Too Cold!
February 15, 2005 4:25 PM   Subscribe

ChillyFilter: Stray's question reminded me of one that's been bugging me for a while. If I'm out in the cold for any length of time, I start feeling very faint. I've passed out from this once or twice in normal Midwestern winter weather. Other people out in the same weather don't seem to suffer the same effects.

Anyone else have the same problem? Anyone know what causes it?

(Er, make that "any significant length of time." I'm talking half an hour or so, not just a minute or two.)
posted by nebulawindphone to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Hmm... I've never heard of this happening to anybody I know from day-to-day outdoor activity (living in Minnesota, it'd be fairly common I'd think), but I have heard of this from friends who go hiking a lot. What they've called it is "cold dehydration". I think it mostly has to do with your body sweating off water and salt without you realizing it (since your warm weather clothing will generally absorb much of it before you even notice a significant amount of sweat).

Probably not what you're dealing with, though. Sorry. :(
posted by ibidem at 4:36 PM on February 15, 2005

Maybe the cold air has an effect on your breathing.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2005

Or maybe you're allergic to the cold.
posted by Coffeemate at 5:12 PM on February 15, 2005

nebulawindphone -- it's the same answer, as it's really the same question. You're probably experiencing histamine shock.
posted by ewagoner at 6:29 PM on February 15, 2005

Stay hydrated, and have your heart checked.
posted by bh at 8:57 PM on February 15, 2005

Have you been tested for triggered asthma? Low blood sugar? Low thyroid? (IANAD)
Your MD can find for you a pocket Peak Flow Meter for you to use when you feel weak (No wheeze does NOT mean no asthma).
Do you wear a heavy muffler over your mouth and nose ?
(breathing cold air may be the trigger)
Where do you feel the cold?
Do you wear a heavy hat that covers the ears and a turtleneck or scarf to keep head & neck warm?
A thermos of _weak_ tea with a bit of cayenne does wonders.
posted by Charles the Friend at 11:28 PM on February 15, 2005

I've never felt faint but do seem to suffer from Cold Urticaria as well. There have been numerous times where I get hives from cold water, or ice cubes on the skin. Weird stuff.
posted by trillion at 10:26 AM on February 16, 2005

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