Your thyroid gland may not function well.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormone, and it may lead to cold intolerance. The thyroid hormones help to regulate metabolism and temperature, and when we lack them, we start feeling cold all the time. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue and a low heart rate.
How to fix it: Visit a doctor. A medical examination can help to find out whether you’ve got the necessary amount of thyroid hormones in your body.
You may not be drinking enough water.
Water boosts your metabolism, helping your body to break down food and create energy and heat. If you’re dehydrated you may lack that heat and energy that will warm up your body.
How to fix it: Make sure you’re drinking enough water. If you’re not a fan of clear water and find it tasteless, there’s a number of ways to add flavor to it: lemon, mint, basil, cucumber, and anything else you can think of.
You may have anemia.
Anemia is another medical condition that can make you feel cold in your hands and feet. Anemia occurs when your body lacks the red blood cells that deliver oxygen to your organs and tissues. There is iron-deficiency anemia that occurs during pregnancy, menstruation, or blood loss or due to poor iron absorption, and vitamin-deficiency anemia caused by poor nutrition. Other symptoms of anemia include pale skin, increased heart rate, fatigue, and headaches.
How to fix it: If you suspect you might have anemia, you need to see your doctor and have the necessary tests done.
You may not be getting enough sleep.
Good sleep is extremely important for regulating body temperature, so, if you keep shivering from cold, the reason may be quite simple.
How to fix it: Reconsider your daily schedule and make sure there is enough time for sleep so you can recharge your batteries.
This may be Raynaud’s Phenomenon.
Raynaud’s Phenomenon, or simply Raynaud’s, is easy to recognize: it makes your fingers or toes turn white or blue. It is a rare disorder that affects the arteries, reducing the blood flow to fingers and toes and making them feel cold. During the onset, when the blood flow is reduced, fingers and toes become pale or blue, and as blood returns they become red again and start feeling numb or painful.
How to fix it: Visit a doctor. Raynaud’s may be triggered by cold temperature, stress, contact with some chemicals, and other factors. The treatment includes medicines, surgery, and lifestyle changes that help to eliminate the triggers.
In the picture above, the right hand belongs to a person with Raynaud’s.
You may be too thin.
When you’re underweight you just don’t have enough body fat to insulate you from the cold. If you are losing weight on purpose and cutting down on calories or simply not eating enough, this may break your metabolism and affect your temperature regulation.
How to fix it: Consider eating a healthy and balanced diet that suits your age and health condition.
You may have poor blood circulation.
Peripheral artery disease may cause arteries to fail at delivering blood to organs and tissues, making us feel cold. When plaque accumulates in the arteries (atherosclerosis) it makes arteries narrower, affecting the blood flow to hands and feet, causing coldness and numbness.
How to fix it: Visit a doctor. The treatment for peripheral artery disease includes lifestyle changes (like quitting smoking, for example) and medical treatment, including surgery in some cases.
As you can see, feeling cold all the time may have several underlying medical conditions, and seeing a doctor is the best option. While you’re waiting for your visit, here are a few tips on how to warm up your body:
A curious fact: Women feel colder than men.
Studies have shown that women tend to feel colder than men, and that a comfortable room temperature for women is 77°F, while for men it is 71.6°F. Science has several explanations for this phenomenon. Estrogen, the female hormone, slightly thickens the blood, which can result in reduced blood flow to the capillaries. The metabolism rate can also play a role: women tend to have a lower metabolic rate than men, burning less calories to warm up their bodies. So, if you’re a man and you notice your female partner secretly turns on the heat every now and then, you know why.