What is heat intolerance?
Most people don’t like extreme heat, but you might find that you’re always uncomfortable in hot weather if you have heat intolerance. Heat intolerance is also referred to as hypersensitivity to heat. When you have heat intolerance, it’s often because your body isn’t regulating its temperature properly. Your body regulates its temperature by maintaining a delicate balance between hot and cold. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that regulates your body’s temperature. When you get too hot, your hypothalamus sends a signal through your nerves to your skin, telling it to increase sweat production. When sweat evaporates off of your skin, it cools your body down.
How common is heat intolerance?
Heat intolerance is extremely common. It can occur in patients in any gender at any age. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Which signs and symptoms can heat intolerance usually be associated with?
Related signs and symptoms include:
- Heavy sweating
- Increased heartbeats
What causes heat intolerance?
Causes of heat intolerance can include:
- Medication. One of the most common causes of heat intolerance is medication. Allergy, blood pressure, and decongestant medications are among the most common.Allergy medications can inhibit your body’s ability to cool itself by preventing sweating. Blood pressure medications and decongestants may decrease the blood flow to your skin. This also inhibits sweat production. Decongestants can cause increased muscle activity, which can raise your body’s temperature.
- Caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your heart rate and speed up your metabolism. This can cause your body temperature to rise and lead to heat intolerance.
- Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine affects the regulation of your body’s metabolism. An excess of this hormone can cause your body’s metabolism to increase, which leads to a rising body temperature.Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It’s an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone.
- Multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. This disease affects the protective covering, or myelin, of the nerves of your central nervous system. If your myelin is damaged, your body’s nerve signals become interrupted. This condition can lead to heat intolerance.
The conditions mentioned above are some common causes of heat intolerance. Consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
What increases my risk for heat intolerance?
There are many risk factors for heat intolerance, such as:
- Low physical fitness
- Lack of acclimatization
- Febrile or infectious diseases
- Skin disorders
- A history of heat stroke
Please consult with your doctor for further information.
When to see your doctor
When should I see my doctor?
On noticing one of these symptoms or having any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor to get the best solutions for your situation.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage heat intolerance?
These following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with heat intolerance:
- Stay in a cooled environment. This is one of the best ways to avoid the symptoms.Try to cool your home. You can also lower your electricity bill by installing window tinting, which can cut your bills considerably in the summer months.
- Drink plenty of water or iced drinks to keep yourself hydrated. Sweating too much can quickly dehydrate you.
- Eat cooling foods. In the summer especially, many people report that they lose their enthusiasm for eating, preferring an ice cream cone or popsicle to a real meal. While that is fine for an occasional treat, it’s important to get adequate nutrition so that you don’t worsen your fatigue with blood sugar fluctuations. Some ideas for healthy cooling foods include:
- Raw salads with a variety of vegetables and fruit
- Protein such as nuts, beans, eggs, fish or meat
- Vegetables with healthy dips, such as hummus
- Cold sandwiches
- Cold soup
- Cereal topped with fruit and nuts and cold milk (or soy milk).
- Wear lightweight cotton fabrics. They allow the air to reach your skin and cool you.
- If you play sports, only wear extra protective gear like gloves, armbands, and hats when necessary.
- Cool down before heat-building activities with a cold shower. Getting chilly before heading outside on a hot day seems to buy a lot of time before you feel the heat. You will have to experiment with how cool of a shower you can endure and how much it helps you, but you might be surprised at your increase in heat tolerance.
- Get out of town. Clearly, relocating to a cooler climate is the most extreme suggestion on the list and probably the least feasible (or desirable). However, if you are one of the unlucky people who start to “feel the heat” in mid-spring and don’t get relief until mid-fall, it may be a quality of life issue that can’t be ignored.If possible, at least take vacations to cooler places during the summer months.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor for the best solutions.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
What Causes Heat Intolerance? https://www.healthline.com/symptom/heat-intolerance. Accessed February 27, 2019.
Heat intolerance. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003094.htm. Accessed February 27, 2019.
Heat Intolerance and MS. https://www.verywellhealth.com/tips-to-combat-heat-intolerance-for-people-with-ms-2440615. Accessed February 27, 2019.
Review Date: February 27, 2019 | Last Modified: February 27, 2019