This Morning: Dr Chris discusses circulation concerns
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Cold feet are just one of the body’s natural reactions to colder temperatures. As the blood flow becomes constricted during the cold weather, hands and feet can feel chilly and uncomfortable. Whether your winter walks are getting ruined by cold feet or your toes are feeling cold while working from home, there are plenty of ways to combat cold feet this winter – and this is how.
Should I be worried if my feet are always cold?
Experiencing constantly cold feet is often just a side effect of your environment or clothing, though in some cases it could be a sign of more serious problems.
According to medial website Healthline, cold feet can be a symptom of a number of health issues, including:
- Poor circulation – warm blood can’t reach every part of your body
- Anaemia – iron deficiency causes a shortage of red blood cells
- Type one and type two diabetes – can cause nerve damage and cold or tingling sensations
- Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid could reduce circulation to the feet
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What is the best way to keep feet warm?
Keeping your feet warm through the cold weather may seem as simple as some extra thick socks, but this won’t always solve the problem.
While material layers are key to keeping your feet cosy both indoors and outdoors, warming up your feet really starts from within.
Poor circulation is one of the most common causes of cold feet and is a growing problem among Brits.
As self-isolation and working from home continues, keeping active requires a little more effort than usual – but all those days sitting down indoors could be to blame for your cold feet this winter.
1. Increase circulation
Battle poor circulation by keeping your body moving this season.
Make a conscious effort to stand up for at least two hours per day and increase your weekly exercise if your work requires less moving around and more sitting down.
Smoking can also cause circulation problems, so why not make it a new year’s resolution to cut out this dangerous habit.
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2. Re-evaluate your diet
Keeping fit and active is only half the battle and if your diet is unbalanced, you could be feeling the chill more than you realise.
Consume plenty of iron-rich foods to warn off anaemia and keep saturated fats, sugar and cholesterol-rich foods to a minimum to prevent blockages around your heart.
3. Wear your winter boots
Winter walks are good for the mind and body but your footwear choice could make all the difference when venturing out into the cold.
Choose chunky footwear, like walking boots, over athletic mesh trainers to trap the warmth and keep your feet warm.
Fill your boots with thick woolly socks for added warmth while out walking during the winter.
4. Keep your feet dry
Wet socks are one of the most common culprits of cold feet, so keep socks dry around the house and choose suitable footwear on rainy or snowy days.
5. Use insoles
Heated insoles are one of the best ways to keep your feet cosy both in and out of the house.
Use in walking or running shoes and add to your slippers for an extra boost of heat while indoors.
Less common causes of cold feet
Raynaud’s and nerve damage are less common causes of cold feet, though they are worth exploring if you feel like you are at the end of your tether when it comes to warming up your feet.
Raynaud’s can cause spasms in the blood vessels which can restrict the flow of blood to your feet – the furthest limb from your heart.
Similarly, nerve damage and peripheral artery disease (PAD) can also cause issues with your blood circulation which leave you feet feeling constantly cold.
PAD is a serious circulatory condition caused by the same fatty deposits and plaques that can clog up the heart.
When these deposits gather in the walls of your arteries it can restrict the blood flow and cause pain, numbness and a chilled feeling in the hands and feet.
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