Cold intolerance is
when you are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. Cold intolerance is more
severe than the normal feeling of chilliness when you are outdoors on a cool
are prone to feeling cold, especially those who have chronic health problems or
little body fat. If you have cold intolerance, you will likely find yourself
complaining of cold when others around you are comfortable or even too warm. Simply
adding extra layers of clothing may not relieve it. It’s also possible to
experience sensitivity to cold in certain parts of your body, such as your
doctor for an evaluation if you have no history of cold intolerance and the
problem of feeling cold persists. Your treatment will depend on your diagnosis.
What Causes Cold
Your body temperature is regulated by several different systems. A part of the brain called the
hypothalamus acts as the body’s thermostat to regulate the body temperature. It
sends messages that regulate heat production or ways to cool down to the body. It
directs the thyroid gland to increase or decrease the metabolism. The thyroid
is a crucial part and has to be functioning properly to burn calories in the
body to create heat and fuel. Your blood flow,
which helps spread the heat, and body fat, which helps to maintain it, are also
important. Cold intolerance can be the result of problems with one or a
combination of these processes.
intolerance could be due to poor overall health or it could be a symptom of a
variety of health conditions, including:
a lack of healthy red blood cells
an eating disorder leading to loss of body fat
the thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones
vessel (vascular) problems, including Raynaud’s syndrome
of the hypothalamus: an area of the brain that produces hormones that control
a condition causing body-wide pain and discomfort
has been previously injured, such as by frostbite, may remain sensitive to cold
even after the injury has healed.
Diagnosing Cold Intolerance
If this is a
new symptom, and it’s not getting better, you should make an appointment for a
complete medical examination. Your doctor will take a medical history and ask
you some questions, including:
you have any previously diagnosed conditions?
you take prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements?
did you begin to have cold intolerance?
your symptoms getting worse?
there times you complain of being cold when others around you do not?
you have any other symptoms?
you eating well and exercising regularly?
the outcome of a physical exam, your doctor may order additional tests,
including blood tests and hormone level tests to determine if you have any
Treatment for Cold
intolerance is not an illness, it’s a symptom of an underlying condition. Your
treatment will depend entirely on the diagnosis you receive from your doctor. Causes
of cold intolerance that you may be treated for include:
If you have
anemia, treatment will be based on the cause of the anemia. This may include
taking iron supplements.
anorexia is a long-term process. Medications may be used to address specific
symptoms. The support of a complete medical team, including nutrition and
healthy lifestyle experts, is generally needed. It’s also recommended that you
work with psychological counselors and support groups.
is treated with oral synthetic hormones that are taken daily. Treatment is
usually lifelong, but dosages may be adjusted from time to time.
problems can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the cause. Surgery
and medication may be used in severe cases.
Disorders of the Hypothalamus
the hypothalamus will be treated based on the specific cause. Treatment
includes surgery or radiation for tumors, hormone replacement, or procedures to
stop bleeding or infection.
for fibromyalgia is generally targeted toward relieving your symptoms. Options
include medications for pain, physical therapy, and cognitive behavioral
therapy. Support groups are recommended.
What Is the Outlook for
suffer from cold intolerance, make sure to dress appropriately during cold
weather. Wear warm layers and keep those areas that are most sensitive covered
up to prevent cold exposure. On extremely cold days try and stay inside as much
as possible. If you think that you could be suffering from cold intolerance or
another medical condition, call your doctor. Your doctor can figure out if you
have an underlying medical problem and begin treatment.