Do you have cold feet? No, I’m not talking about the pre-wedding jitters. I’m talking about actually having cold feet and maybe even cold hands. Most people are oblivious to the fact that this can indicate serious health conditions including thyroid dysfunction. Unfortunately, most people write this off as just one of the things they must live with or have lived with it for so long they rarely notice it, but you don’t have to live with it! You do, however, have to (or should) get your thyroid checked.
The thyroid does more for the body than many people realize. The thyroid gland is the all-important, yet not well known gland that controls the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is defined as the base or minimal rate of energy the body is expending, or even simpler it is the speed at which cells make energy/heat. When your thyroid is in proper working order it your body is able to stay at the appropriate temperature which is 98.6 Fahrenheit. However, the body naturally changes temperature throughout the day, but only within a degree. So if you are sensitive to the cold, this could be the reason why.
Being cold is definitely an uncomfortable symptom, but an even more important reason for having your thyroid check is thyroid dysfunction and thyroid disease can lead to heart problems1 (which usually leads to poor circulation causing the cold hands and feet). The thyroid hormone affects the cardiac contractility along with components such as blood pressure, rhythm disturbances, and more. All of these are of great importance, but one that stands out is the cardiac contractility. Cardiac contractility is the measurement of cardiac pump performance. Cardiac contractility has a direct effect on the cardiac output, the amount of blood the heart pumps in one minute. So is the contractility is compromised then the heart is pumping a lower amount of blood than optimal.
Thyroid dysfunction can affect the heart in more ways than just causing poor circulation. Hypothyroidism can also lead to heart disease. The heart disease can be caused by a buildup of mucin. Mucin is a protein substance in the body and can begin to accumulate in an individual with low thyroid function. This substance attaches to water which leads to swelling in the heart muscle, causing weakness and poor heart health. Thyroid dysfunction also raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes. When the body isn’t producing enough of the thyroid hormone it can cause the heart to beat too slowly or irregularly, blood pressure change, and high cholesterol, all of which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
The next time you experience cold feet and it has nothing to do with a situation you are trying to get out of, make sure you pay attention to it! Your body is sending you a clue in the form of discomfort. Tell your doctor if you are experience cold hands and feet and ask them to run a full thyroid panel. Do you know of any other common symptoms that are written off as something else? Share them with us below!