A body temperature expert explains why some people are always freezing.

You wear extra chunky sweaters. You’ve never met a mitten you didn’t like. You may even keep a lap blanket at work.

You’re one of those people who is always cold. And you are not alone.


Inside or outside, you just can’t appears to get warm. This characteristic of yours manifests itself in extra blankets, wild heating bills, and enough objections that you start running hoarse.

But surely there’s a scientific reason as to why some people are always cold, right?

It can’t simply be random opportunity that has doomed you to a life of perpetual shivers. I reached out to an expert to learn more.

Dr. Christopher Minson is a prof in the department of human physiology at the University of Oregon. One of his primary research interests is thermoregulation, that’s how the brain and body interact and adapt as we heat and cool. Plainly set, he is the perfect guy to answer a few questions from #TeamCold.

( This interview has been condensed and edited in the interests of clarity .)

Upworthy( UP ): So what is actually happening in the body when a person get chilly ?

Dr. Chris Minson( CM ): In the simplest of words, feeling either cold or warm means that the temperature “set point” of the body is being challenged by thermal inputs throughout the body, including in the brain, the blood, the spinal cord, our organs, our muscles, and our skin. Part of our brain collects all of those thermal inputs and essentially compares them to what body temperature it wants to hold. So if your skin temperature is lowered, even though the rest of your body is still at a comfortable set-point, you are able to feel cold — in some cases, cold enough to attain behavioral changes like putting on a sweater.

UP: Is there a reason this seems to largely impact females?

CM : The people who feel “always cold” will typically have lower muscle mass relative to body surface area( typically, women and older people ). Their actual body core temperature may not really be below normal, but they feel cold because their body is telling them to conserve heat.

There have also been limited reports that females have a higher density of blood vessels at the scalp surface, which would attain them more sensitive to cold. However, there hasn’t been enough good data collected on this theory to corroborate or refute it.

This also explains a frequent annoyances about women and men in relationships …

CM : A common objection by women and men in relationships is that women’s feet are often very cold, particularly in bed. That runs along with the lower body mass to surface area relationship in females. As their body works to conserve heat, it vasoconstricts blood vessels in the extremities( hands and feet) to keep the core warm. This reduced blood flow results in cold hands and feet in females more than men.

So if you are a lap-blanket wearing member of #TeamCold, don’t fret.

You are strong. You are capable. And unless you have pain or some of the symptoms Minson mentioned, there is likely nothing wrong with you. Our bodies only involve different things of us, and yours requires that you have to deal with an overly-air conditioned-society. My sincerest apologies. On behalf of #TeamHot, your next chocolate is on me.

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