If you find yourself constantly reaching for a sweater or blanket, it might not be the thermostat’s fault. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of Real Cause, Real Cure, tells Newsmax Health that certain health conditions, including thyroid problems, Raynaud’s disease, and iron deficiency can cause you to feel cold.
The thyroid gland plays an important role in relation to whether the body feels cold. The thyroid serves as a thermostat or gas pedal in the body, and it has to be working properly to burn calories to create heat and fuel, Dr. Teitelbaum explains.
“So if your thyroid is underactive — and women are more likely to have an underactive thyroid than men — you can’t burn the calories. That’s why people gain weight. They’re tired, they’re achy, and they’re cold intolerant.”
Another explanation for why a person may feel cold is Raynaud’s disease. People with this condition experience blood vessel spasms in their fingers and toes, or tips of their noses and ears after they have been exposed to the cold. Something as simple as reaching into the kitchen freezer can set off symptoms.
“Treatments include medications like calcium channel blockers, but also, simply taking magnesium supplements over time can be very helpful at relaxing the blood vessels,” Dr. Teitelbaum advises.
“And more very importantly, learn to put on things like oven mitts before you put your hands into the freezer.”
Iron deficiency is another cold-inducing culprit, because iron is critical for thyroid hormone function. Women are especially prone to iron-deficiency, and therefore, feelings of being cold, because of regular blood loss with each monthly period, Dr. Teitelbaum says.
Routine blood tests of iron levels often read “normal” when they are not, compounding the problem.
“So even if the iron blood test is normal… that’s meaningless,” he explains. “Studies are showing that that technical normal range misses about 90 percent of people with severe iron deficiency.”
He advises having your ferritin level checked and getting the numbered result rather than accepting a described range. Ferritin is a protein in the body that stores iron.
“If the result is under 60 and you’re cold, that suggests iron deficiency, which can also cause, in late stages, anemia, things like restless leg syndrome, and a host of other problems, as well as simply being cold a lot.”
Chronic stress due to fungal infections in the gut can also wreak havoc with the body’s internal thermostat.
“That stress can suppress the master control center of the brain called the hypothalamus, and that, at the end of the day, is the conductor of the orchestra of thyroid and all these other functions that regulate our temperature,” he says. “And because of that sometimes people that are under chronic stress will also find that they have cold intolerance."
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