Diet to Correct Feeling Cold

Spinach
A close-up of fresh spinach. (Image: Asmail Bulut/iStock/Getty Images)

If you typically feel cold even in warm temperatures, your body may be deficient in one or more essential vitamins. You will need to determine the cause to correct it through dietary changes. Problems with circulation and body temperature may also be caused by an underlying medical condition. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor and seek medical advice before beginning any new vitamin supplements.

Iron

Iron deficiency may cause you to have difficulty maintaining body temperature. Other signs of low iron levels and iron-deficiency anemia include weakness and fatigue, impaired cognitive performance and decreased immune system function. Iron is found in meats and seafood as well as spinach, beans, legumes and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. Your doctor can perform a blood test to evaluate your plasma iron levels and may direct you to take an iron supplement if you don't consume sufficient iron from dietary sources.

Vitamin B12

A vitamin B12 deficiency can produce numbness in the hands and feet, similar to the loss of circulation that occurs in cold. This numbness and tingling is actually neurological damage and may be permanent if the deficiency is not corrected. Other signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include red meat, poultry, eggs and seafood. Vegetarians and vegans may find it difficult to obtain sufficient vitamin B12 from diet alone.

Hypothyroidism

Low thyroid function slows your metabolism and causes increased sensitivity to cold. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, constipation, pale and dry skin, brittle hair and nails, puffy face, muscle aches, weakness and stiffness in the joints. These may be accompanied by a rise in blood cholesterol, weight gain and depression. You should not try to treat hypothyroidism with diet but consult your doctor for medication to restore thyroid hormone levels.

Circulatory Problems

Persistently cold hands or extremities may be a sign of an underlying circulatory problem. Peripheral vascular disease, diabetes and Buerger's disease all affect the circulation and may cause you to feel sensitive to cold temperatures. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms cannot be explained by the environment alone.

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