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Cold intolerance

  • Definition
    • Cold intolerance is an abnormal sensitivity to a cold environment or cold temperatures.

  • Alternative Names
    • Sensitivity to the cold; Intolerance to cold

  • Considerations
    • 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.

  • Causes
  • Home Care
    • 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.

      Your provider's questions may include the following topics.

      Time pattern:

      • 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?

      Medical history:

      • 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:

      If your provider diagnoses cold intolerance, you may want to include the diagnosis in your personal medical record.

  • References
    • 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.