Are consistently cold hands and feet anything to worry about?

Disclaimer: this is not really a medical question - I’m not particularly worried about it, just curious.

My hands and feet are often really cold to the touch. They don’t feel cold to me, “internally” but they certainly feel cold to my wife. And to me, if I touch them on bare skin elsewhere on my body.

I notice it especially if I have been sitting still for a while, even if the surroundings aren’t particularly cold. Even when I wash with hot water before going to bed, my hands tend to remain icy to the touch.

Is this anything to worry about? A sign of bad circulation? I’m a healthy (as far as I know) and fairly fit and active 31-year-old male - I commute 18 miles a day by bike during the week although I tend to veg out at weekends.

My wife has the same ‘issue’, let’s not call it a problem, and her doctor didn’t think it was all that unusual. When she places her feet on my legs during the night it can startle me out of a deep sleep.

I would think it was somehow related to either her circulation or vampirism, but I am not an MD.

Try here.

Consistently cold hands and feet is not the same as Raynaud’s. I have primary Raynaud’s. It is episodic (although I can “get it” from sitting in air conditioning and sometimes if I’m delving into the freezer for a length of time, but this is rare. Usually mine is triggered by being out in less than 10 weather and not moving around).

In Raynaud’s, the extremity(or extremities) blanches to a waxy appearance (unusual in the thumb) and circulation is regained in patches that turn red. It can be painful while the circulation returns. I’ve had this for over 30 years now. My feet are also usually cold, period, but they are not always presenting with Raynaud signs or symptoms.
I dunno what causes consistently cold hands and feet. IANAD etc. You might want to bring this up with your primary care physician next time you see him or her.

They say, cold hands, warm heart:slight_smile:


I know. But when I quote this to my wife she tends to reply with “No, cold hands, cold [insert whichever part of her I’ve just grabbed]!” :rolleyes:

How’s your BP? Mine is at floor level and I have Hands Of Death.

Mine says “Cold hands, sod off” :frowning:


My wife has this “problem” too. She just spoke to her doctor, was told it was circulatory.

That’s what I was going to say–my mom has the same symptoms.

My cousin’s husband had that. They just did a bypass on him. His main arteries were 80% blocked and completely blocked.

So that’s what that is! I never knew this symptom had a name (and neither did the countless doctors I asked about it). But yeah, if your extremities look normal and feel normal to the touch (only cold), it’s not Raynaud’s.

If you have other symptoms, cold extremities could be a sign of hypothyroidism. Feeling cold altogether is more usual, but some people experience it differently.

It’s not necessarily circulatory, either. I had a doctor check out my cold feet once, and he took my pulse in my feet and said my circulation was fine.

I do have fairly low blood pressure (I can’t remember the figures offhand from my last medical, but they were on the low side of the acceptable range). I sometimes get the tunnel-vision/woozy head thing if I stand up too quickly. :slight_smile:

I also have a pretty low resting pulse rate, around 50. I don’t know if that would have anything to do with it?

Everyone gets that, it’s completely normal.

Yes, it would have. Less blood gets to the extremeties, therefore less heat.

Cool. Thanks for explaining what’s been happening to me the last month or so. It’s extremely colder this winter here in Akron. I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis the last 2 years. Under control. But, when I get into my car in the evening, grab the steering wheel with ungloved hands, temp is about 15 degrees, my fingers turn white down to the body of my hand, which is red. I thought I was losing my mind. Soon as I get them warm, it’s back to normal. Must be Secondary Reynaud’s.

Normally, when someone tells me that they always have cold hands and feet I tell them to move out of Minnesota.

Well that’s not it - I live in balmy England. Further north than Minnesota, but probably about 50 degrees warmer at this time of year!