Circulation issues are a common cause of cold feet. A person with poor circulation will often struggle to get enough warm blood to their extremities, and may complain of cold hands and cold feet.
Poor circulation can have a variety of causes. Living a sedentary lifestyle or sitting at a desk all day may reduce circulation to the legs and cause cold feet. Smoking tobacco products can also make it more difficult for the blood to reach every area of the body, so people who smoke may be more likely to complain of cold feet.
High cholesterol can lead to plaques forming inside the arteries that can reduce circulation to the legs and feet, leading to cold feet. Some heart conditions can also cause cold feet, so a person should speak to their doctor about any existing heart problems or risk factors.
People with diabetes may be at risk of circulation problems, such as cold feet or hands. Frequent high blood sugar levels can lead to narrowing of the arteries and a reduced blood supply to the tissues, which may cause cold feet.
In some people, diabetes can lead to diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage. Diabetic nerve damage happens in people who have an uncontrolled, high blood sugar level for long periods of time.
Other symptoms of diabetic nerve damage include tingling or prickling sensations, numbness, or burning pain in the feet and legs. Symptoms may be worse at night.