Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

One of the most common arguments which each of one of us must have been a part of sometime or the other is deciding the room temperature debate. Rings any bell?
On a cool, pleasant day you set the temperature of the air conditioner at 25 degrees and your friend steps in and reduces it to 16 degrees and still complains about feeling hot and that’s how the ‘Great War’ begins.

But have you ever wondered why some people in the same weather condition or in the same room temperature, as in this case, feel hotter or colder than the others present?

Why is it that you are comfortable with 25 degrees whereas your friend is still complaining about the intolerable heat even when the temperature is at 16 degrees?
If you think that this is completely because of psychological reasons then you are not entirely correct.

There are a lot of scientific reasons, medical conditions and natural causes because of which such deviations in the body temperature from the normal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is noticed in different human beings. We all know that the hypothalamus regulates and maintains our internal body temperature, but it is actually the receptors present in our skin which senses the change in the external temperature conditions and triggers a response to that. And these receptors are so sensitive that they can perceive a change of as small as two degrees in the outside environment, such receptors then initiates a function to restore the normal body temperature but such reactions differ from one individual to another due to the following reasons or conditions which determine how and to what degree will a body react to a slight increase or decrease in the temperature.

15 Expert Reasons Why You Are Always Hot

The reasons why a person may feel hotter than the others are:

  1. Regular Intake of Caffeine or Spicy Food

    When you go to a hill station you usually order a cup of hot tea or coffee when you feel too cold, don’t you? Now the reason why these beverages make you feel hot is not because they are hot themselves, but it is because these drinks contain high amount of caffeine which not only drives away your sleep but also increases your body temperature. Similarly, you would notice that in cold places the food is by default spicy and this is because spicy foods stimulates the same skin receptors which processes physical heat and therefore whenever you have hot, peppery food you feel warm and in some cases one even start sweating. That is why whenever you eat spicy food you sweat and in some extreme cases you feel hot air coming out of the ears but they are not that visible as they show it in the movies. But one must make sure that they do not intake too much of either caffeine or spicy foods because that would cause blood sugar and acidity problems respectively.

  2. Ovulation

    This is a condition found only in women, obviously. Ovulation is nothing but the process of release of an egg during the monthly menstrual cycle. When ovulation takes place it occurs in two halves. In the first half of this cycle women usually feel colder than normal because of Estrogen, which plays a key role during this half and this hormone also has cooling powers to reduce the body temperature. Therefore, during the first half of their ovulation cycle women feel colder than usual. But the exact opposite thing happens in the next half. Once the second half begins their body temperature increases and they start feeling hot. This happens because of the hormone called Progesterone which replaces Estrogen in the second half and unlike the later, the former increases the body temperature making the women feel hotter than normal.

  3. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

    As we now know that Estrogen reduces the body temperature and makes one feel cold so naturally the lack of such hormones will result in increased body heat, and this is exactly what happens in the case of Ovarian Insufficiency. When the ovaries fail to release eggs on a regular basis or to produce Estrogen in the required amount they suffer from hot flashes or night sweats, the symptoms of which are dizziness, excessive sweating and a racing heartbeat. Primary ovarian Insufficiency could be a serious condition so it is advised that you visit a doctor if you notice symptoms like irregular periods, reduced sexual desire or excessive dryness of the vagina.

  4. Hyperthyroidism

    This is a common disease and I am sure you must have heard about this earlier but do you know why or how this affects your internal temperature? Well, in the condition of Hyperthyroidism the thyroid gland produces hormones in excess of the required amount and these hormones serve a lot of functions along with regulating the body’s temperature and metabolism. Due to the over production of such hormones the rate at which the body converts fuel into energy increase and therefore one tends to feel more sweaty, thirsty, hungry and obviously overheated.

    Hyperthyroidism is characterized by irregular heartbeat, anxiety, lack of sleep, diarrhea or increased bowel movement, loss of hair, high blood pressure and irregular periods in case of women. Such a medical condition requires immediate treatment because this is obviously not good for the organ system and could lead to heart diseases.

  5. Stress

    When you are waiting outside your exam hall and you are about to appear for a subject which according to you is the most difficult of them all, have you ever noticed that slowly beads of sweat start appearing on your head while your hands and feet feel colder than the other body parts? Each of one of us must have experienced this that whenever we are nervous or scared or stressed we start precipitating. Right?

    This happens because when you are stressed your hypothalamus gets overpowered by the autonomic nervous system which results in the movement of blood to the body’s core organs. As a result of which, the body temperature increases whereas the heat at the extreme ends of your body (hands and feet) reduces.

  6. Diabetes

    Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease where the patient’s blood sugar level or glucose level increases usually caused by a lack of insulin. A diabetic patient has constricted blood vessels, which do not dilate to facilitate the flow of blood, consequently, the skin’s surface does not receive the amount of blood required to ward off the heat. And not only the blood vessels, but also the sweat glands also fail to bring down the body heat in case of a diabetes patient. Such a person would experience excessive urination, increase in thirst and also an increase in hunger.

  7. Pregnancy

    When a woman is going through her pregnancy then she obviously puts on extra weight and a part form that her blood volume also increases, sometimes by 50 percent. So if the blood volume is increasing then naturally the size of the vessels also widens and this produces more heat in the body. There are a large amount of hormonal changes which takes place during pregnancy and such changes also results in overheating. Sometimes, such heat is produced due to the amount of energy, which is involved in moving the bump.

    It is very important to keep one hydrated during this condition because overheating will lead to over exhaustion and excessive loss of water in the form of sweat. In certain rare case, if the body fails to receive the required amount of water the person could suffer from a heatstroke.

  8. Cardiovascular Disease

    As we have all know that the blood vessels carry the bloods to different parts and they dilate or widen to allow more blood to pass through them in times of need. But when a person is suffering from cardiovascular disease his or her blood vessels do not expand when they should and even their sweat glands stop working properly. As a result of this, the blood regulation gets hampered which fails to prevent the increase in body temperature. It should be noted that when a heart is weak and when it fails to pump blood around the body in the right amount, a person could suffer from myocardial infarction, popularly known as heart attack.

  9. Menopause

    Another reason for women to feel hot is menopause. When a women stops having her periods and experiences hormonal rebalances it is called menopause. During this time she faces a condition called “hot flashes” the symptoms of which are dizziness, perspiring and an increased heartbeat. This phase usually occurs when you reach the age of 50, but it could happen before or even after that. One of the reasons why menopause results in “hot flashes” could be because once the periods end the body stops producing estrogen as it used to and therefore the body temperature rises up.

  10. Fever

    Fever is a common ailment in which the body temperature shoots up and in certain cases it reaches a point where immediate attention from the doctor is needed. The normal body temperature is 98.6 F and any considerable increase than that could be because of fever. The main causes of this disease are exposure to germs, bacteria or viruses. It is advised to take in as many fluids and the right medicines if one is suffering from fever and in case the temperature goes beyond 103 then the doctor should be consulted immediately.

  11. Exercise

    After an intense work out each one of us feel hot, thirsty and sweaty. This is because when we work out our body burns more and more fuel to produce energy and this makes more heat. When the body temperature starts rising, blood is sent closer towards the skin so that the sweat glands could produce sweat and let off all the heat. But sometimes, when this cannot be done fast enough then the heat remains stored in the body eventually increasing the overall body temperature.

    It must be kept in mind that too much exercise, especially during the summers can lead to heatstroke which is more often than not fatal.

  12. Age

    With age the body stops functioning as it used to, well, naturally. So, as we grow older our heart pumps the blood slowly owing to the decrease in its strength, therefore when blood is needed to cool the body down, the heart fails to pump the amount required by the body. This leads to overheating of the body.

    Also, the blood vessels weaken with age and hence when they fail to dilate to facilitate the movement of blood through them the skin receptors do not receive the blood needed to cool down the body.

  13. Obesity

    Obesity is a condition where a person is overweight and this occurs usually because of intake of too much of fast foods and cold drinks. When a person is obese then they have less skin surface exposed to the environment, which means that they have less skin receptors exposed to the environment. Consequently, your body’s cooling power is less than that of normal people.

    Obesity is a serious problem which could lead to a lot of other health issues. A person who is suffering from obesity should work towards reducing their weight and should avoid the consuming fast foods and soft drinks on a regular basis.

  14. Too Little Intake of Water

    Sweat glands are the cooling agent of our body and to produce sweat these glands need water, so if one does not drink enough amount of water to keep oneself hydrated the sweat glands will fail to function due to the lack of ‘resources’ and hence the body temperature will remain increased. It is said that normally a person should follow the 8x8 rule of drinking water, which is, drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. On an average an adult man should drink at least 3 to 4 liters or 15 cups of water per day and a normal adult woman should drink as much as 2 to 3 liters or 11 cups of water daily and both these numbers should be increased during summers.

  15. Gender

    Lastly, your gender also plays a role in determining whether you are a ‘hot’ person or a ‘cold’ person. According to research women are more sensitive to the external temperatures than men because owing to their small size they have greater surface area exposed to the surrounding, thereby they have more skin receptors than men. Also, a study has inferred that the core temperature of women is warmer than that of men but the temperature of their extremities (hands and feet) is comparatively cooler than men’s. The other reason for women to have a colder body temperature than men is that their metabolic rate is 23 times lesser than that of men which means that the rate at which fuel is burned in a women’s body is 23 times less than that at which it is burned in men’s. Therefore, heat produced in women is 23 times less than that produced in men.

    Most of the reasons mentioned above are medical conditions or diseases and all such disease requires doctor’s checkup because if people suffering from Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes, Ovulation Insufficiency, Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity and even Fever, do not visit the doctor regularly then they would be inviting more trouble into their organ system. It is advised to each and every individual to go for regular checkups to ensure that their ailment gets cured before getting serious.

    So, now we all know the reason why a person feels hotter than the other individual under same or similar conditions.

    Now what one could do to ensure that their body is almost close to the normal temperature is that they should:

    Keep themselves hydrated by drinking lots of water and juices every day but do avoid drinking beverages which have a lot of caffeine in them.

    Excessive consumption of spicy food should be avoided and also, to prevent oneself from getting diabetes a person should not have too much of sweets, so basically, we should keep a balance between the two.

    Even working out too much in the hot and humid climate could be dangerous for the body if it is not accompanied by proper hydration so avoid straining your body in excess of its normal condition.

    In case, of women, the main behind the increase in their body temperature is hormonal imbalance and lack of estrogen. In some cases it is normal but when the “hot flashes” become normal then they are strictly advised to visit the doctor as soon as possible.

    Apart from these, age and gender are natural causes and one could possible not do anything to change or stop that from happening. So once you start aging you should make sure you indulge in exercises or yoga to keep your heart and body active so as to avoid the condition of a strained heart or heart attack.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 14, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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