Does the temperature of your bedroom plummet when your partner crawls under the bed sheets? When their icy cold feet touch yours, do you scream?
Sometimes, always-cold feet aren’t attributable to any condition. This is especially true in women. In fact, it’s been reported that women are nine times more likely to have cold feet than men. Perhaps this is because men have considerably more muscle mass in their feet, and consequently, more blood flow. In women, the blood supply favors their core and trunk, not their hands and feet.
But certain conditions and diseases can cause perpetually icy feet. Usually, it’s due to poor circulation – not enough blood reaches the skin. If you get up and walk around, or put on a pair of slippers or thermal socks, you can warm them back up. But poor circulation can also be caused by smoking, low iron in the blood, a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, shoes that are too tight, and other factors.
In women, a very common cause of cold feet is hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive. Accompanying the cold feet in this case are cold hands, hair loss, and weight gain. A blood test can determine if you have hypothyroidism, and oral medicine can in most instances correct it.
Raynaud’s Disease is usually seen in young women. It’s a rare disorder in which the lack of blood flow to the feet and hands is caused by spasms in the blood vessels.
Constantly perspiring, a condition called Hyperhidrosis, can also cause cold feet, especially if the surrounding air temperature is on the cool side. Hyperhidrosis is linked to a number of conditions, among them diabetes, anxiety disorders, menopause, and stroke. Consult with your physician to determine the exact cause of your hyperhidrosis.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes, the result of nerve damage. Individuals with DPN may feel cold sensations in their feet, but their skin may be a normal temperature. DPN may also cause tingling sensations, numbness, and pain. Podiatrists and podiatric surgeons are experts at treating Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and have many tools at their disposal to relieve the symptoms.
Like so many other maladies, cold feet also go hand-in-hand with aging. As we get on in years, our blood doesn’t flow as robustly as it once did. Our hands and feet are the first to feel the effects, as the capillaries that feed the fingers and toes become damaged or blocked. This is a condition called distal hypothermia.
Warm feet are a good sign that you’re healthy. If your feet are constantly cold, visit the podiatrists at PA Foot and Ankle Associates for an examination and diagnosis. Conditions identified and treated early can be more easily resolved than those that have progressed far along.