BOSTON (CBS) — Whether it’s the dead of winter with temperatures below zero, or middle of summer with the sun shining brightly, while men seem to be fine, some women seem to always be cold.

There’s a medical explanation for this. Turns out, women conserve more heat around their core organs, which means less heat circulates throughout the rest of their body.

“Women are biologically geared to have children so being able to pull body blood flow to the central core is really important and less important to the fingers and toes. So it makes sense that the extremities might get cooler,” said Dr. Tamara Kuittimen, Director of Medical Education for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Lenox Hospital in New York City.

CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton says feeling cold can also be caused by anemia or under-active or low-functioning thyroid.

Her suggestions are to dress in layers, be active, drink warm drinks, and get more sleep.

At night the battle of the cold can be much more difficult.

“Cortisol is a very powerful hormone. It’s your fight hormone. And so it keeps you warm, it gets your adrenaline roaring and helps with body warming,” said Dr. Kuittimen. She goes on to explain that the later it gets, the colder women can get.

Dr. Ashton says there is a benefit to feeling cold. Dr. Ashton explains babies are born with “brown fat;” it acts as a furnace for babies who can’t shiver to keep themselves warm. As we age we lose this fat, but staying in an environment between 63 and 67 degrees can stimulate the production of brown fat and burn more calories.


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