Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Got Cold Feet?

Dr. Adam Thomas

Getting “cold feet” is not just an expression for chickening out or getting nervous and changing your mind. You can literally get cold feet if you have poor circulation. Circulation is the flow of blood throughout your body. Poor circulation occurs when the blood flow becomes restricted and is often indicative of a more serious problem.

Signs and Symptoms include:
  • Cold feet and toes (despite the weather)
  • Red, purple, or blue toes
  • Cold hands and fingers
  • Feeling tired / Lack of energy
  • Swelling and water retention – most noticeable in the feet
  • Feeling numb in the extremities
  • Loss of hair on feet or legs
  • Cramps in legs
  • A feeling of pins and needles
  • Sometimes headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blotches and blemishes in skin
  • Lumps in blood vessels or varicose veins
  • Wounds that heal slowly
Risk Factors:
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Poor Diet
  • Sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time
Another cause could be Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). In this disease, plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to other parts of your body. The plaque can harden over a period of time, causing the arteries to narrow and reducing the amount of blood flow, especially to the legs. PAD is a very serious disease that could lead to gangrene, the death of tissue, which could result in amputation of the extremity.

Treatment options for poor circulation include lifestyle changes. For instance, you could change your diet by trying herbs (like ginger), eating foods with more fiber, or drinking more water. You should also try moving more: stretching, doing yoga, swimming, or going on gentle walks – nothing too demanding to start if you have poor circulation. It is a good idea to quit smoking since it produces carbon monoxide, a gas that displaces oxygen in the blood and destroys the lining cells in blood vessels, allowing plaque to stick to blood vessel walls. A lot of the tips mentioned above could also lower your cholesterol.

Other suggestions are to use relaxation techniques to reduce stress, wear socks to keep your feet warm, avoid long periods of immobility, and try to elevate your legs. Please visit your local doctor to make sure that there aren't more serious concerns related to your poor circulation.

Community Foot Specialists - Podiatrists/Foot & Ankle Surgeons Serving Dayton and Springfield, Ohio Call today to schedule your appointment! (937) 426-9500

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