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Cold intolerance

Sensitivity to the cold; Intolerance to cold

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Causes

Some causes of cold intolerance are:

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.

Definition

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

Home Care

Follow the recommended therapy for treating the cause of the problem.

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.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have long-term or extreme intolerance to cold.

Review Date: 2/18/2018
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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