Do you always feel hot when everyone around you feels just fine? Has it gotten to a point where you often ask yourself, “wow, why do I get overheated so easily?” If so, this can be an indicator that you’re dealing with an underlying medical condition that features feeling hot and excessive sweating as a common symptom or it can be a result of recent exercise, hot weather, or eating spicy food.
Symptoms, such as night sweats, excessive sweating, and hot flashes, can point to conditions such as systemic diseases, an infection, or a change in hormone levels. This is why you need to go to a doctor to check this out, particularly if you don’t feel well in other ways.
That said, sweating and feeling hot isn’t always a big deal. After you rule out a medical condition, you can make a point out of regulating your body temperature simply by following several easy tips to make sure you’re comfortable.
For instance, you can sleep in a cool room, try to wear cotton or linen clothes, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. With that said, here are the 10 most common causes of why you might be feeling hot and sweaty.
10 Most Common Causes for Always Feeling Hot and Sweating
Your thyroid gland secretes and produces hormones that regulate your development and growth, body temperature, and metabolism among other things. Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in maintaining your metabolic health, and if your thyroid gland doesn’t produce thyroid hormones properly, you can sweat and feel hot all the time.
An overactive thyroid gland, also known as hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland secretes too much of the thyroxine hormone. One side effect of hyperthyroidism is often faster metabolism, which leads to excessive sweating and increased body temperature. If you think that you have a problem with your thyroid gland, visit your doctor and talk to them about your treatment options (you can also consult an endocrinologist).
Menopause officially starts when you go one year without getting your period. The years before this are called perimenopause. During this transitional period, you experience hormone level fluctuations with no warning at all. When your hormone levels drop, you might feel menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes. Hot flashes can cause you to feel hot in your upper body, which can cause blotchy or red patches on your skin as well. Perimenopause usually begins in your mid to late 40s and lasts approximately five years.
Other symptoms of perimenopause are:
- Irregular or missed periods;
- Longer or shorter periods than the usual ones;
- Unusually heavy or light periods.
Menopause is a hormonal change that means a woman stops getting her menstrual cycles and cannot become pregnant. Most women will reach menopause between ages 46 and 59. Women can feel hotter than usual because of the hot flashes. Taking off layers of clothes, using a cold compress or a fan, and drinking plenty of water can be helpful in reducing the intensity of the hot flashes.
Sleeping difficulties, irritability and mood swings, painful and uncomfortable sex, vaginal dryness, excessive sweating, and decreased interest in sex are some of the most common menopause symptoms. Women might find using hormone therapy quite helpful in relieving these symptoms. Hormonal therapy replaces the estrogen hormone that women’s ovaries stop producing during menopause.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Premature ovarian failure, also known as primary ovarian insufficiency, occurs when women’s ovaries stop functioning properly before the age of 40. When your ovaries aren’t working properly, the estrogen levels decrease. This can be a cause for premature symptoms of menopause, including excessive sweating and hot flashes.
Other premature ovarian failure symptoms in women under 40 years of age are:
- Vaginal dryness;
- Problems conceiving;
- Missed or irregular menstrual cycles;
- Problem concentrating;
- Decreased desire for sex.
If you’re under 40 years of age and you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause, visit your healthcare professional to talk about treatment options.
People who have multiple sclerosis (MS) are unusually sensitive to heat. Even a little rise in body temperature can cause multiple sclerosis symptoms to worsen or appear. Humid and hot weather is quite challenging. This worsening of symptoms can happen after a fever, intense exercise, or even a warm bath. Multiple sclerosis symptoms usually go back to baseline after your body cools down. Not very often, people that have multiple sclerosis can experience paroxysmal symptoms, including sudden hot flashes, spasms, problems with vision, shooting pain in the legs and arms, slurred speech, burning or stabbing sensations on one side of your face, and lack of coordination.
Side Effects of Medications
Certain over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be a cause for excessive sweating and feeling hot, such as:
- medications that contain zinc;
- some antidepressants, such as nortriptyline and desipramine;
- hormonal medications;
- antivirals and antibiotics;
- certain pain relievers;
- medications for heart rate and blood pressure;
- neck and head medications, including Sudafed;
- gastrointestinal, lung, eye, neuropsychiatric, and urological medications;
Remember that certain medications tend to just cause excessive sweating or feeling hot in a minimal percentage of people, so it’s beneficial to determine whether another medication you use can be to blame. In order to be sure you can consult with a healthcare professional if any of the medications you use can be the root of the problem.
Anxiety and Stress
Feeling unusually sweaty and hot can indicate that you’re under a lot of stress or experiencing anxiety. Your sympathetic nervous system has a major role in both how a person physically responds to emotional stress and how much a person sweats. If you are one of those people that experience social anxiety, for instance, you are familiar with these physical reactions known as fight or flight when you’re facing a big crowd.
You can experience increased body temperature, excessive sweating, fast breathing, and fast heart rate. All of these physical reactions are preparing you to move quicker. On the other hand, emotional responses to anxiety include fear, panic, and worry that can be really hard to control.
If you have either diabetes type 1 or type 2, you can experience the effects of heat much more than other people. Diabetes can be harmful to the nerves and blood vessels, which can have an impact on the sweat glands, meaning your body cannot decrease its temperature by itself as efficiently as usual.
Persons with diabetes can dehydrate more easily than other people because high temperatures have an impact on how their body uses insulin, which can mean that you need to check your blood sugar levels more often. It’s essential for you to be aware of becoming dehydrated and overheating if you want to avoid heat stroke or exhaustion.
If you have diabetes, make sure to take care during hot weather by wearing loose clothes and staying in the shade. Drinking as much water as you can and keeping your medications in cold places and nearby is very important, as well.
If you cannot seem to keep your armpits dry, regardless of the amount of antiperspirant you apply on them, then this might be caused by a health condition known as hyperhidrosis. Usually, hyperhidrosis causes excessive sweating around your face, palms, and armpits no matter how hot it is. In rare cases, hyperhidrosis can occur all over your body.
Your skin contains sweat glands that respond to indicators from your brain that command the loosening of sweat. As the sweat evaporates off your skin it decreases your body temperature. So, if you suffer from hyperhidrosis these indicators go haywire and become overly active. If you sweat too much most of the time and to an excessive level, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional about your treatment options.
On the flip side, there is anhidrosis, a medical issue that makes it hard to sweat normally. And since sweating helps in temperature regulation, if you aren’t able to sweat there is a big chance of overheating. The most common causes of anhidrosis include but aren’t limited to nerve damage caused by diabetes, damage of the skin from burns or radiation therapy, or sweat gland damage from surgery.
Other symptoms of anhidrosis include flushing, skin dryness, lightheadedness, and muscle cramps. Treatment options are different, depending on the cause of anhidrosis. If the condition has an impact only on a small part of your body, you may not even need treatment.
Feeling hot in hot weather, during exercise, eating spicy food, and in heated environments is quite normal, and sweating is an essential response of your body to staying cool. However, if you’re sweating more than usual, or feeling hot most of the time, it can be an indicator of an underlying health condition.
Changes in hormone levels, certain medications, and some medical conditions can all be a cause for your excessive sweating and feeling hot. You can track your symptoms and visit a doctor in order to determine the cause for your excessive sweating and feeling hot. Treating the underlying cause can help in relieving the symptoms.