15 Medical Reasons Why You’re Always Cold
It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings you can deal with. No matter what you do, you just can’t stop feeling cold. Maybe it’s icy fingers, maybe it’s cold prickly feet. As it turns out, there are many reasons why your extremities may constantly feel like they’re stuck in the winter months. Here are 15 reasons for why you’re always cold.
WebMD explains anemia occurs when you don’t have enough red blood cells to transport the oxygen your body needs. “It will leave you tired, weak, dizzy, and short of breath,” they say. “It can also make you cold, especially your hands and feet. Your doctor will find the cause and tell you if you need changes in your diet, supplements, or another treatment.”
Next: Speaking of diet, this next ailment can also make you cold …
You may not think cutting calories out of your diet can have such a profound impact on your body temperature. In fact, cutting fat and certain essentials out of your diet — more on those in just a second — can leave you feeling cold. And if you’re drastically cutting calories by withholding from eating, you’ll likely be left with a serious case of the chills.
Next: Back to those essential nutrients …
3. A lack of iron
This condition can go hand-in-hand with anemia. If you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet, your blood can’t carry it to the rest of the body. “Coldness in extremities—hands and feet—is most pronounced, because the body is smart, so it diverts blood to vital organs like the heart and brain first,” registered dietitian nutritionist Alyssa Tucci, MS, tells Reader’s Digest. Getting enough meat and fish in your diet can help alieve those cold feelings.
Next: On a similar note …
4. A lack of vitamin B12
Lacking iron isn’t the only deficiency that can leave you feeling cold. In fact, vitamin B12 deficiency has similar symptoms. “Like iron, most B12-rich foods are animal products, so vegetarians might have a tough time getting enough,” Reader’s Digest says of this nutrient, which can be found in eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
Next: A glass for your health …
Tucci goes on to tell Reader’s Digest drinking water helps blood circulation. So if you’re getting enough nutrients and still have cold feelings in your hands and feet, drinking more water can help. Reader’s Digest recommends drinking half your body weight in fluid ounces.
Next: Your condition could potentially be a bit worse …
When your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, you can suffer from all sorts of problems. One of which is — surprise, surprise — having cold extremities. ” It can make you overly sensitive to cold,” WebMD says. “You also may have aching joints, constipation, dry skin, and weight gain.” This condition is also quite sneaky in that it can take years before symptoms occur.
Next: This next one may not surprise you …
7. The flu
We’ve all been there. You suddenly become hot to the touch, yet you can’t stop shivering. That perpetual cold feeling is just one of the many symptoms associated with getting the flu. “You can get a high fever and chills along with headache, muscle ache, cough, and weakness,” WebMD summarizes. “It can be serious, especially for children and older adults.”
Next: Be mindful of the medicine cabinet …
8. Certain medications
“Some drugs may make you feel colder as a side effect,” WebMD tells us, pointing to beta-blockers one medication this can commonly happen with. In this case, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms while on certain medications.
Next: Yep, this can make you feel cold too …
9. Drinking too much alcohol
We aren’t just talking about your beer being chilled here. “It may seem to warm you up at first because it makes your blood flood the widened blood vessels just under the skin. But your temperature will drop as your body draws blood away from your core to warm the surface of your skin,” WebMD says. They also point out that alcohol inhibits brain function, and makes it less able to properly regulate body temperature.
Next: Who knew getting Zs affects your body temp?
10. A lack of sleep
Reader’s Digest admits there are mixed results in research connecting fatigue and body temperature. They do point out, however, that since body temperature typically drops at night when you’re sleeping, staying up late and being sleep-deprived can mess with your body’s rhythm and cause you to feel cold.
Next: It may be rare, but it can still be a factor …
11. Raynaud’s syndrome phenomenon
In more rare cases, someone suffering from constant cold may also have Raynaud’s syndrome phenomenon, which causes arterial spasms in the hands, feet, and even the face. “When exposed to cold, the spasm makes circulation to those areas worse, and they tend to feel colder,” Margarita Rohr, MD, tells Reader’s Digest.
Next: You may not have known this condition could have this effect …
12. Type II diabetes
Diabetes is linked to anemia and poor blood circulation, which can, in turn, leave you feeling chilly. “A warning sign for this could be if your feet feel cold but aren’t cold to the touch,” AARP tells us. The cold feeling in your hands and feet can manifest into a numb, tingling, or even painful sensation.
Next: Which can then lead to …
13. Kidney disease
Both diabetes and high blood pressure can wreak havoc on your kidneys, WebMD says. “Waste may build up to dangerous levels because your kidneys do a poor job of filtering your blood. This can lower body temperature and cause other problems,” they explain.
Next: Something to maybe ask your doctor about …
14. Peripheral Artery disease
This condition occurs when your arteries are too full of plaque to allow blood to properly flow through your body. This can cause a cold feeling so profound it can border on pain. “If one leg is much colder than the other, especially if it’s also painful, numb, or weak, it could be a sign of the disease,” WebMD says.
Next: Last but not least …
15. Peripheral neuropathy
If you’ve experienced an accident that leaves you with nerve damage, this condition can occur — and drive your bodily thermometer bananas. “If your feet feel cold but aren’t cold to the touch, it could be a sign of this condition,” WebMD says. It often starts at the toes and moves up the leg. It happens when an injury or a medical condition damages your nerves.”
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