Relieve cold hands and feet with natural circulation boosters

Woman warmly clothed in a cold winter on the beach with the sky in the background

DURING the winter, most  of us experience  tingling  fingers and toes and numbness as a result of the drop in temperature. For some people  however,  exposure  to the cold brings on severe symptoms, such as loss of feeling in the fingers and numbness that seems to take forever to resolve. Their fingers may turn very pale or even blue and then  turn red, and tingle profusely  as circulation returns.  If this sounds familiar to you, you could be one of the increasing  number of people  suffering with Raynaud’s Syndrome, a condition in which the small arteries of the fingers go into  spasm and contract.

Although  the symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome  can be rather painful,  few people  seek medical  advice – assuming that there is nothing that can be done  to relieve the discomfort. Those who do seek the advice of their GP may be prescribed  calcium  channel blockers, which work by dilating  the blood  vessels. These drugs are however,  not without their side effects and are not always effective.

Many sufferers learn to manage  their symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some top tips for coping  with the symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome:

  • Consider getting your iron levels checked by your GP. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia,which enhances your sensitivity to the cold. Get plenty of iron from lean meats, fish, poultry,  lentils and green leafy vegetables.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking encourages  the build  up of plaque  in your arteries, which impairs  circulation.
  • Avoid tea and coffee as they constrict blood vessels.
  • Regularly eat hot meals and drink hot beverages, such as soup and herbal teas.
  • Wear many layers of clothes, rather than just one thick layer. Layers keep the warmth in much more effectively
  • Eat hot, spicy foods such as ginger and chilli – they are warming and also enhance circulation.
  • Try wearing mittens, which are more effective at trapping heat than gloves.
  • Try supplements that help maintain a healthy circulation, such as ginkgo biloba, ginger, vitamin Eand fish oils.
  • If you are taking anticoagulant medication already, do not use any of these supplements without first consulting your GP.