Question

Heart and Circulatory System

What causes cold feet?

A Answers (5)

  • Many things can cause cold feet. Assuming there are no underlying medical conditions, the most common reason for cold feet is the body’s reaction to colder weather. In an effort to keep the important organs warm, the body will constrict the blood vessels in the feet and legs and hands and arms. Because the feet are the furthest away from the body, they'll feel the coldest. 
  • AChristopher Chiodo, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    Vascular conditions affect the arteries that carry blood throughout your body. Many people suffer poor circulation, especially as they grow older, and this may lead to cold feet. High blood pressure (hypertension) and other types of cardiovascular disease can also reduce circulation, especially to the extremities. So can phlebitis, an inflammation of a vein that sometimes causes a blood clot.
  • AKaren L. Gorton, PhD, MS, RN, Emergency Room Nursing, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

    Your feet may be cold due to decreased circulation. The decreased circulation, or blood flow, to the feet may be caused by several things. You may be wearing shoes that are too tight which restricts blood flow. You may be tying your shoes too tightly, which will also restrict blood flow. You may be wearing clothing (pants) which are too tight is some places which may also restrict blood flow to your feet.

    If none of these fit your situation, consult your health care provider as you may have a medical problem (high blood pressure, diabetes, old frostbite injuries) which may be contributing to decreased circulation in your feet.

  • AAngela Mark, MD, Neurology, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystem
    Cold feet reflects poor circulation to the feet. Poor circulation may be due to peripheral arterial disease, diabetes, extrinsic compression of the blood flow, or vasospasm (like in Raynaud's phenomenon.) An evaluation by your primary care doctor may be necessary if you find chronically cold feet and/or pale, blue or purple discoloration to the feet.
  • AMelissa Hatton, NASM Elite Trainer, Administration, answered
    There are a couple different reasons for cold feet.  Shoes that are too tight can cause feet to become cold because they can restrict the blood flow.  Another reason is poor circulation.  The blood maintains a 98.6 degree temperature.  It helps to maintain the body's warmth as it passes through the circulatory system.  Poor circulation of the feet and toes can result in cold feet.  If your job requires you to sit for long periods without movement of the lower limbs, stand up occasionally and wiggle your toes in your shoes.  While you're standing, raise up onto your toes about 10 - 15 times.  You can also curl your toes as if making a fist and squeeze tightly for about 5 seconds each time.  If music plays in your office, don't be afraid to tap your feet along with the beat.  All of these activities will send an increased volume of blood to your feet and warm them.
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