Another morning, another warm cup of tea that you keep close to your face in an attempt to warm yourself up. You close your eyes and let the warmth irradiate against your skin. Briefly, it reminds you of a distant summer day, the sweet tingle of the sun on your face. But then the warm embrace disappears, and the tea cools down, a little too quickly to your liking: you are not warm yet.
Unfortunately, you suspect that your cold hands might have neutralised the soothing heat of your morning brew. You wrap your cardigan a little tighter around your shoulders, but nothing changes. Why is it so cold, you wonder as you ponder whether or not to put your cuppa in the microwave oven for a few seconds. But it’s not the question you should be asking. Instead, you need to wonder why you feel cold all the time and whether there is an underlying reason for it. Spoilers: it could be health-related!
Is your home warm at all?
If you stay at home most of the time – as part of your work or as a stay-at-home mommy – the reason for being cold all the time might be the house itself. Naturally, the first thing that might come to mind is the quality of your insulation. While it is expensive to fix, it’s surprisingly easy to check. If the air in the room is cooler around the windows, for instance, you know that they let cold air in. Similarly, a cold wall is a wall that contains little or no insulation material. But there are other reasons you may not have taken into consideration. An undersized boiler can’t warm all the radiators in your home efficiently, causing temperature drops in certain areas. Your radiators might be sludged up, which you can notice if they are not homogeneously heated across the surface. Sometimes, it’s the room that can’t be heated homogeneously, which you can correct with infrared heating. Finally, you might have a faulty pump that doesn’t get the heat to your radiators, so the home can never get warm.
Are you tired?
Do you feel like you’ve got no energy? Every day feels sluggish and exhausting, and the idea of getting up in the morning is really the worst part of your day. You could consider the introduction of a healthy sleeping routine and natural morning light to help to re-adjust your body’s natural clock, but it’s likely to take some time before you can have a properly refreshing night sleep. In the meantime, you might feel very cold. The reason for the temperature drop is actually not a sign of poor health, but it’s your body trying to maintain its natural rhythm. As the body temperature drops through the night, aka the resting period, it’s likely that your body is trying to adjust its internal clock when you’re experiencing unexplained sensations of coldness throughout the day.
Do you have a healthy diet?
It might come as a surprising thing, but ultimately, warm comfort food cannot keep your body. The only thing that can keep your body warm is itself. Consequently, you need to fuel your body with the right nutrients and vitamins. For instance, if you don’t eat enough fish, dairy, eggs or tofu for vegan diets, you might be suffering from vitamin B12 shortage. This will cause your body to produce less red blood cells, which are essential to transport oxygen through your body and heat each cell. Additionally, when your iron levels are low, the red blood cells can’t perform their function either, so that you might feel cold. You can get iron from dark leafy vegetables, beans, lentils and tofu too, but you need to consume vitamin C to facilitate its absorption.
Could it be hypothyroidism?
Your body temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus. However, the thyroid is an essential part of the body heat response as it burns calories to create heat. If your thyroid gland isn’t able to fulfil its function adequately, your body’s ability to burn calories is compromised. The first indications of an underactive thyroid gland tend to focus on weight gain and tiredness as a result of a slow metabolism. But as you can’t burn sufficient calories, your body’s ability to maintain its temperature is weakened. You will need to get your thyroid checked by a medical specialist if you suspect that it doesn’t work as well as it should.
The bottom line is that feeling cold can’t always be fixed by putting on an extra jumper. If your body’s functions are compromised in any way, you will find it difficult to get warm at all, regardless what you’re wearing. Similarly, if your home can’t get warm, it’s best to consider home improvement projects, as the prolonged exposure to cold might put your immune system at risk.