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Cold intolerance

Sensitivity to the cold; Intolerance to cold

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

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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.

Causes

Some causes of cold intolerance are:

Home Care

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

When to Contact a Medical Professional

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

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:

Medical history:

Tests that may be performed include:

If your provider diagnoses cold intolerance, you may want to include the diagnosis in your personal medical record.

References

Brent GA, Weetman AP. Hypothyroidism and thyroiditis. In: Melmed S, Auchus RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 13.

Jonklaas J, Cooper DS. Thyroid. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 213.

Sawka MN, O'Connor FG. Disorders due to heat and cold. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 101.

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Review Date: 1/13/2020  

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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