It is normal for your hands and feet to turn cold during winter season or if you are exposed to dry windy air. However, there is certainly something abnormal when you feel your hands and feet cold throughout the year. Poor blood circulation in limbs is the main cause for cold hands and feet. When exposed to cold air, the arteries and capillaries of the limbs get narrow or become constricted. This results in poor blood supply to your hands and feet. Thus you feel your hands and feet turning cold.
Besides, cold atmosphere, your hands and feet can turn cold with some underlying health problem. At times cold extremities can be painful and discomforting.
What Causes Cold Hands And Feet?
There are number of reasons that can turn your hands and leg cold, here are some of the common causes given below:
- If you are inadequately protected from cold atmosphere, meaning if you are not wearing woolen clothes and gloves to protect from cold, the peripheral arteries become narrow. The body restricts flow of blood to the limbs with an intention of keeping the central and core part of the body warm.
- Reynaud’s syndrome: the condition is more common in women than in men. It occurs below the age of 50. In this condition there is abnormal constriction of arteries and capillaries of the limbs. Due to constriction of the arteries there is less supply of blood to the hands and leg tissues. When these people are exposed to cold air, their finger and toes become pale or white. The fingers and toes in Reynaud’s syndrome are extremely painful.
- Hormonal fluctuation as it occurs during menstruation or hormonal imbalance in thyroid disease can lead to cold hands and feet. If you are on strict diet or suffering from anorexia nervosa your extremities will feel cold to touch. Mental strain and stress can constrict the arteries and it can affect not only your heart but arteries of the limbs too. Frost nip and frostbite due to exposure to extreme freezing temperature can adversely affect the blood circulation of the extremities. A person may experience cold extremities, with blisters and pain if there is no prompt care.
- Certain diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease especially due to smoking, panic attacks, iron deficiency anemia, allergic shock that causes low blood pressure and perspiration can lead to cold hands and feet.
Prevention And Treatment For Cold Feet And Hands
Cold hands and feet can be prevented if you take simple precautions in the first place; use warm clothing during cold weather. Your body has to be covered from head to toe. Wear gloves in your hands and socks in your feet as they are vulnerable to extreme cold temperature.
- Avoid and stop smoking. Smoking causes peripheral vascular disease, one of the leading causes for cold extremities.
- Exercise: exercise helps to improve the vascular circulation. If the arteries have constricted, exercise helps to develop healthy collateral’s which can compensate the main artery. Exercise also increases your metabolic process and helps to keep your body warm.
- Your diet should consist of vitamins, minerals and healthy nutrients that will keep your body in a healthy condition.
- In case of frostbite and frost nip do not try to apply pressure or rub while cleaning. Instead, consult your physician; he will try to re-warm in water lightly more than your body temperature. Frozen part is thawed till the finger returns to it normal pink color.
- Alternately stimulating massage with essential oils can help to increase the circulation of the extremities. Rosemary essential oil massage with base oil such as coconut oil is the best way to treat cold feet and hands.