Heat Intolerance

Heat intolerance is much more than temperature preference;
it is a symptom of temperature dysregulation.

It is summer: beach, picnics, outdoor activities.  Fun, right?  Not if you suffer from heat intolerance.  

This condition is more than just not liking hot temperatures.  You are not wimpy!  Instead, your temperature regulation center in the hypothalamus of your brain is not working properly.  It is like a home thermostat that not only is broken, but is out of control.  If not managed properly, it can lead to heat exhaustion and then heat stroke which can be deadly.

Symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, exhaustion, profuse sweating or lack of sweating, nausea and vomiting, etc.  These symptoms are not just uncomfortable - they are overwhelming!  And they can last several days even after a short exposure to heat.

Various medications can contribute to this problem:

  • Allergy medications can prevent sweating which impairs the cooling ability of the body. 
  • Hypertension medications can decrease blood flow to the skin which reduces sweating and body cooling. 
  • Decongestants can increase muscle activity which can raise body temperature.

Hyperthyroidism and multiple sclerosis are medical conditions that can cause heat intolerance.  Even hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency can cause temperature regulation issues.

Also, Dr. Richey has found that many patients with chronic Lyme disease cannot tolerate heat without significant worsening of symptoms.  Specifically, Babesia infection interferes with the nervous system and contributes to temperature fluctuations.

Of course, the ultimate solution is to remove, prevent, and treat the above conditions.  Dr. Richey can help you with treatment for your Lyme disease.

So, what else can you do?

A quick scan through the internet will tell you to avoid the sun and the heat in order to avoid this condition.  Duh!  Those suffering with heat symptoms have already figured this tip out!  We hibernate in the air-conditioned indoors from June through August!

If the rest of the family is freezing from the frigid indoor temperatures, try putting a portable room air conditioner in your bedroom or in your frequently inhabited room.

In order to avoid excessive heat, use warm water rather than hot water when showering.  Also, for the last minute or so, turn down the water and rinse in cool water to help reset your internal thermostat.

Another useful tip is to use cooling towels, scarves, and vests if you must be outdoors in the summer. Or you can use these items inside the house with a fan for extra cooling.

The application of peppermint oil on the neck and forehead is cooling and refreshing.  However, other herbs, such as ginger, cayenne, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc are warming and are best avoided during hot weather.

Of course, you want to stay hydrated with healthy cool drinks or refreshing icy smoothies. Fruit is especially hydrating and full of minerals.

Dr. Richey uses Ionic Minerals and Thai Go from Nature's Sunshine at 2-3 times label instructions before and after heat exposure.  The minerals and antioxidants from these products help prevent mineral loss and combat inflammation and resulting free radicals. They can also be added to your drinking water for replenishment with each sip.

So, if heat has you beat, summer is a time to stay inside and to get all of those indoor projects completed!

Heat intolerance is a highly serious matter. 
Please take all necessary precautions
to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Let food

be thy medicine, 

and medicine 

be thy food.  




Your word

is a lamp

to my feet

and a light

to my path.

~Psalm 119:105



The secret of health

for both mind and body

is not to mourn for the past,

worry about the future,

or anticipate troubles,

but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

~Buddha (paraphrased)