Treating Cold Hands and Feet

Treating Cold Hands and Feet

If you suffer from cold hands and feet, you will understand how discomforting this can be. Cold hands and feet can affect anyone, but it appears that predominantly they are more common in women. Although if you live in colder environments, you are more likely to suffer from these, but this is not always the case as many people suffer from cold hands and feet during the summer months too. In order to avoid serious problems, it is important to be aware of what causes cold hands and feet and what you need to do in order to prevent this becoming a serious problem.

The possible causes of cold hands and feet

There are many reasons that would contribute to someone suffering from cold hands and feet and these may include:

Exposing the body including the feet and hands to lower temperatures which constricts the blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the hands and feet.

Generally poor circulation in the whole body associated with a lack of nitric oxide production. Our circulatory system uses nitric oxide to control the flow of blood to every part of our body by relaxing and dilating the blood vessels ensuring that every tissue in our body gets adequate oxygen and nutrients vital for their individual function.

Raynaud’s Syndrome, which is a concern where there is an interruption of blood flow to fingers, toes, ears and the nose. This syndrome is caused by spasms within the blood vessels and these spasms may be caused by exposure to cold weather and/or emotional stress. Raynaud’s may be the primary disease itself or it may be secondary associated with other concerns such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Poor thyroid function since the thyroid gland fuels every single cell within our bodies including the muscle cells around blood vessels.

Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes where higher blood glucose levels during any part of the day causes damage to blood vessels since sugar (glucose) destroys all our soft tissue structures. This damage to the blood vessels leads to greater plaque formation and hence hinders circulation in the whole body including the hands and feet.

Anaemia or low iron status can result in cold hands and feet because less oxygen is delivered to all tissues including the extremities.

Non-medical reasons for cold hands and feet include inadequate foot and hand care protection, over exposure to cold weather, smoking which leads to impaired circulation, certain medications, lack of exercise and stress.

What deficiency causes cold hands and feet?

The link between cold hands and feet and those with anaemia is well documented. People with anaemia generally have poor circulation and this is because they do not have enough red blood cells which carry oxygen to the tissues in the body.  This is often due to a lack of iron in the body and termed iron-deficiency anaemia. 

It may be prudent to get a blood test carried out for iron and if iron deficiency is confirmed, then please take a gentle iron supplement. There are a few non-constipating iron formulas on the market and one such non-constipating iron supplement is Lamberts Vegan Iron Complex. Each iron tablet contains iron bisglycinate, a gentle, stomach-friendly iron that can be taken daily and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

How to treat cold hands and feet

Predominantly, the most common reason for cold hands and feet is impaired or poor circulation. In order to enhance circulation, I recommend the use of a supplement called Diosmin Plus. Diosmin Plus contains Diosmin 95 together with time tested herbal extracts which work to support the circulatory system such as Horse Chestnut, Gotu Kola, Ginger and Pine Bark Extract.

Diosmin 95 is a high potency bioflavonoid, which has been shown to reduce most of the markers of poor circulation.
Horse Chestnut is known to improve lower limb circulation and ginger is an excellent warming spice and a circulatory tonic. Pine Bark Extract contains pycnogenol, a compound that has anti-inflammatory properties protecting our blood vessels.

Diosmin Plus helps to also alleviate many other circulatory concerns such as haemorrhoids and varicose veins. Caution: Diosmin Plus is not suitable for people using blood thinning medications.

A cream for cold hands and feet

There are many creams that claim to cure cold hands and feet however all topical creams generally work to alleviate the symptoms of cold hands and feet. The medical gold standard has always been the  recommendation of the use of capsaicin which is the ingredient found in capsicum chilli peppers. Capsaicin cream works because capsaicin blocks the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain from the sites where it is applied. In this way, capsaicin stops the perception of pain. Napiers Capsicum & Ginger Warming Cream combines capsaicin with ginger, a warming spice, which markedly helps to improve cold hands and feet. 

You can take control of your cold hands and feet with appropriate self-care and the right natural treatments.