My hands and feet are often cold… Causes and Countermeasures -

There are unexpectedly many people with cold hands and feet. It is important to isolate the cause well. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

When the weather gets chilly in the morning and evening, there are surprisingly many people around who complain that their hands and feet are cold. The hands and feet may be simply cold symptoms (simple cold hands and feet), or it may be a symptom of various diseases such as diabetes and Raynaud's syndrome. It is desirable to keep an eye on whether it is simple cold hands and feet or not. Based on the data of the American health media 'WebMD', we examine 'causes and countermeasures for cold hands and feet'.

1. Weather

When the core body temperature (core body temperature) drops, the small blood vessels in the hands and feet tighten. The blood then moves to the depths, trying to keep the organs warm. Reduced blood circulation in the hands and feet causes the hands and feet to become colder.

2. Stress

When stressed, your body goes into 'fight or flight' mode, conserving energy against threats. This can cause cold hands and feet. Also, when the body pumps adrenaline into the bloodstream, it can narrow the blood vessels. The narrowing of the blood vessels reduces the blood supply to the feet, which can make your feet feel cold.

3. Poor blood circulation

Every time the heart beats, it pumps blood throughout the body. However, if you have heart disease, smoke, or don't move often, your blood circulation may be poor. When the blood flow rate in your body slows down, your feet can become cold. It is the most common cause of cold feet.

4. Diabetes

With type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar causes narrowing of the arteries. It makes it harder for blood to reach your hands and feet. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which damages nerves, disrupts messages between the body and the brain. Your feet may tingle or numb.

5. Anemia

Anemia occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all tissues of the body. If the anemia is moderate or severe, your feet may feel cold.

6. Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland makes hormones and sends them into the bloodstream. When you have hypothyroidism, your hormones are not produced enough, and you may gain weight, feel tired, and feel cold in your feet. This is because it slows down your metabolism and can affect your body temperature.

7. Raynaud's Syndrome

Also called Raynaud's phenomenon or Raynaud's disease. If you have Raynaud's syndrome, your body overreacts to exposure to cold water or air. The arteries that supply blood to the feet narrow, making it impossible for a normal amount of blood to pass through. The skin may appear blue or white. Stress can also lead to Raynaud's disease.

8. Peripheral Neurosis

When nerves are damaged, such as from an injury, your hands can become cold as a result of peripheral neuropathy. This symptom may begin in the longest nerve that reaches the toes. Diabetes is a major cause of polyneuropathy. This means that many nerves are affected by diabetes. Vitamin deficiency and infection can also cause peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by exposure to toxicity or kidney disease.

9. Peripheral Arterial Disease

When there is too much plaque (fat deposits) on the walls of the arteries, blood flow slows down, resulting in peripheral arterial disease (PAD). It is particularly common in smokers over the age of 50 and diabetic patients. If you develop cramps in your legs, changes in your nails, or inflamed feet, you should see your doctor.


1. Wear warm socks

Don't leave your feet cold. When winter approaches, it is advisable to warm socks before wearing them. If there is nothing wrong with the body and simply have cold hands and feet, it may be due to a genetic predisposition. Family members may experience such symptoms.

2. Wear multiple layers of clothes

When the weather gets cold, you need to put on clothes to raise your core body temperature. If the core body temperature rises, the temperature of the limbs may also rise. Watch how your body reacts, and if it's too hot, take off one or two layers.

3. Avoid large amounts of nicotine and caffeine

Caffeine and nicotine constrict or narrow the muscles around the blood vessels. A small amount of caffeine is not a problem. However, large amounts of caffeine have a huge effect on blood circulation, which can make your feet feel cold. If you have Raynaud's disease, avoid caffeine intake. Replace caffeinated drinks with water. If you are still unable to quit smoking, it is better to try a healthy way to quit smoking by consulting with your doctor.

4. Active physical activity

Physical activity, such as exercise, improves blood circulation. Brisk walking, biking, and stretching can promote blood circulation throughout the body, including the hands and feet.

By Kim Young-seop, staff reporter

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