Medically reviewed by Stacy Sampson, DO on February 11, 2020 — Written by Beth Sissons
- Stress or anxiety
- Multiple sclerosis
- Overactive thyroid
Sweating more or feeling hotter than usual can be due to medication, hormonal changes, or it may be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Keep reading to learn more about the possible causes of feeling unusually hot, along with other symptoms to look out for, and potential treatment options.
Certain medications can cause people to feel hotter than usual. Increased or excessive sweating can be a side effect of some drugs in the following categories:
- pain relief
- antibiotics and antivirals
- heart and blood pressure medication
- topical and oral skin treatments
- hormonal medication
- gastrointestinal medication
- medications for the head and neck, such as Sudafed
- neuropsychiatric medication
- eye medication
- lung medication
- urologic medication
If people are experiencing severe side effects from any medication they are taking, they can discuss other options with their doctor. A doctor may be able to reduce the dosage or prescribe an alternative.
If people are feeling stressed or anxious, they may notice certain physical responses in the body. This can because the body is becoming more alert to potential challenges or dangers and preparing for action.
People may sweat more, feel hotter than usual, or become flushed in the face. Other symptoms can include:
- increased pulse
- dry mouth
- excessive worry
- shaking or trembling
- difficulty sleeping
- inability to relax
If people are finding stress or anxiety is affecting their day-to-day life, they can see their doctor for advice. A doctor may refer people to a counselor or psychologist. Therapies, such as talking therapy or cognitive behavior therapy, may be useful.
Anhidrosis is a condition where people are unable to sweat. It can affect most of the body or just small areas.
Anhidrosis can make people feel unusually hot because sweating is essential for cooling the body down and preventing overheating.
People may have anhidrosis if they notice a lack of sweating when exercising or when hot.
A doctor can carry out a sweat test to see if a person has anhidrosis. This test uses a powder that changes color to show how much of the body is sweating. Taking a skin sample, or biopsy, may also help diagnose anhidrosis.
Treatment can vary, depending on what is causing anhidrosis. If the condition only affects a small part of the body, people may not need treatment.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can cause people to feel pain all over their body. It can also affect how one responds to different temperatures, so people may feel the effects of heat or greater extremes of temperature.
Some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia also include:
- pain, aching, burning, or stabbing feelings in multiple areas
- extreme sensitivity to pain or light touch
- muscle stiffness
Treatment can include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) may experience paroxysmal symptoms. These are episodes of symptoms that can occur very suddenly, and often only last a few seconds or minutes. Symptoms may reoccur throughout the day.
One symptom may include changes in temperature and feeling unusually hot, which people may refer to as a hot flash.
Other paroxysmal symptoms can include:
- stabbing or burning sensation on one side of the face
- itching, numb, or tingling sensation on the skin
- a feeling resembling an electric shock down the spine
- shooting pains in the arms or legs
- vision problems
- slurred speech
- lack of coordination
Keeping a diary of when symptoms happen can help people to identify any triggers that may be causing them. People can then take steps to avoid or reduce these triggers wherever possible.
Paroxysmal symptoms often stop after a few months. If people find symptoms are greatly affecting their day-to-day life, they can discuss medication options with their doctor.
People with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes may feel the effects of heat more. Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves, which affects the sweat glands. This means the body cannot cool itself as effectively as usual.
People with diabetes can also become dehydrated more easily. High temperatures affect how the body utilizes insulin, which can mean people with diabetes have to check their blood sugar levels more regularly.
It is important for people with diabetes to be aware of overheating or becoming dehydrated in order to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
People can make sure to take care in hot weather by staying in the shade during the hottest parts of the day and wearing loose clothing. Drinking plenty of water and keeping any medication nearby and in a cool place is also essential.
Heat is more likely to affect people 65 years of age and over. The body’s ability to adjust to sudden temperature changes becomes less effective as people age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults are more likely to have a medical condition that affects how the body responds to heat. They may also be taking prescription medications that affect how the body regulates temperature or sweating
Staying in cool, shady places, drinking plenty of water, and wearing loose clothing can all help the body stay cool in the heat.
People should seek immediate medical attention if they show signs of heat-related illness, such as:
- muscle cramps
Having an overactive thyroid gland, also known as hyperthyroidism, can make people feel constantly hot.
Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. The condition can affect how the body regulates temperature. People may also be sweating more than usual.
Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- irregular menstrual periods
- brittle hair
- thin skin
- unexplained weight loss
A doctor can typically diagnose hyperthyroidism through a person’s medical history, a physical examination, and thyroid function laboratory testing.
Antithyroid medication can help to inhibit the thyroid gland from making thyroid hormones.
Perimenopause is the time when the body transitions into menopause. Most people will experience this in their mid to late 40s.
During the perimenopause, people may experience hot flashes. Hot flashes can cause someone to feel hot in their upper body, which may also cause red or blotchy patches on the skin.
Other symptoms of perimenopause include:
- irregular periods
- periods may last longer or be shorter than usual
- heavier or lighter periods than usual
People can track their periods and symptoms to help know if they are in perimenopause. Perimenopause can last 4 years on average.
People may feel hotter than usual due to hot flashes. Drinking cold water, taking off layers of clothing, or using a fan or cold compress may all help to reduce the intensity of hot flashes.
Other symptoms of menopause can include:
- difficulty sleeping
- mood swings and irritability
- vaginal dryness
- uncomfortable or painful sex
- less interest in sex
People may find taking hormone therapy helps to relieve symptoms. Hormone therapy replaces the hormones that the ovaries stop making during menopause. People can talk to their doctor about options that may work for them.
Feeling hot in heated environments, hot weather, or during exercise is normal, and sweating is an essential body response for keeping cool.
If people are feeling hot all the time, or sweating more than usual, it could be a sign of an underlying issue.
Certain medications, changes in hormones, and some health conditions can all cause an individual to sweat more or feel hotter than usual.
People can track their symptoms and see their doctor to find out what could be causing them to feel hot. Treating the underlying cause will help to relieve symptoms.