Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold?

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. February 8, 2024
Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold?

Feet become cold when the temperature is low. It is a normal bodily response to atmospheric and ambient conditions. However, some people feel as if they have cold feet all the time, despite being somewhere more temperate. When this happens, it is possible the feeling of coldness in the feet is a symptom of a pathology, lifestyle issue or health problem. For this reason, cold feet can be due to circulatory problems, anemia, smoking, diabetes and other issues.

At oneHOWTO, we look at the causes of cold feet in more detail by asking why do my feet always feel cold?

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  1. Excessive sweating
  2. Sedentary lifestyle
  3. Circulatory problems
  4. Anemia
  5. Smoking
  6. Peripheral arterial disease
  7. Stress
  8. Raynaud's disease
  9. Diabetes
  10. Neurological disorders
  11. What to do when your feet are cold
See more >>

Excessive sweating

Sweat evaporates from the body and allows us to regulate body temperature. When this process does not work properly, sweat can accumulate and the temperature of the feet drops abruptly. This is why it is common in the winter season. If this is the case, it is advisable to wear warm footwear, but also warm your feet well and keep them clean. This will help to prevent the appearance of fungus which can be accompanied by sweating.

Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold? - Excessive sweating

Sedentary lifestyle

When there is little or no body movement, blood circulation can be affected. This is because the veins have valves that are essential for the blood to rise with each heartbeat and respiration.

When a person does little or no physical activity, a feeling of coldness can occur in the feet. When we walk, an activity occurs that facilitates the process by which blood rises, which is more difficult if the person is always standing or lying down. This means those with a sedentary lifestyle may experience cold feet more than others.

Circulatory problems

The process for blood to circulate is complex, since the feet are the extremities that are furthest from the heart. Therefore, the temperature is often lower than the rest of the tissues or organs of the body. The blood can take longer than usual to rise, so the feet can get cold when there is not good circulation. This can be to a sedentary lifestyle or other factors.

Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold? - Circulatory problems


If there is not enough iron in the body, a person can develop anemia. One of the symptoms seen with this iron deficiency is cold feet. It is somewhat more common in women than in men, but it is still a probable cause that should be examined by a doctor.

Learn about the foods you should eat when you are anemic with our related guide.


Those who always have cold feet should also examine their lifestyle habits, especially harmful ones. Smoking is a habit that can have various deleterious effects on the human body. It is a factor that has been associated with cold extremities, especially the feet. The problem is due to the reduction of blood vessels that occurs with smoking, especially when someone smokes heavily over a long period of time. This is one of the reasons older persons often feel as if their feet are cold all the time.

Peripheral arterial disease

When plaque builds up in arteries, they narrow and harden. This also reduces blood circulation, especially in the legs and feet. One of the symptoms is cold in these extremities. This condition is more common in people who have high cholesterol, heart disease or hypertension.

Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold? - Peripheral arterial disease


If a person is subjected to high levels of stress, the body's response is flight or fight. During this mode, the brain secretes large amounts of adrenaline so that the person can face the threat, whether real or not. This causes the blood vessels to reduce their size and less blood to reach the feet, which is why they become cold.

Learn about some techniques to reduce anxiety and stress with our related guide.

Raynaud's disease

Also known as Raynaud's phenomenon, this condition is characterized by spasming in the blood vessels that affects the overall circulation. Those who suffer from this condition usually have a heightened reaction to cold, as well as stress. It also may result in symptoms such as pins and needles in the feet.

Those who suffer from Raynaud's disease may feel for a moment that they cannot stand the cold, the skin may turn bluish or white. This is because the blood vessels become narrower and the blood is not distributed correctly. The phenomenon can last around 10 to 15 minutes. In some cases, it may be over an hour. Once blood flow returns to normal, the skin's natural color returns, but the person feels tingling, palpitations and pain.

The cause of this disease has not been precisely established, but it has been linked to other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and fibromyalgia.

Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold? - Raynaud's disease


If this condition is not controlled correctly, the patient could suffer from other complications, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy or other cardiovascular conditions that cause damage to the nerves. When this happens the signals the nerves send to the brain are affected and the person feels cold, tingling, numbness and stinging in the feet and hands.

Neurological disorders

In cases of peripheral neuropathy, it is common for patients to feel cold feet. However, when you touch them they are hot in terms of temperature. The origin is neurological and is common in patients who suffer from diabetes.

In addition to these possible causes, it is also necessary to mention hypothyroidism. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not have sufficient activity, so many hormonal functions are reduced and there is no good metabolic process in the body. This can also lead to the person's feet feeling cold.

What to do when your feet are cold

When you experience repeated episodes of abnormally cold feet, you should go to a doctor. This is especially the case if you have contributing factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, smoking or fainting. If your problem is not medical, you can use the following tips when your feet feel cold all the time:

  • Wear socks made with natural fibers.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for the season, especially if it is winter.
  • Do regular sessions of physical activity that are adapted to your needs.
  • Avoid very tight clothing or shoes , so that circulation is more efficient.
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes or other tobacco related products.
  • If the patient suffers from diabetes, it is important to monitor blood/glucose levels regularly.
  • Reduce stress levels.
  • Eat a balanced diet, preventing cholesterol from rising.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.

There is a myth that alcohol consumption makes you warmer. People like to drink when there are low temperatures because it gives the sensation of feeling warmer, but this is not true. It produces vasoconstriction, so blood does not circulate well to the rest of the body, especially the extremities. The risk of dying from exposure is greater in those who have consumed a large amount of alcohol.

It is always recommended to go for a medical evaluation, since the valves of the veins can also be affected by various factors. These include age, overweight, sitting or standing for a long time, among others.

If your cold feet are due to low temperatures, you can read our related article that provides some tips on how to feel less cold in general.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold?, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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Why Do My Feet Always Feel Cold?