Causes of cold limbs
Cold feet and hands are a common problem in people with poor circulation. The limbs become cold when there is not enough blood and oxygen, when the blood vessels are too narrow or completely clogged. Occasionally, however, cold limbs can be caused by health problems such as anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, restless legs syndrome, peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes mellitus , hypothyroidism (hypothyroidism), cardiovascular disease. Rainaud’s disease, hypothermia disease.
Raynaud’s syndrome is a disease characterized by insufficient blood supply to the fingers of the limbs, due to which they become cold. You can read more about Rainaud’s syndrome .
Dietary deficiencies, low ambient temperature, stress, side effects of drugs, alcohol abuse and excessive smoking are also factors that contribute to cold feet. Sometimes the feeling of cold limbs can be accompanied by changes in skin color.
If, in addition to cold feet, other disorders are noticed, such as skin discoloration (from pink-purple to white), tingling, lesions or wounds on the skin, hardening of the skin, seek medical help immediately!
Cold limbs are a more common problem among women than among men.
If the causes of cold feet do not include serious primary diseases, you can use some easy and effective means at home, thanks to which you will get relief.
Home exercises against cold limbs
Changes in lifestyle, diet and improved physical activity may be enough to alleviate the problem:
Warm oil massage
Foot massage is the easiest way to restore heat to the limbs and move the blood. If it is applied regularly, in addition to the heat of the limbs, you will get rid of other problems with the feet, such as cramps and mild pain.
Heat a small amount of olive oil, coconut oil or sesame oil in the microwave for a few seconds. Apply a small amount of warm oil on the feet and gently press from the toes to the ankles for about 10 minutes. Repeat with the other leg. After the massage, put on thick, cotton socks. Do this every night before bed and, if necessary, during the day.
Hydrotherapy is another simple method that you can try at home to restore the heat to your feet. Hot and cold water are used in this method – hot water improves blood circulation, and cold water helps reduce symptoms.
Fill two containers with water – one hot and one cold. Sit in a comfortable position and immerse your feet in cold water for 2 minutes. Then quickly transfer them to warm water for 1 minute. Alternate hot and cold for about 10 minutes. Then dry and put on warm socks. You can apply several times a day. You can add a few drops of essential oil of ginger, rosemary or cypress to the water.
Exercises for the legs
Leg activity is especially important for maintaining blood circulation and warming the legs. In addition, they will help strengthen blood vessels.
Stand on your toes for 1 minute, then slowly relax on your heels. Do this for 10 minutes.
When sitting, rotate each foot in the ankle area clockwise and then counterclockwise. Repeat 10-20 times.
Soaking your feet in a bath with bitter salt also provides a warming effect. The effect of this method is due to the presence of magnesium in it, and among the causes of cold feet and hands is the lack of magnesium.
Mix 1/2 cup of epsom salt in a small tub filled with warm water. Stir until the salt dissolves. Put your feet up and hold them for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat twice a week. If this is not enough, you can try herbal medicine and acupuncture to improve blood circulation and increase yang energy.
A walk on the grass
This method is feasible only during the warmer months of the year. Walking on the grass, early in the morning, is an extremely good way to stimulate blood circulation. This simple exercise is a very pleasant way to solve this problem, it also strengthens the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the feet, ankles and lower legs.
An additional effect of walking barefoot on the grass in the morning sun is to stimulate the synthesis of vitamin D (low content of vitamin D increases the risk of developing anemia and cold limbs). Start the day by walking barefoot on the grass for 30 minutes. You can combine it with light jogging to improve fitness and circulation.
Herbs and folk medicine for cold limbs
Ginkgo biloba, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger are among the most commonly used herbs against cold hands and feet. They all improve blood circulation and hydration of the limbs.
Ginger stimulates blood circulation and can help fight cold limbs. It contains compounds such as ginger and zingeron, which warm the body. In addition it reduces the risk of blood clots.
Boil 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger in 500 ml of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add a little honey and drink 2-3 times a day.
In addition to drinking, you can also use a decoction of ginger to soak your feet for 15 minutes, twice a day.
The alternative is to take ginger supplements, but only after consulting your doctor!
Cinnamon and cloves cloves
Mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1 clove powder in 3 cups of boiling water. Drink one glass in the evening to stimulate metabolic processes and blood flow to all parts of the body. In addition, you will improve your sleep.
Green tea is a natural remedy for cold hands and feet. The use of green tea improves the functioning of blood vessels responsible for supplying blood to all parts of the body, including limbs.
Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea during the day. To prepare it, you can add 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves to a glass of boiling water, cover and wait 5 minutes.
Similar to ginger, you can use green tea to soak your feet for 10 minutes, twice a day.
Hot red pepper
Hot peppers contain the compound capsaicin, which stimulates blood flow throughout the body. In addition to warming, hot peppers can reduce swelling and tingling in the legs.
To use hot peppers as a remedy for cold feet, take 1 teaspoon of hot red peppers and pour it into a pair of thick socks. Put on a pair of thin socks and put thick socks with paprika on them.
An alternative is to use a ready-made lubricant containing capsaicin to gently massage your feet before putting on socks (don’t forget to wash your hands well afterwards)!
According to the beliefs of traditional Chinese medicine, cold in the body reduces the flow of yang. Suitable plants in the fight against cold limbs are deer antler velvet extract, ginseng root, morinda root, cystanches, Psoralea corilifolia, incense, myrrh, etc.
Make a warm bath with spices. To do this, put a spoonful of black pepper powder, hot peppers, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, oregano, sage and cumin in a large bowl with boiling water. Cook for 15 minutes, strain and pour the broth into the tub, adding warm water. Take a bath just before bed.
Acupressure against cold limbs
Find the acupressure point responsible for unlocking the energy between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand (called the Valley of Harmony). Press with your left thumb until you feel pain. Hold for 2 minutes. Say that again. and on the other hand. This method is used to unblock energy and blood stasis.
The next point used to release the blocked Ki is in the natural recess in the upper part of the foot, between the big toe and the other toe. This point is called the Great Wave. Press it with moderate force for 5 minutes. Repeat on the left leg. This point is traditionally used to relieve all kinds of blockages in the body.
Diet for people with cold hands and feet
- Increase iron intake. Cold hands and feet are often associated with iron deficiency anemia. This is explained by the fact that at low levels of hemoglobin in red blood cells, tissues and organs do not receive enough oxygen. To increase the level of iron in the body, eat foods such as apples, liver, lentils, red meat, spinach, soy flour, tofu, almonds, dried apricots, olives, cereals, oysters, asparagus and more. You can also take an iron supplement, after consulting your doctor, who will determine the appropriate dose for you. Too much iron can be harmful to the body!
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 such as mackerel, salmon, herring, nuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds.
- Eat red meat such as lamb, beef or game, as well as iron-rich foods such as spinach, broccoli, prunes and apricots, raisins, oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds, walnuts, chestnuts, cabbage, onions, leeks, white onion, parsley, parsnip and jujube.
- Add spices such as turmeric, ginger, black pepper, dill, anise, cardamom and cayenne pepper to dishes and salads.
- Drink warm water.
- Avoid chilled food and drink, as well as alcohol and coffee. Although alcohol causes instant warming, it actually lowers body temperature.
- Avoid foods with preservatives and emulators.
- Vitamins and supplements. Evening primrose oil and borage oil provide high levels of gamma-linolenic acid, which has been shown to reduce the symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome.
Additional tips against cold hands and feet
- Try aerobic activities, such as running, hiking and cycling, which will maintain blood circulation in your limbs.
- During the winter months, wear warm socks and gloves to keep your limbs warm while outside.
- Smoking is also an important factor that contributes to impaired blood circulation.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within healthy limits.
- Try alternative therapies like yoga and acupuncture
- Eat foods rich in magnesium.
- As already mentioned, magnesium is also associated with good blood circulation and absorption of vitamin D. Magnesium deficiency increases the likelihood of suffering from cold hands and feet. The body can not store magnesium for a long time, so it is necessary to include in the diet a regular intake of foods containing it in high concentrations (suitable are spinach, kale, beets, broccoli, avocados, cucumbers, green beans, baked potatoes, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sesame , almonds).