Feeling Cold: Causes and Symptoms of Feeling Cold all the Time

Many people go to their doctors with the complaint of feeling cold all the time. More often than not, this is not a standalone disease. Instead, it may be a symptom of an underlying condition causing the patient to feel cold. You can feel cold even when your body temperature is normal or even when you suffer from fever.

It may be normal to feel cold in a colder environment, like in a room with the air conditioner switched on. There are many causes for feeling cold. Some people are intolerant to cold. Their body is sensitive to the slightest cold. It is very difficult for their body to warm up easily. Such persons are usually anemic or suffering from thyroid disorder.

Causes of Always Feeling Cold and Treatment Options

Here are some causes why people would feel cold all the time,  along with some treatment options:

  1. Anemia
    • When you are suffering from anemia, the levels of oxygen carrying component in the blood, hemoglobin, goes down. Low hemoglobin level in the blood reduces its ability to carry oxygenated blood into the extremities, thus inducing a chill feeling in the toes and limbs.
    • If you are anemic, it is possible for you to feel cold than people sitting beside you in the same room.
    • Most often, it is iron deficiency anemia or Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia that is responsible for such feeling.
    • Correct the condition with appropriate medication and dietary modification to raise your hemoglobin levels. This will help your body temperature to be regulated and make it warmer.
  2. Hypoglycemia and Diabetic Hypoglycemia
    • Hypoglycemia is low sugar level in the blood. With hypoglycemia, the patient perspires profusely.
    • Coldness is usually accompanied by weakness and in severe forms, disorientation and syncope.
    • In diabetic hypoglycemia, the patient is either taking insulin or oral anti diabetic drugs.
    • Acute hypoglycemia can be addressed with small frequent meals that are high in fiber and carbohydrate.
  3. Hypothyroidism/Postpartum Hypothyroidism
    • A condition where there is a decrease in the production of thyroid hormone.
    • The feeling of coldness can be accompanied by unexplained weight gain, sluggishness, constant fatigue , constipation, generalized vague muscular pain, poor appetite and forgetfulness.
    • There is dryness of skin, coarse and dry hair and menstrual disorders when the patient is suffering from hypothyroidism.
    • A simple blood test, TSH, is sufficient to diagnose this problem. Hypothyroidism can be treated with supplementation of thyroid hormones.
  4. Low Body Weight: Feeling cold is common among thin individuals. This is because there is less of fat and muscle mass. Body fat act as insulation and keep the body warm. Muscle activities generate heat which keeps your body warm. If you have lost excess of body weight in recent times or you have always been thin, you may be sensitive to outside temperature that may be comfortable to most people around you.
  5. Peripheral Vascular Disease
    • In this condition, the arteries in the legs become narrow and there is marked reduction of blood flow especially in the hands and toes. Most often, a person suffering from atherosclerosis or a chronic smoker is susceptible to peripheral vascular disease. However, old age and other contributory factors also play an important role in PVD.
    • Treatment involves dietary and lifestyle changes to improve blood flow. Besides, medications to control blood pressure and increased cholesterol will provide additional relief.
  6. Chronic Diseases: A person suffering from tuberculosis and other infections can feel cold and chilly. In recurrent UTI (urinary tract infection), the patient may feel cold throughout the day. There many be other associated symptoms, such as burning sensation while urinating, vomiting and pain in lower abdomen.
  7. Fasting or Skipping Meals: You may also feel cold if you skip your meals often or fast frequently. When your calorie intake is reduced, the body tries to retain energy. This produces less body heat, thus dropping your body temperature. You will feel cold at night.
  8. Vitamin B Complex Deficiency: This is known to cause feeling of internal coldness. You internal body temperature dips.
  9. In addition to the above, coldness may also be a symptom of the following conditions:
    • Nerve Problems as a result of diabetic neuropathy can cause tingling and numbness, together with a cold feeling all the time.
    • Cardiac Issues : In a person suffering from pericarditis, inflammation of the outer lining of the heart may have a constant feeling of coldness. It is most often due to infective pathology and tuberculosis is most probable cause.
    • Body Temperature Problems.
    • Constant body pain can also be a cause  of coldness symptom together with Diaphoresis and paleness.
    • Anxiety, panic attack and constant can be a cause for feeling cold.
    • Certain medications, especially those prescribed for hypertension, angina, or for migraine can cause a cold feeling. This is because the beta blockers used in these conditions may reduce the circulation in the extremities while increasing blood circulation to the heart.

11 thoughts on “Feeling Cold: Causes and Symptoms of Feeling Cold all the Time

  • October 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve been feeling freezing cold all the time, I live in Canada but it’s usually when I’m inside that I get these really bad chills. I do not have any diseases, I’m at a healthy weight and I eat regular meals. I’m not really sure why this has been happening.

    • February 6, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Canada is a cold place. One of the causes may be related to atmospheric changes that occur. However, there are many other causes where a person feels cold all the time and his body temperature remains below normal. Patient may feel cold in thyroid disorder, anemia, malnourishment, low blood sugar in diabetics, several neurological problems, infections such as tuberculosis etc. You should check your blood for thyroid hormones. Also check your blood for anemia. If all is normal, eating or drinking ginger, garlic, onion will help in alleviating cold feeling. You can consult your doctor.


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