Why Do I Get Cold After I Eat? Causes and Potential Indications

Why Do I Get Cold After I Eat Causes and Potential Indications

The fluctuation of body temperature after eating is not uncommon. Often, people start feeling cold immediately after eating and often wonder why do I get cold after I eat.

The body’s internal temperature may vary due to various reasons, and one of them is eating. To some extent, it can be blamed on the type of food you are consuming and your diet. 

Most of the time, it is not a matter of concern but may indicate an underlying issue, especially when you feel extreme chills accompanied by shivering for long hours.

Let’s find out what causes the body to feel cold after eating and what the possibilities are for having some medical issues due to it. At the same time, we’ll learn when a consultation from a doctor is advised. 

What Are The Reasons Your For Feeling Cold After Eating Food?

One of the most common reasons for getting cold after eating is consuming a poor diet that is low in calories. Besides this, fasting is another reason why the body feels cold immediately when you resume eating.

Let’s understand how diet influences body temperature.

1. Low Calorie Diet

Everybody has different calorie needs. From children to men and women of different ages, the calorie requirements differ considerably. Since calories are the major source of energy production and body temperature, any negligence can disrupt the body’s function to adjust its temperature (1). 

Often, when people go on a particular diet, especially to manage their weight, and start eating less than needed, they experience a body getting cold after eating (2). It happens in both lean and overweight people. 

Due to low-calorie intake, the body starts saving energy by lowering its temperature. The more you go on a calorie deficient diet, the more your body will feel cold after eating food (3).

So, if you are eating less and restricting calorie intake, the body is more likely to feel cold. It will happen not only after eating but most of the time. 

2. Fasting 

While dieting is one of the oldest methods of losing weight, fasting has gained huge popularity lately. It is often termed intermittent fasting, wherein people maintain a regular schedule between eating and fasting alternatively and consuming nothing in between.  

There are different types of intermittent fasting based on fasting and eating window. The most popular intermittent fasting is abstaining from food for 14 to 16 hours daily and eating within a restricted time period, which is usually an 8 to 10 hours window. Another popular method of alternate-day fasting is eating one day and staying without food the next. 

While intermittent fasting has many proven benefits, which are not restricted to weight management, it may also make one sensitive to cold after eating. 

The possible reasons for feeling cold after fasting include-

  • Change in metabolic rate as the body decreases its temperature to conserve energy.
  • Reduced blood flow as the body will prioritize essential organs like the heart and brain and not the skin, making it cold.
  • Dehydration can occur when you neglect water while fasting, as well. It will affect blood flow and reduce the ability of the body to regulate temperature.
  • Low blood sugar, as restricting calories, will lower the body’s insulin level, which plays a role in energy metabolism (4). 

3. Foods 


Sometimes, when you are doing everything right- neither dieting nor fasting, the body still feels cold after eating. It could be because of eating certain foods that have a cooling sensation. If you consume such food during winter, it will definitely make you feel cold. 

Some of these foods include the following-

  1. Spicy food– Foods that contain chili are responsible for causing a slight decrease in body temperature (5). The presence of the chemical capsaicin in chili could be one possible reason. As you consume spicy food, the body gives signals to the brain to overheat. It causes sweat, and when it evaporates, a cooling sensation occurs. 
  2. Peppermint– The presence of methanol in beverages that contain peppermint is also responsible for making the body feel cold after their consumption. However, it is not because the temperature of the body is reduced but because methanol provides a cooling effect (6).  
  3. Cold foods and drinks– Drinking cold drinks and eating ice creams are associated with reducing body temperature temporarily and giving a cooling sensation. Usually, the body comes back to its normal temperature after 15 minutes of consumption. 

Is There Any Medical Condition To Feel Cold After Eating?

Is there any medical condition to feel cold after eating

Generally, feeling cold after eating doesn’t indicate anything harmful; in a few cases, it may indicate an underlying problem that is still undiagnosed. If you experience cold after eating for long hours and shiver, here are the possible reasons-

1. Hypothyroidism 

It is a condition when the body fails to make enough thyroid hormones (7). As a result, the metabolic rate and digestive function get hampered, leading to other complications. People with this disorder often feel colder than others and have cold sensitivity. 

2. Anaemia 

A lack of red blood cells in the body indicates that the person is anemic. The function of these cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the other body parts. When there is a lack of oxygen throughout the body, it develops an increased sensitivity to cold (8). 

3. Diabetes 

If the body’s blood sugar level rises due to insufficient insulin, it causes diabetes. Often, an untreated case of diabetes leads to life-threatening problems such as kidney failure and nerve damage. People with diabetes feel cold not just after eating but most of the time (9).

4. Idiopathic Postprandial Syndrome (IPS)

Even though rare, this condition refers to low blood sugar levels wherein people feel hypoglycemic symptoms 2–5 hours after a meal (10). Body shakes and chills are also accompanied. 

What causes IPS is still not known; however, some believe it to be caused by eating foods with a high glycemic index. 


If you often question, why do I get cold after eating, first make sure that it is temporary, as feeling cold for long hours could indicate a serious issue. 

You can make changes in your diet, start consuming calorie-rich food, and stop dieting immediately to know if the cold sensitivity is short or long-term. In case of any serious concern, visit your doctor, who can diagnose the problem and provide the right line of treatment. 


  1. Towards a molecular understanding of adaptive thermogenesis-https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10766252/ 
  2. Long-term calorie restriction, but not endurance exercise, lowers core body temperature in humans-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117452/ 
  3. Long-term calorie restriction, but not endurance exercise-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117452/ 
  4. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279510/ 
  5. Effect of capsaicin on thermoregulation: an update with new aspects-https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27227029/
  6. TRPM8: The Cold and Menthol Receptor- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK5238/
  7. Hypothyroidism- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6619426/
  8. Iron Deficiency Anemia: A Common and Curable Disease-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3685880/
  9. Diabetic Neuropathies- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208099/
  10. Postprandial Reactive Hypoglycemia- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7192270/

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