The doctor names 5 possible reasons why you are constantly cold

The central link that regulates whether we are cold or hot is a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. If your internal temperature gets too low or too high, it sends signals to your muscles, organs, glands, and nervous system.

The hypothalamus controls two organs of the endocrine system on which the thermoregulation process also depends, the thyroid gland and the adrenal glands.

Disturbances in the work of these organs can give a breakdown in heat production. But there are other conditions in which a person is constantly freezing, despite the fact that the ambient temperature is normal. Let’s look into why you may be cold and how it can be useful


The connection between body temperature and the thyroid gland is well known. When the ambient temperature drops, the thyroid gland produces more hormones to speed up metabolism and heat production.

There is such a thing as Wilson’s syndrome, where hypothyroidism is diagnosed based on low body temperature and nonspecific symptoms, despite normal test scores. But the American Thyroid Association does not recognize this syndrome.

When the thyroid gland is not functioning, not enough hormones are released, and, as a consequence, heat production is impaired, the average body temperature drops below 36.6°C, and a person becomes sensitive to cold.

The non-specific symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • increased fatigue;
  • lack of vigor;
  • loss of hair;
  • pronounced dryness of the skin;
  • tendency to constipation;
  • weight gain;
  • edema;
  • decreased sex drive;
  • painful or irregular menstrual cycle.

Iron deficiency, B9- and B12-dependent anemia

Iron is part of hemoglobin, which delivers oxygen to all body tissues. It helps store and produce heat. When iron deficiency occurs, hemoglobin levels decrease and tissues do not get enough oxygen, which can cause cold intolerance.

Snow, Winter, Mountain Climbing, Fur Hat, Snowflake, full beard

Studies have been done confirming that the lower the level of iron in the body, the more the ability to regulate heat decreases.

Other types of anemia, such as B12- and B9-dependent anemia, can also lead to constant chills, due to decreased hemoglobin and insufficient oxygenation of tissues.

Symptoms of anemia:

  • constant fatigue, weakness;
  • pallor of the skin;
  • abnormalities in the heart;
  • dizziness, headaches;
  • pain in the chest;
  • cold hands and feet.

To diagnose anemia, it is necessary to take a general blood test.

Peripheral vascular disease

Increased chills are often noted when blood does not flow to the tissues because of damage in the vascular bed. A characteristic symptom in such a case is cold hands and feet.

Conditions that cause impaired blood flow:

  • blood clotting disorders;
  • arteriosclerosis (narrowing of the blood vessels);
  • raynaud’s disease (spasms in the arteries of the fingers and toes).

In addition to chills, these patients may experience pain, tingling, numbness in the extremities, a bluish or pale shade of skin in the fingers and toes.

Diabetes mellitus

This disease is accompanied by various changes in metabolic, cardiovascular and nervous functions.

One of the pathological conditions in diabetes mellitus is neuropathy, the malfunction of one or many nerves. Normally, when the ambient temperature drops, blood vessels narrow and blood flow decreases, so the body tries to keep warm. In diabetic neuropathy, this mechanism is disrupted, and there is a constant feeling of cold.

Blood glucose, insulin, and glycated hemoglobin must be tested to diagnose diabetes.


This is an eating disorder in which there is a refusal to eat due to psychological or physical reasons. In people suffering from anorexia, all metabolic processes are slowed down and the amount of fat and muscle tissue is reduced. Under such conditions, the body cannot produce enough heat and retain it. Body temperature tends to decrease in people with this pathology, which leads to high sensitivity to fluctuations in the ambient temperature.

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