Do you feel the need for an extra blanket when people say it’s warm? Experts believe a little variation in temperature tolerance is normal. But what if you feel cold all the time? If it is a familiar feeling, these can be signs of some medical conditions you should not ignore.
In a report published by eLife, since 1800, the human body temperature has decreased. For example, today, our normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, our forefather’s body temperature was around 98.7 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, research also indicates women have a lower body temperature because of a slower metabolic rate. Which means women feel colder than men.
Feeling very cold is normal, but it can always be a sign of some medical condition if you always feel cold. Here are ten possible reasons you feel chills often.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which your thyroid gland is underactive. If your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, it affects your metabolic rate. Low blood pressure, anemia, weight gain, and fatigue are the most common symptoms. It can also lower your body temperature, making you feel cold all the time.
If there is a defect in your thyroid gland, your body cells cannot produce enough heat to keep your body warm. As a result, hypothyroidism is common in women as compared to men. The condition can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and treated by simple medication.
Anemia is a medical condition when blood vessels are deficient in red blood cells. Red blood cells supply oxygen to various parts of the body. In women, this condition is very common during childbirth due to excessive loss of blood. Anemia is also due to iron deficiency in the body.
You can control anemia by eating a healthy, nutritious diet. Include iron-rich food in your diet and consult your doctor for iron supplements. In rare and severe conditions, anemia can also be due to leukemia or hemolysis.
This disease is a condition when the blood vessels in the toes and fingers tighten. It happens when you expose your limbs to cold temperatures, which turn blue and numb. When blood flows through the veins, the limbs and fingers become red.
Your body is also prone to cold intolerance. In this medical condition, blood vessels react to the cold. It is a kind of defense mechanism of the body against cold.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral artery disease is a medical condition that causes plaque build-up in blood vessels. As a result, the arteries become narrow, hindering blood flow which causes the patients suffering from this condition to feel cold and even pain and numbness in their feet and legs.
In case these symptoms persist, consult your doctors for tests. Medication and certain lifestyle changes help cure this disease, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking.
Cold intolerance is also linked to diabetes. Circulatory issues and kidney defects are linked to cold body temperature. Kidney failure may cause anemia which results in cold sensations in the body. A neurological defect is also linked to diabetes which can cause cold sensitivity in the feet.
Other signs of diabetes are hunger, thirst, increased urination, and fatigue. Overweight people and those in the elderly age group should get blood sugar checked regularly. However, diabetes can be kept under check by medication and lifestyle changes.
Vitamins play an important role in overall body function. Vitamin C, vitamin B-12, and folic acid deficiencies can lower your body temperature. Vitamin deficiency can cause coldness and, at times, numbness in your palms and feet. However, medical experts confirm it is not a foolproof indication.
Vitamin deficiency can lead to anemia which can be verified by conducting a blood test. Therefore, it is advisable to get a complete body check-up done in six months or at most in a year. Vitamin deficiencies are treated by having a nutritious diet plan and adding vitamin supplements to your diet.
A stressful routine or lack of adequate sleep can also lower body temperature. Sleep is essential for the body to repair itself; sleep deprivation will alter body functions that may cause cold sensations in the body.
Medical research shows that even a day’s or two of sleep deprivation causes body heat loss. Although medical experts do not have an accurate reason for the same, they believe it is related to disturbed sleep patterns. Therefore, ensure you keep your work aside and take adequate rest for at least 8 hours a day.
Drugs and Medication
Some medicines and drugs also cause cold intolerance. If you are always feeling cold, it can be due to certain medications. Certain medicines have stimulants that lower blood flow or reduce blood circulation causing constant cold feelings.
In case you are taking medicines of high blood pressure, the medicines prescribed lower body temperature. However, in case the condition persists, consult a doctor.
Stress and Exhaustion
Feeling cold is a common symptom in people suffering from stress. Even exhaustion causes persistent cold feelings. When people are exhausted, the brain tries to shut down body mechanisms to preserve energy. As a result, it reduces blood circulation and gives a constant cold feeling or numbness.
With age, people get more sensitive to cold. It is a common sight where we see older adults feel colder than younger people. The main reason is lower metabolism and reduced circulation. Old age is also related to high blood pressure, diabetes, and anemia, which are common causes of reduced blood flow and cold.
With age, you must take care of your diet and live an active life. Get a medical check-up done regularly and if the condition is persistent, consult a doctor.
If someone feels cold, it may not necessarily mean some medical condition. Some people may have a natural cold intolerance than others. If feeling cold is persistent and severe, it is advisable to see a doctor and get some tests done. Feeling cold can also be related to high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.
A cold feeling may not be an alarming sign. You can cure most of these conditions with medication and little lifestyle changes. However, it is always important to pay attention to your body. In case you feel there is a problem, seek medical advice.