Heat Intolerance: Causes And Symptoms

Very hot climates can cause discomfort in some people and this is known as ‘heat intolerance’. Do you want to know more about her? Keep reading and we will explain it to you.

The temperature of the environment can affect people differently. In this sense, many greatly dislike hot weather. However, the problem relapses when, beyond a dislike, this person is unable to bear 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 keep it within normal values. This organ is located at the base of the brain and also plays a role in the sensation 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 lead to 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, studies show that an error in the transcription of certain genes can be a predisposing factor. On the other hand, some specialists prefer to treat it as a psychological problem.

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

Woman with hot flashes of menopause.

Drug consumption

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

All of these medications prevent the production of sweat, so the body cannot dissipate heat on its own. In addition, decongestants increase muscle activity, so the body will produce even more heat.


Caffeine is a stimulant substance that has the ability to increase heart rate and speed up metabolism. In this way, the body will be producing more heat than under normal conditions, which can trigger the problem.


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


Upon reaching a certain age, women begin to suffer a hormonal imbalance that ends their reproductive stage; This is known as menopause . The hormonal changes suffered will generate a series of symptoms, including sensitivity to heat, which can manifest as a feeling of hot flashes.

Multiple sclerosis

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

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

When to visit a doctor?

This health problem can take time to appear, however, once it appears it can last between 1 and 2 days. In most cases, people who suffer from it know the triggering factor. 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, those who suffer from multiple sclerosis should be very attentive to the symptoms. It is important to visit the doctor if vision becomes blurred, since it could be in the presence of Uhthoff phenomenon, a series of neurological changes, especially visual, originated in thermal failure.

Diagnosis of heat intolerance

The diagnosis of this condition is quite complex and often represents a challenge for the specialist. First of all, the clinic should be specified. Symptoms that may appear include the following:

  • Exaggerated feeling of heat with hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating.
  • Headache and dizziness.
  • Muscle weakness with cramps.
  • Elevated body temperature

All 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.

Treatment and prevention

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

In addition, drinking a glass of cold water during physical exercise has also been shown to  decrease the likelihood of a heat intolerance attack.

On the other hand, if the symptoms are already being suffered, it is important to suspend activities and remove the person from the warm environment. The main objective will be to lower the body temperature, so the patient should drink plenty of water and stay in a cool place.

Prevent heat intolerance to reduce damage

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

On the other hand, it is important to control heat intolerance once it occurs, since it can lead to a very dangerous state called hyperthermia or heat stroke. Therefore, it is a syndrome that should not be underestimated at any time and should not be taken lightly.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button