Having cold hands after you’ve spent the whole day in the cold is nothing but normal. Your limbs tend to be colder than the rest of your body as more blood and warmth is sent to the vital organs such as your heart, brain, liver etc. But, if you are somewhere warm and your entire body is burning, except for your hands, which remain unbearably cold, you may be suffering from a serious condition that asks for immediate medical attention.
These 10 reasons may be the cause why your hands are always cold.
1. Raynaud’s disease
This is a condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body, usually the fingers and toes.
In fact, the blood vessels in the fingers, sometimes feet, ears, and nose are narrowed as as a result of low temperatures or emotional stress. This results in white or even blue fingers due to insufficient blood supply.
The causes of Raynaud’s syndrome are still unknown, but you can easily recognize it by frequently cold, swollen fingers that hurt and tingle.
The good news is that this condition is more unpleasant, rather than harmful.
2. Autoimmune conditions
Autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the immune system attacks its own tissue because of an inappropriate immune response of the body to certain substances inside. It is a serious condition, so if you notice any symptoms such as in Raynaud’s disorder, consult your doctor for further testing.
Once the real cause is diagnosed, you can easily keep it under control with regular medications.
Cold hands are a common symptom of thyroid gland dysfunction. In fact, this gland acts as a type of thermostat inside the body, so when it’s under-active, many bodily functions slow down, which results in symptoms such as fatigue, obesity and continuing feeling of coldness.
This condition is prevalent in people over 50.
4. Poor circulation
It’s a widespread belief that poor circulation is the main and only reason for cold hands. Poor circulation occurs when blood flow is reduced because of poor pumping of the heart or because of physical obstructions to blood flow, such as in narrowed blood vessels due to cholesterol blockages.
When blood flow in the body is compromised, it is quite normal to feel coldness in hands and feet. Swelling and tingling are also common symptoms because the hands and feet are furthest from the heart.
Anemia occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells or when hemoglobin in the blood is low. As a result, the body gets insufficient oxygen supply, which can cause cold hands.
Anemia may occur due to iron deficiency, sudden loss of blood (menstruation in women), ulcers, certain types of cancer, etc.
Despite cold hands, other common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath and paleness.
6. Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12, which is found in red meat, processed meat, eggs, milk and dairy products, is important for the formation of red blood cells. Deficiency in this vitamin leads to their reduction.
This vitamin is usually deficient in vegetarians and vegans, as well as people over 50.
A simple blood test can tell you if you are deficient in vitamin B12 and whether this is the cause for your cold hands.
7. Low blood pressure
Low blood pressure occurs because of dehydration, blood loss, use of certain medications or endocrine disorders. When blood pressure is low, blood vessels will direct blood away from the extremities to the vital organs, leaving your fingers cold.
If you suffer from low blood pressure accompanied with blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, weakness and confusion, consult your doctor immediately.
Stress can cause many disorders in the body, and cold hands are no exception. When you are under chronic stress, the body secretes adrenaline that tighten blood vessels in the extremities, which leads to cold hands and feet.
There are many drugs that constrict blood vessels, especially the arteries. In this case, the side effect is often Raynaud‘s syndrome.
If you don’t have good enough reasons to quit smoking, here is another one. Nicotine from cigarettes causes recurring contraction and narrowing of blood vessels.