raynaud's patients experience cold temperatures or stress, their blood vessels begin to spasm, which causes tingling, pain, and numbness. Raynaud's patients report having chronic cold feet and hands that are painful and difficult to warm up. It is thought that many people suffer from Raynaud's disease and are undiagnosed because they think that they are "cold sensitive." Do you suspect that you could have Raynaud's disease? If so, take this quiz to learn more.
Most commonly caused by an iron deficiency, anemia causes your body to produce fewer red blood cells than normal. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to all of the parts of the body, including the feet. When there aren't enough red blood cells, extremities, like the feet, become very cold.
While the cause of this condition is unknown, it causes arteries and veins to become inflamed and clogged with blood clots. The first sign that you may have Buerger's Disease is chronically cold hands and feet. The cold can become so severe that it turns into numbness.
A common complaint among patients who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes is cold feet. Diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, disrupts the nerves that detect temperature in the feet, causing chronic cold feet. Diabetes is also associated with poor circulation, a leading cause of cold feet.
Diabetes is not the only disease that can cause nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy can occur for a wide variety of medical reasons and causes damage to the peripheral nervous system. One of the first symptoms is chronic cold feet that escalates to severe tingling and numbness. Common causes of peripheral neuropathy are:
- Genetic predisposition
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
Most often, experiencing cold feet from time to time is normal and not indicative of a serious medical condition. If you feel that your feet are cold more often than normal, it is best to schedule an appointment with your physician, who can determine the underlying cause.