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Cold Feet

Kirk Minkus, MD

Interventional Radiologist & Endovascular Specialist located in Mesa, AZ & Gilbert, AZ

When your feet are persistently cold, it’s a sure sign that you either have poor circulation or a nerve condition. In both cases, Kirk Minkus, MD, can help. At his practice, the team of internists, cardiologists, and interventional radiologists can accurately determine the cause and provide comprehensive treatment. If you have questions about cold feet or you would like to schedule an appointment, call the office in Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona, or use the online booking feature.

Cold Feet Q & A

What causes cold feet?

Hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and lupus are a few examples of health problems that result in cold feet. It’s also common for medications that constrict blood vessels to cause cold feet or legs.

However, the most common causes of cold feet are poor circulation due to atherosclerosis or neuropathy.

How does atherosclerosis lead to cold feet?


Atherosclerosis begins when cholesterol attaches to an artery wall. Over time, more fats, calcium, and other substances accumulate, making the plaque enlarge, harden, and block blood flow.

When atherosclerosis develops in your leg, it’s called peripheral arterial disease (PAD). As PAD progresses, the amount of blood reaching your foot continues to diminish, resulting in cold feet.

In addition to cold feet, PAD can make your lower leg feel cold and cause symptoms such as:

  • Leg pain when you walk, progressing to leg pain even at rest
  • Muscle cramps in your leg
  • Numbness or tingling in your leg, foot, or toes
  • Leg fatigue or heaviness
  • Foot and leg discoloration
  • Nonhealing ulcers on your lower leg or foot
  • Hair loss on the affected leg
  • Muscle loss or weakness

You have a higher risk of developing PAD if you have diabetes or high blood pressure because they damage the arterial wall and promote atherosclerosis.

How do nerve conditions cause cold feet?

feet with socks

Nerve damage, called peripheral neuropathy, causes cold feet when it involves the nerves that detect temperature. As a result, you feel a cold sensation. Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy as high blood sugar damages the nerves.

How are cold feet treated?

The team at Kirk Minkus, MD, provides holistic care addressing every factor that contributes to your cold feet.

Patients with diabetes get help with lifestyle changes and prescription medications if needed to keep their blood sugar balanced. You also receive the appropriate treatment for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other chronic conditions you may have.

When you have PAD, Dr. Minkus specializes in advanced minimally invasive procedures that eliminate the plaque.

You may need an angioplasty to push the plaque flat against the arterial wall or an atherectomy to physically remove the plaque. Both procedures open the artery and restore normal blood flow to your foot.

To get relief from cold feet, call Kirk Minkus, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.