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Heat intolerance

Alternative names

Heat intolerance is the inability to be comfortable when external temperatures rise.


Heat intolerance often produces a feeling of being overheated and can produce heavy sweating. Heat intolerance usually comes on slowly and persists long-term.

Common Causes

  • Thyrotoxicosis (excess thyroid hormone, which increases the basal metabolic rate, causing body temperature to rise)
  • Amphetamines such as appetite suppressants
  • Caffeine
  • Menopause

Home Care

Room temperature should be kept at a comfortable level. Drinking lots of fluids is recommended.

Call your health care provider if

Call your health care provider if there is persistent and unexplained heat intolerance.

The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.

Medical history questions documenting heat intolerance in detail may include:
  • Time pattern
    • Have you had heat intolerance before?
    • Have you always had difficulty tolerating heat?
    • When did you begin to develop heat intolerance?
  • Associated complaints
    • Is it worse when you exercise?
    • What other symptoms are present? Especially, is there:
      • Fainting
      • Vomiting
      • Dizziness
      • Palpitations
      • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
  • Blood studies
  • Thyroid studies ( TSH , T3 , free T4 )
After seeing your health care provider:
You may want to add a diagnosis related to heat intolerance to your personal medical record.

Update Date: 2/2/2004

Tarun Jain, M.D., Endocrinology & Infertility Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT