Ever battled with a co-worker over the office aircon temperature? Or had to bring your own blanket to the movies while your friend sits there with bare legs and no jumper on (maybe that’s just me)?
You’re not imagining it, certain people do feel the hot and cold more than others. There are a few different factors that contribute to how we perceive temperature — some physical, some psychological.
So, if like Goldilocks and her porridge, you’re always too hot or too cold (never just right), read on for 5 surprising reasons why.
1. You’re stressed
Ever experienced a hot or cold flush when you’re about to go in for a job interview or have realized you’ve lost your wallet? When we’re stressed, our body’s autonomic nervous system kicks in — causing the ‘fight or flight’ response. This causes blood to move toward your body’s core organs, leading to fluctuations in body temperature.
2. You have a vitamin deficiency
Certain nutrient deficiencies, like iron and B12, can make you more sensitive to the cold. This is especially common if you’re anaemic. On the other hand, hot flushes are sometimes a sign you’re low in magnesium. You can read about the effects of nutrient deficiencies on the body, here.
3. You’re a female
Here’s a good one to tell your significant other next time he’s giving you crap about being cold all the time. It’s scientifically proven that women have a lower body temperature than men due to differences in body composition. On the other hand, hormonal changes like ovulation, pregnancy and menopause can make us feel like we’re burnin’ up.
Your thyroid — the endocrine gland that produces hormones to regulate functions like your heartbeat and metabolism — also controls your body temperature. So, when the body produces too much thyroid hormone your body temperature rises. On the other hand, when your thyroid is under-active (a condition known as hypothyroidism), you tend to feel chillier.
5. You’re underweight or overweight
There’s a direct link between your body temperature and how much body fat you have. People who are underweight (and have less body fat for insulation) tend to be more sensitive to cold, while people who are overweight are more likely to feel like they’re overheating. If you often feel excessively hot or cold, it may be worth having a body composition scan to check you’re within a healthy range. Image credit: iStock