Cold, numb hands with pain and tingling are common during winter when the temperature is too low.
However, there are many reasons that can cause this symptom, even if the weather is not cold.
Generally, the skin has a comfortable temperature thanks to the warm blood that reaches the capillaries .
However, when it is cold, the thermal receivers:
- They tighten the capillaries,
- They divert blood flow (and heat) to the most important internal organs: heart , brain , lungs , etc.
This process is called vasoconstriction.
The priority of the organism is to bring the blood to the vital organs, but the consequence is the cold in the extremities:
In women, a high level of estrogens ( female hormones ) increases sensitivity to low temperatures and therefore causes vasoconstriction even if it is not too cold.
Thus, in women, the hands get colder at some periods of the menstrual cycle .
In addition, women have more body fat than men.
This fatty layer makes it difficult to warm the skin because it acts as an insulator.
The consequence is that fat people have a lower skin temperature, even if the inside of the body is warmer than in people who are thin.
Causes of cold hands
Diet and Nutrition
A person’s diet has a lot of influence on how they feel.
Therefore, an unhealthy diet (junk food does not have the necessary nutrients and vitamins or after losing too much weight) can cause:
The feeling of cold can be normal, especially in the morning.
The reason is the long distance between dinner and breakfast, which makes the stomach run out of food.
Since digestion produces heat, it is normal to get colder in the morning.
When a woman reaches menopause or is pregnant, many hormonal imbalances occur in the body.
When estrogen levels increase, it is possible for the woman to experience many symptoms, including cold hands.
It is a body mechanism to protect the child that occurs mainly during the period:
Having a normal weight
When a person eats, the body sends blood to the stomach to aid in digestion.
This leaves the other parts of the body with a smaller amount of blood, causing the body to cool.
In addition, a underweight individual feels these body temperature changes more than others.
People who suffer from low blood pressure often feel cold hands and feet .
If a person has low blood pressure, only a small amount of blood reaches the hands and feet.
So she has a greater sensitivity to cold than other people.
Certain drugs can cause side effects such as feeling cold, for example, beta-blockers.
If the sensation of cold is accompanied by a rapid increase in weight that not even the physical exercise and the proper diet can control, the person probably suffers from a thyroid problem.
- Slows the metabolism,
- Cold hands can cause dry skin with a whiter color.
‘s Phenomenon People with this disease often have very cold hands and feet.
When a normal individual is subjected to extremely low temperatures, the body’s blood moves to the internal organs to preserve heat.
In people with Raynaud’s phenomenon , cold and stress can cause vasospasm, meaning the arteries contract and reduce blood circulation in the fingers:
- From the hands,
- Two feet.
This disorder can also cause:
- Tingling .
According to a scientific study *, the reduction of sleeping hours affects the coordination between:
- Changes in blood flow to the skin,
- Cardiovascular regulation that prevents venous blood from accumulating in the lower limbs in an upright position.
This causes cold hands and fingers.
* Fontes: Romeijn N; Verweij IM; Koeleman A; Mooij A; Steimke R; Vikkala J; van der Werg Y; Van Someren EJW. Cold hands, warm feet: drag deprivation disrupts thermoregulation and its association with vigilance. SLEEP 2012; 35 (12): 1673-1683
Cold hands and mouse
Many people notice that at least one hand becomes cold when working on a computer or driving.
Whoever stays for many hours in front of the computer may have the hand that rests on the mouse colder than the other.
Some doctors speak of stress caused by overwork on the computer, but may also be incorrect posture :
- From the arm,
- Of the wrist.
According to Kagaya A, Ogita F. ( Research Institute of Physical Fitness, Japan Women’s College of Physical Education, Tokyo ), during muscle contraction, blood flow is reduced , while during the muscle relaxation phase the circulation increases.
When working on the computer, upper limb muscles remain contracted for a long period of time, especially the wrist and hand.
The consequence is a smaller flow of blood to the fingers that become cold.
The solutions are:
- Try to focus on muscle relaxation
- Use tools to improve posture on the computer , for example, an ergonomic mouse mat.
Always cold hands
Most of the time cold hands and feet are caused by circulatory problems that are a symptom of an underlying disease.
When it is cold, the body reacts by altering the circulatory flow to warm vital organs.
Causes of cold hands with tingling
When, for some reasons, normal blood flow decreases, it is possible to feel cold hands.
It can be a symptom of Raynaud’s disease.
In this disease, when a slight fall in temperature occurs or when the person touches a cold object, the arteries present in the fingers contract abnormally.
The consequence is a decrease in blood flow and therefore the fingers become cold.
The hands become numb and there may be a change in the color of the skin.
Women are at a higher risk than men for suffering from Raynaud’s syndrome.
When symptoms of cold hands occur after exposure to a very low temperature without wearing gloves, the person is probably suffering from cold burns.
You can identify this condition:
- By changing the color of the skin (which often becomes blue, gray or black),
- By hardening the skin,
- By the formation of bubbles .
The person also feels pain and tingling.
However, if exposure to cold temperatures is prolonged, there is also a risk of damaging the underlying blood vessels.
Anxiety and Stress
Mental stress can also cause this disease.
When the person is under much stress, the nervous system causes the constriction of the blood vessels at the extremities of the body.
Individuals with frequent panic attacks often have cold, sweaty hands , also in the summer.
The panic attack may seem like a heart attack because the heart rate is accelerated, but that is not the case.
Sometimes it is possible to feel the hot face, an explosion of heat due to emotional tension and anxiety, for example, when speaking in public.
Anxiety can also cause:
- Tingling in the fingers and toes,
- Dizziness or dizziness .
When talking about cold hands and hot heart, the reference is to a young man in love, because the excitement causes this symptom.
Patients with diabetes mellitus suffer from a nerve injury, known as peripheral neuropathy, which increases cold in the extremities of the body.
In this disease, besides the cold hands and feet, there are:
- A tingling sensation in the fingers,
- Burning ,
These symptoms may indicate a problem in the circulatory system.
Peripheral vascular disease that causes blockage in the arteries often causes this disease.
People who have a habit of smoking are prone to poor blood circulation because the caliber of blood vessels decreases.
Other causes of cold hands
Other causes include:
Some doctors attribute this sensation to:
- A low level of iron,
- A low number of red blood cells,
- Low pressure .
Others believe that a low carbohydrate diet causes the feeling of cold after eating.
Even stress can contribute.
Most doctors agree that blood concentrates on the digestion process .
This diverts blood flow from the extremities and the brain.
Before rolling the baby in another blanket it is necessary to feel the chest.
If the baby is warm and pink it means he is not feeling cold.
Because the baby’s circulatory system is still developing, blood is diverted to vital organs and systems.
The hands and feet are the last part of the body that receives a good supply of blood.
It may take up to three months before the circulation completely adapts to life outside the uterus.
Generally, the living red of oxygenated blood that circulates under the skin creates a pink or reddish coloration, especially around the tips of the fingers.
The pale skin indicates a loss of blood, while slightly bluish or purple skin may be the result of lack of oxygen in the body.
Fingers of purple or bluish color may be caused by:
- Phenomenon of Raynaud,
- Some diseases.
blood Oxygenated blood gives a pinkish color to the skin.
Deoxygenated (venous) blood travels to the heart and lungs through the veins.
This blood has no oxygen, is darker and can give a bluish or purple color to the skin.
Although the darker color of venous blood is normal as it travels toward the lungs to find more oxygen, the purple or blue areas of the skin may indicate a disease called cyanosis.
Peripheral cyanosis causes purple toes and blue nails; on the other hand, central cyanosis causes paleness:
- In the face,
- In the mouth,
- On the lips,
- No thorax
The amount of oxygen carried by blood cells can be disrupted by:
- Blood clots in the arteries
- Pulmonary diseases
- Heart disease or defects
- Exposure to cold air or water
- Living in high altitudes.
Food is essential to improve circulation and to lose weight.
According to various theories of natural medicine , cereals (rice, pasta, bread, pizza, millet, etc.) are mainly responsible for:
- By the formation of plaques in the arteries ,
- Because of the high sugar content in the blood .
It is therefore advisable to replace cereals with:
- Legumes (chickpeas, peas, beans, lentils, etc.)
- Pseudocereals (quinoa and amaranth).
The exercise (especially cardiovascular training) provides benefits to capillaries and improves circulation.
Doctors say swimming is the best activity.
Some runners feel very cold in the hands during the race in winter.
It is advisable to apply a heating oil , a devil’s claw-based cream or tiger balm, and then put on an insulated glove.
Immediately massage hands and feet if you feel a chill.
To warm the limbs, massage with oil, black pepper, ginger and cinnamon.
An effective home remedy to maintain proper body temperature is to wash your hands and feet with hot water and then curl the limbs with a cotton towel before going to bed.