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Monday, June 30, 2014

Why am I always so cold?

As you grow older, you feel chilly -- or even downright cold -- more easily and more often. What causes this, and what does it mean for your overall health?
Chances are, your body is merely going through a natural dip in metabolic rate due to the aging process. A lowered metabolic rate affects the body's ability to maintain what is considered a normal temperature of 98.6 degrees. When metabolism slows, so does the body's ability to generate heat. This means seniors can become cold outdoors in the sun during summer or indoors in a well-heated room during winter.

There are other reasons a senior may be unduly cold. Encourage him to seek medical advice in order to properly diagnose the reason he is unable to stay warm. Hypothyroidism and cardiovascular disease are chronic medical conditions that affect body temperature. If an underlying medical condition is the reason for the senior's chills, help her take necessary steps to manage it accordingly. It is important to note that, regardless of the reason, the body's inability to stay warm can lead to hypothermia if body temperature reaches 95 degrees or below. Seniors in frail health are more susceptible to hypothermia, even when the room temperature is 71-75 degrees.

Whether being cold is the result of slowed metabolism or a medical condition, older adults must stay warm to maintain an appropriate body temperature. Nearly half of the elderly who develop hypothermia die from its effects. Therefore, we suggest that sweaters should be staples for both men and women. While he should not bundle up so much that he overheats, keeping a cozy blanket nearby helps a senior during times of low activity in the home. Encourage the senior to wear cap or scarf when going outdoors. Gloves are a must during cold months. Enjoy large meals during cold weather, as the digestive process generates heat within the body. Warm drinks such as hot chocolate can help. Avoid alcoholic beverages, as they cause the body to lose heat.

With a little education, one can determine which changes are parts of the natural aging process versus changes that may indicate an underlying condition that requires medical attention. The key to aging gracefully is knowing what changes seniors will experience as they age and how these changes affect the body. While you can't halt the aging process, you can be prepared.
This article taken from

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