What causes cold feet?

By | 12 March 2021

What causes cold feet?

Everyone’s body reacts differently to cold, and some people get colder than others. This condition is expressed as cold intolerance. The cold hands and feet are also related to this. Some people even literally have ice-cold feet.

What are cold feet?

When you enter a cold environment, it is a situation where the blood vessels narrow in the foot area and the blood flow is insufficient towards these parts. Foot cold is mostly temporary and harmless, but there may be situations where it may indicate more serious health conditions.

The incidence of chills in women is always higher than in men. One reason is that women have a slower resting metabolic rate. Naturally, they cannot produce as much energy as men. In addition, according to studies that have not been fully elucidated, women’s tolerance to cold is naturally weak.

What are the symptoms of cold feet?

  • Tingling, numbness, or numbness in your feet
  • Constantly cold feet
  • Sometimes tremors

What causes cold feet?

If your feet are constantly cold except for temporary chills, there may be some serious reasons under this. Possible reasons for your feet to constantly get cold are as follows:

Insufficient temperature

There are many reasons for cold feet. Sometimes the simplest reason is that the ambient temperature is low. Depending on the season, if you are not dressed thick enough and your feet are bare, it is possible that your feet will get cold first. But of course, there are other reasons.

Poor circulation

Poor circulation is one of the most common causes of cold feet. Insufficient blood circulation makes it difficult for enough hot blood to regularly reach the foot area. So your feet stay colder than the rest of your body.

Circulatory problems are heart conditions that occur in various situations in which the heart cannot pump blood to the body in its normal function. One reason for poor circulation may be a sedentary lifestyle. Instead of sitting too long, you can try to be active during the day.

If you sit at your desk all day at work, you are likely to experience this situation. Smoking can also be another cause of circulatory disorders.


When there is an insufficient number of red blood cells, anemia occurs in the body. Especially in cases where anemia progresses, cold feet are indicated as an inevitable symptom. In addition, iron deficiency anemia can occur even in very healthy people. This is a condition that can be treated relatively easily with dietary changes and supplements.


Diabetes causes not only feet that feel cold when touched, but also feet that constantly feel cold due to nerve damage. Other symptoms are numbness or tingling sensation in the feet. If you show any signs of nerve damage in the feet, you should avoid it before the problem grows. In order to prevent diabetic foot and other problems, you should check your feet for cuts or injuries and follow the condition of your feet.


This condition is mentioned when the thyroid is insufficient and not enough thyroid hormone can be produced. Various changes occur in the body’s metabolism. Metabolism controls both heart rhythm and body temperature. For this reason, an insufficient thyroid causes poor circulation and cold feet.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency

B-12 is a vitamin usually taken by consuming animal products. B-12 deficiency occurs when you are not able to reabsorb B-12 or get enough from your diet.

This deficiency is most common in:

  • Those who prefer a vegan diet and live accordingly
  • Individuals over the age of 50
  • Individuals who have had gastrointestinal surgery
  • Those who have digestive problems

Symptoms of B12 deficiency include Constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath, decreased appetite, pale appearance, irritability, shortness of breath, anemia, loss of balance, tingling and numbness in the limbs, weakness.

Medication complications

Constant cold feet is a potential side effect of drugs called beta-blockers. These medications treat high blood pressure and other heart and circulatory problems.

Less common causes of cold feet include:

  • Narrowing of the veins due to peripheral vascular disease or plaques
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon (pale skin and bruising in areas with poor blood circulation), where there is a spasm of blood vessels
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Nerve damage from other causes

Other factors that affect cold hands and feet:

  • Other factors that can cause cold hands and feet include your age, family history, and some medications you use.
  • You may shiver if you have a bacterial or viral infection and fever.
  • Sometimes being anxious can cause your feet and hands to get cold.
  • A study conducted in 2016 showed that there is an important relationship between chronic indigestion and cold hands and feet.
  • Babies and older people have more risk factors that cause their hands and feet to get cold.

Foot cold in babies:

Babies have a large body surface area relative to their weight. For this reason, they lose their body temperature faster. As insulation, they don’t have too much oil under their skin. Also, natural body temperature regulations are not as developed as an adult.

Foot cold in older adults:

Older people lose their ability to regulate their body temperature well. The blood vessels in the limbs do not constrict easily to keep the central areas warm.

Metabolism tends to slow down with age, which can make feet feel cold.

When should you see a doctor if you have a cold foot?

If you have noticed that your feet are constantly cold, you can ask your doctor for the reason at your next visit.

Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible if you have persistent cold toes, hard healing wounds on your toes and feet, and are always tired.

In some cases, your feet will feel cold, but your skin will not feel cold to the touch. If you experience such a change, you should call your doctor immediately. You may be showing a symptom of a neurological problem.

How are cold feet diagnosed?

Your doctor will first perform a physical examination. It checks for the presence of trauma or nerve damage by applying pressure to different areas of your foot. He or she then requests blood tests that can illuminate and analyze conditions such as anemia, diabetes, or hypothyroidism.

If your doctor thinks your feet are caused by heart disease or poor circulation, they’ll order an electrocardiogram that helps control the functioning of your heart. If they understand what causes peripheral artery disease, an ultrasound will also be necessary to look at the blood flow through your arteries.

How are cold feet treated?

Treatments depend largely on the underlying cause of your cold feet. Generally, your doctor will first offer you regular exercise options to improve circulation. Exercise also helps prevent other problems, including heart disease, and is key to a healthy lifestyle.

Other causes of foot cold, such as hypothyroidism and anemia, are conditions that can be treated with medications. Your doctor may prescribe calcium blockers that can contribute to the opening of blood vessels for conditions such as Raynaud’s or certain heart conditions.

How do feet get hot when cold?

If you are always cold, you can warm up temporarily with a blanket, dress in a multi-layered fashion, or increase the temperature in the environment. But if that still doesn’t work, here are some methods that can be applied:

  • Try taking a nap or going to sleep sooner.
  • If you are anemic or have an unbalanced diet, try to eat a healthier diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
  • Avoid stress as much as possible, it’s always better to generate positive thoughts.
  • Wear socks or slippers.
  • Flex and move your feet.
  • Stop smoking (nicotine prevents blood from reaching your hands and feet easily.)
  • Try to lower your cholesterol with the right diet and medication.
  • Try to get more iron, vitamin B12, and folate to strengthen and regulate circulation.

Many people live with cold feet at some point in their lives. However, if your feet need more than a blanket, make an appointment with your doctor. Do some tests to make sure you and your feet are healthy.