Feeling Cold: Why Some People Feel Cold All The Time

Feel freezing cold all the time? Can’t seem to warm up? We explain why some of us feel colder than others, even when the heating is on full blast. With so many of us working from home, deciding when to turn on the central heating is a now a crucial part of the day. You get to 10am and you start to wonder why you’re still freezing… and if it’s too early to switch the dial on.

I’m freezing pretty much all the time, winter or not. I can’t feel my fingers in spring and I still need a jacket during July’s heatwave evenings. I won’t even begin to tell you how many layers I wear when I go skiing. Yet, my housemate can walk down the street in shorts in December, and others sweat the second they put a coat on.So why do some people just seem to feel the cold more than others – and what does it mean?

Finding out what is ‘normal’ when it comes to our temperature is pretty tricky though, explains Dr Clare Eglin from the Extreme Environments Laboratory in the Health and Exercise Science department at the University of Portsmouth. While our core temperature should ideally not change, “our perception of whether we find somewhere warm or cool is very individual and usually down to our skin temperature,” Dr Eglin says.

“This is what gives our body feedback, and lots of things can affect that from the clothes that we are wearing to the activities we are doing – and also the wind and dampness of the environment.” However, there are genetic and personal factors that can mean that two people, wearing the same thing, in the same environment feel different temperatures.

Why do some people feel colder than others?

Everyone’s body has a slightly different reaction to cold and some people feel cold more often than others, which is known as cold intolerance.

There are many factors  that contribute to this, including:

  • Overall body size can impact how cold you feel, as smaller people have less cells in their body that produce heat
  • People with higher levels of body fat and/or muscle mass have more insulation and a higher resting metabolic rate so burn energy faster
  • Being active not only warms the body immediately but can have a long-term effect on temperature regulation
  • Older people also tend to have a slower resting metabolic rate, so may feel the cold more

These factors do mean that gender is a big divider, as women are generally smaller than men and carry less muscle mass. We’ve all fought over the thermostat in the office (or central heating while at home) but the fact is that “the temperature deemed comfortable for most people is meant to be about 21 degrees. Actually, that’s ideal for a man in a suit, but women generally do better with a higher temperature,” says Dr Eglin.

Interestingly, we feel this disparity internally too. “Estrogen and progesterone, which change throughout the menstrual cycle, affect how quickly our blood vessels constrict to the cold. So depending what part of the menstrual cycle you’re in, you might find your hands and feet get colder, affecting your overall temperature perception,” says Dr Eglin.

Plus, your temperature perception can change throughout the day. “For instance, at six o’clock in the morning your core temperature is at its lowest, and from midday to mid-afternoon, it’s at its highest,” she adds.

Why do my hands feel cold?

Don’t panic if, like me, you have hands like ice cubes on a summer’s day. “It is a very typical thing, particularly for women, as our hands are really good for regulation,” says Dr Eglin. Our hands have a large surface area but a small volume and are filled with lots of blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin. “They’re very good for losing heat and so therefore, when you’re slightly cool, the blood flow shuts down,” she says.

While “peripheral temperature is generally nothing to worry about”, it can be a sign of Raynaud’s syndrome, an extreme response to cold or stress where arteries narrow to the point that fingers and toes turn white or blue and feel cold and numb – but circulation returns to normal when warm again.

Is it bad to be cold all the time?

Generally, being cold is simply down to our body type, and as long as we take precautions it’s not a bad thing. But if constant coldness is mixed with other symptoms it could be a sign of something more serious. For example, coldness paired with tiredness or dizziness could be a symptom of an iron or B12 deficiency, or even anaemia.

Constantly being cold coupled with hair loss, a change in your digestive system and weight gain could also be a sign of a low thyroid – when the gland stops producing enough thyroxine (a hormone which regulates your metabolism).

Ultimately, your body is pretty good at regulating itself, so trust what it’s telling you. “Our behaviour is the most important thing when it comes to keeping warm. I think quite often we underestimate the weather in the UK. You always hear people say ‘It’s not that bad, it’s not like we’re in the Arctic!’, but with the windchill and dampness it can be very cold. We don’t pay enough attention to that,” says Dr Eglin. So, bundle up when you’re feeling the chill.

By: 

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk’s fitness brand Strong Women. When she’s not writing or lifting weights, she’s most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

Source: Feeling cold: why some people feel cold all the time

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Related contents:

Wellbeing of Women, registered charity no. 239281. Charity Commission for England and Wales.

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Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: The Countess of Wessex discusses taboos around women’s health. YouTube.

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YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOnLnys5OZk&t=1045s. (help)https://www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk/campaigns/menopausepledge.

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These Psychologists Found a Better Way To Teach People To Spot Misinformation

A strong defense against online misinformation may be to administer a digital vaccine: Exposing yourself to common deception methods may help you recognize sensationalized headlines, misleading TikToks, or social media fabrications in the future. In collaboration with Google and its tech unit Jigsaw, a team of psychologists added short videos to YouTube’s ad lineup, educating people about how to spot common misinformation tactics.

In an online campaign, they found these clips were an effective way to get people to identify what’s real and what’s fake news. People who watched the videos were better able to identify misinformation techniques than those who didn’t see the clips, as the team reports in a study published in the journal Science Advances today.

“It’s very possible on social media to reduce vulnerability and susceptibility to being manipulated,” says Jon Roozenbeek, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge and the lead author of the study. “Maybe not all misinformation, but you can demonstrably improve people’s ability to detect when they’re being manipulated online.”

Misinformation happens when people spread false information, even if it wasn’t the person’s intention to mislead others. Misinformation happens regularly in our daily lives, says Sabrina Romanoff, a clinical psychologist who was not affiliated with the study, and it can be something as small as misremembering something you saw on television and telling someone else the wrong information.

“You can think of it as analogous to the childhood game of ‘telephone,’” explains Romanoff, in which small errors become magnified through repetition. But through the megaphone of social media, wrong or misleading claims can become a harmful way to distort the truth.

Anyone can fall prey to misinformation online, Romanoff says, though people who click on a story consistent with their pre-established beliefs are more susceptible. Being prone to impulsivity and feeling an overload of information could also make you more likely to spread fake news.

The current study focuses on inoculation theory, where people learn about these types of misinformation techniques. Roozenbeek compares this theory to a vaccine: Introducing a weakened virus or virus-like material primes your immune system to recognize and destroy the pathogen in the future. Unlike fact-checking, which takes a more retroactive approach, inoculation theory stops people who are exposed to misinformation from spreading the content in the first place.

“The idea was to inoculate people against these tropes, because if someone can successfully recognize a false dichotomy in content they’ve never seen before, they’re more resilient to any use of that particular manipulation technique on social media,” Roozenbeek says.

Roozenbeek and his team created five 1.5 minute videos covering common tactics used in online misinformation. To avoid any bias towards one group of people, the videos were designed to be nonpolitical, fictitious, and humorous. In the lab, the team invited over 6,000 participants to randomly watch either a video showing how to identify misinformation techniques or a neutral video that acted as a control. Afterward, the participants were shown 10 made-up social media posts that were manipulative or neutral.

Roozenbeek then partnered with Google to expand the study. As part of a public ad campaign on YouTube, nearly 23,000 people watched one of two anti-misinformation videos. One video involved negative and exaggerated emotional language to encourage clicks and belief in fake news (Sample headline: “Baby formula linked to horrific outbreak of news, terrifying disease among helpless infants. Parents despair.”).

The other one relied on presenting two points of views or facts as the only available options (The headline: “Improving salaries for workers means businesses will go bankrupt. The choice is between small businesses and workers. It’s simple mathematics.”).

Within a day of seeing the video ads, one-third of people who watched the videos were randomly given a test question on YouTube where they were asked to identify the type of manipulation technique in a headline or sentence. People who watched the videos were better able to pick out misinformation techniques and misleading content.

“Finding a significant effect was actually quite surprising,” Roozenbeek says. This is because unlike a controlled laboratory setting, people on the internet can get easily distracted by other ads and videos. Additionally, there is no guarantee people actually watched the videos. While the videos were not allowed to be skipped, people could have turned off the sound or moved to another tab. “But despite all that, we still found a large and robust effect.”

Roozenbeek and other psychologists are wrapping up another study that looks into how long it takes for people to forget what they’ve learned from the videos. “It’s not reasonable to expect someone to watch a video once and remember the lesson for all eternity. Human memory doesn’t work that way,” he says.

Ongoing results suggest ‌people might need a ‘booster shot,’ in the form of repeated video reminders. Another project in the works will use Twitter to see how watching these videos affects people’s behaviors, specifically how much they retweet misleading content.

To stay vigilant against misinformation as you scroll through the internet, Romanoff warns about these six common tactics:

  • Fabricated content: Completely false or made-up stories
  • Manipulated content: Information is intentionally distorted to fit a person’s agenda
  • Misleading content: A person deceives others, such as presenting an opinion as a fact
  • False context of connection: A person strings together facts to fit the narrative they are trying to convey, such as new stories using real images to create a false narrative of what happened
  • Satire content: A person creates false but comical stories as if they were true
  • Imposter content: A story is created through the branding and appearance of a legitimate news story, but is false such someone creating a video using someone else’s logo to seem legitimate

Source: It’s possible to inoculate yourself against misinformation | Popular Science

Related News:

How Empathic People Can Set Effective, Loving Boundaries

You’re a highly empathic person. You fully and intently listen to others. You tend to focus on others’ emotions, often feeling them more so than your own. In fact, it’s like you feel someone else’s pain deep inside your bones. It’s that visceral.

And you frequently find yourself utterly exhausted because tending to others comes more naturally to you than tending to yourself, according to Joy Malek, a marriage and family therapist who specializes in working with people who are intuitive, empathic, creative and highly sensitive.

And this struggle includes setting boundaries. Your discomfort with boundary setting may stem from these three reasons, Malek said: You don’t know your needs in the first place—and only realize that a boundary was necessary after the fact. You fear that the validation you receive for being so caring and nurturing will disappear, and when you say no, others will no longer see your value. And many of the suggestions on boundary setting stress assertiveness, which to you might actually feel aggressive.

So you have a tough time ending conversations when you’re tired, or declining requests when you’re completely drained and desperately need downtime. So you remain silent when you’re uncomfortable, or don’t ask for help when you’re hurting, too.

When you do try to set boundaries, you might find yourself over-apologizing, and minimizing your concerns so you can again focus on the other person’s feelings, Malek said.Ultimately, you conclude that you’re just “bad at boundaries.” In reality, however, “you haven’t found a style that feels organic to your nature.”

Here, Malek shared invaluable insight for setting boundaries that protect your needs and boundaries you feel good about.

Identify your own needs. “Empathic people can especially benefit from boundaries that put limits around the amount of time and energy we give to others,” Malek said. “Without these limits, we often find that our needs are met last, or not at all.”

Take the time to think about your needs. How much space and solitude do you need to feel your best? What genuinely refreshes and recharges you? What tends to drain you? What people tend to drain you? When do you feel your best? When do you feel your worst?

Start creating boundaries around your responses, and check in with yourself regularly. Because our needs change and evolve. You might check in with yourself every hour or so for only a few minutes. Then you might do a more thoughtful check-in every evening, and journal about your thoughts and feelings for 15 minutes.

Pause before saying yes. When someone asks you to do something, you might blurt out, “yes, of course!” without even thinking about it. Your automatic response is to help—and you might feel awkward saying anything other than yes. Plus, sometimes the other person creates a sense of urgency that doesn’t exactly exist (or we somehow feel one).

However, Malek suggested simply pausing before committing. You can always say, “I’m not sure. I need some time to think about that,” or “I need to check my schedule, but I’ll definitely let you know tomorrow.” “In that pause, we can ask ourselves how we actually feel, and whether we have the time, energy and desire to accept the request.” Which means that it’s totally OK if you have the time and energy but simply don’t want to. Your wants count, too.

Shift your perspective. When you want or need to say no, think about how you’d like someone to decline your request, Malek said. For instance, this might include expressing empathy for the other person, and explaining that you’re unable to meet their request, she said. What does this actually look like?

For instance, Malek shared these examples of kind, empathic personal boundaries:

  • “I know you’re hurting and I really want to be there for you, but the truth is that I’m struggling right now, too. I’m looking forward to supporting you once I’m back on my own feet, emotionally.”
  • “I’ve really enjoyed this conversation, and part of me doesn’t want it to end! I’m noticing, though, that I’m getting really tired, so I’m going to head home.”

Malek also shared these examples of professional boundaries:

  • “I’d really like to take that project on, but I know I’d be compromising the quality of the projects that are already on my plate. It’s my priority to do a great job with what you’ve entrusted to me.”
  • “I’m in the office during business hours Monday through Friday, and I return calls, texts and emails during those times. If you reach out in the evening or on a weekend, I’ll look forward to following up with you during the next business day.”

See reactions as valuable signs. Pay attention to how others react to your boundaries. Do they push against them? Do they have a hard time taking no for an answer? Do they make you feel guilty or bad about yourself in some other way? Do they take you seriously or think your boundaries are unreasonable or don’t apply to them?

All of this is helpful information about the quality of that relationship, Malek said. Of course, it really hurts when the people we love and care for don’t have the same consideration for us.

However, “It makes sense to invest more in relationships where our boundaries and needs are respected than in those where they are not.”

When you’re a highly empathic person, setting boundaries can feel impossible. But it can absolutely be done. The key is to find a style that works for you, and to keep practicing. Boundaries can be kind and loving—and remember, as Malek said, your needs are legitimate, too.

Also, don’t wait until you’re completely exhausted and overwhelmed to care for yourself and to protect your energy. Start setting boundaries that are respectful of yourself and your natural tendencies right now.

Related contents:

Empathy vs. Sympathy, Explained (Finally) Women’s Health

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Impact Of Covid-19 Pandemic Extends To Tuberculosis And Neglected Tropical Diseases

Last month, the World Health Organization reported that for the first time in 15 years the number of people who have died from tuberculosis has increased. Worldwide, in 2020, more than 1.5 million deaths were attributed to tuberculosis; the first year-on-year increase since 2005. Multiple reasons have been cited, one of which is diversion of resources due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And, tuberculosis is not the only diseasethat has been impacted, with disproportionately severe health burdens on the world’s poorest populations.

Since the spring of 2020, there has been acute disruption of activities, such as neglected tropical disease (NTD) control and elimination programs. Across the globe, for example, mass drug administration campaigns targeting NTDs have been postponed. NTDs are a heterogeneous group of infections which are common in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

These diseases – caused by a variety of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and parasites – include, among others, onchocerciasis (river blindness), African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, cholera, Chagas disease, and Dengue fever. Diseases are said to be neglected if they are (often) overlooked and therefore underfunded by drug developers, owing to a lack of commercial prospects.

And, while tuberculosis has also suffered from neglect, it belongs to the so-called “big three infectious diseases” – HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis,and malaria – which have generally received more media attention and research and development funding than the NTDs.

The WHO had developed an NTD roadmap that was meant to officially launch in June 2020. The roadmap included specific disease targets to control and eliminate NTDs by 2030. Not only did the Covid-19 pandemic postpone the launch of the work plan, many NTD activities that had been ongoing were suspended to prevent the risk of additional transmission of the coronavirus.

In fact, interruptions in NTD program work were experienced in at least 44% of low and middle income countries: Specifically, suspension of mass administration campaigns of vaccines and treatments, case detection, and vector control. In addition, there was disruption to supply chains and reduction in the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients. In brief, there was diversion of financial resources, which effectively meant a reassignment of NTD personnel to the Covid-19 response.

It’s not all been bad news, as a month ago the WHO endorsed the first malaria vaccine (a recombinant, protein-based agent) for use among children in at-risk areas. Malaria is a preventable disease that kills around 500,000 people a year; mostly African children.

It should be noted, however, that most of the clinical development of the malaria vaccine occurred prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the vaccine – called Mosquirix – has modest efficacy, as it reduces the number of severe malaria cases by approximately 30%.

To save the most lives, African countries must continue to scale up teams of local health workers to identify and respond to cases, and increase access to mosquito nets and antimalarial drugs, such as the fixed dose combination Coartem (artemether/lumefantrine). Yet, it’s precisely in these areas that the pandemic has been the most disruptive.

Opportunity Cost

One of the core tenets of economics is that resource allocation decisions invariably involve trade-offs. As an illustration, there is an opportunity cost of allocating large amounts of resources towards the Covid-19 response. The dollars spent on combating the coronavirus can’t be used to address other diseases.

Unless the overall amount of healthcare resources is expanded, there will be forgone alternatives left unfunded. And, government budgetary constraints often prevent expansion of healthcare budgets from happening. Alternatively, it is difficult to draw down budgets in other sectors, such as defense, in order to fund healthcare sector expansion, whether domestically or for the purposes of international health aid projects.

Budget impact analyses lay bare the individuals or groups who lose out; in other words, those who bear the opportunity cost of spending resources in one area, say, Covid-19, rather than another.

This doesn’t mean that a substantial amount of resources shouldn’t have been spent (or continue to be expended) on developing and paying for coronavirus vaccines or Covid-19 treatments. It does, however, imply that policymakers be made aware of forgone alternative uses of resources, account for the extent to which society can afford to crowd out non-Covid-19 resources, and fill in the budgetary gaps where necessary.

At multiple levels – local, state, federal, and global – when a healthcare system or international program with a relatively fixed budget “overpays” in one area, it must extract resources from elsewhere in the budget, or enlarge the budget.

Early in the pandemic, it was clear that federal regulators in the U.S. were aware of the issue of opportunity cost. In reallocating resources to address the novel coronavirus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that new drug and biologics programs were being impacted by “considerable increases in Covid-19 related work.” As a result, the agency said “it’s possible that we will not be able to sustain our current performance level in meeting goal dates.”

Of course, this wasn’t just an issue at the FDA. Other government regulators, as well as global agencies such as WHO, were faced with similar sets of problems.

With government deficits running at record levels, it’ll be extraordinarily difficult to expand budgets to sustain non-Covid-19 related work at the desired levels. But, moving forward, such expansion will have to occur in order to meet the needs of underserved populations worldwide.

Follow me on Twitter.

I’m an independent healthcare analyst with over 22 years of experience analyzing healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Specifically, I analyze the value (costs and benefits) of biologics and pharmaceuticals, patient access to prescription drugs, the regulatory framework for drug development and reimbursement, and ethics with respect to the distribution of healthcare resources. I have over 110 publications in peer-reviewed and trade journals, in addition to newspapers and periodicals. I have also presented my work at numerous trade, industry, and academic conferences. From 1999 to 2017 I was a research associate professor at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Prior to my Tufts appointment, I was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and I completed my PhD in economics at the University of Amsterdam. Before pursuing my PhD I was a management consultant at Accenture in The Hague, Netherlands. Currently, I work on freelance basis on a variety of research, teaching, and writing projects.

Source: Impact Of Covid-19 Pandemic Extends To Tuberculosis And Neglected Tropical Diseases

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Related Contents:

Njie GJ, Morris SB, Woodruff RY, Moro RN, Vernon AA, Borisov AS (August 2018). “Isoniazid-Rifapentine for Latent Tuberculosis Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 55 (2): 244–252. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2018.04.030. PMC 6097523. PMID 29910114.

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