Thyroid UK
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Metabolism blocks & feeling cold

I feel cold all the time and because of this my circulation is rubbish - people often remark on how cold my hands and feet are. Whenever I have mentioned this to my GP over the years, I get my TSH tested, which is always completely normal.

But my thyroid is fine! To be honest, I never thought it was failing, but that there was something else going on. I finally forked out for a full thyroid screen which confirmed this. Everything came back totally normal: frees in the upper third of the reference range, and no antibodies.

So what else could it be? The only time I am warm is when I do vigorous exercise. It's as is there is a metabolism block, and the exercise somehow lifts the block. Then when I stop moving, I quickly go back to being cold.

I have been trying to work this out for a couple of years, and have made good progress - no more brain fog or hair falling out! I was badly iron deficient, borderline B12 deficient, and am gluten intolerant (possibly coeliac). But although I've boosted my iron and B vitamin levels, and given up gluten containing foods, things are still not quite right. I'm a lot better, but I still don't seem to have the ability to produce my own heat!

Any ideas at all would be welcome!

8 Replies

My hands and feet are cold most of the time It's one of the signs of hypothyroidism I to have boosted iron and b vitamins along with Vit C but D, E and I take. Magnesium and apple cider vinegar however still suffer with hypo feelings think I actually rattle when I walk X


How about quoting all the results of your thyroid function test complete with reference ranges. then somebody here might make some brilliant deduction from them? There are many well-informed people here.

What are your iron levels now, with reference ranges, please? And any other test results?


Well, here they are but I don't think they will shed much light:

TSH 1.11 (0.4-4.0)

Free T4 19.0 (10-22)

Free T3 5.56 ( 2.8-6.5)

No TG or TPO antibodies

Ferritin always low - last time 16 ng/L (10-300) - long story.

B12 has come up from 199 to 332 ng/L in the last 9 months.

FBC normal too.


Hi When I was like that, for some years I blamed my thyroid ( treated well) and my heart, (end stage heart failure) but then my diabetes got much worse with very high sugar levels. When that was eventually treated enough I stopped feeling cold, and in fact am usually too hot now. When my glucose goes bad the same thing happens. There are two important separate tests for diabetes Hb1ac and Glucose, the first is the most important one. You could just go to a good chemist and they will do a BM ( finger prick) test but make sure at least 2 hours after food or drink. It should be between 4 and 6 if perfect. Then, of course you need the follow up venous blood tests if high.. It could be Raynaulds disease, an auto immune disease, I have it but it usually starts when a tiny child or in fact usually always there!I hope that helps.



Hi thanks for those thoughts Jackie, but in my case I'm pretty sure it's not diabetes related, My fasting blood sugar has been tested twice now for various reasons and it's 4.6, which is fine. I'm not overweight. In fact, I've been slowly losing weight over the past 18 months and am currently about 8 3/4 stone, which is probably slightly under where it should be and I'm hoping not to lose any more. I've been tested for a number of auto-immune diseases when I presented with arthritis in my fingers a few years ago and didn't show up positive on any of them.


Hi I have lost a great deal of weight, too much now very underweight. I used to struggle to keep it down! My endo, who is brilliant discovered I had a severe pancreas problem,not a tumour. it is just rotten. The test for that is a simple specific stool test. I have enzymes ( not a drug) which helps.It is not all down to that but certainly it is in the equation, I have never drunk! That was long before I had severe diabetes. I also probably have Crohn`s disease.A lot of the gut problems, bowel especially can cause this problem. Of course, low weight does make one cold. I have seen gastro`s for years , never found them much use. When I had autoimmune hepatitis and was very ill , seeing a so called top gastro weekly, it took 9 months and I saw a new cardio, without even knowing my symptoms, just looking at me he diagnosed the hepatitis and tests confirmed it! This is just in case it can help you. Make sure your heart is OK too,Also the obvious thyroid and reproductive hormones. I hope you find the answer easier than I did!



Thanks Jackie. I have an appointment with a gastro coming up in december, so I'm hoping they can find something - I don't want to be diagnosed with something terrible, but I know my gut isn't completey happy and would like to be able to do something about it.


Good, send me a PM and let me know how you got on. Even my top liver specialist cannot be sure what my weight problem is but then I have so many highly complex major illnesses.

best wishes,



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