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Everyone gets cold hands and feet, especially in winter. But what if you get them constantly, even in warm conditions? It could be a medical problem. After all, you don’t want to be walking around in the middle of summer with socks!

We’ve all suffered from cold extremities before, but why do they get cold and when should we be concerned? A lot depends on whether they are cold because of the weather, or the temperature inside or outside, or sometimes it's because of injury or disease. Knowing the difference between what’s considered normal and what is not will help you seek the advice or treatment you need if it’s necessary.

Like other mammals, humans are warm blooded and prefer a warmer environment, so when winter strikes and the temperature drops, the body does whatever it can to try and stay warm. As a result of cooler temperatures, the blood circulation decreases, mainly in the arms, the legs, the nose and the ears. Quite often the first thing you notice is the cold nose!

Cold Hands And Feet Due to Disease

There are several diseases and medical conditions that can cause the feet and hands to become cold. Sometimes it is nothing to be concerned about. But, if it is a constant feeling of coldness or the skin has changed its appearance and color, you should definitely seek medical advice.

Diseases associated with cold extremities include the following.

Anemia

Anemia is caused a deficiency of iron in the blood. Often this condition goes unnoticed until other problems occur, such as cold hands and feet. If your extremities stay cold after attempts to warm them, your doctor should check your iron levels.

Diabetes

Diabetes is now one of the most prolific diseases in the human population, and is one of the biggest concerns in the health domain due to the prevalence and the associated conditions and manifestations. One of these is the effect it has on the circulatory system, the thyroid and blood pressure, all of which can cause cold feet and hands.

Lupus

Lupus is a systemic disease, meaning it affects many different parts of the body, including blood vessels. The blood vessels in the hands and feet are very small, and when they are affected by the lupus, the blood flow is restricted, leading to coldness of these body parts.

Primary Raynaud’s Disease

This particular form of Raynaud’s is a genetic disorder, inherited from a parent, and it has no underlying medical reason for causing cold hands and feet. Raynaud’s can be triggered by different factors, such as exposure to cold water, emotional stress, cold exposure, or touching a cold object.

Secondary Raynaud’s Disease

This form of Raynaud’s can be a more serious problem, as it is usually caused by underlying diseases, such as scleroderma or lupus. Again, the blood vessels are affected leading to cold hands and feet.

Other diseases that could contribute to cold hands and feet are:
  • Scleroderma
  • Buerger’s Disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Poor circulation
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