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Causes of Cold Feet and Poor Circulation

Tuesday, 19 March 2024 00:00

Cold feet can often signal poor circulation, a condition where blood flow to your extremities, especially the feet, is not adequate. There are several common causes of poor circulation in the feet. One is peripheral artery disease, where arteries narrow due to plaque buildup, reducing blood flow to your lower limbs. Diabetes can also contribute to poor circulation due to high blood sugar levels damaging blood vessels and nerves, leading to decreased sensation and blood flow. Additionally, conditions like Raynaud's disease cause blood vessels to narrow dramatically in response to cold or stress, further limiting blood flow. Smoking also worsens circulatory issues as it constricts blood vessels. It is important to get checked for any underlying health issues if you have circulatory issues in the feet and lower limbs. If you are experiencing cold feet on a regular basis, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist, a foot doctor who can diagnose the source of the issue and offer treatment solutions for poor circulation. 

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Brian D. Jackson, DPM of Neuhaus Foot and Ankle. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.


Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia and Pulaski, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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