London: It’s normal to feel unpleasantly cold when you go outside in the depths of winter or if your office has an aggressive AC. But if you’re feeling cold all the time for seemingly no reason, you might wonder if it’s a sign that something could be up with your body. Although sensitivity to cold isn’t something that should be a medical concern or something to worry about, there can be an underlying health condition that can make you feel incessantly cold.
1. Your body happens to run cold. “There are some people who just feel cold all the time,” Neha Vyas, M.D, a family physician at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF. This quality, which doctors often call cold intolerance, is usually not a sign of something serious by itself. It’s true that certain health conditions can cause cold intolerance, and we’ll delve into the usual suspects below.
How to Keep Warm in Winter
However, in those cases, there is typically a host of other more noticeable symptoms that will catch your attention first, Dr. Besson explains.
That being said, it’s still worth getting checked out if you’re cold all the time but don’t feel like anything else is amiss, Dr. Besson says. Your doctor will likely look at your medical records and ask about how often you’re cold, along with teasing out any other symptoms you may not have noticed, Dr. Vyas says. That can help determine what kind of testing might be necessary to land on a diagnosis if any.
2. You have hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid does not produce sufficient levels of the hormones that properly regulate your metabolism, which in turn slows down, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can happen for various reasons, the most common being Hashimoto’s disease, which prompts your immune system to attack your thyroid, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking a daily dose of a synthetic replacement for thyroid hormone called levothyroxine, the NIDDK explains. You’ll also need ongoing blood tests to ensure your hormone levels are up to par once you start treatment, so it may take some time to find the right dose for you.
3. You have anemia.
Anemia is a blood disorder that happens when you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body, according to the American Society of Hematology. This can be the result of your body making too few red blood cells, destroying too many red blood cells, or losing too much blood for some reason, the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains.
4. You have Raynaud’s disease.
Raynaud’s disease is a condition that causes your extremities to become cold, discolored (like red or blue), numb, and even painful when you’re in cold temperatures or stressed out. “It happens because your blood vessels are constricting,” Dr. Besson explains.
Raynaud’s, which typically affects the fingers and toes most but can also occur in the nose, lips, ears, and nipples, does not cause a general chill all the time. “Normally, people with Raynaud’s only get the symptoms if they go outside and it’s cold,” Dr. Besson says. “It’s actually a normal response for your blood vessels to [constrict] in the cold, but this is an exaggerated response.”
5. You have anxiety or panic attacks.
Anxiety is more often associated with feeling sweaty than feeling cold, but sometimes it can cause a chilly feeling as well. “When people are very anxious, their hands can feel cold and clammy,” Dr. Besson says. And if you have panic attacks, you might experience full-body chills, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). These sensations are all due to that stress-induced fight-or-flight response that skews your body’s normal functioning so you can escape or combat a threat. Source: Self.com