What it really means when your feet are always cold

As the winter months draw near, it’s only natural to worry about your circulation. If you find that no matter what — after adding layer after layer of socks — your feet are constantly cold, it may be time to look into some of the underlying reasons for why this may be so. 

Perpetually cold feet can signal an issue with circulation, which makes it difficult for the body to get enough blood to your extremities. This can come as a result of heart conditions that inhibit the body’s ability to pump blood quickly enough, as Healthline explains. Furthermore, sitting for extended periods of time combined with lifestyle choices like smoking can contribute to this issue, the outlet notes. 

Interestingly, feelings of anxiety can underpin struggles with cold feet as well. When your body is in a state of panic or nervousness, your system secretes adrenaline. According to Medical News Today, this hormone floods the bloodstream and constricts blood vessels throughout the body to conserve energy in the event of a life-threatening situation. When you’re anxious, your body can have trouble moving blood efficiently — particularly to your feet. 

Cold feet can be a sign of an underlying condition

Beyond factors like anxiety and circulation, various health issues can contribute to your frigid toes. People who are diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes may experience nerve damage — particularly in their feet, as explained by Insider. This damage may inhibit the functioning of nerves that regulate temperature, leading to uncomfortable sensations in this area of the body. Furthermore, type 2 diabetics may suffer from poor circulation as a result of their condition, bringing about cold feet, as noted by Insider.

Those suffering from anemia may also fall victim to cold feet. A condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, anemia often comes from a lack of iron. With lower levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin, oxygen-rich blood can fall short of reaching your feet, the outlet explains. If you don’t think that you have this condition, your cold feet can also stem from issues with your thyroid. With an under-active thyroid, your body can struggle to secrete enough hormones to regulate your body’s temperature, leading to cold feet (via Insider).

Between heart issues, anxiety, and nervous system complications, cold feet can come from a multitude of sources. If your feet aren’t warming up with a few more pairs of socks and a cup of hot tea, it may be time to see a doctor.

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