Possible Reasons Why Your Feet Always Seem To Be Cold

Having cold feet can be awful — and no, we're not talking about the kind that leaves you alone at the altar. We're specifically referring to the people who can't seem to warm up their feet no matter how hard they try. And it's especially difficult to deal with right now, as the temperature continues to drop during the cold winter months. If you've failed to warm up your feet after layering on socks, bundling up in a blanket, or blasting the heat, then there may be a specific reason why your toes are constantly numb.


We've found a few possible causes, as well as a couple of solutions that may help you out. According to Healthline, there are many reasons for persistently cold feet, and some are more serious than others. It's important to understand what you're dealing with in order to obtain the proper treatment from a professional. Don't know where to start? Take a look at some of the most probable causes.

Poor blood circulation

According to Cleveland Clinic, those with persistently cold feet may be dealing with poor blood circulation. If this is the case, that means your blood takes longer to flow down to your feet, resulting in frigid toes. How does this happen? Well, your blood vessels can sometimes close, harden, and narrow. If this occurs, your blood circulation will slow down because of the tight space it's being forced through. However, there are a few things you can do to help mitigate this issue.


The first and easiest thing you can do is add a short walk to your daily routine, per North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center. Doing this at a relaxed pace every day will improve blood circulation throughout your legs and body. If you don't have time to go walking every day, wearing compression socks is also an option — especially if you're someone who has to stand or sit for most of the day.


The mind is a very strong thing and could be the reason why your feet are always cold. According to the Calm Clinic, anxiety may be the leading cause of your cold feet for many reasons; sweating being one of them. Those with anxiety typically sweat on a regular basis, causing the soles of their feet to become cold and damp. However, if sweating isn't a common occurrence you're experiencing, hyperventilation may be the culprit.


Hyperventilation is a symptom of anxiety that usually leads to rapid breathing, which can cause your blood vessels to tighten. As a result, your blood circulation will decrease — and as mentioned above — will slow down blood flow to your feet, making them feel cold. To overcome this issue, AnxietyCentre.com says to work on calming yourself down when you feel overstimulated or very stressed. They advise doing this by taking the time to practice relaxed breathing methods, making more time to rest, and — of course — not letting your cold feet worry you.

Iron deficiency

Your cold feet may also be an indicator of an absence of nutrients. According to Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, chilly toes are commonly a result of an iron deficiency. Having enough iron in your system is crucial to creating enough red blood cells and ensuring plenty of oxygen is flowing through your body. If you're also feeling fatigued, it may be time to have your general practitioner check out your iron levels. 


One way to combat your iron deficiency is by changing your diet habits, per Mayo Clinic. Red meat, seafood, beans, peas, and spinach are foods that are rich in iron. But to ensure your body is absorbing enough of this mineral, it's also important to consume food that contains vitamin C, such as broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, and oranges. There are also daily supplements available. If you avoid tackling this problem, it could lead to heart, pregnancy, and growth issues.


According to Health, lifestyle choices such as smoking can make your feet feel cold — especially your toes. This is because smoking can lead to vasoconstriction. This causes the temperature in your body parts furthest from the heart to decrease, such as your fingers and toes. In addition to vasoconstriction, Buerger's disease can also be a result of frequent smoking, which leads to frigid feet and hands. This disease causes your blood vessels to swell in your arms and legs, which can decrease blood circulation and create blood clots, per the CDC.


The best way to prevent this is to stop smoking. Of course, this is easier said than done. If you're finding it hard to quit, the CDC offers a plethora of online resources. For example, there's information available regarding different medicines that can prevent you from picking up a cigarette, as well as a guide to creating a successful prevention plan.

Raynaud's Disease

According to the Vancouver Disc Center, those with persistently cold feet may be suffering from Raynaud's disease — an immune disorder that typically affects women. A common indicator is that those with this disease will usually feel cold even when others around them are not. They'll also notice that their hands will become blotchy, numb, swollen, and slightly blue. If you have Raynaud's disease, it's common for these side effects to become worse during the winter.


If you've noticed any of these symptoms, it's advised to contact a doctor right away. However, while you're home, Vancouver Disc Center says there are a few things you can do to limit its effects. First, you can decrease how much coffee, tea, iced drinks, and milk you drink. Avoiding red meat is also advised. You can try drinking 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil every day and eating a healthy green salad with cider vinegar dressing. And of course, avoid dipping your hands in ice-cold water, and always wear gloves outside during the winter.


If you're someone whose hands and feet are always cold and sometimes numb, it may be a symptom of diabetes, per Amputation Prevention Centers of America. As noted before, poor blood flow is one of the main reasons for cold feet. But it can also be an indicator of something more serious. When someone has diabetes, they also have high glucose levels in their blood. This can injure the lining of their small blood vessels and obstruct their circulation.


Experiencing cold feet along with chest pain, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and foot infections are signs to contact your doctor. In order to increase blood flow from home, it's advised to exercise five times a week, 30 minutes a day, wear warm diabetic compression socks, and pay attention to your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Without proper diagnoses and treatment, you may be at risk of limb, heart, kidney, brain, and eye damage.