Your feet are prone to feeling cold; the problem affects everyone from time to time. On a chilly day, your body reacts to the drop in temperature by constricting the blood vessels in your extremities. This keeps as much warm blood as possible circulating in your head and torso so that your vital organs can continue working properly. The downside is numb toes!
London, the location of our foot clinics, normally escapes the UK’s harshest weather. But even just a flurry of snow can lead to cold feet across the capital.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make your feet warmer during winter. By putting on a thicker pair of socks, placing a hot water bottle at the end of your bed or exercising, you should be able to banish that chilly feeling. Keeping your feet cosy is important, not least because doing so helps you to avoid foot problems such as chilblains, which can develop after prolonged exposure to the cold.
Cold feet are usually a temporary problem and nothing to worry about. But what if your feet always feel cold, even on warm days?
In that case, the problem could be caused by a medical condition.
Some people’s feet feel cold all the time due to poor circulation. It can be difficult for blood to be pumped to and from your feet efficiently because they’re so far away from your heart. If you have poor circulation in your feet, they won’t receive enough warmth from your blood so will be unable to maintain a normal temperature.
Sometimes poor circulation is linked to an unhealthy lifestyle – sitting too long at your desk or smoking may be to blame. However, the problem can stem from an underlying health condition, such as Peripheral Arterial Disease (a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries). That’s why it’s crucial to get blood flow issues investigated.
You’re anaemic if you have too few red blood cells to supply your body with enough oxygen and warmth. Your feet – and other areas – may feel persistently cold. Other key symptoms include a lack of energy, breathlessness and pale skin.
A common form of the condition is iron-deficiency anaemia, which means your body doesn’t have sufficient iron to make as many red blood cells as you’d need to be healthy. This can result from a poor diet, heavy periods or pregnancy, for example. As the NHS explains, taking iron tablets and eating more leafy greens, meat, etc. can rectify the problem.
Persistently cold feet are also associated with hypothyroidism. This means your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the vital thyroid hormones. As a result, your body struggles to turn food into energy and its functions slow down. It may be unable to pump blood efficiently or maintain a normal temperature. Your extremities suffer, especially your feet. You may also find you can’t tolerate chilly weather.
Hypothyroidism can be treated with hormone tablets.
People with Raynaud’s Disease also struggle to cope with cold weather and often have cold feet. That’s because the small blood vessels in their extremities are oversensitive to drops in temperature. Those vessels go into spasms, becoming excessively, painfully constricted.
Girls and young women are most likely to be affected by Raynaud’s. Severe cases may lead to ulceration and point to an underlying health condition, such as an autoimmune disease.
If your body struggles to regulate blood sugar levels due to diabetes, your circulation and nervous system could be compromised. Your feet may be cold all the time due to poor blood flow. Alternatively, nerve damage in your lower limbs (a form of peripheral neuropathy) may make you think your feet are cold when they’re actually warm. Your feet may also be numb, and you might not notice foot problems such as injuries soon enough.
That’s one reason why regular diabetic foot checks are so important for your health.
Expert Help from Skilled London Chiropodists
As there are many possible reasons why your feet always feel cold, it’s important to seek professional help. Talking to your doctor and chiropodist are excellent starting points.
When you attend a London chiropody appointment with Feet By Pody, one of our fully qualified foot experts can conduct an extensive foot health assessment, which includes assessing the health of your skin, circulation and nerves. We can then move on to diagnosis and create a treatment plan (this might include circulation-boosting exercises, compression socks, warm foot baths, home foot care tips or other options).
For expert help to tackle persistently cold feet, contact Feet By Pody today!