by April McCarthy; Prevent Disease
It’s common for women to report feeling cold, partly as a result of physiology, hormones and a greater susceptibility to factors within the body that play with our internal thermostat. Our body relies on various chemical reactions to keep its warmth and when there is a significant deficiency of essential physiological mechanisms and nutrients, it may make you feel cold all the time.
1) Low Levels of Iron
Iron is a critical mineral and an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. This ensures that each cell in the body works properly. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells and consequently you will shiver.
Iron is also crucial because a deficiency can make your thyroid lethargic, leading to a low functioning thyroid. Iron supplements can help, but the best way to boost your iron intake is through organic grass fed meats, eggs and leafy greens like spinach are among the best options.
2) Lean Body Mass
Muscle helps maintain body temperature by producing heat, so not having enough muscle tone contributes to feeling frosty. Also, having more muscle mass fires up your metabolism, which fights the perma-freeze feeling. Thyroid hormone is critical in signaling skeletal muscle homeostasis and maintainence of physiological processes.
There is a reciprocal relationship so more muscle signals a better functioning thyroid. Incorporating resistance exercise into your physical activity will help build the muscle that powers your furnace and functions like an internal blanket so you can throw off that wool one wrapped around your shivering.
Mostly, body temperature drops when you don’t get a good night’s sleep because there’s a reduction in activity in the hypothalamus, the control panel of the brain where body temperature is regulated. Consequently, lack of sleep impacts the nervous system and regulatory mechanisms that control body temperature. When you’re fatigued from a restless night, your metabolism works at a more sluggish pace.
Perhaps one of the most underrated causes of feeling cold is hydration levels. When we are adequately hydrated, water will trap heat in the body and release it slowly throughout the day, keeping your body in a comfort zone that is less prone to extremes.
Less water means we becomes more sensitive to temperate extremes which applies to both heat and cold. Water is considered one of the most important constituents in thermoregulation, because it is a major component of blood volume.
Our core temperature signals combine with our skin’s warm sensors. The body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, and lack of means thermoregulatory responses are directly affected which may result in a chronic state of feeling cold, especially in environments where temperature is more than 15 degress colder than body temperature.
Sometimes low levels of B12 are triggered by an absorption issue within the body. If your diet is high in B12 but you shiver all the time, check in with your doctor for a vitamin B12 test. Organic lean meats and eggs are among the best sources of B12.