Cold intoleranceSensitivity to the cold; Intolerance to cold
Cold intolerance is an abnormal sensitivity to a cold environment or cold temperatures.
Cold intolerance can be a symptom of a problem with metabolism.
Some people (often very thin women) do not tolerate cold temperatures because they have very little body fat to help keep them warm.
Some causes of cold intolerance are:
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Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes people lose more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height. People with this disorder may...
Blood vessel problems, such as
Raynaud phenomenon is a condition in which cold temperatures or strong emotions cause blood vessel spasms. This blocks blood flow to the fingers, to...
- Chronic severe illness
- General poor health
Underactive thyroid (
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. This condition is often called underactive thyroid....
Problem with the
(a part of the brain that controls many body functions, including body temperature)
The hypothalamus is an area of the brain that produces hormones that control:Body temperatureHungerMoodRelease of hormones from many glands, especial...
Follow the recommended therapy for treating the cause of the problem.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have long-term or extreme intolerance to cold.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination .
During a physical examination, a health care provider studies your body to determine if you do or do not have a physical problem. A physical examinat...
Your provider's questions may include the following topics.
- Have you always been intolerant of cold?
- Has this developed recently?
- Has it been getting worse?
- Do you often feel cold when other people do not complain of being cold?
- What is your diet like?
- How is your general health?
- What are your height and weight?
- What other symptoms do you have?
Tests that may be performed include:
Complete blood count (
A complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...
A TSH test measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland. It tells the thyroid gla...
- Thyroid hormone levels
If your provider diagnoses cold intolerance, you may want to include the diagnosis in your personal medical record.
Kim M, Ladenson PW. Thyroid. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 226.
Sawka MN, O'Connor FG. Disorders due to heat and cold. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 109.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia
Review Date: 1/31/2016
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.