You know how some people are
always cold? Others tend to feel hot all the time — no matter the temperature. This has a lot to do with preference, what they like to wear, bodily factors, etc. But did you know that feeling hot all the time can also be a sign of an underlying health concern?
If you're always overheating, getting inexplicably sweaty, or experiencing hot flashes for no apparent reason, it may be worth looking into — simply for the sake of listening to your body, and staying on top of your health.
"Hot flashes are something that
should never be ignored, but it also does not necessarily mean that you have a major ailment, so don't worry," health expert Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. "Worrying itself can cause a hot flash! Take time to asses you mood, your stress levels, your overall health, and get in tune with your body. If relaxing does not help, it may be time to consult your medical provider and get to the root cause because there are so many different reasons people can get hot flashes. It could be basic stress, or it could be pre-menopause, hormonal, endocrine, or thyroid related, so definitely find out the cause."
From there, your doctor can treat the issue, so you can officially stop feeling like you're standing on the surface of the sun. Here are a few health conditions that might be to blame, according to experts.
If you feel hot all the time, it could have something to do with your blood sugar levels, which — when they get out of whack, due to something like
diabetic hypoglycemia — can result in what feels like a hot flash.
"This occurs when your blood glucose gets too low, which makes your body battle to keep up to pace," Dr. David Greuner of
NYC Surgical Associates tells Bustle. "This produces a surplus of adrenaline and results in excessive sweating." Of course to find out, ask your doctor about a potential diagnosis.
If you've ever been walking down the street, when suddenly you feel nervous and sweaty, that "hot flash"
might be due to anxiety. "Anxiety is more than just an emotion," clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "It has a very real physiological component. As your heart rate goes up, as your blood pressure raises, as your breathing gets more shallow and as your muscles tense, your body will heat up. And you can absolutely feel hot, be hot, and sweat as a result. While you always want to rule out other medical causes for feeling hot, stress and anxiety are absolutely one possibility."
Your thyroid can also play a role in how hot or cold you feel. With conditions like
hyperthyroidism, "your thyroid produces too many thyroid hormones, which increases your metabolism as well as all of your other bodily functions," Dr. Greuner says. "It can increase body temperature because of this as well as the fact that your body’s immune system is overworking."
If you can't seem to stop sweating — despite using antiperspirant, and not actually being all that hot — it could be due to a condition called
"Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which someone experiences excessive and unpredictable sweating," Dr. Samuel Ahn, of
La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills, tells Bustle. "Affecting about [one to two percent] of the population, hyperhidrosis is usually localized to one or more parts of the body, including the underarms, face, scalp, hands, and feet ... The disorder can stain individuals’ clothes, make social and professional interactions awkward and embarrassing, and can even make it difficult to grip a pen or a car steering wheel," due to having slippery, sweaty hands.
When over-the-counter antiperspirants don't work, other treatments include prescription strength antiperspirants, laser treatments, and even
Botox injections to stop the sweating.
While it's important not to assume the worst and think you have cancer just because you get hot, do keep in mind that some "cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, [and] specific tumors ... can
cause night sweats and body over-heating," Dr. Greuner says.
If you consistently wake up drenched in sweat — and it's not just because your bedroom is hot, or you were wrapped up in too many blankets — definitely tell your doctor. They can look into it for you, and figure out if your sweating is due to something serious.
Side Effects From Medications
There are medications that can cause hot flashes, "including some common antidepressants and opioid drugs," Myra says. "If you are taking any prescriptions, make sure to find out if a hot flash is a known side effect." If that turns out to be the case, your doctor will likely be able to adjust the medicine, so that you'll feel more at ease.
It's well-known that menopause can cause hot flashes. Usually, this occurs in women 50 and older, due to shifting hormone levels. But it can also occur in women younger than 40, in what's
known as pre-menopause.
As Myra says, in "
pre-menopause and menopause hot flashes are due to decreased levels of estrogen in the body." When that hormones begin to decrease, it can cause the telltale symptoms that make you flush and sweat, as well as other symptoms such as mood swings, a racing heart, headaches, decreased libido, and trouble sleeping.
Certain Viruses & Other Illnesses
A fever isn't an illness all on its own, but instead a symptom of an illness. Usually, its
a side effect of a virus, and it will go away in a few days.
sick with the flu, for example, expect to have high fevers right along with it. "Your body naturally raises its body temperature in order to kick the white blood cells into gear and beat whatever is causing the fever," Dr. Greuner says. It could also help eliminate bacteria sensitive to higher temperatures.
ongoing fevers can be a sign of something like cancer, or the Epstein-Barre Virus (EBC) — better known as the virus that causes mononucleosis — it's important to let your doctor know if you're constantly running a fever.
If you're feeling hot, it's usually either due to the environment, or something simple, like the common cold. But if you're always perspiring, waking up in a puddle of sweat, or shedding your sweaters due to hot flashes, let your doctor know. It's always better to pay attention to your body, and get checked out.