Get Chilled Frequently? Here's Why and What to Do About It
Some people are more susceptible to getting cold than others, and everyone's body reacts to cold in its own unique way. Ignorance of cold is referred to as this.
There may be a gender difference in the ability to tolerate cold temperatures. It's partly because women have a lower resting metabolic rate that they tend to feel cold all the time. This means they produce less heat and energy than average. Another study, this one from 2015 and on a smaller scale, suggests that females may be more sensitive to cold hand sensations.
But if you're always cold even when dressed appropriately and taking other measures to keep warm, you may have a health problem. Keep reading to figure out why you might always be cold and how to deal with it.
Constant chills: the signs you're suffering from a cold sensation
The cumulative effect of a persistent chill could leave you shivering. Additionally, you may have noticed:
- painless tingling or numbness in the extremities
- regular episodes of coldness
- difficulty adjusting to temperatures that others would find tolerable
- a feeling of limbernesslessness
- especially chilly toes and fingers
There may be other symptoms present if your coldness is caused by something else. In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into those topics.
There are many potential causes for perpetual chills, and each of these may manifest in its own unique way. Some symptoms may seem harmless, but they could actually be warning signs of a more serious problem.
Lack of sufficient numbers of healthy red blood cells is, in a nutshell, what anemia is all about. Possible causes of this widespread problem include:
- Insufficient RBC production in the body
- This is a type of cell that your body naturally eliminates.
- When you bleed heavily, it's because:
If left untreated, anemia can have devastating effects.
The most common form of anemia is iron deficiency anemia, which occurs when the body does not have enough iron to produce sufficient numbers of healthy red blood cells. Some possible explanations are:
Depending on the cause, anemia can manifest in a variety of ways, some of which are:
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone to provide the body with an adequate supply of this hormone. In the absence of treatment, this condition can worsen to a critical stage. A medication regimen can help you manage your symptoms until a cure is found.
Hypothyroidism can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including:
If you have atherosclerosis, your blood vessels will become narrowed due to plaque buildup. Peripheral artery disease is the most common cause of a chill, though there are many kinds. The disease known as peripheral artery narrowing causes blood flow problems to the body's extremities, organs, and brain.
Additionally, other symptoms include:
- Legs, buttocks, and feet ache, go numb, and cramp up after exercise.
- feeling cold and numb in your feet and legs
- Having difficulty getting better from a slow leg or foot wound
- discoloration of the skin with a bluish cast
- a reduction in the amount of hair that grows on your legs
- stunted development of toenails
Symptoms of Raynaud's disease
Raynaud's disease, also known as Raynaud's phenomenon, is a condition in which the blood vessels in the extremities (typically the fingers and toes) constrict in response to cold or stress. Since blood can't flow to the area normally, it may turn pale or blue and feel cold. As the blood returns, the affected region turns red and may experience throbbing.
Raynaud's disease may have multiple causes, but its origin is unknown in most cases. The onset of Raynaud's syndrome after an injury or a preexisting medical condition is called secondary.
- humans over the age of 30
- Those who reside in chilly climes
- members of affected families
Having diabetes can lead to chills due to complications with the kidneys and circulation. Without treatment, diabetic nerve damage can also cause a general feeling of coldness, especially in the extremities, especially the feet.
There may be less severe symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes than with type 1. An increased risk of feeling chilly is also associated with type 2 diabetes.
Additional diabetes symptoms include:
The mental disorder known as anorexia
Anorexia nervosa is a form of disordered eating characterized by a severe aversion to food and an inaccurate assessment of one's body size.
However, not all people with anorexia are abnormally thin, despite the fact that they may severely restrict their food intake and fit this description.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a set of symptoms that includes:
Insufficient body fat
A body mass index (BMI) of less than 18 indicates a low body weight. 5 Having a lower body mass index usually means you don't have as much fat to act as insulation, so your body struggles to keep you warm.
An underlying condition, like hyperthyroidism, can sometimes cause a person to be underweight. You may also experience additional symptoms if this is the case.
Consequences of being underweight include:
- compromised defenses
- insufficient diet
- troubles conceiving, particularly for those who possess wombs
Poor blood flow
If your blood flow is low, your limbs will suffer. Conditions like diabetes and heart disease are often the underlying causes of poor circulation.
Some additional indicators could be:
- painless tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.
- aching in the limbs
- spasms in muscles
Subpar Vitamin B12 Status
Insufficient dietary intake or impaired absorption of vitamin B12 both contribute to nutritional deficiencies. Most frequently, it affects those who:
- Eat like a vegan
- are at least 50 years old
- undergone procedures of the digestive system
- suffering from stomach pains
Among the symptoms are:
- gastrointestinal distress, either constipation or diarrhea
- difficulty breathing
- a lack of hunger
- light skin tone
- a difficulty in breathing
- a decline in equilibrium
- sensations of tingling and numbness in one's limbs
Meat, fish, and dairy products are good sources of vitamin B12 for many people. Vegan products and supplements are fortified with this vitamin, so you don't have to worry about getting enough.
Vitamin B12 can be found in abundance in these 12 foods.
Problems with Medications
Beta-blockers, used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues, can cause a sensation of constant coldness in some people.
Some additional negative effects of beta blockers could include:
Some medications, as noted by Priyanka Costa Hennis, MD, a fellow in medicine/clinical informatics at the University of Arizona, can make you feel chilly.
However, studies conducted in 2018 indicate that adverse drug reactions are not the primary cause of your chills.
Your body can only function properly if it is properly hydrated, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Dehydration "causes constriction of the blood vessels to conserve the water in the body," Hennis says. She stresses the importance of staying hydrated all year round, but says it's especially crucial to do so in the winter because you don't sweat as much.
The CDC states that the amount of water you should drink each day varies according to age, gender, and whether or not you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Hennis suggests consuming at least 6 cups daily, which equates to 50 ounces.
A medical professional can help you figure out if your low cold tolerance is the result of a medical condition or if it's just a natural reaction to the weather.
In order to learn more about your health and any issues you may be experiencing, a medical professional may ask:
- When did your symptoms begin, and what are they?
- Are you now more or less susceptible to the cold?
- In what sort of diet do you typically partake?
- How would you rate your overall health?
- Have you recently changed medications or experienced any other changes to your health that you can share with us?
They will probably also take your height and weight as part of the physical exam.
It's possible that they'll order bloodwork to check your:
- hemoglobin concentrations
- concentrations of glucose in the blood
- Hormones produced by the thyroid
Constant chilliness is unpleasant, but help is at hand in the form of these tried-and-true methods endorsed by experts.
Methods for Getting Warmed Up
If you're constantly chilly, try layering up your clothing, turning up the thermostat, or grabbing a warm blanket.
When these methods are ineffective, it may be time to look at the root causes:
- If you feel like you might be sleep-deprived, take a nap or try to get to sleep earlier.
- If you suspect you may be anemic or suffering from a nutritional deficiency, it is important to eat a well-rounded diet. Diets high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are considered to be the most healthy.
- Do what you can to reduce the stress in your life.
- Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. In order to get toasty, you should try drinking some hot water or herbal tea. Melons and apples, for example, contain a lot of water and are good choices.
- Communicate with your medical professional. Hennis suggests inquiring about a possible adjustment to the dosage if you believe your medication is to blame for your chills.
- Get some exercise. Hennis says that working out is a good way to get the blood pumping and the body warm. Light exercises such as walking, yoga, and stretching are recommended.
I just can't seem to warm up. Perhaps consulting a medical expert is in order.
In most cases, doctors will treat the underlying cause of your persistent cold to alleviate your symptoms.
The following are examples of possible treatments for various conditions:
- Anemia Consider adjusting your diet or taking iron supplements. A blood transfusion may be necessary for patients with severe anemia. The doctor will also be able to help you with any anemia-related conditions.
- Hypothyroidism Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is the norm and will be prescribed by your care team.
- Atherosclerosis Treatment for this condition can be aided by a change in diet and exercise routine. A severe artery blockage may require surgical intervention.
- Raynaud's syndrome Modifying your routine to include activities that keep you warm and relieve stress can make a difference.
- Diabetes Blood sugar levels can be controlled with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Medicines like insulin may be required in certain situations. Keeping your feet warm is one way to show them some TLC, which is essential.
- Eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) To treat this condition, you should see a doctor. Nutritional support and therapeutic interventions go hand in hand in most cases. Inpatient care may be necessary for those with severe anorexia.
- Insufficient body fat A nutritionist can help you create a strategy to gain weight by eating well and exercising regularly.
- Subpar blood flow Compression stockings and other aids may be helpful in addition to treating the underlying cause.
- Lack of Vitamin B12 In order to increase your B12 intake, you can either alter your diet or take a supplement.
- Problems with Medications The clinician or doctor who wrote the prescription can help you figure out whether you need a different drug or a lower dose.
- Dehydration Hydrating with water and an electrolyte-containing, low-sugar sports drink is what some doctors recommend. Intravenous (IV) fluids may be recommended if you are unable to keep oral fluids down.
It's smart to consult a doctor if your intolerance to cold persists despite your best self-care efforts.
More serious symptoms, such as those listed below, should prompt you to seek medical attention along with your persistent chills.
- feeling cold or hot in your hands and feet
- extreme weariness
- abnormally low body weight
If you're experiencing symptoms of diabetes, hypothyroidism, or anemia, you should see a doctor right away. If left untreated, these conditions can be quite dangerous.
If you experience any of the following, Hennis advises you to see a doctor right away:
- condition characterized by skin numbness
- intense discomfort in the limbs
Would the cold last forever? According to Hennis, the outlook for the ongoing cold will ultimately be determined by the initial event. Conditions like anemia and diabetes, for instance, can be managed with treatment but not a cure. If these factors contribute to your chilliness, you may continue to experience them intermittently.
On the other hand, there are situations in which treating chronic coldness is the more expedient option. It could be as easy as increasing your water intake or having your doctor adjust your dosage.
You can probably take some measures to keep warm, regardless of what's causing your discomfort.
- the practice of donning multiple garments
- Maintaining Hydration
- consulting a medical expert about any persistent signs of illness
It's possible that your low cold tolerance is to blame if you're constantly shivering. However, there are underlying health issues that can cause coldness, and many of these can be treated successfully.
If your cold intolerance doesn't improve, you should see a doctor, especially if you have other symptoms that could point to a more serious health problem.
As of the most recent checkup, on the 26th of January, 2022
Whenever there is new information in the health and wellness industry, our articles are updated.
Jan 26, 2022
Beth Ann Mayer and Erica Hersh
Clinically Assessed By
Doctor Avi Varma, Master of Public Health, American Association of HIV Specialists, Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians
Sally Emily Schalk
Mar 14, 2019
Clinically Assessed By
Elaine K Luo, MD
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