Cold feet, more than a symptom?

You have probably been confronted more than one time with a cold sensation to the feet and thought that you might be cold. Sometimes you managed to get rid of that sensation with an extra pair of socks or a warm blanket. Feeling cold can be however a sign of some underlying medical conditions.

According to, this can come from poor circulation, disorders of the nervous system, cold exposure injuries and decreased metabolism from a low thyroid condition (hypothyroidism). Other diseases that can cause cold feet symptoms include diabetes, arteriosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud's phenomenon, neuropathy, and frostbite.

WebMD, adds to the list anorexia nervosa which is an eating disorder and also a serious mental health condition. People with anorexia impose severe limitations on what they eat in order to keep their weight down. As a result they may reach an unhealthily low body weight, with the result that their heartbeat slows and they develop poor circulation. This can result in feeling cold or having a low body temperature - a condition known as hypothermia.

Diabetes can lead to hands and feet feeling numb and tingly. It is caused by nerve damage, or neuropathy. It is not entirely clear how diabetes causes nerve damage, but high blood glucose levels are known to interfere with the nerves' ability to transmit signals. The result is you may be less able to feel cold or pain and this loss of sensation could lead to skin damage.

Raynaud's disease is usually triggered by cold weather, anxiety or stress. Blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. Affected areas turn white, then blue and finally change to red as the blood flow returns.

Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid is known as hypothyroidism.Common symptoms are a slowing down of the body's mental and physical processes, as well as sensitivity to the cold. It is estimated that one in 20 people has some kind of thyroid disorder, which may be temporary or permanent. There are many forms of thyroid disorder and most can be treated.