Do you wear short sleeves even in cooler months? Do you notice you're often the only person in a room who's fanning yourself? Do you sweat easily? If you answered "yes" to these questions, you may suffer from heat intolerance.
Heat intolerance means you're more sensitive to rises in temperature than most people. As a result, you may feel overheated when everyone else seems to be comfortable. In addition to discomfort, symptoms like heavy sweating and a flushed face can lead to embarrassment.
So you might be wondering if there's a way to avoid going through life mopping your brow and fanning your face -- perhaps there's even a supplement that can make you more tolerant of heat.
Unfortunately, there's no magic pill for eliminating the symptom of heat intolerance. However, there are supplements you can take to address some of the possible causes of the condition [source: Vaughan].
Sources of heat intolerance can include obesity, anxiety, menopause, hyperthyroidism, medications and caffeine. So, for example, if you're overweight, your body might be producing too much cortisol. Thus, if you take a supplement like adrenal adaptogenic herb to regulate cortisol, it could possibly also help control your body's reaction to heat.
In addition to addressing the root cause of your heat intolerance, there are other things you can do to manage your response to rising temperatures. See the next page to learn more.
Managing Heat Intolerance Effectively
If you're frequently hot, there are a number of things you can do to make yourself more comfortable. For starters, you should discuss your condition with your doctor. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of possible medical treatments and circumstances that make a person more intolerant to heat. If the cause is addressed, that might be all you need to make heat intolerance a thing of the past. In the meantime, however, taking these steps can help you cool off more effectively:
- Lose weight. Being overweight can make your body heat up faster. Simple activities like walking or climbing stairs take more exertion, causing you to break a sweat faster. Achieving an optimal weight for your height, age and sex will help you remain more comfortable performing everyday tasks.
- Avoid recreational and diet drugs. In addition to these drugs being bad for you, they speed up your heart rate and increase your body temperature.
- Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine is another substance that can increase your heart rate. It can also make you more fidgety, which may heat you up faster.
- Control your stress and anxiety. The fight-or-flight response your body creates when anxious is only useful if you're under threat of bodily harm. Otherwise, it can wreak havoc on your system, including making you feel physically heated in high-stress situations.
- Allow yourself to sweat. To tolerate heat, you have to be able to sweat. So, especially when exercising or working outside in the summer months, wear a deodorant that doesn't inhibit your ability to perspire.
- Wear cool clothing. This one's a no-brainer. Wearing cool, breathable fabrics will help you stay comfortable. And if it's cool outside, wear layers so that you can abandon a sweater or jacket if you get too warm.
- Drink enough water. In addition to hydrating you, water can help your body maintain a comfortable temperature
- Seek out cooler areas. If you're indoors, look for areas near air conditioning or fans. Outdoors, find shade when you're too hot.
Looking for more information on beating the heat? Visit the links and resources on the next page.
- Consumer Health Information Corporation. "Caution: Some Drugs Might Make You More Sensitive to Heat." 2010. (May 10, 2012) http://www.consumer-health.com/services/CautionSomeDrugsMightMakeYouMoreSensitivetoHeat.php
- Medline Plus. "Heat Intolerance." April 20, 2010. (May 10, 2012) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003094.htm
- Vaughan, Elizabeth MD. Physician, Vaughan Integrative Medicine. Personal interview. April 27, 2012.