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Cold intolerance

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 environments because they have very little body fat and are unable to keep warm.


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 health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination.

Your provider's questions may include the following topics.

Time pattern:

  • 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?

Medical history:

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

Alternative Names

Sensitivity to the cold; Intolerance to cold


Kim M, Ladenson P. Thyroid. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 233.

Update Date 5/11/2014

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