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Every night my 86 year mother complains that her feet are cold. She has socks on her feet and I wrap them in 2 blankets. They don't feel cold. Is it her imagination?

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The furnace runs when it's 80 degrees and last year during the polar vortex she wanted the air conditioner on. Everyone in our neighborhood saved money on air conditioning this summer because it was cool. Not mom. She ran the furnace and the air conditioner. Had a few rows over it too because as I told mom,you can't run the air and the furnace at the same time. As Gilda Radner said as Rosanna Anna Dana said, "It's always something"
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Oh my gosh, those lovely hot flashes.... medication was triggering mine, any type of anti-hormone pill will do that.

As for my elderly Mom, it was her thyroid that was making her feel so cold. Her hands would feel like icicles. My parents house is always around 85 degrees.... I couldn't stay more than 20 minutes and I had to leave to get from fresh air. My poor Dad would be wearing a sleeveless undershirt and walking shorts year round inside their house, and be barefoot.
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The whole body on fire thing can be a hot flash, hot flush due to a medication, or an allergic reaction.
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Dysautonomia (or autonomic dysfunction, autonomic neuropathy) can also manifest in this way, as well as dizziness, trouble swallowing, incontinence and a myriad of other problem areas that are regulated by the nervous sytem. My mom is always bundled up like an Eskimo, even when it is 90 degrees outside. She is not sweating either, which does not allow her body to cool itself down. She is also taking blood thinnners which I'm told can make her feel cold. There are so many possibilities of what can cause this. We are currently working with a neurologist and waiting for results.
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my mom is 87 and she will say that it feels like her body is on fire can last up to a couple of minutes what could it be
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I believe kvetch99 bring up a good point....not only would that be good for your mom's circulation, but would provide a means to building or at least maintaining your mother's existing muscle mass. At her age muscle mass diminishes very rapidly and it's much harder to increase it than to simply maintain it.

It should be noted that this has nothing to do with body weight - even someone who is heavyset can suffer from diminished lose of muscle mass. It begins to effect anyone 50 years of age and older. With each subsequent decade muscle lose declines at a quicker pace, so for your mother in her mid 80's, this can be a genuine concern.

Good luck!
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Is your mother getting any excercise? Even moving around from room to room helps. The point is, our bodies are warmed by our blood circulating. The faster, the more we move the better our circulation (under normal circumstances). Further, as we age part of the deterioration is our circulation and so we get cold. It's a natural thing.
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All very good answers. Neuropathy or other neurological interpretation, circulation disorders, low body weight, low thyroid, anemia and other blood issues are all the possibilities that I thought about, too. Another I would think about is low sugar or other endocrine problems. If she saids she is cold, then she is cold regardless of how her skin feels to the touch. If her doctor hasn't checked for the above, then I would suggest asking the doctor to check. Some are more easily treated than others.
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I'm not aware of your mother's body weight, but with may seniors reduced body weight and lose of muscle mass are also contributing factors to feeling cold.
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My Dad is 76, he is always cold, on a 90 degree day he will wear a sweatshirt sitting out in the sun, he complains that the house is kept below zero when it is set for 78. This has been a complaint of his for the last 10 years or so. Recently when he had a stroke, the hospital told us that his Normal body tempature is 96, where Normal for most people is 98.6. This is what causes most of it, when his temp is 98.6 he is running a high fever. Anyway we let him be comfortable, keep him drinking fluids when out in the heat, and will make he take off the sweatshirt when the temps are higher than 90. Makes it hard but it can be normal thing take your mom's tempurature regularly for a while, and see where her normal is, and go from there.
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My 89 year old MIL who lived with us for 28 months and is now in a ALF was diagnosed with Meleodysplasia. Her hemoglobin count would vary from 7-11. Her lowest hit 4.3 as she was dehydrated because she was not taking in her fluids. It would be 80 outside and she would put on her long johns with polar fleece pants and tops. Good luck!
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usually their blood is thinner and circulation is the problem. she is 80 something. she has a right to feel anyway she wants.
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My Mom doesn't seem to feel anything. She tells me the shower is too hot. No matter how much cold I add, she'll insist it is hot. Sometimes she'll say it is cold, and it is hot.

As far as neuropathy, my dad recently went to a Rheumatologist (sp) and he was able to help him.
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My father has neuropathy and he feels like his legs, feet, and lower back are on fire.
What can be done to make it feel better?
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Consider low thyroid, low responsiveness to thyroid hormone, as well as just lower metabolism or poorer circulation. Most of the time, thyroid tests are OK, but if someone is also constipated, anemic, and has very dry skin it is especially worth checking. I guess I am just clutching at hopes there may something more treatable, rather than just keeping your house at 76 degrees all the time. My mom was cold almost all the time too, but also would get too hot sitting outside on a sunny day for very long. She had long-standing hypothyroidism and got some dose increases when her TSH was just a little high, and that got things corrected somewhat, but she still wore a sweater indoors year round! Other times, apparently older people on thyroid medication need their dose reduced due to slower metaboism of the hormone. Probably more often, it is not the htyroid but just that some older people can't adapt as well or as efficiently to different temperatures.
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My mother is the same way. She is, like most elderly, not usually really sufficiently hydrated. I wonder if there may not be a correlation between hydration and internal thermostatic efficiency. Note that in general most people are not sufficiently hydrated but not as badly dehydrated as the elderly tend toward.
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Could also be from lack of circulation or a medication she is taking. My Mother does the same thing, my husband & I will be roasting even though she has on long sleeves pants, & a sweater!!!! But when I feel of her legs & feet, they are like ice-sooo....she probably does feel cold. Anyway, that is my theory.
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She's either REALLY cold, or maybe has neuropathy in her feet. My feet can feel like they're burning up, but not to the touch. My mom's feet used to turn white and be ice cold, but not to the touch. It was neuropathy.
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Because she is cold.

The mechanisms in our body that control how we perceive temperature may not continue to function reliably all of our lives.
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