Ready for Autumn? – Improve your heat intolerance

By Tracy Gowler 5 years ago
Home  /  Autoimmune and Self Care  /  Ready for Autumn? – Improve your heat intolerance

I know I am ready for autumn.  Besides it being my favorite season for as long as I can remember, I especially look forward to it now as it gives me relief from the heat.  Summer is wonderful but the heat of summer has become less tolerable for me since I find myself needing to support my thyroid health. Heat intolerance can be unbearable.

First of all, let’s classify overheating and then the mechanism that causes it.

From my own experiences, overheating leaves me feeling ridiculously hot.  On occasion to the point of having a personal shower that I can’t stop.  Increased temps and humidity seem to play a big role in the experience, but that is just my experience.  I can overheat without the humidity as well.  It used to be much worse.  Thank goodness it has improved with time and effort to support my thyroid.

Overheating and heat intolerance that is occurring in addition to autoimmune disease seems to be due to elevated levels of nitric oxide in the body.  Nitric oxide naturally occurs in the body and the body uses it to widen blood vessels.

This is called vasodilation. 

It happens when the bodies core temperature increases.  As the blood vessels widen, heat can be carried by the blood to the skin out into the air.

For people with Lupus, the transference of heat through the blood to the skin happens too quickly creating an intense overheating experience.

With Graves’ disease, the thyroid is overactive.  The metabolism is high, increasing body temps.  And with increasing body temps, the metabolism is additionally increased.  Sort of a bit of a vicious cycle.

But it isn’t just Lupus and Graves’ disease that overheating, and heat intolerance happens.  It can also happen to people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.

The thyroid is the body’s thermostat. 

It works with the metabolism in the body and hormone release from the thyroid to trigger the release or retention of heat in the cells.  It should be a comfortable process but when the thyroid is struggling, this process struggles.

For people with Hashi’s, heat intolerance can vary and depending on inflammation levels in the body and the level of immune response which is usually struggling.  People with Hashi’s can experience symptoms that vary from hypo-to hyperthyroidism.  When thyroid cells are being damaged and destroyed, the hormones contained in those cells is released.  This will elevate hormone levels in the body for a short time.  When this happens, people with hypothyroidism can experience symptoms of hyperthyroidism.  Hot flashes and/or the inability to cool down can be experienced while previously, they might have had difficulty staying warm.

This can also happen if too much medication is being taken, or if you have healed and no longer need your current dose.

Triggers can cause flares of symptoms as well. 

Changes to diet, activity, allergies, stress, etc, etc, can all affect the very sensitive balance and next thing you know, you are overheating.

It all sounds so complicated and it can be.  All can be improved by supporting your body to allow it to heal but in the meantime, summer and the heat can be just as intolerable as the cold.

Hence the reason my favorite season has become more of a required season.  Last year I wore sandals into late October, just trying to keep my body cooler.  I have always loved this time of year because of the smells and the changing of the colors.  And I’m thankful for the cool crisp air it can provide allowing my body to cool down to something more tolerable.

Do you struggle with heat intolerance?  What are you doing to improve your temperature extremes?

Have a great rest of your week.

Categories:
  Autoimmune and Self Care, Autoimmune Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Hashimoto's triggers, Healing from Autoimmune, Healing from Hashimoto's, Tracy's Corner
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 Tracy Gowler

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