What Causes a Feeling of Cold in the Legs?

Feeling cold in the legs is one of the most common complaints. If you have complaints such as “my knee caps are cold”, “I can’t stand the cold at all”, “when it rains, my legs feel cold and cold” , you may not have paid much attention to these complaints at first and expected them to go away on their own. Sometimes these symptoms can come and go. However, sometimes it persists stubbornly and can seriously impair your quality of life.

Causes of Feeling Cold in the Legs


  1. Environment and Clothes: The fact that the environment is really cold and wearing thin clothes is the first reason that comes to mind. This is probably the most probable reason, and the person may decide to consult a doctor                                       when the cold continues despite wearing clothes suitable for the season or even in a hot environment.
  2. Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating): People who sweat frequently or constantly may feel cold as a result of heat loss due to evaporation of sweat. Nervousness can increase sweating. 
  3. Narrowing of Leg Veins: Even if there is not enough blood flow to the foot, there may be a feeling of coldness. In this case, the foot feels really cold when touched from the outside. You may also experience pale skin .  
  4. Diseases that Cause a Feeling of Cold in the Legs: Fibromyalgia , multiple sclerosis , post-stroke pain and sensory disorders, tumors and peripheral neuropathy are various diseases that can cause a feeling of coldness in the legs.

The doctor may need to take a detailed medical history and perform a complete physical examination to determine the cause of the feeling of coldness in the legs.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can occur due to injury or disease. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy. Other reasons are;

  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Metabolic Problems
  • Kidney or Liver Diseases
  • Infections
  • They are poisoning. There are also hereditary neuropathies. In some cases, the cause of neuropathies may not be determined.

Peripheral nerves are nerves found outside of the brain and spinal cord in our body. Peripheral neuropathy often begins in the body’s longest nerves, the nerves that extend to the toes. For this reason, symptoms usually start in the foot first and then spread to the leg.

Along with the feeling of cold, there may be numbness, electric sensation, burning or pins and needles sensations. Sensitivity to touch, pain with light touch, which should not normally cause pain, can be seen. If the problem progresses, there may be loss of sensation, coordination disorder and muscle weakness. Peripheral neuropathy findings are most commonly felt in the hands after the feet .

You may be interested in this article: “Numbness in Hands and Feet “


How is Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosed?

If peripheral neuropathy is suspected, various tests are performed to reveal the cause.

  • By inspection; light touch, pressure, pain-temperature sense, vibration sense, reflexes, muscle strength and coordination can be evaluated.
  • with EMG; nerve conduction velocities and nerve damage can be measured.
  • With blood tests; hormone, vitamin, sugar levels, liver and kidney functions can be screened.
  • With MRI, which displays the brain and spinal cord; Central nervous system diseases and problems affecting nerve roots such as hernia can be excluded.
  • Rarely, taking a piece of nerve tissue and examining it under a microscope (nerve biopsy) may be required for diagnosis.
Read More  Leg Muscle Stretching Exercises

If the feeling of coldness in the legs is due to peripheral neuropathy, the cause of it is found, the cause is treated, and the complaints can be reduced and eliminated.

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