Cold Feet? When To Get It Checked

Do you have cold feet? We’re not talking about feeling nervous over making a big decision; we’re talking about chilly feet. Does it seem like your feet are constantly cold, even when the heat is on and you’re wearing thick socks? This feeling can be incredibly frustrating and distracting from everyday life. Thankfully, you don’t have to learn to live with it. If you’re suffering from any foot problems or discomfort, it’s always a great idea to see a podiatrist.

Possible Causes of Cold Feet

Dalarna Socks by amyeetx is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Besides walking around barefoot on cold floors during the winter, there are lots of reasons someone could be experiencing cold feet. Quite often, the cause is something related to blood flow. When our blood is flowing freely and properly through our bodies, all our extremities stay warm. When that blood flow is hindered or slowed down, that’s when our hands, fingers, feet, and toes can get a bit chilly.

Anyone who has experienced frostbite may have problems with
their feet feeling cold or getting colder quickly after being outside in the winter months.


People with type 2 diabetes tend to have poor circulation, which can easily lead to cold feet. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can also cause nerve damage leading to feet that may feel cold but aren’t actually cold to the touch. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are experiencing cold feet, try some diabetic socks to help with circulation and nerve damage. If you’re experiencing diabetic symptoms but haven’t been diagnosed, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your podiatrist can also provide specialized diabetic foot care.


Anemia is a common condition where a person has fewer red blood cells than what is considered average and healthy. It is usually caused by an iron deficiency and can be managed easily with iron supplements. Taking too much iron can be problematic, so you should first be checked for anemia before adding any large amounts of iron to your daily intake.


People with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are at risk for atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to fatty deposits settling in your arteries and restricting blood flow. The veins and arteries in your feet are the narrowest in your body, so this is usually where patients will feel the effects of atherosclerosis first. Older people and smokers can also develop this problem. If you think you’re suffering from atherosclerosis, you’ll want to see a doctor and get a diagnosis, as there are other risks involved.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Your peripheral nervous system involves the nerves that aren’t in your brain or spinal cord. Peripheral neuropathy simply refers to any nerve damage in this system. Nerve damage in or around your feet will likely cause your feet to feel cold, even if they are warm. If nerve damage is suspected, contact your doctor.

Raynaud’s Disease

A rare condition that requires a doctor’s diagnosis, Raynaud’s Disease causes the blood vessels in feet and hands to become narrower when the patient feels stressed or nervous. Blood flow is restricted when the vessels narrow, causing the feeling of cold hands and feet. This disease isn’t life-threatening but should be diagnosed by a doctor. Raynaud’s disease is most common in women who have a family history of this condition.


Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland. This means that your thyroid isn’t producing the proper level of hormones for your body to function normally. You’ll need a medical diagnosis for this condition, and it can sometimes be managed by medication or dietary changes. Many people with hypothyroidism also experience poor circulation, leading to cold feet.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Any time you experience foot problems that affect your daily life and can’t be fixed with a change of socks or shoes, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in foot care and can help with several issues and services, including orthotics, dance medicine, surgery, physical therapy, sports medicine, pediatric foot care, and shockwave treatments.

If you’re experiencing a cold sensation in your feet without them being cold to the touch, you should see a doctor. This type of sensation is usually suggestive of a neurological issue and can be a sign of a bigger problem that may need medical attention. It’s good to be seen as quickly as possible in such instances to help avoid any more major symptoms of the underlying issue.

Other Common Causes of Cold Feet

There are many reasons a person could be struggling to keep their feet feeling warm. Sometimes the problem can be completely unrelated to the nerves or blood flow leading to the feet. Anxiety can cause cold feet due to the overproduction of adrenaline. This hormone pulls blood flow from the extremities to protect your internal organs as it causes the body to go into fight or flight mode.

Poor blood circulation isn’t always caused by an underlying medical condition. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of exercise or a poor diet. Smoking is also a common cause of decreased circulation because of the effects of nicotine.

Simple Remedies for Cold Feet

If you don’t think any of the medical conditions listed above are causing your cold feet, there are plenty of simple things you can do to help fix the problem. Try these easy remedies for cold feet:

  • Regular exercise: Increases blood flow to extremities and helps reduce anxiety.
  • Massage: Full body or foot massages increase blood flow and decrease muscle pain and tightness.
  • Quit smoking: Nicotine is known for causing poor circulation.
  • Heart-healthy diet: High cholesterol and high blood pressure can restrict blood flow.
  • Dress warmly: If it’s cold outside or in your home, make sure to wear appropriate clothing and socks. Wool-based socks are the best for patients who feel that their feet are cold. Make sure to get out of the cold quickly if your feet start burning or become painful.

If you’re struggling with cold feet and want some relief, contact Dr. Schoene and Dr. Bever today. We’d love to help you get back to comfort and resolve any potential issues that may be causing your cold feet. Give us a call or visit our website today to make an appointment so you can get back on the right track.