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Cold Feet

 Cold Feet

Cold feet are a common concern that can affect many people. It can vary from being a mild annoyance to being the symptom of an underlying disease. Warm feet are generally a sign that the circulation is good. Warmth is brought to the foot due to the arterial blood flow. So, poor circulation is an obvious reason for cold feet as there is a decrease in normal circulation. For further information see “Circulatory Problems”.

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Some people just have feet that are colder than others and it is not related to poor circulation. A number of medical conditions can cause cold feet, such as multiple sclerosis, heart disease, peripheral neuropathy and Raynaud’s disease. If your fingers or toes temporarily turn white, the coldness is probably caused by Raynaud’s disease, a common condition that impairs circulation to the extremities. Severe cases can lead to fingertip ulceration. Raynaud’s occasionally signals a more serious disease such as scleroderma or lupus.

In others, the coldness stems from anxiety or stress. Women get cold feet more often than men do. And circulation slows as we age. But factors such as a sedentary lifestyle (circulation is maintained by muscular activity, so your feet are going to get cold if you’re sitting at a desk for 4 hours straight) and diet (caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are the worst offenders) also play a role. It’s also a side effect of certain drugs, notably beta-blockers and many migraine-fighters.

Cold feet are also a symptom of hypothyroidism – particularly feeling cold when everyone else around you is not. Refer to this website for further information:

Recommended Supplements


Kelp (iodine) These will both help with improving thyroid function.
Vitamin C Vitamin C and E help improve poor circulation and protect the blood vessels from free-radical damage. Vitamin C and E and bioflavonoids are necessary for good circulation. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids provide the cells with strength and stability, while vitamin E lends elasticity and improves oxygen supply. This is most important for a sluggish venous system.
Vitamin E
B3 (niacin) B3 also helps stimulate circulation by enlarging the veins.
EFA’s The essential fatty acids available in evening primrose oil and fish oils like salmon are necessary to combat arteriosclerosis. They improve fat metabolism and reduce the stickiness of blood platelets, preventing the development of arteriosclerotic plaques.
Co Q10 Coenzyme Q10 is another excellent supplement for circulation, as it supplies the cells with greater amounts of oxygen (especially useful for diabetics).
Ginger All of these herbs are warming herbs and help to increase circulation. They support the maintenance of normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Supports healthy heart function. 


Further Recommendations

Stop smoking. Cigarette smoking noticeably constricts blood vessels and is highly detrimental to anyone experiencing circulatory problems. Smoking can cause Buerger's disease, which can impede circulation to the point of gangrene and consequent amputation of the legs. Oral contraceptives and diuretics are also hard on the circulatory system.


Nutritional Almanac, Gayla and John Kirschmann
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, James and Phyllis Balch
The Physician’s Handbook of Clinical Nutrition, Henry Osiecki


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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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