Health — 30 March 2013

Why do old people get cold

Old people tend to get cold easily for a couple of reasons. Old age slows down the Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) – the complex chemical process in the body responsible for heat generation and many other things in the body. As BMR slows down, the body becomes less efficient in generating and preserving heat in the body. Consequently an old person’s body finds it hard to maintain the normal body temperature of 98.6 degree F.

Another reason behind catching cold fast is prevalence of diseases like hypothyroidism and cardiovascular problems among old people. These health problems do not let the body store heat adequately. Besides, generally old people are frail and the lack of fat in the body does not let them store heat adequately. Poor blood circulation is another reason behind catching cold fast.

Since old people are at higher risk of catching hypothermia, a condition when body temperature sinks down to 95 degree F, it is important to keep them warm. Hypothermia can strike even without subzero temperature outside. One can keep warm by eating well and covering one’s body well before stepping out of the home.  Eating adequate food generates warmth in the body and does not let cold overpower old people. Dressing up in layers also helps in preserving the warm air between the layers and keeping the body temperature up. Before going out, make sure to cover hands, feet, head, chest and ears well.

Drinking warm drinks throughout the day is also a good way to retain body heat but alcohol should not be consumed because it causes heat reduction in body.



About Author

Ritu Insaan

A homemaker, social worker and a mother, Ritu Insaan holds an MBA degree in Public Health. She has worked in the rural areas of northern India for the upliftment of less privileged sections of society. Whenever she finds free time amidst her busy schedule, she does freelance writing for a number of websites.

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