Cold intolerance can be a difficult experience for people with hypothyroidism. If you have low thyroid function, you may find yourself more sensitive to cold and have cold hands and feet even when the weather is warm. This is because your thyroid fails to produce enough hormones to regulate your body heat. But, your cold intolerance can be remedied through a few simple measures. Learn some tips on how to deal with hypothyroidism and cold intolerance in this article.
Resist Cold Intolerance with These Tips
Tip #1: Get a Proper Diagnosis
If this is a new symptom, and you are not getting better, you need to consult with a specialist. Your doctor needs to check your medical history to understand if this reaction is because of your hypothyroidism or something else. They might also consider ordering additional blood and hormone tests to check for other contributing factors.
Tip #2: Consider Taking an Alternative Hypothyroid Medication or Treatment
There is a possibility your current thyroid medication or treatment is causing your cold intolerance. This will become apparent once your doctor eliminates all the possibilities that could cause you to feel colder than usual. If your doctor arrives at this decision, you will be prescribed a new medication for hypothyroidism. The new thyroid medication could relieve cold intolerance and keep your levels stable or at a higher range.
An all-natural thyroid supplement might be the answer if you are looking for something that is guaranteed to be effective and does not have the awful side effects.
Tip #3: Dress Appropriately
Naturally, it is okay to double up or wear special clothing to combat cold intolerance. You could also take advantage of thermal in-wear or light outerwear clothes specially designed to keep heat in. Keep sensitive areas covered to prevent exposure from the cold, like the top of your head, back, hands, and nape of your neck.
Tip #4: Stay Indoors During Cold Weather
Hypothyroidism may increase your sensitivity to cold temperature. This is why you should reduce your exposure to the cold, especially during winter. If you own your home, invest in insulation, like a better heater, an electric fireplace, or an electric blanket to keep you warm. Get a doctor’s note to show your landlord, so they will allow you to keep your home heated during the winter season.
Tip #5: Travel to Somewhere Warmer If You Have To
Some people find traveling to a warmer location an enjoyable option to beat the winter blues. Traveling to the beach or a tropical resort could be a great experience for you and your family, as opposed to cooping yourselves up at home. Check travel websites for promos during the off-season to get the best prices on tickets and hotels. If you do not have enough money to travel somewhere, consider house-sitting for a friend who lives in a warmer location.
Tip #6: Practice Yoga or Meditation
Patients with hypothyroidism have low-functioning thyroid glands. They also get especially stressed from trying to produce enough hormones to try to regulate their temperature during the cold season. As such, try to relax by doing yoga or meditation. If you are not interested in these two activities, try a different one that allows you to clear your mind. It could be as simple as writing a journal, knitting, cooking your favorite dish, or swimming.
Tip #7: Always Pay Attention to Your Body
At this time of the year, it can be difficult to do extra work. The days tend to be shorter and the nights get longer too, and your body will naturally want to take more rests. Consider slowing down at this point and taking in more rest. Learn to delegate tasks, especially if your body needs the rest.
Tip #8: Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels
Did you know that you can regulate your body temperature by simply paying attention to your blood sugar? A high blood sugar level will make your adrenal glands weak, causing adrenal fatigue. A diet consisting of high-quality fats and proteins will help you stabilize your glucose levels. Avoid, or at least limit eating sugary and starchy food.
Tip #9: Introduce Fruits and Vegetables That Increase Metabolism
Thermogenic foods are fruits, vegetables, and other food items that can help increase your body’s metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more energy it produces. The more energy your body produces, the easier for your body to produce the heat it needs. Try eating food items rich in polyphenols, like extra virgin olive oil, turmeric, avocado, broccoli, spinach, and berries. You can also include spices like chili, mustard, red pepper, black pepper, and red hot chili peppers in your dishes.
Tip #10: Take Omega-3s and Vitamin D Supplements
These supplements are not only necessary for proper thyroid function, but are also helpful with your body’s cellular regulation and production. Although you can get your daily amount of Omega-3s and Vitamin D via proteins and vegetables, supplements can help you get the optimum amount. Evidence suggests cod liver oil, which is rich in Omega-3, helps increase thyroid hormone production.
To get your optimal vitamin D, try to go for a walk under the sun for at least 15 minutes. Schedule light therapy or invest in your own blue light device to banish seasonal depression during colder months.
Tip #11: Run a Warm Bath
Stay indoors as much as you can when it is cold outside. If you have to go out, run a warm bath once you get home. Soak in the tub until you feel your body temperature increase. Not only does a bath get you warm, it also helps you relax. Remember, a calm mind and a well-rested body are beneficial when you have hypothyroidism.
Tip #12: Brighten Up Your Place
The cold weather also affects your mood. You may feel depressed and have little energy to do things you usually like. Although this is psychological, it may have an effect on how your body deals with the cold. One way to counter your seasonal blues is to warm up your place with an uplifting decor. Opt for bright-colored curtains, sheets, and rugs. Get some pieces that remind you of the summer like seashells or plants. You can even try aromatherapy to heighten your senses even more.
Tip #13: Get Support
You don’t need to suffer cold intolerance alone. It really helps if your family and friends know about it, so they can adjust and be compassionate to your needs, especially when you travel. If they know about it, they may be more willing to travel to someplace warmer for a vacation. Further, they will be attentive with extra blankets, hand warmers, or sweaters if they notice you are feeling colder.
In this video, Dr. Joshua Redd discusses cold intolerance and how this symptom affects hypothyroid patients:
Having cold intolerance may be an inconvenient symptom, especially during colder months. But, you can manage it with proper nutrition, the right supplements, exercise, and a conscientious approach towards your body’s needs. Should your cold intolerance worsen over time, do not forget to consult with your doctor immediately.
Tried any of these tips to deal with cold intolerance? Share us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on September 20, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.