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Why am I ALWAYS cold? The 7 health problems that could be to blame

WE’VE all got that one friend or family member who always complains that they are cold.

It can be the height of summer and they are sporting a jumper and have their heating on the maximum setting.

Getty
If you always feel the cold despite being wrapped up in warm clothes – then it could be an indicator of an underlying health issue[/caption]

But experts say that there is a reason that some people feel the chill more than others.

Researchers in Israel previously discovered that women are more prone to feeling frosty then their male counterparts.

Dr Eran Levin, of Tel Aviv University, said: “Men and women feel temperature differently.

“This difference in thermal sensation did not come about so that we could argue with our partners over the air conditioning, but rather the opposite.

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“From an evolutionary point of view, it is meant to make a couple take some distance from each other so that each individual can enjoy some peace and quiet.

“Our study has shown that the phenomenon is not unique to humans – among many species of birds and mammals, females prefer a warmer environment than males, and at certain times these preferences cause segregation between the two sexes.”

While this seems like a practical reason for you needing to put on extra layers, medics say feeling cold all the time could also reveal underlying health issues.

Here we take a look at the seven conditions that could be to blame.

1. Raynaud’s

The NHS says that Raynaud’s is a common condition and in most cases, it doesn’t cause severe issues.

Medics state that the illness affects your circulation which means that blood doesn’t pump around your body at the same rate as others and therefore you struggle to stay warm.

Some people will have paler fingertips while others’ skin may turn blue.

But experts say there are things you can do to help the condition and this includes keeping your home warm and wearing warm clothes in cold weather – especially on your hands and feet.

The gurus state that you should also exercise regularly as this improves circulation and try breathing exercises or yoga to help you relax.

2. Hyperthyroidism

Writing in The Conversation, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre at Lancaster University, Adam Taylor said another condition that could be making you chilly is hyperthyroidism.

This is also more commonly known as an underactive thyroid.

It affects the thyroid gland in your neck and stops it producing enough of the hormones that help maintain energy levels as well as skin, weight and internal temperature.

This condition is usually treated with synthetic hormones.

3. Hormonal issues

Hormones involved in the menstrual cycle can influence a woman’s body temperature.

Prof Taylor says that before ovulation, temperatures average 35.9C, then peak at 36.7C a few days after.

He said: “A number of sex hormones interact with the system that regulates our temperature.

“For example, oestrogen increases vasodilation, a widening of blood vessels, which helps reduce body temperature – whereas progesterone tends to cause warmer body temperatures.”

He also said that synthetic progesterone, which is found in oral contraceptives causes prolonged elevation of body temperature.

“While higher testosterone levels in men don’t appear to change the temperature of the body, it appears it may cause men to feel the cold less by desensitising one of the receptors that detects cold”, he added.

4. Arteriosclerosis

Prof Taylor said that conditions that narrow the blood vessels could be the reason you’re always cold.

He said Arteriosclerosis – which is the result of a buildup of plaque is one cause of feeling cold.

“There are different types of this condition, but the one that most commonly causes a cold feeling is peripheral artery disease, where arteries supplying blood to your limbs are narrowed.

“The blood maintains our limbs’ tissues by providing them with nutrients that enable them to continue functioning and generating heat – which is why people with the condition may constantly feel cold.”

5. Diabetes

Diabetes affects almost five million Brits in the UK, and many more are at risk.

It can take a little while to get a diagnosis if you are not aware of the symptoms, or if they are subtle.

The key signs include more frequent trips to the toilet, excessive thirst and tiredness.

Feeling cold is also a rarer sign of the condition – of which type 2 is the most common.

Dr Peter Bidey, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine previously explained: “When you have diabetes, it can affect your kidneys, your circulatory system and things along those lines, which could be why you’re having feelings of cold,” 

Kidney problems can trigger anaemia, which comes with cold sensitivity, and diabetes can cause nerve damage, giving you cold feet.

6. Anaemia

We get iron from our diet, in foods including meat, dark leafy vegetables and pulses. 

When someone is low in iron, they may suffer iron deficiency anaemia, which is when your body can’t produce enough healthy red blood cells.

This can leave you with cold hands and feet – but the more obvious signs are shortness of breath and tiredness.

Iron deficiency should be treated by your GP, so book an appointment if you think you have symptoms, which also includes pale skin, weakness and heart palpitations.

7. Heart or circulatory condition

Many people suffer with a heart or circulatory condition, but some will be undiagnosed.

Cold feet might be a sign of an overlooked but serious condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD).

It occurs when a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricts blood flow to the legs.

“You’re a little more prone to have a decrease in the blood flow to certain areas,” Dr Bidey previously told GoodHouseKeeping and this creates coldness, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet or legs.

The NHS says people can mistake leg pain as part of getting older, but should talk about it with their GP.

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One of the most severe complications of PAD is critical limb ischaemia, which is when there is a severe lack of blood in the legs that they are at risk of gangrene.

This would require an urgent visit to the GP.









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