If it seems as if you’re always shivering like a wet puppy, while everyone is comfortably toasty, there may be a physical problem. In comparison with men, women tend to have a greater susceptibility to the cold, due to their physiology. However, feeling like a “popsicle” most of the time definitely is not normal. There is likely an underlying cause, which should not be ignored.
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
The human body consists of approximately 60% water. The body needs to be properly hydrated to efficiently regulate body temperature. When you’re drinking enough water, heat is trapped and slowly released, keeping your body temperature properly regulated. In addition to this regulation process, water helps power your metabolism. Dehydration throws a “monkey wrench” in the process; less water consumed means a slower metabolism, which, in turn, equals less body heat.
Has Your Thyroid Gone Haywire?
One of the main signs of hypothyroidism, or a sluggish thyroid, is feeling cold all the time. When this small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck does not secrete enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism slows down, preventing your body from producing enough heat. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, dry skin, and thinning hair. Make sure to visit your doctor to check out your thyroid for any potential problems.
Your body, along with your red blood cells, needs iron. This mineral is crucial in helping red blood cells oxygenate the body, carrying heat and nutrients to every cell throughout. When you’re deficient in iron, this process is hampered. Iron is also critical for keeping your thyroid in check and avoiding hypothyroidism. Be your own health hero and boost your iron intake through a healthy diet that includes leafy greens – especially spinach, meat, seafood, and eggs.
Do You Have Diabetes?
Unchecked diabetes often leads to peripheral nephropathy – an attack on the nervous system that damages the nerves leading to uncomfortable, prickly “pins-and-needles” sensations in the hands and feet, along with pain and numbness. The same nerves damaged by diabetic nephropathy are the ones responsible for sending messages to your brain regarding temperature. This is one reason those suffering from a constant cold complaint, especially about cold feet and hands. Since the onset of peripheral nephropathy is gradual, you may not realize it is the culprit behind the coldness. Make sure you see your doctor, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms of diabetes, which include frequent urination, feeling fatigued, or increased thirst.
Are You Getting Enough Vitamin B12?
Getting enough vitamin B12 plays a major role in warding off the chills. This nutrient, found only in animal products, is vital for making red blood cells. A deficiency in this vitamin causes a low red blood cell count, resulting in anemia. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, it is especially important to make sure you are supplementing with healthy sources of vitamin B12 to prevent this problem. Additionally, low levels of vitamin B12 can be triggered by malabsorption. So if you are getting a lot of B12 from your diet and you are still always cold, be sure to ask your doctor for a vitamin B12 test to rule out malabsorption as a cause.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for overall health
- Constantly feeling cold could result from inadequate nutrition
- Drinking enough water daily is essential for regulating body temperature
- Exercise along with a healthy diet combats health issues
- Consult your doctor to definitively diagnose the cause of your chilliness
About Dr. Nandi
Partha Nandi is a passionate advocate of a healthy lifestyle, and firmly believes you should be your own #healthhero. The internationally syndicated medical lifestyle television show, Ask Dr. Nandi, was born of this passion.