Why Some People are More Sensitive to the Cold

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Your friend asks you to hold their drink for a few seconds while tying their shoes. You hold the beverage and begin to feel the cold sink into your skin within seconds. That’s funny, how was someone able to handle this cold for more than a few seconds?

Your friend has been holding her drink for a good fifteen minutes and seems unaffected. Worldwide, people live in regions with varying temperatures. Even so, why are there people sensitive to the cold even in colder states?

Dr. Nadera Sweiss of the University of Chicago says there is no definitive answer. There are many factors to consider when asking why some people can tolerate colder temperatures better than others.

Humans and Animals in the Cold

The layers of fat penguins have, and the exothermic nature of fish helps them swim in freezing water and frolic happily in the snow. On the other hand, indigenous tribes like the Eskimo thrive in cold conditions. People living in colder climate know about their living conditions; they adapt and acknowledge it as part of life.

How about the people who shiver in the slightest touch?

According to Dr. Sweiss, women tend to feel colder than men, but shouldn’t be limited to gender. A person who develops sensitivity to the cold may be suffering from medical conditions. Reynaud’s syndrome and thyroid disease manifest in cold hands and intense pain.

Sensitivity to cold shouldn’t be alarming no matter how uncomfortable it may feel. People who are more likely to be sensitive to cold include older people, skinnier people, and oddly enough, married women. Other factors include a person’s genetics and the environment in which they grew up.

Protecting Yourself from Cold Conditions

during winter

Regardless of how well you handle the cold, too much of it can kill you. Exposure to extreme cold is still dangerous to your health, especially if you’re sensitive. Follow these protective measures to keep yourself and others safe:

  • Dress appropriately by wearing several layers of clothes or warm outfits. More layers of loose clothes are more effective as they trap heat in between. Brands such as Bogner have men’s jackets on sale from time to time, so check out their products to keep warm and stylish.
  • Protect your hands, ears, and head by wearing mittens, hats, or scarves.
  • Identify the symptoms of excessive exposure to cold weather. Physical symptoms such as discolored skin and numbness are signs of frostbite, so consult medical help immediately.
  • Be wary of hypothermia. Exhaustion, confusion, and dizziness are signs to look out for and should be treated immediately.
  • When overexposed to the cold, immediately remove wet clothing and warm your body. Have a drink of anything warm like hot chocolate or soup.
  • Be mindful of the needs of infants and seniors.
  • Have a healthy supply of heating fuels and blankets.

If you’re sensitive to the cold, don’t panic as each person’s tolerance is different. If you’re resistant and suddenly feel sensitive, seek medical attention as you may have developed a medical condition. Some people enjoy the cold, but remember, too much of it can also kill you. Keep warm and stay safe!