How do your hands feel? Cold? What about your feet? Nose even? If you have cold extremities, you may attribute this to the outside temperature, but if you’re cold even when the temperature is high, there could be a serious problem.
Read on to find out the common reasons why you’re always cold and whether you should address it with your doctor.
Causes of cold hands and feet
Blood problems: Healthy circulation ensures our body remains warm, so cold extremities or a cold body could be a sign of a blood problem. Common blood problems associated with cold extremities include anemia, low blood pressure (hypotension), and Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is a restriction of the blood vessels in response to cold temperatures and stress.
Thyroid problems: The thyroid gland is responsible for releasing hormones that help the body function – which includes keeping it warm. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can result in cold hands along with overall fatigue, forgetfulness, and depression.
Anxiety and mental health issues: When we are anxious or stressed, the body releases cortisol and goes into a “fight or flight” mode. When this occurs, our blood is redirected to the core organs to ensure they stay warm, leaving the extremities cold. The same feeling of coldness can result from various mental health issues and even eating disorders.
Secondary symptom: In some cases, cold extremities can be a secondary symptom of other health conditions. For example, diabetic nephropathy, which is a kidney disease that stems from diabetes. If you are already diagnosed with a health condition and experience cold extremities, it could be progressing, so you should see your doctor.
As you can see, having cold hands and feet all the time can be a sign of a serious health problem, which may lead to worsened health outcomes if left untreated. Evaluate other symptoms you may be experiencing to identify the cause of your cold extremities. If no other symptoms are present, or your doctor has cleared you with no problem, you could very well just have a lower body temperature than others. Our suggestion – layer up!