Sensitivity to the cold; Intolerance to cold
Cold intolerance is an abnormal sensitivity to a cold environment or cold temperatures.
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.
Follow the recommended therapy for treating the cause of the problem.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact 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.
- 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?
- 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.
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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.
Last reviewed on: 1/18/2022
Reviewed by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.