Cold Hands and Feet

Some people never get cold. Wouldn’t that be great! For many, cold hands or feet are a common occurance, especially during the winter. When there is a lose of blood circulation in the outer extremities at the slightest change in temperature, it may be something worse than what most experience, it may be Raynaud’s disease. In these people, the fingers and toes turn white or take on a bluish tinge as they get colder. Later, when they warm up, they can become red with blood returning and throb for a few minutes to several hours.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is covered under that topic.


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Cold Hands and Feet

Symptoms - General  

Warm hands and/or feet

Risk factors for Cold Hands and Feet


Environment / Toxicity  



Low Progesterone or Estrogen Dominance

Cold hands and feet, often caused by low thyroid function, may be a symptom of estrogen excess or low progesterone influencing thyroid function.


The Immune System  

Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Raynaud’s phenomenon (severe cold hands and feet) affects about 16% of fibromyalgia sufferers.



Recommendations for Cold Hands and Feet


Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)

In cold climates, cayenne powder can be used topically as well as internally. One-eighth of a teaspoon sprinkled into each shoe and/or glove acts to help the body generate heat. Water-soluble components in cayenne dilate capillaries in the skin surface, producing an immediate sensation of heat. Within 15 minutes, oil-soluble compounds reach deeper tissues, generating warmth for hours.


Ginkgo Biloba

Gingko has an documented reputation for improving circulation, and is sometimes of help for cold hands and feet.


Ginger Root (Zingiber officinalis)

A warming herb sometimes helpful in improving circulation.


Cinnamon (Cinnamonum zeylanicum)

Cinnamon is warming and improves circulation, so is good to take if you suffer cold hands and feet.




Spicy Foods

Please see the links between Cold Hands and Feet and Cayenne, Ginger and Cinnamon.


High Fat Diet

For some people, especially fast oxidizers, needing a high fat / protein diet, increasing healthy fat in the diet may improve cold hands and feet.


Conventional Drugs / Information

Atenolol, a beta-blocker, is one of any number of drugs that can have the side effect of producing cold hands and feet. The most serious side-effects include heart failure, heart block and bronchospasm. Other side-effects include fatigue and coldness of the extremities.




Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences


Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud's disease or syndrome is a disorder of blood circulation, mainly in the fingers and toes. It is of unknown cause and characterized by changes of the skin that are aggravated by exposure to cold: first, becoming white with numbness and pain as a result of inadequate oxygenation of the blood, then red/purple with a burning sensation. The sudden constriction of blood vessels causes decreased blood flow to the extremities and can, in extreme cases, lead to gangrene. Also called "white finger", "wax finger" or "dead finger".


Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.


One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.


(FMS): Originally named fibrositis, it is a mysteriously debilitating syndrome that attacks women more often than men. It is not physically damaging to the body in any way, but is characterized by the constant presence of widespread pain that often moves about the body. Fibromyalgia can be so severe that it is often incapacitating.

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