Comprehensive Post-COVID Care Now Available! Click here to learn more.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes You To Feel Cold

What Vitamin Deficiency Causes You To Feel Cold?

Have you ever wondered why you feel cold all the time, even when others seem perfectly comfortable? Feeling unusually cold can be more than just a personal thing – it might signal an underlying medical condition. One significant factor to consider is vitamin deficiency.

In this blog, we will explore body temperature regulation, the role of vitamins in maintaining warmth, and which specific vitamin deficiencies could be causing your chilly sensations.

Body Temperature Regulation: How It Works

Our body maintains its temperature through a complex system known as thermoregulation, which involves the hypothalamus, the autonomic nervous system, and various physiological responses.

  • Hypothalamus: Located in the brain, the hypothalamus acts as the body’s thermostat. It senses changes in internal and external temperatures and activates appropriate responses to maintain a stable core temperature (around 98.6°F or 37°C).
  • Autonomic Nervous System: This system controls involuntary functions like sweating, shivering, and blood flow to the skin. When you’re cold, blood vessels constrict (vasoconstriction) to conserve heat, and when you’re hot, they dilate (vasodilation) to release heat.
  • Metabolic Processes: The body generates heat through metabolic activities, such as cellular respiration, which are influenced by hormones like thyroxine and adrenaline.
  • Behavioral Responses: Actions such as putting on extra clothing or seeking a warmer environment are also crucial for body temperature regulation.

How Do Vitamins Affect Body Temperature?

Vitamins play a vital role in various metabolic processes that help maintain body temperature. They are involved in energy production, blood circulation, and the formation of red blood cells, all of which contribute to heat generation and distribution.

  • Energy Production: Vitamins such as B12 and B9 (folate) are crucial for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, providing the energy needed for cellular functions, including heat production.
  • Blood Circulation: Vitamins like C and E improve blood vessel health, aiding in efficient blood flow and heat distribution throughout the body.
  • Red Blood Cell Formation: Vitamin deficiencies such as B12, B9, and iron can lead to anemia, reducing the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen and consequently affecting heat production and regulation.

What Vitamin Deficiency Causes You to Feel Cold?

Listed below are the most common vitamin deficiencies that affect body temperature regulation, making you feel cold all the time.

– Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • Role: Essential for red blood cell formation and neurological function.
  • Symptoms: Fatigue, weakness, and a persistent feeling of cold all the time, particularly in the hands and feet, due to anemia and poor blood circulation.
  • Sources: Meat, dairy products, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin B9 (Folate) Deficiency

  • Role: Works with B12 in the production of red blood cells.
  • Symptoms: Similar to B12 deficiency, including anemia and feeling cold all the time.
  • Sources: Leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fortified grains.

– Iron Deficiency

  • Role: Crucial for the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
  • Symptoms: Iron deficiency anemia can cause chronic coldness, fatigue, and pale skin.
  • Sources: Red meat, beans, lentils, and spinach.

– Vitamin C Deficiency

  • Role: Important for blood vessel health and iron absorption.
  • Symptoms: Poor circulation, frequent colds, and feeling always cold due to weakened blood vessel integrity are major signs of vitamin C deficiency.
  • Sources: Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli.

– Vitamin E Deficiency

  • Role: Protects cell membranes and supports blood vessel health.
  • Symptoms: Neuropathy and impaired blood flow, leading to a sensation of cold intolerance.
  • Sources: Nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

– Vitamin A Deficiency

  • Role: Vital for immune function and skin health.
  • Symptoms: While rare, severe vitamin deficiency can impair the body’s ability to fight infections, indirectly leading to a feeling of coldness.
  • Sources: Liver, fish oils, and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.

Other Causes of Feeling Cold

  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland slows metabolism, reducing heat production.
  • Anemia: Beyond vitamin deficiencies, other forms of anemia can impair oxygen transport.
  • Poor Circulation: Conditions like Raynaud’s disease cause blood vessels to overreact to cold temperatures.
  • Chronic Illness: Diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular conditions can affect temperature regulation.
  • Low Body Fat: Insufficient insulation and energy reserves can make maintaining body heat difficult.
  • Age: Older adults may have a slower metabolism and poorer circulation, making them feel colder.

How to Address These Vitamin Deficiencies?

  • Dietary Changes: Add foods rich in your vitamin deficiencies. For instance, increase intake of meats, dairy, leafy greens, citrus fruits, nuts, and seeds.
  • Supplements: Use vitamin supplements under the guidance of a healthcare provider to address specific deficiencies.
  • Balanced Diet: Ensure a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Periodic blood tests to monitor vitamin levels and overall health.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, exercise, and stress management to support overall well-being and nutrient absorption.

When to See a Doctor?

If you feel cold all the time despite adequate heating and warm clothing, or if you have accompanying symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, or pale skin, it is essential to seek medical advice. Since being always cold can indicate an underlying medical condition that requires professional evaluation and treatment.

A doctor can conduct a comprehensive assessment, including blood tests to check for vitamin deficiencies and other conditions and provide personalized recommendations to address the root causes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I raise my vitamin D level quickly?

You can raise your vitamin D level quickly by spending more time in direct sunlight, taking high-dose vitamin D supplements, and consuming vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), fortified dairy products, and egg yolks. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting high-dose supplements.

How do you feel when your vitamin D is extremely low?

When your vitamin D is extremely low, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, mood changes like depression, and frequent infections due to a weakened immune system.

What’s the worst that can happen with low vitamin D?

Severely low vitamin D levels can lead to serious health issues, including rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults (softening of bones), increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, severe infections, and autoimmune disorders.

How do I get rid of feeling cold all the time?

To alleviate the feeling of being cold all the time, ensure you are getting enough essential vitamins and minerals through a balanced diet or supplements (consult a doctor for specific advice), stay active to boost circulation, dress warmly in layers, and manage any underlying medical conditions like anemia or hypothyroidism with professional medical help.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health-related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 05/20/2024

Learn more about our editorial process.

  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

Read More