Your blood vessels lose elasticity. When your blood vessels aren’t as flexible, your circulation decreases. When your blood doesn’t circulate normally, it’s harder for your body to retain heat. This can cause your hands and feet to feel cold.
Usually, having cold hands is just one of the ways your body tries to regulate its temperature and shouldn’t be cause for concern. However, persistently cold hands — particularly with skin color changes — could be a warning sign of nerve damage, blood flow problems, or tissue damage in the hands or fingers.
Cold hands are often a sign that your body is trying to maintain its normal body temperature. Always having cold hands, however, could mean there’s a problem with your blood flow or the blood vessels in your hands.
Treatment for cold hands or related diseases can include:
Some symptoms occur when the body tries to increase blood pressure that is low. For example, when arterioles constrict, blood flow to the skin, feet, and hands decreases. These areas may become cold and turn blue.
Raynaud’s disease causes smaller arteries that supply blood flow to the skin to narrow in response to cold or stress. The affected body parts, usually fingers and toes, might turn white or blue and feel cold and numb until circulation improves, usually when you get warm.
One of the most important of these benefits is an improvement in heart health and circulation. Specifically, vitamin B3 has been shown to reduce inflammation and increase circulation. People who always have cold hands and feet may want to consider a vitamin B supplement to improve blood flow and heart health.
Be sure you dress warmly, wearing a hat if needed, and gloves in cold environments. If you have symptoms, try running your hands under warm water or swinging your arms like a windmill to get your circulation going. Avoid smoking, which can cause your blood vessels to clamp down more.
People who have anemia, diabetes, lupus, scleroderma, thyroid disease, poor circulation or nervous system disorders may be more susceptible to having cold hands. And for many otherwise healthy people, it simply represents their body’s natural response to a cold environment, and likely isn’t a cause for concern.
Feeling cold. Cold hands and feet can be a result of iron deficiency anemia. People with anemia have poor blood circulation throughout their bodies because they don’t have enough red blood cells to provide oxygen to their tissue.
Medications that can Cause Cold Hands
Blow warm air onto cold hands. Tuck your hands inside clothing next to warm skin, such as your chest, belly, or armpit. Warm your hands by running warm (not hot) water over them or rubbing them together. This will help improve blood flow to your hands.
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.
Stress and anxiety can also cause cold fingers and hands. Epinephrine surges are common when someone is experiencing a great deal of stress or anxiety. This hormone triggers a chain of reactions that causes the blood vessels in the hands and fingers to constrict and decreases blood flow to the fingers.
The ideal blood pressure for seniors is now considered 120/80 (systolic/diastolic), which is the same for younger adults. The high blood pressure range for seniors starts at hypertension stage 1, spanning between 130-139/80-89.
People with heart failure may find that they often feel cold in their arms, hands, feet, and legs (the extremities). This happens because the body is circulating most of the available blood to the brain and other vital organs to compensate for the failing heart’s inability to pump enough blood to the entire body.