Cold Feet

Feet | Podiatry - Podiatric Medicine | Cold Feet (Symptom)


Having cold feet is most commonly a normal condition. Usually cold feet appear due to cold temperatures or as a response to anxiety. In cold conditions, blood vessels in your feet and other areas, such as your nose, constrict to help minimize heat loss.


Cold feet can be pretty straightforward. As the temperature drops in the winter, the body draws blood from the extremities to maintain the core body temperature and sustain life. However, this can be a serious problem over a long period of time. This could lead to frostbite or even amputation if the tissue is not re-warmed, and circulation not re-established properly and promptly.

Cold sensations to the feet can come from poor circulation system or peripheral, parts of the body such as peripheral artery disease, PAD, also called peripheral vascular disease, or PVD, which is a narrowing or blockage of arteries due to a buildup of fat and cholesterol on the artery walls, a condition which limits blood flow to the extremities, as well as cold exposure and low thyroid condition.

At the same time, the perception of cold feet can also be a symptom of several conditions, including nerve damage like peripheral neuropathy, sometimes seen in Diabetes (a chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to use sugar for energy), chronic alcohol abuse, or in certain vitamin deficiencies. Rarely, cold feet can be a symptom of a serious condition.