Take a moment to touch your hands or your toes. How do they feel? If you haven’t doused your fingers in ice water recently, they should be relatively warm. But what if they still feel cold?
If you find yourself stuffing your hands inside pockets to stay warm, you might have an underlying health condition.
1. Lack of iron
Iron is an essential mineral the body requires to transport oxygenated red blood cells throughout the body. Oxygen-rich blood moving around the body is like gasoline in a car. When there is no gas, the car cannot turn on nor warm up. Well, when oxygenated red blood cells can’t reach parts of our body it cannot heat up or carry nutrients to where they are needed.
Iron deficiency is most commonly seen in women, but men can experience it as well. To know for sure if your levels are low, a simple blood test can be taken by your doctor. Depending on your levels, your doctor may recommend simply eating more iron-rich foods or taking iron supplements.
Other symptoms of low iron include fatigue, weakness, headaches, dizziness and chest pains.
2. Poor circulation
Circulating blood is another way our body creates heat. If your circulation is poor, your torso might still feel warm, but your fingers and toes are typically cold. This is because the blood is having a hard time reaching your extremities.
There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation. From cardiovascular disease, to Raynaud’s Disease, it’s important to pinpoint the exact cause. Raynaud’s Disease in particular is caused by reduced blood flow, so you not only feel cold, but your fingers and toes might turn a different color altogether.
Lifestyle choices like smoking can also narrow blood vessels, which causes your fingers and toes to stay cold. If you are a smoker, it’s a good idea to quit. If you don’t smoke, seeing a doctor can help better diagnose an underlining health issue that might be the cause for your poor circulation.
Diabetes has many symptoms including feeling cold. If you’re managing your diabetes properly, you probably won’t feel cold, but improper care can have you shivering.
Unmanaged diabetes can cause peripheral nephropathy – a condition that attacks nerves in the hands and feet. Numbness, pain and even feeling cold are all symptoms of this condition. Because it progresses over time, you might be contributing to lasting effects without even knowing it. This is why it’s so important to prevent, or properly manage diabetes.
The human body is 60 percent water and that fluid is necessary to regulate temperature. When hydrated, your body stores heat and releases it slowly. When you’re dehydrated your body becomes more sensitive to temperature changes, leaving you feeling cold.
Water is also essential for our metabolism. When our metabolism is working smoothly it creates heat keeping us warm. A sluggish metabolism, on the other hand, will leave us feeling cold. Ensure you’re consuming at least eight glasses of water a day. This will help to better regulate your body temperature.
These are just some of the reasons why you’re left feeling cold. Some conditions can be more serious than others, so examine lifestyle habits and check in with your doctor to understand the real cause of why you’re always cold.
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