Home / Wellness / Always feeling cold? 6 health conditions that may be the reason why

Always feeling cold? 6 health conditions that may be the reason why

Woman wrapped in a scarf, adjusting the thermostat - Always cold
See your doctor if you’re always cold while others feel warm or comfortable.

You’re bound to feel cold sometimes when there’s a chill in the air. But if you can’t get warm, even when bundled in warm clothes or indoors with the heater on, your problem may not be related to the weather.

“Healthy bodies can regulate temperature in cold environments for about an hour,” said Dr. Eseoghene Abokede, a Marshfield Clinic Health System family medicine physician. “If I step into the cold weather outside without warm clothing, my body’s internal temperature regulators should receive signals and work to generate heat. One heat-generating mechanism leads to shivering.”

If your body doesn’t try to maintain core body temperature after spending time in the cold, or you consistently feel cold when others are warm, then it’s time to talk to your doctor.

6 reasons why you’re always cold

1. Hypothyroidism

“This is one of the most common reasons people always feel cold,” Abokede said. “The thyroid drives metabolism. With a low-functioning thyroid gland, metabolism is slowed and the body can’t generate an adequate amount of heat to maintain core body temperature.”

2. Anemia

Anemia means you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen, heat and nutrients across the body. When hemoglobin is low, heat transfer is affected.

3. Poor circulation

Underlying arterial disease could be causing inadequate blood circulation, making it hard to maintain core body temperature, especially in your extremities. Smoking affects temperature regulation in a similar way by causing blood vessels to constrict.

4. Raynaud’s phenomenon

“Raynaud’s phenomenon is a medical condition that works by a similar mechanism to smoking,” Abokede said. “Blood vessels, especially those in the extremities, tend to constrict when the skin receptors sense cold. The feeling is most noticeable in your hands and feet.”

5. Diabetes

Poor diabetes control causes nerve damage, or neuropathy, which impairs the body’s temperature regulators.

6. Dehydration

Water drives your metabolism by helping break down food, which creates energy and heat. Not enough water slows your metabolism and prevents your body from making enough energy to keep you warm.

Your doctor can check your vitals and order certain blood tests to check for these and other medical conditions that may cause you to feel cold.

Tips for getting warm and staying safe

Take steps to retain body heat if you frequently feel cold. Wear layered clothing. Inner layers of wool and polypropylene fabric are known for good heat retention. Wearing a hat and gloves also helps retain heat. Stay hydrated with warm beverages like tea and hot chocolate. These steps may help you feel comfortable, at least temporarily.

Be careful spending time outdoors in cold weather if you’re always cold and don’t know the underlying cause.

“You’re more likely to become incapacitated than a healthy individual because your body isn’t producing enough heat or you can’t tolerate cold,” Abokede said. “People who know they have medical conditions that make them feel cold can take precautions to be safe while enjoying winter activities.”

For questions about always being cold, talk to a Marshfield Clinic Health System provider.

Schedule appointment Message your provider

33 responses to “Always feeling cold? 6 health conditions that may be the reason why”

  1. Nancy

    My sister is cold when we want to use the cooler and are warm. She's been this way since she had pneumonia a decade ago. She won't go to the doctor, but may be she shall if I tell her about the various conditions that can lead to this. We are middle-aged.

  2. Adrienne

    I am always cold, but not my face except my nose. My skin feels cold and seems weird, but it feels like inside (my blood?) feels cold. I have always been cold since childhood. As an adult, I got 5th disease where my hands and feet were very red and felt burned. When that went away, there must have been some damage because now when my hands are exposed to the cold, they get red instantly then bypass cold and go straight to extreme pain. Back to always being cold. When I was young, I had to take thyroid meds for a short while. Today as adult, always cold-use heating pad every evening, bundled up, lots of blankets and heating blankets.. Sometimes, I have to blow dry my skin on a warm setting to get immediate comfort. When I just can't get warm, I have to take a hot shower, stay in it for awhile till I warm up then get dressed quickly to keep the warmth in. I never get hot or sweaty. If I am hot in the summer, I get nausea. If I put on air conditioning, I feel better, but get too cold very quickly. I need heat, but not on my face. I will get my thyroid checked.. This is Crazy.

  3. victoria

    I have raynaurds, poor circulation due to varicose and spider veins in my legs, and anemia. I feel really bad in the cost of living to turn the heating on when I'm the only one who is cold.
    I've been layering various wool articles of clothing but I am getting really worried.

  4. Steve

    I'm only cold in the morning and it takes a few hours to warm up, getting in the shower is impossible because I think I'd pass out or never wanna turn off the hot water. I had anemia/low hemoglobin in the hospital and had a bunch of blood transfusions but I don't think that's a problem anymore. I used to snowmobile in a t-shirt and pants for hours and it didn't bother me.,. Something changed.

  5. Betty Smith

    I am a 83 woman with neuropathy in my feet & legs. They hurt so bad when I’m in a cold room. My arms & hands do also. I’m going to quit going to church because they keep the church so cold. I understand why they do, to keep germs down. I’m just wondering.

  6. Arlene balousek

    This has happened twice,but only at nite when I’m in bed for a while..my feet,get real tight and twisted,an it hurts..It only last foe a minute than relaxes…later in bed,much later my whole body gets cold..very much so..last 1or 2 hrs..I do hve diabetes 2…..am a female an 83 yrs old..My average glucose is 143..

  7. Binh Huynh

    I don’t swet as normal and my boy feels really cold when it’s normal for other people. I always have to stay by a heat to keep my body warm on cold days! I don’t swet when I exercise

  8. Pam Harris

    I'm always cold what ever the weather is I stay cold

  9. Anita

    Have your thyroid checked. People with hypothyroidism get cold all the time – also anemia. Have your blood work checked .


    No matter how much I put at least three layers on am not warm.
    The same inn bed. It's worse as the day progresses. This has been like that for five days now. I have a Thyroid condition.

  11. Lexi

    My Grandmother has Raynaud’s I must have gotten it from her no matter what I do in always freezing.

  12. Becky D

    Every once in a while I freeze and can't get warm and along with that I have to urinate a lot.

  13. Rolof

    Having Reynaulds is kind of cool, I always can cool my hot skin by simply touching it with my fingers. My wife loves my cold hands in the summer. It is a bummer shopping in the freezer section at the store.

  14. Dawn

    Just being a female is another reason of constantly feeling cold. When do you really hear about men complaining they're cold while indoors? Hardly ever. In fact, l see a lot of men in the dead of winter outside wearing shorts! Ha! I think I read somewhere that men's bodies retain more heat and/or generate more heat. But some women will also not experience the problem of constantly feeling cold if they're overweight/obese, or have high blood pressure, etc. But l just know from experience that I'm always shivering and my male relatives and male friends have no idea what I'm talking about while they go continue on with their happy, warm lives.

  15. Alyssa

    I can be in my house with the heater set to 70. I’ll be wearing a sweatshirt, cozy pants and socks under two blankets and my feet and hands are ice cold. I simply can’t warm up. I’ve been under the blankets for a couple hours and I’m still cold. I’m 5’7, 135lbs, 41 year old female. Normally very healthy. It’s just very odd. I sleep under a down comforter and never wake up hot, in fact I usually will wake up in the middle of the night with an exposed arm or shoulders and I’m cold.

  16. Marie

    Other cause to being cold is if your a baritric patient do to Weight loss of fat that helps you stay warm. I was always sweating at 55 degrees. I laughed when Dr said after surgery I would get cold. After surgery I have been cold even in summer sitting in sun I'm cold on very hot days while other sweat I don't . Asked Dr why she said because I no longer have fat that keeps you warm.

  17. Crystal

    A heating pad may be helpful to help you feel more comfortable if you're cold. I would also speak with a doctor and get a checkup to make sure all is well.

  18. Gayle Lehman

    My body temperature has been dropping since my forties. It’s 96.8. I don’t have any of the illnesses that you mentioned. What happened if it keeps dropping? I am so tired of being cold.

    1. Jacob Zipperer

      Hello Gayle,

      We recommend talking directly with your doctor about your body temperature. TDue to their knowledge of your past conditions and medical history, they can best advise you.


  19. Sharon

    My husband is cold while sleeping mostly in his feet. He gets very hot trying to keep his feet warm and his whole body is clammy HOT to the touch. He’s a runner since his college days and is now 77 yrs old. He’s healthy and NOT overweight. When he ran recently he came home and saw floaters in his eyes, that night he had a very rough night.

    1. Jacob Zipperer

      Hello Sharon,

      We recommend talking to your husband's doctor about the symptoms he is experiencing.

      Thank you,

  20. Rebecca

    I’m always cold and get moaned at when I’m cold and the heating is on. I find it hard to warm up unless I exercise or go in a hot shower. Wrapping myself in a blanket doesn’t usually help. I’ve never considered this worth going to the doctors for as I see it as a minor problem and not worth checking out

  21. DeAnn Irwin

    It makes no sense to leave a reply of any kind because most people are looking for advice and if you cannot give advice at all then why even have a reply section????
    why don't you just have the information and then make a statement at the end that says "if you are experiencing any of these symptoms call make an appointment with your doctor"….DUH

  22. Samatha Hillman

    I don't have a thyroid problem, anemia ,or diabetes I tested negative for it all but I'm still cold all the time unless it is 75 degrees or more I just don't know what is wrong with me

    1. Jacob Zipperer

      Hi Samantha,

      Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individualized medical advice on this platform. We strongly recommend discussing this with your doctor. Due to knowledge of your previous medical history, he or she can best advise you.

      Thank you,

  23. Seema

    My mother's tsh level is very high.. I.e 28.10.. she is taking thyronom 100 mcg daily before breakfast.. from the last 5 days her legs are not getting warmed up even after wearing winter clothes.. due to this she is not getting good sleep fr the whole night.. her legs remain cold fr the whole night. Pls advise

    1. Jacob Zipperer

      Hello Seema,

      Thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately, we are limited in the individualized medical advise we can provide on this platform. We strongly recommend talking to your mom's doctor about the symptoms she is experiencing. He or she should be able to best help because of knowledge of your mom's past medical history.

      Thank you,

  24. Janette

    I have cold hands and feet all the time. My thyroid was checked last year and it was normal, also sugar levels were checked and no diabetes, but last year I was not anemic either. So i don't really know what could be the reason….

    1. Jacob Zipperer

      Hello Janette – thank you for reaching out,

      We recommend discussing this directly with your doctor. They can best advise you due to their knowledge of your medical history and past conditions.

      Thank you,

  25. Jade Arnold

    I'm always feeling cold even when my friends say I'm ref I. The face and my hands and feet ar throwing out heat and I'm baking hot to touch I just can't seem to regulate my body temperature

  26. Joyce Marie Hand

    Thank you so much for your site. I was not aware that I had not taken my thyroid pill this week. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get warm. I turned the heat on to 80 degrees and I still was cold. What a valuable site you have.
    Bless you! I took my pill and am drinking hot tea.
    I am shocked that I failed to put that pill in my tray.
    I am getting warm.
    Sincerely, Joyce

  27. Cheryl Garman

    I am cold. Right now it's my feet but my husband says they're throwing off heat. don't know how to get warm.

    1. Jacob Zipperer

      Hello Cheryl.

      Thank you for reaching out. We are sorry to hear about what you are experiencing. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide too much advice on this platform. The coldness you are experiencing could be from a variety of reasons. We strongly recommend discussing this with your provider directly, since he or she knows your medical history and can best advise you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *