Some people get cold even when others are happy without any discomfort (and socks).
Cold feet are not necessarily a purely structural matter. If the feeling of “freezing my leg” doesn’t go away even when you hide under a warm blanket, the possibility of a more serious illness cannot be ruled out either. Let’s see what the most common causes are and what solutions exist to alleviate the problem.
1. You’re Cold
This may seem like an empty phrase, but it is not completely unfounded. “ Some are colder than others, so they get better and/or more often,” says Dr. Aarti Agarwal, health director at Juno Medical, noting that the phenomenon is common
due to lower muscle mass.
This is because those who are colder may have relatively less muscle mass relative to their body size, and because muscles produce heat, their bodies try to keep them warm by dissipating heat from their limbs.
2. Your circulation is bad
In the human body, the circulatory system is responsible for getting the blood to all the necessary places in the body, but its effectiveness can be reduced in some cases. If your blood circulation is poor, the blood cannot flow as freely or quickly as it should, and since the circulation can affect your body temperature, it can even make your feet cold.
“The blood vessels in the hands and feet are the smallest and most sensitive, so you may feel particularly cold in your limbs due to poor circulation,” explained Dr. Agarwal said several factors may play a role in circulatory disorders. Smoking and obesity, for example, are common risk factors, but may also be associated with some diseases.
3. You are stressed
If you are exposed to extreme stress or anxiety, your body can react violently. This can increase your blood pressure and heart rate and make it harder for you to breathe.
This may be due to your body reallocating resources, i.e., blood, nutrients, and oxygen, to major muscle groups, which, as a kind of evolutionary innervation, allows you to deal with the situation (or escape). However, your limbs do not belong to the main muscle groups, so stress can reduce blood flow in them. The result: your hands and feet start to get cold and/or sweaty.
4. Your thyroid gland is underactive
The thyroid gland is a small gland in the front of the neck that is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the body’s energy use. However, in hypothyroidism, less hormone is produced, which can gradually slow down the body so that it cannot function properly. It can have many symptoms, from fatigue to pain to depression, including becoming more sensitive to the cold.
5. You have some form of chronic illness
Although the underlying causes are generally less severe, it is less likely that a cold foot may be a companion to a more worrying medical condition, such as peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, Raynaud’s disease, or Buerger’s disease. According to Dr. Agarwal, these are associated with other symptoms, so if you have any other complaints besides feeling cold, you may want to see a doctor.
What can be done about it?
Here are some general tips to save you from freezing if your feet are cold (and not a chronic illness in the background).
Stretch or move your legs: Movement can cause blood to flow into your legs, which can help warm them up.
Start exercising: Regular exercise is one of the easiest ways to improve your circulation.
Buy a foot bath: A warm water foot bath can do wonders! If you soak your feet for 15 minutes, you can also improve the blood circulation in the area.
Use a heating pad: A heating pad or blanket can also help warm your cold limbs. If you need a quick solution and no one else is on hand, take a bottle filled with warm water as well.
Minimize stress: This may not need much explanation. If your feet get cold due to stress, you need to address the root cause.
Wear thick socks: The socks heat and insulate at the same time. You can also find warm socks.