Cold Sensitivity: Overview
Many people have what’s called “cold sensitivity.” If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve been bundled up in layers of clothing and felt chilled while others seem perfectly comfortable in a single layer, then you probably understand what the condition is all about.
There are a number of reasons someone might suffer from cold sensitivity. The condition can be a side effect of hypothyroidism (when the thyroid gland is underactive). Anemia can also create intolerance for the cold. And fibromyalgia and other immune disorders seem to play a part in how well your body deals with lower temperatures.
Some medical experts think that there is a link between cold sensitivity and the way proteins are synthesized by the body. If this protein synthesis is altered, the rate of thermogenesis is affected. Thermogenesis is a term used to describe the process of heat production in your body.
It has even been found that your state of mind can influence your perception of temperature. Thinking about an incident where you felt excluded, for example, could cause you to estimate the ambient temperature at three degrees Celsius lower than others who thought about experiences in which they felt included — this according to researchers at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, who ran two experiments.
The first experiment involved 65 participants, half of whom were asked to recall a socially excluding experience, while the other half recalled an experience that was inclusive. The participants where then asked what they thought the ambient temperature was. In the second experiment, 52 participants played “virtual catch” with what they thought were online participants.
In reality, the participants were controlled by a computer. Half of the participants were thrown the ball multiple times throughout the experiment, while the others were thrown the ball twice in the beginning and ignored for 30 further throws. Again the participants were asked about the room temperature. Both sets of results showed that exclusion makes people feel physically cold.
Natural Treatments For Cold Intolerance
Do you just have to suffer with the condition? Absolutely not! First of all, get checked out by your doctor to rule out other health problems that may be triggering your intolerance for cold.
If you find the problem persists and there is no readily identifiable medical reason, consider trying reflexology. One clinical trial performed at the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine recruited 10 female volunteers with subjective feelings of cold. After a five-minute foot bath, 10 minutes of foot reflexology therapy was performed on their left foot.
Skin temperature and blood flow were estimated before and after treatment, together with an interview concerning their feelings of cold and daily habits. After examining the results, the research team concluded that reflexology exerts beneficial effects in the treatment of cold intolerance.