Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Why Am I Cold?

Do you find yourself shivering when no one else is? Although you might just have a natural tendency to be cold, there are also a variety of conditions that could explain your chill.

Could It Be Anemia?

Anemia happens when your system can't make enough normal red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. There are a number of different types of anemia. A tendency to feel cold is a common symptom for many of them.

Other symptoms of anemia:

  • Fatigue
  • Looking pale
  • Irregular heartbeats

Could It Be Hypothyroidism?

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck. It helps to regulate your metabolism -- the chemical reactions that maintain the body. If this gland does not make enough thyroid hormone, or if your body cannot process that hormone effectively, you may become hypothyroid.

Besides feeling cold, other symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular or heavy menstrual periods
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain

Could It Be a Blood Vessel Problem?

If you feel cold in your hands and feet, you may have a blood vessel disorder in which blood flow to your arms and legs is restricted.

Blood vessel problems include conditions such as:

  • Clotting disorders
  • Arteriosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels)
  • Raynaud's disease (spasms of narrowing arteries to the fingers and toes)

Besides feeling cold, symptoms of blood vessel problems include:

  • White or blue coloring in fingers and toes
  • Tingling, throbbing, or numbness in your arms and legs
  • Clammy and cold skin

Could It Be Diabetes?

The kidney damage that happens as a result of diabetes is known as diabetic nephropathy. One symptom of diabetic nephropathy is feeling cold all the time.

Other symptoms of diabetic nephropathy include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itchiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Swelling in the face, feet or hands

Could It Be Anorexia?

This is a type of eating disorder. People with anorexia become dangerously thin because of an extreme worry about gaining weight.

Feeling cold is one of the symptoms of having anorexia. Other symptoms:

  • You are 15% or more below typical body weight for your height
  • You are constantly thinking about your weight
  • You have not had a period for three months or more

What Should I Do About My Coldness?

Since feeling cold all the time can be a sign of a more serious medical condition, it's important not to ignore these symptoms.

If you feel cold frequently even when you're in a warm place, or long after you've come in from cold temperatures, check with your doctor to find out what might be going on.

The treatment for your chronic coldness will depend a lot on the cause. For example, if you have a blood vessel disorder and you smoke, quitting smoking will probably go a long way toward helping with the problem. If your feelings of constant coldness are caused by a thyroid condition, on the other hand, you may need medication to reverse your low thyroid.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on January 09, 2014

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.