How to

16 September 2016

The Most Prominent Causes of Constant Chills or Over-Heating

All healthy humans maintain a body temperature of approximately 37°C, which varies slightly depending on the individual workings of the body and the time of day. It’s strange that we’re all meant to function best around that temperature, yet some people feel cold all the time. 

So, why are some people plagued by constant chills?

The reason for feeling so cold might just be a simple vitamin deficiency. Aside from packing on the layers, changing up your diet is the other solution.

So, what vitamins are needed to maintain a normal body temperature?

A vitamin B deficiency increases your cold sensitivity. B vitamins are considered the "energy vitamins" because they play a massively important role in how your body converts food into energy. B Vitamins are needed for a healthy immune system, red blood cell production, digestion and nervous system.

When the body is deficient in vitamin B12, a wide variety of signs and symptoms may occur, including a decreased ability to think and changes in personality such as depression, irritability or even psychosis.

Also, there’s certain medication, including anticonvulsants and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which can affect how much of these vitamins your body absorbs.

Another reason for feeling cold all the time could be due to a condition known as pernicious anaemia. This is when your body can't make the healthy red blood cells needed to carry oxygen throughout your body.
The result is coldness in your hands and feet and a general intolerance to cold temperatures. A B12 deficiency can be caused by a diet lacking in balanced nutrition.

It’s actually super common for people to suffer from a vitamin B deficiency. B12 is found in most red meats, meaning vegetarians and vegans are a more susceptible to being deficient in this vitamin.

Iron also plays a role in whether or not you're feeling over-chilled. Iron-deficient anaemia is very common. Symptoms of an iron deficiency (iron-deficient anaemia) may include fatigue, weakness and dizziness as well as pale skin and intolerance to cold temperatures (and cold hands and feet).

Researchers have recently discovered that women are nine times more likely than men to have cold hands and feet.

There are numerous theories on what causes it, some suggest differences in fat distribution, muscle mass and skin thickness.

The better toned your muscles are, the more heat you’ll generate.

Are you getting enough water? The better hydrated you are, the better your temperature control is.
Your body fat also effects body temperature; the less you have, the more difficult it’ll be to retain heat.

The food you eat will have an effect on your body temperature. Coconut oil is the superman of the fruit world. One of the many things it can do is raise your body temperature.

There are numerous other foods that can do the same thing.

Are you over-heating?

On the other end of the scale there are those who can’t stand the heat. One of my friends is like this. When we’re driving he’ll open the window of the car, simultaneously as I shut mine. Temperature is an important undertone throughout the time we spend together…jerk.

Anyway, there isn’t a straight up cure to being overheated, but there are reasons for it, depending on the person.

Some of the reasons can include obesity, anxiety, menopause, hyperthyroidism, medications and caffeine. Being overweight can make your body heat up faster. Simple activities like walking take more effort, meaning that it doesn’t take much to break a sweat.

If you aim to achieve optimal weight for your height, age and sex then your temperature should be more stable when you perform everyday tasks.

That morning coffee can sometimes feel non-negotiable to starting the day and I TOTALLY understand. However, caffeine is another substance that can increase your heart rate and body temperature. It can also make you more fidgety, which may heat you up faster.

Cameron Sutherland

Sunny, Magical, Cameron. Legend has it he came into this world riding atop two ramskulls, leaving a trail of ink, hashtags and cider...or maybe he's a part timer at AllSaints and a content writer studying journalism and public relations in Bristol. Either way, he's kind of a big deal.