Q & A: Cold Hands

“Help!  My hands are cold most of the time, even indoors. This is starting to affect my work, as using the keyboard is difficult.  Have you any suggestions?” 

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, offers some advice.

Cold hands can be a real problem for a lot of people. The most likely cause is low thyroid function, which tends to be more common in women than men.   If your feet are also cold and you struggle to get out of bed in the mornings, the chances are your thyroid might need some extra care and support.

The best dietary advice is to eat plenty of wholegrain foods such as quinoa and rice, as these contain lots of B vitamins, great for boosting the thyroid.  Additionally, and most importantly, try to include sea vegetables and seafood in your cooking.  These contain high levels of the essential trace mineral Iodine needed for production of the thyroid hormone. Meanwhile, avoid soy foods and uncooked brassica vegetables (such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower), as they can deplete iodine uptake.

It’s also worth checking your early morning body temperature, before getting out of bed. A consistent reading of below 36.5 oC could indicate low thyroid function.

Raynaud’s Disease is another condition that causes cold hands, feet and legs, but it tends to turn them white from lack of circulation. If this is the case consult your healthcare practitioner for further advice.