Why Are My Hands and Feet Always Cold?

Cold hands and feet are a sign of underlying health conditions and skin changes. In some cases, cold hands and feet are caused by a symptom of a larger issue, such as anemia. Regardless of the cause, you should seek medical attention if the condition persists for more than a few days. Cold hands and feet are uncomfortable, and may even be a sign of a more serious health problem.

If the condition is symptomatic of another disease, your physician may diagnose it and prescribe treatment. Cold extremities may indicate a condition such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, lupus, or low iron levels. An uncontrolled thyroid may also cause cold extremities. In this case, your doctor will prescribe medications or supplements to help you deal with the problem. In addition to medication, your doctor may recommend increasing your activity level to help your body stay warmer.

Raynaud’s syndrome is another possible cause of your hands and feet being cold. This condition affects the blood vessels at the tips of your fingers and can be caused by stress, cold weather, or an autoimmune disease. Symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome range from pain and numbness to changes in skin color and tingling. It is usually self-limiting, but medications can help reduce the symptoms.

Secondary Raynaud’s disease is another cause of cold hands and feet. Usually affecting people over 40, this disorder can result in an artery blockage. If left untreated, gangrene (blood loss) can develop. In extreme cases, it can even lead to removal of the affected area. A cold hand and foot condition can also be accompanied by other symptoms, including fever, joint pain, and a rash.