Cold Feet and Toes
Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Cold sensations to the feet 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.
In people with diabetes mellitus, chronic abnormally elevated blood and urine sugar, causes narrowing of arteries and capillaries that impair blood supply to tissues leading to cold feet symptoms. Arteriosclerosis and peripheral vascular disease result from chronic elevation of blood cholesterol levels that leads to blood vessel narrowing. Raynaud's phenomenon features narrowing of tiny blood vessels as a reaction to nerve sensitivity to cold exposure, which causes cold feet symptoms. Frostbite causes permanent damage to blood vessels that are injured from freezing of tissues.
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Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
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