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Why am I Always Cold?

Why am I Always Cold? A man suffers in hot weather while a woman beside him shivers from the cold. At night he throws off the blanket while she curls into a ball and tries to warm her cold feet. Does this sound familiar to you? It seems that the “interior thermostat” is regulated differently in men and women.


Male and female cardiovascular systems are similar; in both cases the heart pumps blood through the “pipeline”, which includes arteries, veins, and tiny vessels called capillaries. However, there are still differences between men and women, and they are revealed not only through primary and secondary sexual attributes. Their cardiovascular system functions differently due to these factors: The dominance of the female hormone estrogen, the quantity and distribution of fat and muscular tissue, and a lower metabolism rate, which influences the nature and energy of blood flow. All these factors lead to women feeling cold far more often than men. Even the fat layer, which serves as a good insulator, does not help. Mostly it is feet and hands that suffer from the cold.


Hormones reign


The situation is complicated by the fact that women have less muscular tissue, which means they retain less warmth.


So as not to let “cold” prevent a woman from performing her natural function – a reproductive one – her cardiovascular system operates on an internal temperature maintenance; even an insignificant temperature fall leads to the blood rushing from the skin to the internal organs, which causes the fingers, toes, hands, and feet get cold. Men’s reactions to temperature drops are not that dramatic.


In general, it is natural for women feel cold from time to time, but within reasonable limits. However, hands and feet that are constantly cold indicate a circulatory system violation. In most cases this problem is treated with the help of healthy nourishment, light massage, and physical exercise.


Under the pressure


Both low and high blood pressure can cause hands and feet to be constantly cold. In the first case, the blood flows too easily, and in the second case, with difficulty. As a result, only a small amount reaches the extremities.


Blood pressure, the pressure that blood puts on the vessel walls of a healthy person, is normal in a state of rest and rises with physical activity. However, even in this case, there are differences between men and women. Women are more likely than men to have low blood pressure (59% of women versus 43% of men), according to English physicians’ research. Low blood pressure can cause fainting, and this brief loss of consciousness usually testifies to the brain not getting enough oxygen. However, low blood pressure also has evident advantages; according to statistics, women with low blood pressure live longer than those with high blood pressure, and they are less likely to suffer from heart diseases.


The cause of high blood pressure, or hypertension, in most cases is blocked vessels, which is caused by extra cholesterol. As a result, the vessels become narrow and blood presses against the vessel walls with more strength. It is hard to get rid of chronic hypertension, but it is possible to prevent it with lifestyle changes.


Fat acids contained in fish reduce the amount of cholesterol and maintain low levels of it in the blood. Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants, which prevents vessels from blocking, by destroying a peculiar and very harmful form of oxygen, which acts jointly with cholesterol. It is helpful to reduce the consumption of coffee and black tea and to stop smoking, as caffeine and nicotine narrow the vessels. Alcohol, however, widens them, so a glass of brandy or wine will not do you any harm.


Lastly, inert circulation and high tenacity of blood are usually the consequence of dehydration, when the capillaries get narrow. To prevent this, doctors recommend drinking at least one and half liters a day.


Treatment takes more efforts than preventive measures


The most frequent enemies of women who get cold often, are nervous breakdowns and stress. Consequently, try to wear clothes according to the weather; warm enough but light, as overheating effects thermoregulation of the body. In periods of overworking, drink sedative herbs

extract: valerian, melissa, motherwort or sedative teas

, which are sold both in tea bags, in grain, or in combination with herbs. Also try to find some time for rest and sleep. As for sleep, you should get at least 8-9 hours a day.

You should also eat balanced meals based on your body’s needs. It is essential to consume foods rich in minerals which will strengthen the capillaries, and vitamins which will help to maintain your vascular system’s good form (your doctor should advise the optimal dose).


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – is contained in dog-rose, lemon, orange, kiwi, black currants. This vitamin regulates blood coagulation, tissue regeneration, capillaries’ penetrability, and synthesizes collagen, which is necessary to heighten the tissue flexibility and to stabilize cells.


Vitamin P (bioflavournoids) – is contained in citruses. Especially in piles, nuts, and pumpkin seeds. It is recommended to be taken with Vitamin C, as it prevents oxidation of the latter. Vitamin P hinders the appearance of bruises by strengthening vessel walls, and maintains collagen levels, helping to prevent gums from bleeding.


Vitamin PP (nicotine acid) – is mostly contained in liver, beef, eggs, coarse ground bread, cereals (especially buckwheat), legumes, and some in mushrooms. Vitamin PP is a member of ferments responsible for allowing cells to breathe and exchange protein, which regulates dominant nervous activity.


Doctors recommend to women whose feet frequently get cold to walk a lot. Walking in comfortable shoes is preferable.


Why do we get cold and how should we fight it?


Quite a female question


The most powerful female sexual hormone, estrogen, influences the circulatory system’s activity. First, it makes the vessels widen. Second, it dilutes the blood and hinders the thrombus formation. By the way, oral contraceptives lower estrogen levels, which is why women who consume them suffer from thrombosis. Estrogen protects females from atherosclerosis development. That’s the reason why women suffer from heart diseases less often than men.




Cold feet can cause insomnia, because it prevents you from relaxing. Oddly enough, a cold foot bath will warm them because blood will rush to the cold feet. If this method seems extreme to you, take contrasting warm and cold feet baths 30 minutes before sleep. After the procedure, put on warm wool socks.


Women can feel chilly during their periods because of a decrease in iron. In this period one should eat more iron-rich foods.


After meals


Sometimes the body’s temperature can fall after meals, and it is usually the hands and feet that suffer first. It is caused by intensive stomach work, which requires the body to send more blood to the stomach. That’s why one should eat meals more often and eat smaller portions.


There are some other reasons of bad circulation: diabetes and hormone misbalance, namely the thyroid gland, so if feeling cold is not typical of you from childhood, you’d better have a medical checkup.



3 methods to get warm


1. Exercise, especially cardiovascular training, benefits the capillaries and improves circulation in general. Doctors say the best exercise is swimming.


2. Massaging the hands and feet immediately after you feel you are getting cold will have a positive effect. Before going to bed, take warm hand and feet baths, then rub them with a terrycloth towel.


3. Self-massage with oils and black pepper, ginger, or cinnamon, also helps to warm hands and feet. Materials in these products widen capillaries.

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