Do you have cold hands and feet even when the weather is warm? Do your toes feel like icicles? Are cold fingertips something you live with every day? Persistently cold hands and feet normal could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
You have probably heard the saying, Pain is our friend! and it is true. Pain signifies injury or a health issue that needs to be addressed. Without pain, many things would go unnoticed and untreated.
The same is true with cold hands and feet.
We all experience cold hands and feet from time to time. But if you are always seem to be asking yourself, “why are my hands always cold?” you could have an underlying health issue. When you are constantly trying to warm your fingers and toes, it could be a symptom of something in your body that you must pay attention to. Let's look at nine things that could be causing your cold hands and feet.
Of course, this first reason is a no-brainer. If you are exposed to the cold, the body is designed to protect you by trying to stay warm. How does it do this? The human body is truly amazing; in the case of cold weather, the blood vessels in the skin will narrow. As you may have already guessed, this reduces blood flow to the skin's surface to save the heat in your body for your vital organs. The skin's job is to protect everything within, so as the blood vessels become narrower, body heat is directed toward the organs that keep you alive, resulting in cold hands and feet.
We all know we must eat a balanced diet for our health and well-being. But do you know how vitally important good food really is? A lack of vitamins and nutrients can cause the body to shut down. Low iron and vitamin B12 can cause your body not to produce enough healthy red blood cells, which can lead to fatigue, anemia, and other health issues.
We all know that every drug can carry side effects along with them. Beta-blockers can narrow blood vessels and cause poor blood flow to the extremities. When this happens, blood flow to your hands and feet is constricted, making them feel cold.
If you need one more reason to quit or never start smoking, here it is. Not only is smoking bad for your lungs and overall health, but it can also compromise your cardiovascular system by narrowing blood vessels and leading to other health issues.
Anxiety can cause more issues than you may be aware of. Extreme stress can cause the body to enter "fight or flight" mode. When this happens, blood vessels can constrict and reduce blood flow to hands and feet, making them feel cold.
As your blood circulates, it delivers nutrients and oxygen to the systems throughout your body. This includes your hands and feet. If blood isn't circulating as it should, one of the first signs is cold extremities. Genetics sometimes play a role in poor circulation. Still, it could also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as peripheral artery disease, which narrows the arteries in your arms and legs.
If cold weather leaves your fingers and toes so cold that they turn blue, white, or purple, it could be a sign of Raynaud's disease. This very uncomfortable medical issue causes the blood vessels to narrow severely, leaving fingers and toes feeling extremely cold. Reynaud's can also leave your extremities feeling numb. Your doctor can diagnose this disease and relieve your symptoms with medication and lifestyle changes.
Your annual physical typically includes a CBC (Complete Blood Count). If you have ever looked at that report, you have seen the letters "RBC," which stands for "Red Blood Cells." Low RBC means that the body lacks red blood cells, which could indicate that the blood is not supplying your extremities with enough oxygen, making your hands and feet feel very cold. Anemia can be a red flag for iron deficiency, malnutrition, and certain medical issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and excessive bleeding.
Your thyroid is the thermostat of your body. When it doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones, it can cause the whole body to feel cold, especially your fingers and toes. Many health concerns can occur without enough thyroid hormones, including poor circulation and slow metabolism.
If you find yourself wondering, “why are my hands always cold?” it is time to talk to your doctor. Cold hands and feet are more than uncomfortable; they could indicate poor nutrition or underlying health issues. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing persistent cold fingers and toes. They can help you rule out any underlying health concerns and guide you toward better health with proper nutrition.
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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...
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