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Definition:

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



Alternative Names:

Sensitivity to heat; Intolerance to heat



Considerations:

Heat intolerance often produces a feeling of being overheated and can cause heavy sweating. Heat intolerance usually comes on slowly and lasts over the long-term.



Common Causes:

Home Care:

Keep room temperature at a comfortable level. Drink plenty of fluids.



Call your health care provider if:

Call your health care provider if you have persistent and unexplained heat intolerance.



What to expect at your health care provider's office:

Your health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination .

Medical history questions 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?
    • Do you often feel hot when other people do not complain of the heat?
  • Associated complaints
    • Is it worse when you exercise?
    • What other symptoms do you have?
      • Dizziness
      • Fainting
      • Palpitations
      • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
      • Vomiting
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.



References:

Ladenson P, Kim M. Thyroid. In: Goldman L and Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 244.




Review Date: 6/17/2008
Reviewed By: Elizabeth H. Holt, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Yale University. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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