One of the joys that can happen when you have thyroid issues is intolerance to various temperatures. This summer and fall I was hyperthyroid (too much thyroid hormone) and I was intolerant to heat, so every time it went above 75 degrees F I was sweating like it was 120 degrees outside. I cut my hair short a few years ago because I go into hyperthyroidism often enough that the sweating hits me a lot. So much so, that my hair is soaked and dripping, and it just wasn’t a good look for me, so short hair has become cooler and easier to deal with. My heat intolerance got so bad one winter I thought for sure I was entering early menopause. My gynecologist did some tests and said, nope, it’s just my thyroid. Two winters ago I was hyper in the winter though and did the horrible sweating. Has anyone ever sweated in the middle of a freezer, sweat dripping down your face to freeze in your hair? That’s a fun time, let me tell you.
Right now though, my body decided to go the other way the last month or so, just in time for winter here. Now I’m borderline hypothyroid (too little) and my body is COLD intolerant. C’mon body, get it together! Can’t we just agree to go hyper in the winter and hypo in the summer? My body never listens to me on this though. *sigh* Now I’m turning blue indoors with cold, wearing fifteen layers of clothing on my body, and huddling up to blowing heat in the stores I work in.
So, here it is January, it’s about 12 degrees F (please don’t ask me to convert to Centigrade as I’m an idiot on conversions) here and I’m bloody cold. I know that other people are cold, but most of them are not having the hands that turn into blocks of ice within seconds of going outside. This is when I’m bundled up with multiple layers and gloves and scarves. At least it’s better than where I grew up. I moved to Louisville, KY, about a decade or so ago, and at least we have slightly less winter weather than where I grew up in Northern Indiana, not far from Lake Michigan with lake effect snow and temperatures. I know it’s even worse elsewhere. To those of you in colder climates, my hat is tipped to you, I could not deal with it being worse.
Tips for being cold intolerant in the winter time I have discovered.
- Layers. Wear layers outside. Light weight shirts under button down or pull over sweaters is a good start. Then when you go inside and you start to melt, you can take off the top layer (or if you are me LAYERS) to cool off. Putting them all back on before you go back outside.
- Hand Warmers. Those little portable hand warmers, either the chemical kind or special gloves to keep the heat in are necessary if you are dealing with the cold for any major period of time. They are usually inexpensive and some of them can be reused. Pop one of those in a microwave and hold in your hands.
- Good heavy socks. For some reason my father doesn’t believe in wearing socks and his feet are always cold. I however DO believe in wearing socks. The thicker the better in the winter time. It’s not a fashion show for me, it about making sure my feet aren’t so cold they turn into painful blocks of ice. If you don’t have a thick pair, two pairs of thin socks together are great in a pinch.
- Hot Shower or Bath. I will sometimes take multiple hot showers in the day when I’m freezing. If I have time I will soak in a hot bath. If you do the bath option, make sure you add something to the bathwater as muscles get cold and stiff in the winter time. A cup of apple cider vinegar along with something that smells good for the bath will help your cold muscles relax and keep you warm for much longer. Best thing is to take a hot bath before bed, then climb into the covers while you are still warm, best sleep ever!
- Hat or scarf. Or both when you go outside. I’ve been known to wear them inside if I was having a really cold day. Keep your head warm, and your face, and it will help keep the rest of you warm also. Plus scarves and hats can be pretty and functional for those of us who want to be stylish, as long as you can deal with hat hair!
- Cuddly buddy. For me this is my husband. I call him my portable heater. He is always warm, so when I’m hypothyroid and/or it’s winter time, I curl up on the couch with him to watch television or talk. Warms me right up. I think everyone should have someone to cuddle with. Not only will it help keep you warm, but being close to someone like that helps you feel better all around.
- Your favorite furry friend. Pets are great to have around in the winter, especially the warm blooded furry type. I have three cats and they seem to need warmth as much as I do. When it’s really cold, they will all come lay down around me and on top of my chest, and we will all keep each other warm. Plus the purrs make me happy. Beware though, if your house is like mine, it can be dry, so being around furry creatures can also be a static discharge danger as well. Though that can be a bit funny. I mean have you ever accidentally gone to pet a dog or cat and got a small zap? The look on their faces is a bit comical.
- Space heaters. Space heaters have saved me at home the last few winters. I have a small portable one I bring with me from room to room. It keeps you from heating up the entire house when you are by yourself and gives you a little heat you can control right next to you.
- Have your thyroid checked. If you seem like you are feeling the cold a lot more than other people, consider having your thyroid checked. As I said above, being hypothyroid can make you cold intolerant. Thyroid levels tend to drop a bit in the winter for a lot of people, so you might need a little extra boost.
- Smile. While a smile might not make you feel physically warmer, it will help give others a boost as well as boosting your own mood and might make the cold a little easier to deal with. Stay warm my friends.
Check out Britney’s Thyroid website she runs with other thyroid ladies. http://www.warriorbutterflies.com/
Photo credit from fotolia.com