Cold hands and diabetes

I was diagnosed a year ago and this winter am noticing I have really cold hands. The North East is having a colder winter than last year, but I don’t remember ever having this much trouble staying warm when I am out skiing or hiking. Anyone else have this problem and is it related to diabetes? By the way, I just bought myself a pair of “Hot Mitts” which are battery warmed gloves and they really do the trick.

There is something called “Reynaud’s Syndrome” which causes cold hands. Perhaps that is what you have?

Maybe so. My son has it, so perhaps there is a gentic link.

I read that Reynaud’s is an autoimmune disease and is linked with reumatoid arthritis and hypothyroid. (My mum had the former and I have the latter). I just discovered a “green” hand warmer: put a half a cup of whole buckwheat in a cotton sock and microwave for 30 seconds. It stays warm for about half an hour. You can buy buckwheat at the health food store- I have it to hand because I sprout it.

I have the same prob but cold feet too. I hear that diabetes affects your circulation. I try to keep warm socks on all the time.

Maybe your thyroid medication needs to be increased?

Libby, I have had cold hands and feet and other body parts for several years now but I think it is mostly due to my being so much older. I also notice that I become much colder when my blood sugar drops to a low level. If I am 50 or below I am very cold. If I am 150 or higher I am quite warm. If I am 200 or higher I am very warm. I wear diabetic socks that wrap my legs almost as high as my knees. I wear gloves, a pull over cap that covers my ears, and two sweaters under my overcoat when I go outside in colder weather. I may look for those battery warmed gloves. Do you live in a cold region?

Yes, in New Hampshire, and we are having a very snowy winter this year. I also have a rotator cuff shoulder injury and that seems to be affecting my circulation. That’s interesting about the BG levels. I have not been aware of the difference, but since my diagnosis, my BG is much lower. Perhaps I never noticed my cold hands last winter because my A1C was 7.2 and I was constantly up around 180.

My entire body is this way. I can’t ever seem to keep warm. I wonder if it is diabetes or just the way I am.

I get so frustrated when I go out on a cold day all wrapped up, trying to be warm, and I see these people wearing walking shorts and no wraps and walking along like they are not cold at all. Are they really cold and trying not to show it? Are they just trying to attract attention? Please do not be offended if some of you do that. PLEASE! Maybe some people do not feel the cold like I do. I have had D since I was 6 and I have always been cold at low temperatures so maybe it is just my diabetes. I wish I knew.


I am always cold but I also am numb so I don’t really feel the cold all the time but when I touch my hands to a warm part of my body or my feet to my hubby YOW that’s cold. I also have RA so I don’t know what to blame this on…but it is funny to watch my hubby flinch when he hogs my side of the bed…hehehe

Hi, I do not have diabetes, my 6yr old does, when her numbers are down she complains that she is cold. I have always had cold hands, even in the middle of summer, as did my mom…cold hands, warm heart…if you have lost any weight you may feel cold too…when my dad lost weight he was always cold. (not as much fat to keep the heat in)
we’re haveing a very cold winter too, -40 days, that’s going to make most anyone feel cold, so it may also have to do with all the extra snow we’re getting.

stay warm

I bet you are right. Last winter it wasn’t so cold- much less snow- I was 30 pounds heavier, but still pretty thin, now I am 115 pounds and 5’ 7" AND my A1C was 7.3 so my waking hours were mostly spent at around 180. These days I’m mostly in the 80s. I’ll take the side effect of cold hands to have normal BG. I made muyslef some little handwarmers out of cracked buckwheat, and I just pop those in my gloves to warm up!


This winter is the worst New England winter I’ve seen since 1995-6. It’s been so cold and icy here I can’t imagine what it is like for you that much further north.

I think we all got pretty spoiled with the last couple winters because they were so mild. Last year, I had bulbs sprouting in January.

I am also always cold.It’s worst at my water exercise class. The water temperature is around 30/31degrees Celsius and after the 45 minute workout, I’m shivering, only to be rescued by the hot shower. I don’t know if it’s related to diabetes, but I’m certain it’s connected to my difficulty in losing weight. I can’t burn off the fat to get warm. I haven’t skied for many years and I’m so envious of anyone who can go regularly. Walking does warm me up, but it takes at least an hour and my fingers stay cold.

Hana, it is not so much fun to walk if you have cold hands. I am enjoying using my home made hand warmers inside my mittens. Just put a cup of whole buckwheat inside a cotton sock and tie a knot. Microwave for a minute and it will keep you toasty for about half an hour. I find if I stay warm at the beginning of my walk my fingers are still OK even after the handwarmers cool down. So much for my theory that I am cold because I am so thin! Someone said that you tend to be colder when your BG is nice and low so if that’s true it’s a side effect I’m willing to accept.

My BG is always fairly low. I try never to let it above 7. If I make a mistake, like I did one day last week, when i forgot my Metformin, and I get above that (7.2 on that occasion) I get so angry with myself. Above 6 makes me cross. I’m trying to hold down to under 5 at the moment , but the Dawn Effect is preventing me. I go to bed at under 5 and wake up over. I am trying cider vinegar, but I’ve been out several evenings recently and forgot to take it. I keep forgetting stuff. i’ve had to search for my glasses at least 4 times today. Is it old age(I’m 61)?
Just think, when I was first diagnosed, I was advised to keep under 7 and not to worry if I got up to 10. I’ve learned a lot since then. In the hospital after my stroke, they gave me the high carb diet:including biscuits at morning coffee time too and didn’t worry if they measured a 12 or 13. How much more do I know now?

I was cold all of the time too. The endo diagnosed my as hypothyroid and put me on synthyroid. Voila! No more cold hands and feet! And more enery too.

My thyroid was checked and I’m bumping along at the bottom of the normal range. They won’t treat me. In the NHS, I can’t just go see another doctor.

i asked someone who had d for a long time about being cold all the time and they said that since they were diagnosed they too felt the cold more than they ever did. I know I really feel it this winter…I try to conserve gas and try to keep the heat down. end up fully clothed and wearing my bathrobe on top of it…lol i imagine i look weird but I don’t care i want to stay warm!