Do you feel hot all the time or sweat while you binge-watch Netflix? Have you ever felt like your face was on fire when you were just sitting at your work desk?
Are you constantly asking yourself why you’re so hot and fiddling with the thermostat? If so, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Why am I always so hot?
If you are not experiencing a fever and the temperature outside seems reasonable, stress, anxiety, recent exercise or spicy food could cause you to feel hot.
If you often feel hotter than you think you should or you can’t think of an obvious cause, there are a number of other reasons your body may be having difficulty keeping your temperature regulated.
It’s important to note that if you believe you’re constantly warmer than the people around you, you feel hot all of the time, or you’re worried that you have heat intolerance, it’s always best to consult your doctor in order to rule out a medical condition that need to be treated by a physician.
13 Common Reasons You May Feel Hot and/or Sweaty More Frequently Than Usual:
Your thyroid gland produces and secretes hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature, among other things. Thyroid hormones play a large part in controlling many areas of your body, and if yours is out of sync, you may feel hot all the time.
Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid, “occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.” One effect of this is often an accelerated metabolism, which brings on, among other symptoms, increased body temperature and excessive sweating.
What you can do about it: If you suspect your thyroid isn’t working properly, contact your doctor and talk to them about blood tests and meeting an endocrinologist.
2. Stress and/or anxiety
When you’re under a lot of stress, the part of your brain called the hypothalamus, located nearby the pituitary gland, can go bananas and not do its job.
Among other things, the hypothalamus regulates internal body temperature through sweat, helping you maintain that comfy 98.6°F (37°C). Additionally, it produces several hormones responsible for managing your response to stress, while also maintaining your circadian rhythm.
When your hypothalamus isn’t performing as well as it should, due to excessive stress or other medical conditions, you may feel like you’ve got a hot flash coming on, or that your blood pressure is skyrocketing and preventing you from being able to stay cool. This is why sweating is often a sign of nervousness or fear.
What you can do about it: If the issue is stress, try deep breathing exercises, go for a walk, or take a vacation. Do what you can to lower your stress level and your body temperature should follow suit.
3. High caffeine intake
What you can do about it: Put down your mug, leave the coffee shop, and drink water. You’ll feel better in no time.
4. Perimenopause or menopause
You may think you’re too young to begin “the change,” but it’s certainly possible.
Perimenopause usually begins when a woman is in her 40s, though it may start when she is younger. During those years leading up to menopause, your hormones go wonky, so you may be having hot flashes as a result and not even realize it.
Your body should also naturally begin to cool down at night so you can sleep, so if you’re finding yourself having night sweats or flashes of heat, you’ve probably asked more than once, “Why does my body get so hot at night?”
Well, your hormones may have something to do with it. Check your family history. If your mom started menopause around the same age you are now, this may be the culprit!
What you can do about it: Contact your doctor and confirm this condition, and then take some time speaking with them about what would be best for you. This may include vitamins, exercise/diet regimens, or even hormone therapy.
5. Your diet
If you regularly nosh on super-hot curry or ask for extra jalapeños on your taco, your core temperature can get a little higher than normal. Also, any digestive issues you have may affect your body’s ability to regulate itself.
Some studies show that spicy foods are good for overall health, so don’t sweat it if they make you sweat. If you think your reaction is excessive, however, check in with your doctor.
What you can do about it: Make sure you’re eating well and not ignoring your gut health.
6. Your exercise routine
If you just did a round of hot yoga, you might expect to be a sweaty mess, but sometimes the elevation in your core temperature can linger even after your sore muscles have relaxed a bit. Your blood gets pumping through all of your blood vessels to try and increase oxygen, which can leave you feeling hot for a while after.
A regular exercise routine raises your body temperature by increasing your metabolism and causing your body to heat up while burning all those calories.
Robert Gotlin, DO, Director of Orthopedics and Sports Rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, explains that our bodies heat up during exercise in order to protect us from losing protein.
“Our body is our own best defense against illness because it does have the power to cure itself,” he says, “and there is some evidence to show that heat shock proteins might be one way the body counteracts the structural breakdown of protein.”
What you can do about it: Remember to pace yourself, stay hydrated, and take breaks as needed.
When you’re hot, your body produces sweat to help lower your temperature. Sweat carries heat to the surface of your skin, then cools you via evaporation.
If you’re dehydrated, you may not have the water resources necessary to produce the sweat needed to keep you cool.
What you can do about it: Drink plenty of water and other fluids and, in mild cases, you should cool down.
8. Excess weight
If you’re carrying around extra pounds, or are a larger-sized person overall and feel like you’re always hot, your weight and/or size might be the reason.
Research physiologist Catherine O’Brien explained, “It’s possible that the lower skin temperature would give fatter people the sense of being colder overall.”
Additionally, she said that smaller-sized people “… who have more surface area compared to the total volume of their bodies, lose heat more quickly [whereas a] more muscular physique may also offer some protection against hypothermia, partly because muscle tissue generates lots of heat.”
What you can do about it: Take a look at your diet and determine where you can cut out simple carbohydrates (like those in white bread), sugars, and anything that’s not organic or healthy for you. Try to get in a 15-minute walk every day to help burn the calories you’re eating, too!
Hormones switch roles during ovulation, with estrogen taking a backseat to progesterone.
Progesterone, along with being a major hormone involved in the maintenance of pregnancy, also causes an increase in core temperature that can make you feel hotter than normal. Since your hormones fluctuate around your menstrual cycle, your body heat may increase, too.
What you can do about it: If the hot flashes of ovulation are short, keep a portable fan handy for cooling off, wear light, breathable fabric, and drink plenty of fluids.
Pregnancy makes your entire body lose its bearings. Hormones are in a tailspin and everything is ramping up to make sure the fetus is properly nourished, including your body temperature, which may go overly hot or overly cold during some portion of your pregnancy.
What you can do about it: To make yourself more comfortable, try drinking cold water, investing in a good fan, and wearing cool, breathable clothes (muumuus are totally a thing when you’re pregnant).
11. Environmental factors
If you move from Maine to Florida, you’re going to be hot. Everyone else may be out enjoying what they consider a beautiful spring day at a balmy 85 degrees, while you’re sweating standing in front of the AC vent for hours.
What you can do about it: You should eventually acclimate, but it may take a season or two to get used to a new climate. People who live in hot weather or cold weather regions often don’t notice the extremes one way or another, but if you’re not used to the heat, your body may be letting you know!
12. Your medications
There’s a whole slew of prescription drugs that list hot flashes as side effects.
Antidepressants, migraine and other pain relievers, diabetes medications, asthma inhalers, heartburn, and reflux meds, and Viagra are among the most common culprits.
What you can do about it: If you take prescription medication and find yourself feeling hot all the time, be sure to let your doctor know.
13. Other health conditions
There are a number of health issues that can lead to hypothalamic dysfunction, i.e., a condition in which the hypothalamus, the region of the brain responsible for temperature regulation, doesn’t work properly.
Some of the ailments that leave you feeling hot include head injuries, genetic disorders, birth defects, tumors, eating disorders, autoimmune conditions, and even brain surgery.
Anhidrosis, a condition where you lack the ability to sweat, could cause overheating or even other medical conditions, like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
If you have diabetes, a disease that affects how your body responds to insulin, your blood sugar levels will increase and your body temperature will rise as a result.
What you can do about it: If you suspect any of the above conditions may be causing you to feel hot all the time, be sure to consult a physician.
When To Contact A Doctor
There are many other medical reasons why you could feel hot all the time, but the ultimate concern should be once you’ve determined it’s not environmental factors or other things you can control, whether or not there could be a health issue causing it.
So, while there are many reasons you may be experiencing elevated body temperature, remember that this information is not medical advice. If you suspect you need medical attention, contact your doctor right away.