Everyone suffers from heat intolerance if they get too hot. It can also happen to anyone who experiences heat stress, heat sensitivity, heat intolerance, or sees a decrease in their performance while they are hot. The loss in performance can be triggered by internal, external, and situational heat. Check out our blog on Crafting a Personalized Cooling Plan for more info.
- Age: Infants, children under 4 years old, and older adults may be more sensitive to heat. This sensitivity increases their susceptibility to heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke.
- Medication: Some medications change the body’s response to heat by decreasing sweat production. Anticholinergic drugs, which can treat many psychiatric conditions and Parkinson’s disease, and some medications that treat allergies, blood pressure, decongestants, antidepressants, antibiotics, and acne may reduce sweating and increase heat sensitivity.
- Sensory issues: Sensory processing disorder, as well as sensory issues that sometimes accompany autism, may make a person more sensitive to heat.
- Neurological conditions: Medical conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord, such as spinal cord injuries, MS, POTS, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia, can increase heat sensitivity by changing how the body or brain processes heat or by inhibiting the body’s ability to regulate temperature.
- Endocrine system problems: The endocrine system helps the body regulate a wide range of functions. Disorders such as Graves’ disease, a thyroid condition, can increase heat sensitivity.
- Being less physically fit: For some people, heat intolerance is a sign of poor cardiovascular and respiratory fitness. In 2014, researchers found that people who showed more signs of heat intolerance were also less physically fit.
- Internal: My body doesn’t react well to heat due to internal reasons like MS, POTS, Lupus, medications, allergies, diet, and Hyperthyroid issues.
- External: Hot or humid conditions above what our bodies are usually conditioned to. Keep in mind that on a hot day, your body temperature varies dramatically worldwide. Examples: firefighters, factories, actors on-stage, machine operation, cooks, etc.. or even a warm day in Alaska compared to one in India.
- Situational: Clothing and protective clothing create situations that can make our bodies overheat and experience heat stress, heat sensitivity, or decreased performance. Especially when 100% of the body is covered. Examples: Costumes, race car driving, mascots, beekeepers.