Heat intolerance: causes and symptoms

Ambient temperatures can affect people differently. In this regard, many do not really like the heat. However, the problem is when, beyond disgust, this person it is unable to withstand high temperatures, which can be known as heat intolerance.

To understand this phenomenon it is important to know that the body automatically regulates its temperature. This is achieved through the hypothalamus, which activates various peripheral mechanisms to maintain it within normal ranges. This organ is located at the base of the brain and also influences the feeling of thirst, hunger and the production of breast milk.

Heat intolerance is a syndrome in which people feel very uncomfortable in high temperatures. This can cause excessive sweating and a feeling of overheating.

What can be the causes of heat intolerance?

The specific reason why this syndrome occurs is still unknown. However, Education show that an error in the transcription of some genes may be a predisposing factor. On the other hand, some specialists prefer to treat it as a psychological problem.

In general, all situations that affect central or peripheral temperature regulation can trigger heat intolerance. Furthermore, pathologies or substances that accelerate the metabolism of individuals are also causal agents.

Woman with hot flashes from menopause.
Hot flashes in menopause are a common cause of heat intolerance among women over the age of 40.

Consumption of medicines

Medication use is probably the most common cause of heat sensitivity. Medications such as decongestants used to treat allergies and antihypertensives are responsible for cases of heat intolerance.

All of these drugs prevent sweat production, so the body cannot dissipate heat by itself. Also, decongestants increase muscle activity, so your body will produce even more heat.


Caffeine is a stimulant that has the ability to increase heart rate and speed up metabolism. This way, the body will produce more heat than under normal conditionswhich can trigger the problem.


Hyperthyroidism is a disease characterized by an overproduction of thyroid hormones, especially thyroxine. This hormone intervenes in the growth and development of the individual by increasing the production of energy. In excess it tends to speed up the metabolism, which increases body temperature.


Upon reaching a certain age, women begin to suffer from a hormonal imbalance which puts an end to their reproductive phase; this is known as menopause. The hormonal changes undergone will generate a series of symptoms, including sensitivity to heat, which it can manifest itself as a feeling of flushing.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a serious disease that affects the central and peripheral nervous systems. The same It is characterized by an autoimmune reaction in which the myelin sheath covering the nerves is destroyed.. This means that nerve impulses cannot be transmitted properly.

Heat intolerance is a common complication in this disease, as the hypothalamus is unable to efficiently send the order to lower the temperature. However, the increase in body temperature of these patients is also related to physical, cognitive and psychosocial fatigue.

When to visit a doctor?

This health problem may take some time to appear, however, once it occurs it can last between 1 and 2 days. In most cases, people who suffer from it know the trigger. However, you should always see a doctor when there is no apparent cause or when symptoms last more than two days.

On the other hand, people suffering from multiple sclerosis should be very attentive to the symptoms. It is important to visit your doctor if your vision becomes blurred, as it may be in the presence of Uhthoff phenomenona series of neurological changes, mainly visual, originating from a thermal breakdown.

Heat intolerance diagnosis

Diagnosing this condition is quite complex and usually a challenge for the specialist.. First of all, the clinic should be specified. Symptoms that may appear include:

  • Feeling of exaggerated heat with hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating.
  • Headache and dizziness.
  • Muscle weakness with cramps.
  • High body temperature.

All of these symptoms usually appear in warm environments that are well supported by other people. In addition, to try to find the possible cause, the doctor must analyze the patient’s medical history and perform various tests.

Man with heat intolerance.
The danger of heat intolerance is its derivation in hyperthermia pictures that affect the normal cellular metabolism.

cure and prevention

To prevent all the symptoms that this syndrome entails, it is important to stay in cool areas. The ideal is to have an air conditioner, however fans can also be useful.

Moreover, it was also tried That drink a glass of cold water during exercise decreases the likelihood of a heat intolerance attack.

If, on the other hand, the symptoms are already present, it is important to suspend activities and remove the person from the hot environment. The main goal will be to lower the body temperature, so the patient should drink plenty of water and stay in a cool place.

Prevents heat intolerance to reduce damage

It is important to take all the necessary precautions to avoid suffering from this condition, especially if you have had previous episodes or if you have a predisposing factor. In this sense, loose, light clothing should be used, as well as avoiding physical activity in high temperatures.

On the other hand, it is important to control heat intolerance once it occurs, as it can lead to a very dangerous condition called hyperthermia or heatstroke. For this reason it is a syndrome that should not be underestimated at any time and not to be taken lightly.

The post Heat Intolerance: Causes and Symptoms first appeared in research-school.



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