Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Cold Hands & Feet

Do you often have cold hands and feet when the rest of your body is warm? Does it keep you from feeling comfortable or from falling asleep easily? I have a few tips that just might help you out!

There is a wide range of causes for cold hands and feet including underlying diseases such as Raynaud’s Disease, lupus, diabetes, anemia, artery damage, carpal tunnel, beta blockers, OTC cold medicines, birth control pills, caffeine and smoking.  Additional factors are gender, age, cold climates, family history and anxiety. Cold hand and feet is more common in women due to estrogen fluctuations.

Low B-12, niacin, iron and underactive thyroid can play a role as well. Age related ongoing shooting pain is a red flag; you should see your doctor to make sure you do not have clogged arteries which could lead to serious complications and illness.

If you don’t suspect a disease and have been to your doctor regularly, you can try some of the following suggestions.

  • If you smoke, stop! There are more benefits to quitting. Smoking constricts your blood vessels making your limbs colder, smoking also causes lung diseases and heart disease.
  • Limit caffeine if you drink a lot of it. Remember it’s not only in coffee and tea, you can find it in sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks. Caffeine also has a ten-hour half-life – meaning 10 hours after you have consumed 100mg. of caffeine, 50mg. is still in your system; can’t sleep? This could be why.
  • Make sure socks and jewelry is not tight.
  • Control stress. Breathe, meditate and take time out. (See article below for guidance)
  • Exercise and movement helps to get your blood flowing, warming your extremities.
  • Layer up! May be obvious, but make sure you’re dressed for comfort not just fashion. A warm torso will help warm your hands and feet since the blood doesn’t have to stay in your core to keep your organs warm and safe.
  • Nutrition for cold hands and feet include the following:
  • Eat spicier! Black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin, chili peppers and chili powder, garlic, cloves, fennel seeds are all warming spices, chai tea and other herbal spiced teas help too.
  • Take fish oil supplements. Not sure which one? Read this article (link)
  • Iron rich foods include spinach, kale, broccoli, prunes, figs, raisins, yams, squash, unions, leeks, garlic, scallions, parsley, parsnips, quinoa, walnuts, sunflower seeds, spelt and oats.
  • Evening primrose oil and borage oil might help too.

Give these suggestions a try. If you smoke or drink a lot of caffeine and are not ready to quit ‘cold turkey’ it’s okay, just try to limit it; take each step a day at a time. There’s not failure in trying no matter how many times you start over.

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