Cold Feet

Summary of Chapter 14

You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead.– George Lucas

My Feet Are Killing Me by Celebrity Podiatrist, Dr. Suzanne Levine

Cold Feet

Most likely, you’ve heard the expression having “cold feet.” Usually it’s in relation to getting married or other major decisions or events like having a baby or starting a new job. It means that you have a case of the nervous jitters, and a literal case of cold feet is also linked to your nerves.

Your feet get cold because your warm blood isn’t circulating properly through the veins and arteries into your legs and out to your toes. Normally, the skin temperature down there should range between 75ºF and 90ºF. If it drops below 65ºF, you’ve got a problem with your vascular or circulatory system. Your arteries, the smaller-sized blood vessels called “arterioles,” and your veins aren’t letting enough blood through.

Your nervous system plays a significant part in determining how much blood gets through. If you are upset about something or under a great deal of stress, nerves can constrict the smaller arterioles in your feet and lessen their ability to carry blood, giving you cold feet. At the other emotional extreme is the person whose nervous system sends excess blood through his or her body when the pressure is on. This is called vasodilation of the blood vessels and it can make you hot all over (hence the expression “hot under the collar”).

Raynaud’s Syndrome


In this chapter of My Feet Are Killing Me Dr. Levine warmly explains:

  • What causes cold feet?
  • Frostbite
  • How is smoking linked to cold feet?
  • Raynaud’s Disease
  • Raynaud’s Syndrome
  • Buerger’s Disease
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Real Patient Recap: Aeryn makes a wise choice between keeping her toes, or losing the smoking habit that caused her cold feet.

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