Five key reasons for why your feet are always cold – from diabetes to stress

WINTER has arrived and it is cold – even with the heating on, some people are getting cold feet.

But the chilly weather might not be the only reasons why your feet are going numb – there could be a string of causes behind the chilly toes.

Freezing feet are a common problem, but if you still have cold feet despite wearing warm, fluffy socks, it may be a sign of a medical issue.

Read on for five key reasons your feet are cold.


Hypothyroidism means you have an underactive thyroid and it isn't producing enough hormones.

These hormones affect lots of your organs and help turn food into energy.

If you feel cold everywhere, including your feet, you might have hypothyroidism.

You should make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you have this condition.

Raynaud's disease

Raynaud's disease means your body overreacts to the cold.

When temperatures drop you may notice your hands and feet feel numb or ice cold.

Your extremities may change colour too. If your hands and feet become pale or blue and then turn red and start to sting when they warm up you could have Raynaud's disease.

Raynaud's can be caused by the cold when your arteries narrow due to the cold.

Stress can also cause a narrowing of the arteries.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you are worried and they may be able to recommend a treatment.


High blood sugar is a common problem for people with diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include peeing a lot and infections. Cold feet can be a complication of diabetes too.

These complications can include:

Peripheral neuropathy

This means that the nerves in your feet have been damaged and can make your feet feel cold, while they will be a normal temperature to touch.

Peripheral neuropathy can be due to autoimmune disease, lack of vitamins, some medications, alcoholism and diabetes.

Medication for this can include amitriptyline, duloxetine or pregabalin.

Peripheral artery disease

This means there are issues with your blood flow. Poor circulation can make your feet feel cold.

Peripheral artery disease is common in smokers, overweight people and those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

A balanced, healthy lifestyle can help stave off peripheral artery disease.

More exercise and managing your blood sugar levels can reduce any symptoms being experienced.

Statins can also be prescribed by your doctor, as can blood-thinning medicines or antihypertensive.


Stress can cause your blood to be pumped towards your core and away from your extremities.

This can make you feel cold in your fingers and toes.

If you struggle with stress and find it hard to manage, seek your doctor's advice.

High cholesterol

High cholesterol can lead to circulation problems which can cause cold feet.

If you have cold feet it may be due to cholesterol building up in your blood vessels or because of inflammation.

High cholesterol can cause serious health issues like strokes and heart attacks, so speak to your doctor if you are worried.

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