Even though cold feet are symbolic of last-minute doubts and hesitation, people who are plagued with icy feet, ankles and toes are absolutely certain of one thing: they’d love to have toasty warm toes, especially on chilly New England nights!
What Causes Cold Feet?
Does having a warm heart cause cold feet? It’s a charming folktale (and not surprising, considering a disproportionate percentage of people with cold feet are women!), but there’s no scientifically proven connection between someone’s personality and outlook on life and the temperature of their feet and toes.
When we turn to medical science, we discover that there are many conditions that contribute to cold feet. Many of these conditions are peripheral vascular diseases. For one reason or another, the flow of blood into the feet and toes is restricted. This reduced or inadequate blood flow results in icy cold feet. Conditions that can contribute to cold feet include very common conditions, like artherosclerosis and diabetes.
Other conditions cause spasms in the blood vessels that lead into the feet, restricting the blood flow. Reynaud’s Syndrome is an example of a condition that can lead to icy cold feet.
If your feet are often cold, especially if you’re experiencing pain, mention this to your doctor. They can get to the root of what’s going on, and what can be done to improve the situation. Addressing the underlying cause is necessary to warm up those cold feet!
The Impact of Poor Circulation On Your Feet
Poor circulation can have a number of effects on your life. First and foremost, the restricted blood flow in the feet and toes can lead to pain and cramping. Additionally, wounds and injuries to the feet can take longer to heal. This is especially true for diabetics, who often experience significant problems with their feet. It is critically important for all people who suspect they have poor circulation to keep track of their feet’s health. Wounds that are slow to heal can become infected, leading to serious health complications.
What Can Be Done About Poor Circulation in the Feet?
There are a number of things that people with poor circulation in their feet can do to improve the situation. Managing the conditions that contribute to poor circulation can be done with lifestyle change, such as adopting a healthier diet or beginning a regular exercise regime. People with diabetes often see vast improvements in both circulation and foot health when their diabetes is well controlled. Regulating high blood pressure and other contributing conditions with medication can help improve circulation in your feet.
Smoking and Your Feet
Many people don’t realize the impact that cigarette smoking can have on your feet. February is Heart Health month, and obviously one of the best things you can do for your cardio-vascular health is to stop smoking. Give up the cigarettes and you may find that your cold feet (and hands!) will become warmer. Cigarette smoking can significantly interfere with your body’s circulation. Kick the habit and lose the icy toes!