Cold hands and feet — especially in older people — also can be caused by PAD, which occurs when arteries become narrowed or blocked as plaque gradually forms inside the artery walls. PAD can affect people age 50 or older with a history of diabetes or smoking, while anyone age 70 or older generally should be screened.
When should I see a doctor? If you’ve noticed that you have cold feet, you can ask your doctor about it at your next physical. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience cold feet and: sores on your toes and fingers that are taking a long time to heal.
Two of the most common causes of cold feet are decreased circulation in the extremities or a problem with nerve sensation. One cause of decreased circulation is atherosclerosis, where arteries are narrowed by fatty deposits and impede blood flow in the limbs.
Here are a few helpful tips to improve circulation.
Cold Feet Treatments
How To Keep Your Feet Warm During Bedtime
Lack of vitamin B12 and iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead you to feel cold. Good sources of B12 are chicken, eggs and fish, and people with iron deficiency may want to seek out poultry, pork, fish, peas, soybeans, chickpeas and dark green leafy vegetables.
It’s usually caused by an iron deficiency. When you have an iron deficiency, your red blood cells may not have enough hemoglobin (iron-rich protein) to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. The result can be cold fingers and toes.
When lying down, adding a pillow under your feet (for back sleepers) or between your knees (for side sleepers) can help keep blood flowing.
One of these, in particular, vitamin B3, can help people improve blood circulation. Also called niacin, B3 reduces inflammation and bad cholesterol. The vitamin is also important for increasing blood vessel function. Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are good sources of vitamin B nutrients.
The best activity to improve circulation is aerobic exercise – the kind that makes you mildly out of breath. This includes jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, rowing, boxing, team sports, aerobic or cardio classes, or brisk walking.
How to cure cold feet… and palms
When you’re exposed to cold temperatures, small blood vessels overcompensate by constricting blood flow to your extremities to keep your internal organs warm. This condition’s most common symptom is a visible discoloration of your ears, nose, hands, and feet, turning them white or bluish and feeling ice-cold.
Being in a state of high stress or anxiety may also cause cold feet.