Health Well Being

Cold Hands and Feet: why, how, Enough!

Cold Hands and Feet: why, how, Enough!

Do you frequently experience cold hands and feet, even when the weather is warm? This common condition can be more than just an annoyance; it can interfere with daily activities and indicate underlying health issues. This blog will discuss why I always have cold hands and feet.

Who are the most subject people? What are the pathologies and their causes? Does graduated compression cause vasoconstriction? How can I help peripheral circulation?

The sensation of cold hands and feet is linked to the functioning of the peripheral circulation(Peripheral circulation refers to the blood flow throughout the body’s peripheral tissues, including the arms, legs, hands, and feet. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to these tissues and removes waste products. ). What does all this mean? Below we will see the meaning of some terms step by step. Vasoconstriction (is a process in which the blood vessels in the body narrow, leading to a decrease in blood flow to the affected area. This can occur naturally in response to certain stimuli, such as cold temperatures or stress, or certain medications or medical conditions can cause it.) blood flow to the suburbs and body heat is our focus here.

Let’s start at the beginning:

Why do I always have cold hands and feet?

If you are also part of the cold hands and feet group, don’t worry, there are many of us! This sensitivity is present mostly in women but is frequent during endurance sports activities, such as cycling, and in those with circulatory disorders or diseases, in winter as in summer, in the office as in a bed.

Feeling cold in the body’s extremities means being in the presence of a microcirculatory(Blood flow) insufficiency. The blood struggles to reach the peripheral areas, causing cold hands, feet, nose, and ears. This physiological condition is called vasoconstriction (or vasospasm) and occurs when the body chooses to protect body heat by decreasing blood flow to the extremities that cool down.

In our Health & Wellness articles, some habits can avoid unpleasant ailments and improve your health. Among these include: avoiding nicotine, excessive consumption of alcohol and sugar, adopting comfortable clothing that does not stress your body from circulating regularly and practising adequate motor activity; these are all good practices to preserve correct blood and lymphatic circulation.

Who are the most affected people?

In women, vasoconstriction occurs faster due to a hormonal factor, even during pregnancy and menopause. Estrogen affects the thermoreceptors, those sensory receptors that perceive temperature variations in the skin and are both peripheral and central (relative to the inner nucleus of the body).

Some sporting activities that lead to hypersensitivity of the extremities of the body:

  • Scuba Diving: Water pressure can promote vasoconstriction and promote dehydration
  • Cyclists are well aware of the sensation of cold in their hands and feet. Blood is concentrated in the thigh muscles and buttocks during sports, decreasing in the peripheries.

What are the causes of cold hands and feet?

Hypertension: Problems of hypertension or low blood pressure can give rise to disturbances related to peripheral circulation or microcirculation. In these cases, swollen feet and pins and needles can also be signs of something wrong.

Anaemia: Anaemia leads to insufficient red blood cells: tissues and organs of the body struggle to receive oxygen, and the sensation of cold hands and feet is very frequent.

Raynaud’s syndrome: Raynaud’s syndrome mainly affects women between the ages of 20 and 40 and hinders the blood supply to the capillaries. It exhibits cold, numb, and abnormally coloured hands and feet. It is a consequence of exposure to cold temperatures or in response to emotional stress and anxiety.

In addition to the medical conditions mentioned, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and peripheral arterial disease alter the thermoregulation mechanisms leading to lowering body temperature. In most cases, cold hands and feet are connected to functional disorders of a district or specific organ. Excluding the conditions, the causes can be:

  • Excessive muscle stiffness can make it more difficult for blood to pass.
  • Sparse or weakened muscles.
  • Dysfunction of metabolism and thermoregulation.

Does graduated compression cause vasoconstriction?

Therefore, cold hands and feet are the consequence of a physiological phenomenon. Vasoconstriction decreases the diameter of the blood vessel causing the blood pressure to rise. Using suitable, comfortable shoes and clothing can help avoid this annoying situation.

Choosing the right clothing is very important; if selected carefully, it can support the body and its many activities.

Consider, for example, the thermal clothing recommended for the mountains and diving and specific socks and accessories for those riding a bike. It is also very important to choose the right shoe for every day, which does not have an excessively high heel and allows perspiration by isolating the foot from the ground. Pay attention to the size: a shoe that is too tight can cause vasoconstriction.

Graduated compression socks or stockings help to improve circulation and prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities, which can be especially helpful for those who experience cold hands and feet. Graduated compression stockings or socks can help warm up the feet and hands, reducing the severity of the symptoms by improving circulation.

Identifying the right size graduated compression socks or stockings is crucial. A tight fit can turn into a “snare effect”, favouring oedema(build-up of fluid in the body which causes the affected tissue to become swollen), swelling, numbness and a cold feeling. So yes, the wrong graduated compression can lead to vasoconstriction.

How can I help peripheral circulation?

Graduated compression socks can become a solution for cold hands and feet. By stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation, it facilitates microcirculation. There are many solutions for those who want to ensure proper circulation, perspiration and thermoregulation at their feet; among these, we recommend the Bamboo Line Compression Socks line, which includes knee-highs made of bamboo yarn and merino wool. Shop our compression socks here.

To help naturally treat cold hands and feet, include simple movements in your routine to stretch your fingers and toes to reactivate circulation. Do not exceed with coffee, choose a balanced diet, and avoid fasting. Your hands and feet will thank you later!