What are Cold Hands and Feet?
There are many situations when one’s limbs are cold, such as when a person first gets under the covers or has just come inside from the outdoors. There are some people, though, whose limbs never or only slightly warm under a change in environment. When a person has chronically cold hands or feet, there is often a problem with circulation of blood to those limbs. This condition is likely the result of blood vessels constricting or becoming obstructed, and its cause may be due to exposure to extreme cold, frostbite, stress, side effects of medication, or other factors. Another possible cause of cold limbs is low thyroid function, as the thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining body temperature. Women are more likely to suffer from cold hands and feet than men.
How can I treat Cold Hands and Feet?
Traditional Chinese medicine considers cold hands and feet to be the result of insufficient flow of blood or insufficient distribution of warming yang energy. Increasing circulation of the yang energy will often help build heat in the limbs, and this can be encouraged by consuming omega-3 rich foods, such as salmon and iron-rich foods, including spinach, quinoa, squash, and yams. It will also help to use spices such as garlic, black pepper, and ginger and to drink warm or hot water. Other remedies include drinking a tea of cinnamon and cloves in the evening and engaging in regular physical activity for developing energy flow.
What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Cold Hands and Feet?
As may be expected, it is important to avoid raw foods and icy cold beverages for building heat in the limbs. Avoid alcohol, which actually lowers body temperature, coffee, and other sources of caffeine. Also avoid smoking, as it inhibits circulation of the blood.
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