The Cause of Cold Sensation Throughout Body and What You Can Do About It

Cold sensation varies from person to person. Some might feel colder even at the normal temperature while others do not. Gender also plays an active role in cold sensation, like, women tend to feel colder than men. Certain parts of our body like, hands or feet may be affected by cold intolerance.

So, what is the cold sensation throughout body?


Normally, cold sensation is feeling cold or having a lower than normal body temperature. This may happen if you are in a cooler temperature or if you have a fever.

Here, I will be sharing the ins and outs of cold sensation throughout the body; So, without further delay, let’s dive right in.

What is Cold Sensation?

Cold sensation or feeling cold is a sensation of having a lower body temperature or of being colder than usual. You can feel cold even at the normal temperature in situations like having fevers or chills. Also, you can feel cold when the temperature in your body is unusually low (hypothermia).

cold-sensation-throughout-body

Apart from that, you may have cold sensations throughout the body in the winter season, when the temperature is extremely low outside. Sometimes it becomes intolerant to extremely low temperatures. Infections and anorexia might be other reasons behind cold sensations throughout the body.

Do Women Experience Coldness Differently than Men?

According to research, women generally feel colder or prefer higher temperatures than men. Research also notify that men’s preferred room temperature is 22°C while women like to have 25°C. 

Women have a slower resting metabolic rate than men. It means female needs less energy to metabolise food at a resting state than men. It can be a possible reason for more significant cold intolerance for females.

Reasons For a Persistent Feeling Cold

Feeling cold can be caused by a variety of factors, each of which can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms. Some symptoms may appear to be minor annoyances, but others may indicate the presence of a more serious underlying condition.

Possible reasons are as follows:

Hypothyroidism

When the thyroid gland produces insufficient thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism develops. These hormones aid in temperature and metabolism regulation. Our body’s processes slow down when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormones.

hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can become severe sometimes. There is no permanent cure. However, medication may help you manage and reduce your symptoms.

Hypothyroidism causes the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Feeling cold
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain

Doctors normally diagnose hypothyroidism through a simple blood test. Thyroid hormone replacement is frequently used as a treatment.

Anemia

In simple terms, anemia refers to a scarcity of healthy RBCs. In such cases, your body has a lack of oxygen supply, thus you feel cold. Anemia might develop when:

  • Your body can not produce enough red blood cells
  • Your body eliminates RBC
  • You have a lot of bleeding
anemia

Anemia can become acute, especially if it lasts for a long time. Symptoms indicating anemia include:

  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling cold in the hands or feet
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa, in simple terms, an eating disorder marked by a severe fear of gaining weight, as well as a distorted perception of one’s own weight. 

anorexia-nervosa

Some people with anorexia nervosa have unusually low body weight and they most of the time severely restrict food intake. But this eating disorder does not affect everyone.

Symptoms indicating anorexia nervosa include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry or yellow skin
  • Dry, brittle hair or nail
  • Poor wound healing
  • Fear of eating in public
  • Social isolation
  • Emotional and behavioural symptoms like an intense fear of weight gain, intense urge to exercise etc
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dehydration

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

This disease may cause your blood vessels to get narrow in cold. Normally, the blood vessels of your fingers and toes got narrowed causing less blood flow.

Your fingers and toes might become bluish or white in this condition. The fingers and toes may become red, numb, or painful as blood flow returns.

Raynaud’s disease affects the following people the most:

  • People living in a cold climate
  • Women
  • People over the age of 30
  • Those who have a family history of the disease

Poor Blood Circulation

Poor blood circulation indicates that your body has reduced blood circulation to your limbs. Many factors like diabetes and heart condition may affect blood circulation. Other factors include:

  • Limb pains
  • Muscle cramps
  • Numbness and tingling in limbs and extremities

Low Body Weight

A person is said to be low body weight when his BMI (Basal Metabolic Rate) is below 18.5. A person having low body weight has less fat to insulate him from losing heat. 

Your body fat may help to maintain a healthy body temperature. So, maintain a healthy diet to maintain proper BMI. Ensure that you are eating a balanced diet the way it should be.

Warming up

You can warm yourself up by adding another layer of clothing or wrapping yourself in a blanket. Apart from that, try the following techniques:

  • If you are sleep-deprived, try to go to bed earlier.
  • Try to relieve stress from your everyday life.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, whole grains, meat and vegetables.
  • Make sure you are having lots of fluids; warm water, tea or coffee might help warm yourself up. Try having foods containing a high concentration of water like melon and apple.
  • Take part in some physical activity. Exercises like yoga, walking and stretching can increase your blood circulation and thus keep you warmer.
  • Consult with a healthcare provider if you believe your medication is causing your cold. He might change the dose.

Symptoms Indicating Cold Sensation Throughout Body

A number of symptoms may occur with cold sensations. Symptoms might vary depending on what’s causing the cold.

Symptoms of cold sensation occurring with chills:

  • Fever
  • Shivering
  • Standing up hair
  • Goosebumps

Symptoms of cold sensation occurring with hypothermia:

  • Fatigue
  • Shivering
  • Low heart rate and respiration
  • Numbness
  • Skin becoming bluish
  • Confusion

Symptoms of cold sensation occurring with cold intolerance:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of hair
  • Constipation
  • Pale skin
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Breathing problem (Shortness of breath)
  • Brittle hair

Severe Symptoms that Could Indicate a Potentially Fatal Condition

Feeling cold may sometimes lead to life-threatening conditions. Catastrophes might happen in no time if you do not consult with doctors. If you  are experiencing any of the following life-threatening symptoms, seek medical help right away:

Diagnosis

Your doctor or healthcare professional might ask you some questions to understand your situation better. These include:

  • When did your symptoms start and what are the symptoms?
  • How is your overall health?
  • Are you taking any medication?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your cold sensitivity over time?
  • What type of diet plan do you follow?
  • Have you had a blood transfusion in the last few weeks?

They will probably do a physical exam as well. Initially, they might take height and body weight. They also may give a blood test to determine your:

When to See a Doctor?

If your cold intolerance persists despite your best efforts to treat it on your own, you should seek medical help. 

Frankly speaking, you should see a doctor if you have other symptoms in addition to a persistent cold, such as:

You might have an appointment with your doctor if you find symptoms like diabetes, hypothyroidism and anaemia.

FAQs

Question:  Why do I feel a cold sensation at random?

Answer:  Whenever you have decreased blood circulation, or have a blockage in blood circulation, you might feel cold. Poor blood flow is another reason behind it. 

Question: What does it signify when I feel cold yet it isn’t cold outside?

Answer: If you feel your feet are cold but it’s not actually cold to touch, you are facing this problem. Most of the time, it starts from your toes ending up in your legs. This might happen if you have an injury or other medical conditions that damage your nerves.

Question: Is feeling cold a symptom of Covid?

Answer: Yes, you might feel cold during Covid. Your body raises its internal temperature to fight against Covid since most viruses and bacteria can’t live at temperatures higher than body temperature. Your body has an internal set point and if you fall below it, you will feel chilly.

Question: Does sleep deprivation make me feel cold?

Answer: Yes, according to a study, lack of sleep may make you feel cold. It’s good to have an adequate amount of sleep to keep your body temperature regulated properly.

Bottom line

Some people are naturally colder than others, but this isn’t always a sign of a health problem. So, should I be worried about cold sensations throughout the body

Normally, it’s not a big concern. Have proper rest, maintain a healthy diet and try to sleep in time. You can also warm yourself up by doing exercises like yoga, walking or stretching.

If your cold intolerance doesn’t appear to be improving, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor.

Dr Umme Hurayra

Dr Umme Hurayra

Hi, I'm Umme Hurayra. I am currently studying MBBS in Mymensingh Medical College. Medical science is an incredible thing. I like to share my knowledge with everyone.

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