Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Heat Intolerance with NO sweating - pls help

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 14 Replies
  • Posted By: maggiemd
  • April 27, 2009
  • 02:31 AM

For the past 4 years I get extreme heat intolerance 4-5 times each summer. The first one or two bouts is usually in late April/early May, right when the temps start getting into the mid-80s or higher. I am a 37 yr old woman with no history of thyroid issues in fact when it happened last year my Doctor had me come in for a full range of blood and thyroid tests and all came back normal. Stumped, she diagnosed it as a "non-menopausal hot flash." This is not satisfying to me as I want to pinpoint the problem and determine how best to deal with it. The worst part of it is that it is totally unpredictable when it happens. It started in the summer 2005. The symptoms are an *extremely* uncomfortable feeling of overheating, sometimes in temperatures as low as 79 degrees, but usually with temperatures in the 90s. My skin is hot, flushed, and DRY, not sweaty at all. I begin to feel very agitated and have trouble focusing on a conversation. Others around me are perfectly fine and often not even sweating. When this happens I typically down as much ice water as I can drink (6-7 tall glasses) and step into the bathroom every 20-30 minutes to put ice cubes under my arm pits and in my bra and underwear to bring down my internal temperature. I also typically have diarrhea when this happens, probably from the anxiety. The intolerance will typically last 2-3 hours and it is completely hellacious - feels like your brain is frying. Once it passes, I feel perfectly fine and can return to my normal life... until a month or two later when it happens again with no warning. One of my friends suggested I start carrying Endurolytes with me - these are salt capsules that triathlon athletes take during a race. I don't want to do that until I check with my doctor. I am not on any Rx except for contraceptives. What is causing this?? I should also say that I am generally not able to sweat - when I work out, I can only work out in an air conditioned gym and usually only in spurts of 10 minutes of intensive running/rowing machine and then I have to have a cool-down break b/c my skin turns BRIGHT pink and I get incredibly hot and I don't break a sweat until I'm changing out of my gym clothes in the locker room. Please help!

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14 Replies:

  • Have you ben tested for MS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS) ?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • No, never tested for that. Why do you ask? Is this a common symptom of MS?
    maggiemd 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • No, those are not even close to any Sx of MS. Sounds most like hyperthyroid, except that they are only intermittent, and apparently the tests were OK. It really sounds like a hormone problem. There are hundreds of possible causes. Have you seen your OB/GYN for this? You're certainly a bit young for menopause. There are other dysfunctions that could cause this. One thing to figure out is what hormones are out of whack. My list would be 1) sex hormones (est, progest) 2) thyroid hormones (T3, T4) 3) catecholamines (the adrenal hormones like adrenaline etc). Now these are all controlled by the pituitary upstairs with hormones like FSH, LH, prolactin, TSH, and ACTH. Rarely pituitary glands get out of whack due to small, typically benign, adenomas, and even more rarely with functional ademonas that produce one of these hormones. However, I would start with an OB/GYN, and see if they can check these levels, and move on to these more unlikely possibilities. Take care, best of luck
    landseer 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you so much landseer! I will definitely check w my Ob/Gyn this week about it. Your suggestions make a lot of sense. I've been on the pill for 20 years this year, so maybe it's time I give my body a rest from it. I had to go on the pill at age 17 b/c I hadn't gotten my period yet. I was also very skinny (~87 lbs, 5'2") b/c of a very active metabolism. As soon as I went on the pill, I went from 32AAA cup size to 36C and I got my period in a matter of 3-4 months. I've been regular (down to the hour!) ever since with only occasional abnormalities (i.e., it's 6-8 hrs late). I'm now completely normal weight (125 lbs, 5'4") and my weight never fluctuates more than 1-2lbs. One thing my Doctor mentioned which may explain partly my temperature sensitivity -- she said my usual body temperature is slightly lower than most peoples. I take my temp almost every day (paranoia) and it's usually 97.1F -- is that weird?
    maggiemd 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know this was a posting from last year but just in case you are still suffering from this or found a solution, i would be more than curious to hear what has happened to you in the last year. I experience EXCATLY the same ***l, with heat intolerance. However, I do have a pituitary prolactinoma which my doctor found initially with a simple blood test for PRL (prolactin) blood levels. The meds for this are giving me a hard time, so i treat for a couple of years then take a brake for another year. It is in the un-treated years that I am having a hard time with heat. I don't know what happens at the cellular level, but it seems that when prolactin is relatively high, i can't tolerate heat. It actually makes some kind of sense... We know from pregnant women and women in menopause, ie. 2 situations where prolactin is high, that they cannot tolerate heat the way they did before. So there must be something there. I too, do not sweat until it is too late.... However, this could be a sign of adrenal problems. The previous user was right. Sounds like you are having endocrinological issues. Hope you did find an answer so far. Please share if you did to help others :)Thank you!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My DR insisted (without taking any tests or referring me to a specialist) that I am fine and that it is "normal" to feel hot when temps are in the upper 80s. I haven't had a heat reaction since my post on here in late April 2009. I've made one major change since then: I've stopped using deodorant that contains aluminum in it (which is most deodorants sold in the U.S.). I've switched to a deodorant called CRYSTAL which I bought on eBay -- it's a rock-like stick that you wet and then rub into your armpits. The mineral salts contained therein are supposed to prevent body odors. Ever since I switched to this new deodorant, I perspire (sweat) all the time but I never feel hot! It is amazing - I actually have little beads of water in my armpits - I'm 37 yrs old and this is the first time in my adult life that I have sweated in my armpits! In fact, it's been in the upper 80s in Washington DC and I've been around other people who are complaining about the heat and I don't even notice it's hot. If I get another heat reaction I will be sure to check back into this site, but for now I think I may have found my cure and I am THRILLED!
    maggiemd 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know this was a posting from last year but just in case you are still suffering from this or found a solution, i would be more than curious to hear what has happened to you in the last year. I experience EXCATLY the same ***l, with heat intolerance. However, I do have a pituitary prolactinoma which my doctor found initially with a simple blood test for PRL (prolactin) blood levels. The meds for this are giving me a hard time, so i treat for a couple of years then take a brake for another year. It is in the un-treated years that I am having a hard time with heat. I don't know what happens at the cellular level, but it seems that when prolactin is relatively high, i can't tolerate heat. It actually makes some kind of sense... We know from pregnant women and women in menopause, ie. 2 situations where prolactin is high, that they cannot tolerate heat the way they did before. So there must be something there. I too, do not sweat until it is too late.... However, this could be a sign of adrenal problems. The previous user was right. Sounds like you are having endocrinological issues. Hope you did find an answer so far. Please share if you did to help others :)Thank you!It has been a really long time since the last post but I am somewhat desperate for answers. My husband is having the same problem. He used to be very athletic and sweat a lot, but it has become less and less and now he is not sweating at all. He overheats when he exercises and gets rashes on his arms and body. but no sweat at all. Thyroid,& adrenal results are all normal. We're still looking for answers...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It has been a really long time since the last post but I am somewhat desperate for answers. My husband is having the same problem. He used to be very athletic and sweat a lot, but it has become less and less and now he is not sweating at all. He overheats when he exercises and gets rashes on his arms and body. but no sweat at all. Thyroid,& adrenal results are all normal. We're still looking for answers...I too am desperate for answers to this condition which seems rather rare; I have found little information even on the Internet.I first noticed the early stages of heat intolerance about 15 years ago. But, it really got much worse about 10 years ago, and has continued to be such a problem that I now carry a fridge pack in my car with me during the summer months. I carry water and freeze packs and a wet cloth. I am terrified of being caught in traffic and having my car heat up, with no place to escape to get cool. My a/c does not cool well when the car is idling. And I live in the hot, humid deep south.I too do not sweat at all. My face gets bright red, and I feel like the heat is all trapped inside of me. It's truly terrifying, and, I believe, life threatening. My bloodwork also checks out as normal. Doctors don't have a clue, and dismiss me as exaggerating my symptoms.I am now going to try switching to the Crystal deoderant mentioned in the earlier post. If anyone finds solutions to this problem, please be sure to return and post, to help the rest of us. Thanks.Janie
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am 32 yr old female and having same symptoms... When temp in 80s and above, I feel so hot that I feel I will combust but there is no sweating whatsoever. My body temp feels extremely hot and face turns almost red; I am literally left with no tolerance for any heat at all.. I also get needle pricking sensation in my mid-body... These symptoms started couple of years back. I am healthy, kind of skinny and have never been on any kind of medication... not even a pain-killer in recent years! Doctors think I am just exaggerating. Any experience/advice you can share will be much appreciated.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 13, 2010
    • 04:49 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi,It's Janie again. I have seen two endocrinologists and a neurologist. None had a clue Next I will try a dermatologist. This is so frustrating. In years past, I was like other people and could stay out in heat if well hydrated. I never sweat buckets, but would get sticky. Now, my skin stays dry as a bone.I tried the Crystal deoderant at the end of last summer. I thought it may have helped a bit -- seemed to find a drop or two of sweat on a couple of occasions. But then, developed irritation and the weather was cooling down as well.Plan to give it a try again, with summer approaching.The docs brushed me off. I feel this is serious. I can't lead a normal life.Good luck to all suffering with this.Janie
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 24, 2011
    • 01:14 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • OMB...I truly thought I was the only person suffering from this. For me it started in my mid 20's and has gotten worse ever since. I am now approaching 59 and it has become UNBEARABLE! I live in cold country where the sun is very intense and even at 60 degrees if I'm in the direct sunlight I quickly become uncomfortable. I ride horses and my friends can't understand how awful I feel riding in the sun. Heaven forbid summer comes and the temps get above 65! Literally! I am so sick of not being able to have fun. It doesn't matter how much liquid I drink (I keep water with me at all times) the only way to cool down is to be in cold water...i.e. ice cubes under my armpits, my feet in cold water, or a long, cool shower where my head feels like it sizzles when the water hits it. I have had to be "rescued" many times from events where everyone else is having a ball. My husband finally learned I wasn't kidding and can look for the signs before I even know an "attack" is coming on. This is not an occasional thing for me, I have to hide in fear of the heat. Any physical exersion makes it worse, therefore it is quite hard to do any exercise for weight control. It only takes 10 minutes on my elliptical in the middle of winter with my heater only on 58 degrees, wearing shorts, a tank top and bare feet with a fan blowing directly on me, for the heat sensation to start. I finish my 30 minutes and go stand outside in 20 degree weather on the cold cement, barefoot with no coat for a couple of minutes before I start feeling relief. I am on prog/est treatment for menopause as my hot flashes/night sweats were unbearable. I no longer have those but still cannot tolerate any heat...even from a heater. My house temp never goes above 60 (I live in the extremem North) and my car heater can only be enough to take out the chill or I will become sick to my stomach. This is not a joke...this is truly my life...it's ***l! Doctor's don't believe me because I test out "normal". And no I do not sweat...ever! I will certainly check the ingredients on my pit stick and look at that as a solution.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I too have suffered with this for over 20 years. I grew up without a/c & still live in Arkansas. I worked at an amusement park as a teenager & loved it, on the hot pavement all summer. I got too hot at a waterpark at 22. Now I am 41 & am still suffering. I thought it might be hormonal, but had 2 successful pregnancies & nothing "magically fell into place" after the pregnancies. I had a hysterectomy 4 years ago, only cervix removed. No hormone replacement therapy. I've had all the blood work done, thyroid is fine. Have also had urine tested my an endocrinologist and it's fine...I am 5' 4" and weigh 116, so not overweight. I was on the pill for over 20 years as well. My symptoms seem to be the same as everyone else. Can't take the heat more than 2 minutes, feel dizzy, feel faint, upset stomach, head hurts, etc. I know have 2 kids, ages 8 & 10 who have heard their whole lives, "it's too hot for mommy" We can't go to an amusement park, let them play soccer or baseball. The thought of sitting in the stands sends me directly into a panic attack. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one, but it's frustrating to think the rest of my life will be like this. Suffering over 20 years is enough, but I don't feel there's anywhere else to turn. The last time I pursued this was 6 years ago & the doctor just scratched his head & I left feeling depressed & sad...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 16, 2011
    • 06:02 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi, I live in Nigeria and also have these symptoms. Like most who have commented, the doctors do not take me seriously when I complain about feelig hot all the time. I also do not sweat at all , and feel like a furnace covered by a resistant layer of skin. My body temperature is never more than 37.4 Celsius and is usually about 36.7 but people find it uncomfortable to sit close to me. I'm in air conditioned environments most of the time and cannot be in the sun for more than a few minutes else I start to feel sick. Was in the Sauna for the first time a few months ago and was in a highly weakened and barely-conscious state after getting out . Immersion in cool water helps, but the hot sensation resumes after a few hours. I'm now 27yrs and have had this for 11 years. I'm trying to get young doctors to investigate this condition.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • ok, I am sorry to say I am happy to see these posts!!! I have had this same issue my entire life. I am always hot. This became a joke with me and my friends when hiking mt whitney once, as one friend said - oh look, linda is down to her sports bra,it must be time for me to take off my parka. but it is (as i am sure you all must know), THAT bad. I feel that I could have been posting any of the above blurbs. People have recently commented that i am just going into perimenopause, but if that is the case, then I have been going into it since age 10. I did cave and have hormone tests done and everything was as it should have been. I have a chronic pain disorder and i have had emg testing done multiple times and i have no neuropathy. However, I am fairly certain I do have a condition called erythromelalgia, a genetic (and also acquired) condition in which extremities get very hot. I also have a very low core temp (97.1 is my norm). I don't know if the heat contributes to the pain, or the pain to the heat, but meanwhile, I'm just waiting for menopause to start so I can actually spontaneously combust...Hope anyone / everyone else here has some thoughts and maybe we can figure this all out!!!Linda
    PharMED 4 Replies Flag this Response
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