Do you have cold feet? Your body is great at regulating how much blood goes where, but sometimes, poor circulation can mean more than just... well, cold feet. While it can be a normal response to being cold, it can also be a sign of poor circulation. To break this down even further, it could indicate something called peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD is the disease of blockages in the arteries that lead to the limbs, most often the legs. Similar to how blockages in the arteries of the heart can lead to heart attacks, blockages in the arteries in the legs can lead to other problems: increased risk of infection, ulcers, numbness, tingling, or if it gets very bad, even result in limb amputation. Signs and symptoms of PAD can include pain, numbness, tingling, pale skin, and ulcers. More often than not, PAD occurs when other cardiovascular risk factors are present such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and in particular, smoking. Want to figure out if your cold feet are from PAD?
What You'll Need
- A journal for your symptoms
- A pen
- A doctor!
What You'll Do
- Are the symptoms worse with activity/exercise? Keep a journal of when you experience the signs and symptoms and what you were doing and felt at that time.
- Is one foot worse than the other?
- Check your pulses on each foot by dragging your pointer finger along the top of your foot along the bone that extends from your big toe up toward your ankle about halfway. Roll your finger and gently press next to that bone (on the side toward your 2nd toe) and you should feel a pulse. Is it strong and the same on both sides?
Tips & Warnings
- PAD is no joke and can be a very serious disease. Furthermore, it can imply other things about your health that are best addressed as early as possible. If you have cold feet and or questions about your circulation, I recommend you talk it over with your doctor. Bringing the information above will help you both in properly managing your health. Disclaimer: This post in not meant to provide specific medical advice or recommendations. You should speak with your doctor if you have questions about symptoms and your health.
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