Cold intolerance occurs when an individual is extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. It is important to note that cold intolerance is more severe than the normal sensation of chillness while staying outdoors during cool days.
Some individuals are susceptible to feeling cold particularly those who have chronic health issues or have minimal body fat. If the individual has cold intolerance, he/she is likely to complain of cold when others around are comfortable or find it warm. The addition of extra layers of clothing could not relieve it. Remember that it is also possible to experience sensitivity in certain body parts such as the hands.
A doctor should be consulted for an assessment if the individual has no history of cold intolerance and the feeling of cold seems to persist. The treatment usually depends on the diagnosis.
Close look on cold intolerance
The body temperature is controlled by various bodily systems. The hypothalamus is a region in the brain that functions as a thermostat to control the body temperature. It transmits messages that regulate the production of heat or processes that cools down the body. It also directs the thyroid gland to reduce or increase the metabolism which is vital in creating heat and fuel. As for the blood flow that spreads heat and body fat, it is also vital. Cold intolerance is usually the result of issues with one or a combination of these processes.
Take note that cold intolerance might be due to poor overall health or an indication of various health conditions such as the following:
- Blood vessel conditions
- Disorders affecting the hypothalamus
Skin that was previously damaged by frostbite might stay sensitive to the cold even after the injury has already healed.
How is it diagnosed
As a new symptom that does not seem to get better, it is best to set an appointment with a doctor so that a complete assessment can be carried out. The doctor will take the medical history and ask questions.
Depending on the outcome of the physical examination, the doctor might order additional tests including blood tests and hormone level tests to determine if there are any underlying disorders.
Cold intolerance is not considered as an illness, but a symptom of an underlying disease. The treatment usually depends on the diagnosis given by the doctor. The causes of cold intolerance that the individual might be treated for include:
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