Why do I feel cold ev­ery day?

Kapi-Mana News - - YOUR HEALTH -

I al­ways feel cold, par­tic­u­larly in my ex­trem­i­ties. A friend re­cently sug­gested this might have a nu­tri­tional ba­sis, what are your thoughts? Thanks, Roz

Hi Roz. Feel­ing cold all the time, par­tic­u­larly in your ex­trem­i­ties, can be caused by poor cir­cu­la­tion, in­suf­fi­cient di­etary fat and mi­cronu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies to name a few of the more com­mon causes. Let’s ex­plore a few be­low:


If you are de­fi­cient in vi­ta­min B12, you might ex­pe­ri­ence numb­ness in your ex­trem­i­ties. This sen­sa­tion may feel like cold or tin­gling. Vi­ta­min B12 de­fi­ciency can lead to nerve dam­age. Tired­ness, mus­cle weak­ness, loss of ap­petite, con­sti­pa­tion and weight loss of­ten ac­com­pany these symp­toms. If you are vege­tar­ian, vegan, or have prob­lems with di­ges­tion it’s best to con­sult your GP to have this tested.


Dif­fi­culty main­tain­ing body tem­per­a­ture can be a symp­tom of iron de­fi­ciency. Iron is crit­i­cal for your red blood cells to trans­port oxy­gen through­out your body. Low iron lev­els of­ten pro­duce symp­toms of fa­tigue, weak­ness and sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to the cold be­cause your cells are not get­ting the oxy­gen they need to op­er­ate ef­fec­tively. Iron de­fi­ciency anaemia is also in­cred­i­bly com­mon. Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO), a stag­ger­ing 2 bil­lion peo­ple in the world, in both de­vel­op­ing and in­dus­tri­alised coun­tries are iron­d­e­fi­cient. Re­search sug­gests be­tween 20 and 30 per cent of women of child-bear­ing age in Aus­tralia and New Zealand are iron-de­fi­cient.


Io­dine is the key to a healthy thy­roid and me­tab­o­lism. It is best known for be­ing a part of thy­roid hor­mones, which are used in ev­ery cell of our bod­ies to reg­u­late me­tab­o­lism by con­trol­ling the burn­ing of fat for en­ergy and body tem­per­a­ture. Every­thing I read is al­ways about weight loss, but I can’t gain weight – how­can I do so safely? Thank you, Sam

Hi Sam. That’s a great ques­tion! An in­abil­ity to gain weight can most def­i­nitely have a ge­netic ba­sis; it can also be due to a highly stress­ful environment or a ten­dency to anx­i­ety and high lev­els of adren­a­line can re­sult in dif­fi­culty gain­ing weight.

For healthy weight gain it’s im­por­tant to in­crease en­ergy in­take by in­creas­ing nu­tri­ent and en­ergy rich foods. You need to sup­ply your body with all the es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents it needs for mus­cle growth and main­te­nance.

You should be aim­ing to put on healthy weight by in­creas­ing mus­cle mass with a healthy pro­por­tion of body fat.

To do this you need to in­crease your daily food in­take of protein foods, healthy fats and slow re­leas­ing com­plex car­bo­hy­drates.

Ob­vi­ously it’s im­por­tant to steer away from heav­ily pro­cessed or re­fined foods that are not nu­tri­ent dense and tend to be higher in su­gar, salt and poor

Ask Dr Libby

Email your ques­tions to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. qual­ity fats.

Protein is also es­sen­tial for growth and main­te­nance of mus­cles; good sources in­clude oily fish, chicken, red meat, nuts and seeds.

In­creas­ing your in­take of com­plex car­bo­hy­drate foods such as starchy veg­eta­bles (potato, ku­mara, pump­kin, corn) brown rice and oats (if you di­gest them well), may help as­sist healthy weight gain, with­out dis­rupt­ing your blood su­gar lev­els. Up­ping whole­foods fats is also ben­e­fi­cial, such as those found in av­o­cado, nuts, seeds, or­ganic but­ter, co­conut, oily fish and grass-fed meats. Also try in­clud­ing more en­ergy and nu­tri­ent rich snacks in your daily diet such as smooth­ies/bliss balls.

It’s also im­por­tant to con­tinue to eat plenty of veg­eta­bles, as they should be a ma­jor part of any diet. It may also be worth­while con­sid­er­ing con­di­tions such as an over ac­tive thy­roid, as ob­vi­ously this can in­flu­ence your abil­ity to gain weight.

Feel­ing cold all the time can be caused by var­i­ous is­sues.

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