Why You’re Always Cold

cold temperatures

Do your hands and feet feel cold regularly? Or do you wear several layers year-round just to keep warm? Guess what, you’re not alone. Many Americans, both men and women, have these same experiences.

Review seven of 10 common reasons why you may feel cold constantly.

1. Thyroid inefficiency – This butterfly-shaped neck gland is designed to produce hormones to regulate metabolism. If it’s not doing its job, your body may not produce adequate heat. About 4.5 percent of Americans have this condition, called hypothyroidism. Common signs of the condition are thinning hair, dry skin and fatigue.

2. Iron deficiency – Iron is a vital mineral that assists red blood cells in carrying oxygen through the body, providing heat and nutrients to cells. Without proper amounts of iron, red blood cells can’t work effectively. This causes your body
to shiver.

3. Circulation problems – If you have cold hands and feet, but the rest of your body is warm, the blood may not be circulating efficiently throughout your body. A contributing factor may be cardiovascular disease or blocked arteries, which prevent the heart from pumping blood properly.

4. Raynaud’s disease – For some people, when the body senses cold, the blood vessels in their hands and feet narrow temporarily, causing these extremities to become cold. Medications are available to treat this condition, so see your doctor for more information.

5. Sleep deprivation – Insufficient sleep due to stress or anxiety can throw off the brain’s mechanism that regulates body temperature. Lack of sleep and fatigue also may affect metabolism, slowing circulation and heat production.

6. Dehydration – If not properly hydrated, the body may be more aware of extreme temperature changes. However, when the body is well-hydrated, water traps heat and slowly releases it, keeping your body’s temperature and
metabolism consistent.

7. Vitamin B12 deficiency – Vital to the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia and lead to chronic coldness. Keep B12 levels high by eating lean meat, fish and dairy products. If you’re getting enough vitamin B12, but you’re always cold, ask your doctor to check whether your body is absorbing it properly.