Why do your feet feel cold?
The prospect of chilly autumn days makes the end of summer even harder to bear if you suffer from cold feet!
Many of our clients tell us they always have cold feet – and it’s not just about getting in the podiatrist’s chair! Some worry that it is their poor circulation – but this is not always the case!
There are several potential causes of cold feet
Certain medications have the side effect of making the extremities cooler. Beta-blockers (-olols such as Atenolol or Bisoprolol) are given to treat a number of heart conditions, including angina or atrial fibrillation. They are also sometimes given to control symptoms of anxiety. A common side effect is cold feet!
Some health conditions such as hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid gland) can also have the effect of slowing the circulation and as the feet are the furthest body part from the heart, they are the ones feeling the cold!
Some people suffer from a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is an abnormal response of the tiny blood vessels responsible for the circulation of the blood to the fingers and toes. Sudden changes in temperature such as a trip down the freezer aisle in the supermarket or going from a warm room to a cool one can trigger this, resulting in one or more white, numb toes. When blood flow returns, they can become itchy and bright red.
Smoking is also a culprit – causing the tiny blood vessels to constrict and blood flow to fingers and toes to slow down.
Peripheral arterial disease is the more technical name for what we often call “poor circulation” and tends to affect people over 50. It affects the legs and feet, and an early sign may be cold feet. More seriously, pain in the calves may be felt on walking a short distance or in your feet; waking you at night. If you do experience these symptoms, you should get them checked as a matter of urgency, as you may require specialist medical care.
Although the causes of cold feet can be complex, there are some simple things which may provide relief of symptoms:
New in clinic are our Liqua care Flowgel Insoles, which improve circulation by giving your feet a constant, gentle massage as you walk. Suitable for diabetic patients as well, these are clinically proven to significantly increase circulation to the feet.
Another solution is for our podiatrist to make custom fit plastazote insoles to fit your outdoor shoes perfectly. In another form, plastazote is the material used for insulating our water supply to prevent burst pipes! Simple and effective, this is a quick and toasty solution to cold toes.
And don’t forget your socks – some people find wearing two thin pairs insulates better than one thick one. Popular choices for extra warmth are merino wool and “silver socks” – advocated by the Raynaud’s Association.
Last but not least, a lovely foot cream with a warming sensation is Gehwol’s Red Warming Balm for Cold Feet – a lovely treat for when you get back from those winter walks.
Podiatrist at Kenilworth Footcare