Some people feel cold all the time because their body has a low tolerance for low temperatures. Lots of people are simply more comfortable in warm environments. If this sounds like you, you have what’s known as cold intolerance.
Women experience cold intolerance at a higher rate than men, which scientists suspect has something to do with women’s metabolic rate. However, they’re still unsure of exactly why. Men generate more heat from internal energetic processes than women, which may mean women experience discomfort in cold environments more acutely.1
In this article, we’ll examine different reasons why you might feel cold all the time and advise you how to stop feeling so cold. We’ll explain when feelings of chilliness are a cause for concern and require a visit to the doctor.
Why you might feel cold all the time
Although most feelings of cold are simple cold intolerance, other causes include:
Hypothyroidism is a condition which affects the ability of the thyroid gland to produce the hormones the body requires for its energetic processes.
- Feeling cold
- Hair loss
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Low resting BPM
Doctors will determine if you’re suffering from hypothyroidism after a blood test.
Those that have Raynaud’s disease have narrowed arteries that restrict blood flow to the extremities. White or blue finger or toes indicate a Raynaud’s episode.
The NHS advises that that experience Raynaud’s to keep a warm home, restrict caffeine consumption, and avoid smoking.2
Symptoms of anaemia, including coldness, are caused by insufficient oxygen within red blood cells, which reduces oxygen throughout the entire body.
Anaemia comes in 2 main types:
- Iron deficiency anaemia is the more typical kind and a consequence of the body failing to absorb enough iron from food. Pregnancy and menstruation make women more susceptible to iron deficiency anaemia.
- Vitamin deficiency anaemia is the result of nutrient-deficient diets and is less common in the developed world.
Read more about Anaemia in our guide: Anaemia: what you need to know
People who suffer from anorexia and experience excessive weight loss may also suffer from feelings of coldness, as they don’t have enough protective body fat.
Therapy, medication, and a nutrition plan can help alleviate the symptoms of anorexia, after consultation with a medical professional.
How to stop feeling cold all the time
Reduce feelings of coldness by:
- Keeping your home well heated. Warmer exterior surroundings help reduce the negative symptoms of cold intolerance.
- Quitting smoking. Smoking limits the ability of the blood cells to supply oxygen throughout the body, something which increases coldness.
- Exercise. Women who suffer from cold sensitivity experience fewer feelings of coldness during and shortly after exercise, according to one scientific study.3
When should you see a doctor?
Consult a doctor when your cold intolerance is new or rapidly worsening.
Doctors will likely ask you for other symptoms you’re experiencing and run blood tests if it seems like a hormonal imbalance, like hypothyroidism, has caused it.
Last updated: 5 February 2021
Author: Donia Hilal, Nutritionist
Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018. Donia has 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.
Donia has a special interest in; weight management, plant-based nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, special diets and disease risk reduction. Donia’s LinkedIn profile