1

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Cold hands and feet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 15, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I've been following a Paleo/ Primal diet for about a year and a half now. Apart from occasional 'blips' on holiday, I stick to it most of the time. Last winter, no issues with cold hands and feet (I live in England). However, this year my hands and feet seem permanently cold and white. Any suggestions as to why, and solutions that would fit within the diet/ exercise regimen outlined in 'The Primal Blueprint'?

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on March 06, 2013
at 10:37 AM

I was iodine defficient while eating seafood 2 times a week and using a lot iodized salt. My energy improved a bizarre amount using lugol's solution.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 22, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Iodine deficiencies are extremely rare though, but increasing seafood should be good anyways.

3f11b5fda91063846bba45daac3541bd

(1186)

on September 20, 2011
at 12:22 PM

Raynaud's is understood to be an autoimmune problem, which can be diet related.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on November 29, 2010
at 03:40 PM

I have this also! Was much more pronounced in the high school years (purple & white hands and feet); now that I'm a little older, they still get really cold, but less colorful haha.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:25 PM

I'm usually fairly cold the few hours between my daily meal, and then overheated after eating.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:24 PM

@gilliebean Four iodine atoms are connected to the amino acid tyrosine w/ the enzyme thyroid peroxidase (TPO), to give tetraiodothyronine, or thyroxine as it's also called. If you have an iodine deficiency, there won't be enough building material.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:22 PM

Generally, iodine deficiency is not an issue, if you just make sure to eat sea food and/or use iodine-enriched table salt (which should be the standard in all countries these days). Eating *extra* iodine doesn't help.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:21 PM

Generally, iodine deficiency is not an issue, if you just make sure to eat sea food and/or use iodine-enriched table salt (which should be the standard in all countries these days).

B1b9f0574aa9571f6aec6adb81d43190

(578)

on March 14, 2010
at 07:33 PM

I agree with David - if you find yourself inexplicably cold, eat something fatty. Wilderness classes have all taught me that if I'm cold during the night camping to eat a knob of butter, fat, or chocolate. It works.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 14, 2010
at 06:44 PM

I know why, it was the coldest English winter for thirty years ! ;)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 18, 2010
at 03:08 AM

I am unclear how the thyroid and iodine are related... Can you clarify?

6500192c72230f31629a43e3d9dcb696

(5)

on February 15, 2010
at 07:59 PM

I have been eating less recently (to recover from Christmas!). Will up the fat, protein and seafood as suggested. Thanks for taking the time to respond Jon and David.

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5 Answers

4
Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

on March 14, 2010
at 01:37 PM

Possibly it could be unrelated to your paleo diet-- I have something called Raynaud's Phenomonon, where I loose circulation to my hands and feet, usually because of the cold. Do your hands and feet also get numb and sometimes painful?

This disorder is most common in women, mine started when I was in high school but often it doesn't show up till later in life. some links:

http://www.medicinenet.com/raynauds_phenomenon/article.htm

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on November 29, 2010
at 03:40 PM

I have this also! Was much more pronounced in the high school years (purple & white hands and feet); now that I'm a little older, they still get really cold, but less colorful haha.

3f11b5fda91063846bba45daac3541bd

(1186)

on September 20, 2011
at 12:22 PM

Raynaud's is understood to be an autoimmune problem, which can be diet related.

4
F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 15, 2010
at 01:45 PM

Get your thyroid checked. There is a problem for some people living on Paleo, that they get insufficient iodine from food. You might need to supplement with kelp, use iodized salt, or just eat more seafood.

Here is a link on this at Free the animal.
The hidden benefit of the SAD iodine

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 18, 2010
at 03:08 AM

I am unclear how the thyroid and iodine are related... Can you clarify?

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:21 PM

Generally, iodine deficiency is not an issue, if you just make sure to eat sea food and/or use iodine-enriched table salt (which should be the standard in all countries these days).

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:22 PM

Generally, iodine deficiency is not an issue, if you just make sure to eat sea food and/or use iodine-enriched table salt (which should be the standard in all countries these days). Eating *extra* iodine doesn't help.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:24 PM

@gilliebean Four iodine atoms are connected to the amino acid tyrosine w/ the enzyme thyroid peroxidase (TPO), to give tetraiodothyronine, or thyroxine as it's also called. If you have an iodine deficiency, there won't be enough building material.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 22, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Iodine deficiencies are extremely rare though, but increasing seafood should be good anyways.

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on March 06, 2013
at 10:37 AM

I was iodine defficient while eating seafood 2 times a week and using a lot iodized salt. My energy improved a bizarre amount using lugol's solution.

1
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 14, 2010
at 08:19 PM

While not a result of the paleo life, I have been having cold hands and feet in the winter, but not that much. Although, as a physical therapist my patients notice! I never thought of it as a problem really.

But indeed, after reading the Free The Animal post (mentioned above), I ate some more seafood (also tinned sardines and mackerel), which seems to work. Still experimenting. Before going paleo (some 2 years ago), we ate rather low in salt. We still do...

My wife, who really has cold hands and feet, will be the next in our little n=2 experiment. If only she would like the tinned fish...

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 15, 2010
at 02:35 PM

I always get cold if I've not eaten enough (easy to do if not getting many carbs). Is it possible that you're spontaneously eating much less? I assume you're getting adequate omega 3 for your circulation? Both protein and coconut are very thermogenic so either would help keep you warm.

6500192c72230f31629a43e3d9dcb696

(5)

on February 15, 2010
at 07:59 PM

I have been eating less recently (to recover from Christmas!). Will up the fat, protein and seafood as suggested. Thanks for taking the time to respond Jon and David.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 14, 2010
at 08:25 PM

I'm usually fairly cold the few hours between my daily meal, and then overheated after eating.

B1b9f0574aa9571f6aec6adb81d43190

(578)

on March 14, 2010
at 07:33 PM

I agree with David - if you find yourself inexplicably cold, eat something fatty. Wilderness classes have all taught me that if I'm cold during the night camping to eat a knob of butter, fat, or chocolate. It works.

0
3ff1d99d7cdd1e55ac424da91cbc1ea0

(255)

on March 14, 2010
at 07:57 PM

I can also vouch for getting cold hands/feet whilst on Paleo. My overweight brother has no such issues and loves sitting in a t-shirt whilst I shiver. I naturally fast a lot of the day and guess the lack of digestion perhaps stops me producing lots of heat. I heard Iodine can resolve this, but i'll be damned if I'm going to add yet another supplement.

I'm not sure from an evolutionary standpoint if low body temperature is a good thing. Guess it depends if you're on the African savannah or in an unheated flat in England. Roll on summer I say.

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