Poor circulation is one of the common causes of cold feet and is sometimes normal. There are a variety of reasons why your feet may end up being cold from time to time. But, most of the time, it is nothing to worry about. So, before we look at some of the causes that cause cold feet, let us dive straight into some tips on how to keep feet warm with poor circulation.
How to Keep Feet Warm
1. Warm Clothing
Most of the time, your feet catch a cold because of cold temperatures. This is because the body regulates its temperature optimally at normal or house temperature. However, when it’s cold, the body experiences an abnormal state and is forced to prioritize blood flow to the vital organs. This response limits the amount of warm blood flowing to the extremities, including the feet.
Warm clothes help by creating insulation that traps the body’s warmth, generally making you warmer. Well, aerated socks help keep the feet at the average body temperature, helping the body recover to its natural functioning state.
Wear well-insulated slippers to protect your feet from the floor that might be cold. Slipper socks are other options of warm footwear you can look into. Any temperature that gets through the feet tends to be experienced by the body at a much more amplified rate.
2. Warm Footbath
As we have identified above, the temperatures experienced by the feet greatly alter the body’s temperature. A warm bath consists of warm water in a basin or bathtub for you to dip and soak your feet. The water increases the body temperature leading to more blood flow in your feet and legs.
Warm water, however, is not recommended for diabetics because that might lead to nerve damage. Damaged nerves reduce the body’s sensitivity to temperature, and it might be hard to tell when the water is hot or cold.
3. Daily Exercise
Working out daily is critical in keeping your body warm at all times. Exercise increases and improves blood circulation in the body, especially the ands and feet. Simple exercises like jogging and jumping jacks will play a major role in keeping feet warm. Fresh blood will flow into your cold extremities and improve your general body temperature. Wear socks after exercising to keep the body heat locked in.
4. Electric Heating Pad
The electric heating pad saves you the dreaded hassle of having to move around in the effort of getting your feet warm. Heating pads come in handy during winter and extremely cold temperatures to keep your feet warm at all times. Cold feet will be a thing of the past when you have foot warmers. In addition, heated floors would be a great option to eliminate the hassle of wearing well-insulated socks.
5. Quick Massage
A quick, simple message can go a long way into getting warm feet. A massage increases reduced blood flow and lead to better circulation, evenly transferring heat to the feet and hands. Tight clothes or staying in shoes all day reduce circulation by constricting the legs. A message will help relieve tension and bring back the warmth to the feet.
6. Hot Water Bottles
A Hot water bottle is a lot like electric foot warmers. Water bottles are a cheaper option to warm up cold feet and increase blood flow in the legs. Cold weather can sometimes prove persistent. Therefore, to save power, you can warm up a few bottles of water and place them on your covered feet. As a result, blood vessels will be less constricted, and more heat will be supplied to the body.
Causes of Cold Feet
There are a variety of causes that might make your feet cold. Apart from cold weather, preexisting body conditions might lead to chronic cold feet difficult to regulate by just staying warm and wearing winter clothing or warm socks. Here are some causes of cold feet.
The body produces the thyroid hormone, which is responsible for the breaking down of calories. The hormone is produced from the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is caused by an underactive thyroid, where the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone than it normally would.
Hypothyroidism greatly affects the body’s metabolism leading to weight gain or loss. Weight gain affects the pulse rate, leading to reduced blood circulation. As a result, your feet will feel cold, and you might end up with cold hands as well. Hypothyroidism can also make you develop life-threatening complications.
b) Peripheral Artery Disease
The peripheral arterial disease can make you experience cold feet. Peripheral artery disease is a condition where the arteries narrow, causing poor blood circulation. This condition is due to fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries, clogging up the systems and reducing the blood flow, causing colder feet and hands.
Peripheral arterial disease exposes you to the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. Atherosclerosis is a common cause of cold feet and also affects the heart arteries and brain.
c) Blood Clots
A blood clot in the veins or arteries can be a result of many underlying conditions. Clots clog up the blood vessels leading to reduced blood flow to the extremities and eventually causing cold feet. The blood clot can sometimes totally cut out blood flow, leading to a more dangerous situation that might lead to high blood pressure and brain complications.
Anemia is a condition where the body lacks enough red blood cells. Anemia can also be a result of dysfunctional red blood cells. Acute anemic conditions can lead to cold feet. You can treat anemia by eating foods rich in iron.
Food rich in iron increases the manufacture of red blood cells in the bone marrow. In addition, you can get supplements that boost blood formation, increasing the amount of healthy red blood cells in the body.
Putting on too much weight can have a lasting effect on your blood circulation in the body. Blood vessels get clogged up, and the heart is overworked since it has to work even harder to get the blood to the extremities. A reduced pulse rate leads to less blood in the feet, hence a reduced temperature.
Working out can help a great deal in reducing your weight. Changing your diet will be an option to explore. You can consult your physician on how best to go about getting a healthier body. You might end up undergoing surgical procedures. Anything for an improved lifestyle.
f) Cold Temperatures
Cold temperatures are a more obvious reason for cold feet and hands. At least once every year, you will experience cold temperatures during winter. Some regions near the north are cold for most of the year. Therefore, you need to invest in home systems that help you stay warm all through. Warm clothing can help you keep your feet warm.
Your hands and feet are always the first physical contact with the environment around you. Therefore, a cold floor will give you constant cold feet. Electric foot warmers, hot water bottles, well-insulated socks, and winter clothes will relieve cold feet.
g) Anxiety or High Stress
The body responds to high stress by releasing adrenaline. When adrenaline is released, the vessels on the extremities and the peripheries get constricted to limit the blood flow in preparation for any harm that may come to the body. The response also ensures that more energy is reserved for use in case of flight or fight.
The natural response when the body releases adrenaline is experienced when one has stress or anxiety. This response leads to reduced temperatures in hands and feet, limiting fresh blood circulating in the body.
h) Diabetes Mellitus
High blood sugar levels in the body make the arteries in the body narrow, limiting the blood circulation in the hands and feet. The reduced blood flow, as we have established, leads to cold hands and cold feet.
In some cases, diabetes can lead to diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels for a long time lead to nerve damage in the body. Diabetic nerve damage makes it impossible to know whether the temperature is cold or warm.
i) Nerve Disorders
Nerves can be damaged by many things, including injury or trauma, frostbite, or an underlying medical condition. In addition, Genetics, kidney diseases, and other diseases may affect the nerves. When nerves are damaged, it is difficult to know when it is too cold or not. One can develop cold feet as a result.
j) Sweaty Feet
When you sweat, the body naturally cools down due to vaporization. When sweat evaporates, the body uses up the heat, hence cooling. Some people have sweaty palms and feet that are slightly more than normal. The vaporization can lead to cold feet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Feet
i) Is Sleeping for Long Bad for Circulation?
Sleeping is a natural process that the body undergoes for normal functioning. When you do not get enough sleep, your body might shut down. However, blood flows better in the body when you are upright and active. The heart is more central to the body mass. When you are upright, more body flows to the extremities of the body through gravity. Hands and feet get cold when there is poor circulation of blood in the body.
ii) Which Foods are Good for Circulation?
Your diet will directly determine whether you have cold feet or not. For example, some foods have too much cholesterol, leading to the arteries getting clogged up, leading to poor circulation. Blood circulation is essentially one of the main ways the body controls its temperature.
B vitamin foods are the best for blood circulation, and eventually, warm hands and feet. Vitamin B reduces megaloblastic anemia, encouraging the production of healthy blood cells. Vitamin B-3 significantly reduces the inflammation of blood vessels and gets rid of poor circulation flow, which eliminates cold feet.
Vitamin B foods reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body.
iii) Does Exercise Get Rid of Cold Feet?
Exercise does reduce poor circulation in the body. The pulse improves when you exercise, leading to a better supply of blood to the extremities in the body. In addition, exercise helps reduce weight in overweight people, giving the heart an easy time when exercising.
When to See a Doctor
Sometimes cold feet are a result of cold weather. However, when the cause of poor circulation is unknown to you, it might be time to see a doctor. Likewise, when symptoms in the body persist despite efforts to keep warm, it is wise to see a doctor.
The body is very interactive and responsive. The body will give you the analog feedback of what you input into it. For example, when you eat foods with too much fat, the body will take that in. When you do not make an effort to get rid of the excess fat in the body or regulate your diet, the body will try to communicate that there is poor blood circulation. This communication can be through stroke or cold feet.
When you have nerve damage, see a doctor help you determine what might be the cause for that. For example, maybe you have diabetes, or you sit for very long hours. Neurological symptoms are difficult to guess unless you undergo tests to help you determine what is going on.
Self-diagnosis is ill-advised as you might end up misdiagnosing a rather serious condition. Instead, try as much as you can to notice the changes in your body. Watch your history closely and share them with your doctor at all times. Conditions like anemia are best diagnosed and treated by a professional.
Finally, before you arrive at a conclusive decision on what is causing your cold feet, do not be anxious, as anxiety is one of the causes of cold feet. The chances are high that it is nothing to worry about.