Are you always cold? Should you be concerned?
Are you always under a blanket or wearing your coat while those around you are perfectly comfortable? One of these 11 reasons may be the culprit:
Not eating for the season: Warm up for winter with healthy soups, hot tea and vegetable heavy stir fries instead of your summer weather water-dense cold staples like salads, shakes, smoothies, fruit and iced drinks, which will make you feel colder.
Anemia: Pump some iron…into your diet: Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which can make a person feel cold. Low levels of B12 can also lead to anemia.
Your thyroid: When your thyroid gland is under-active, a condition called hypothyroidism, you can feel cold, as this gland is involved with the body’s temperature regulation.
Dehydration: Water helps your metabolism break down food, creating your body’s energy and heat. When you are not drinking enough H2O, your metabolism slows down, and so does energy and heat production.
Your gender: Women are more prone to anemia and hypothyroidism, which are both linked to being cold. In addition, estrogen can be a culprit in lower body temperatures and loss of heat due to dilated blood vessels.
Your age: When you age, your metabolism slows down, and you produce less heat. In addition, you experience decreased muscle mass, which can also contribute to feeling colder.
Poor circulation: Cold hands and feet, but otherwise comfortable? Do you also experience hair loss or a change in skin color of your fingers or toes? You may have a problem with your circulation, and it could be due to heart disease. Your heart may not pump blood effectively, or your may have an artery blockage that is preventing blood from getting to your hands and feet. Smoking is also a cause of poor circulation.
You are too thin: Muscles generate heat, and fat works as an insulator. Plus, if you restrict calories and your body goes into starvation mode, you may risk slowing down your metabolism. A slow metabolism reduces your body’s heat.
You are stressed or anxious: When you are under a lot of pressure or are experiencing anxiety, your body focuses on the issue at hand and may not have enough blood flow to keep you warm, especially in your extremities.
“If you notice being more cold than usual, especially if combined with other symptoms like unexplained weight gain or weight loss, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, lethargy, constipation or hair loss, discuss these symptoms with your physician,” says Dr. Angela Bell, an internal medicine specialist with Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, Ill. “And, if you smoke, seek help to quit.”
About the Author
Kate Eller was a regional director of public affairs and marketing operations for Advocate Health Care. She enjoys road trips, dogs, minimalism, yoga, hiking, and “urban hiking.”