What causes you to have internal body heat; and why is it a symptom that so little understood? Why would anyone experience excessive night sweats despite normal external temperature? Or have a sensation of “internal heat” over a part of the body - without a fever? Dr Adesewa Ademola explores these symptoms in this article.
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What is “Internal Heat”?
This is a situation when an individual experiences heat sensation all over the body.
It may just happen in some specific part of the body only.
Sometimes this sensation starts from one part of the body like the tummy or the chest.
Then it gradually moves to other parts of the body.
But, you might say - isn't this the same as having a fever?
A fever is a condition when the body temperature is abnormally high.
However, sometimes you may feel the sensation of internal body heat and when you a temperature check, it is normal.
Some Causes of Internal Heat
Internal heat could be des
For one group of women, it's also described as “hot flushes”.
So one of the possible causes of 'internal heat' - depending on the individual's age and gender - is the Menopause.
This is because hot flushes occur in about 7 out of 10 women during menopause.
According to this study - they occur more commonly in women in the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria1.
However, Menopause is not the only reason for internal heat.
Other reasons include:
- Spicy food - it's thought spicy foods such as those containing hot peppers or spices like hot curry could cause internal heat.
- Onions and garlic have also been thought to do the same.
- Hot peppers contain Capsaicin, a compound that also has some medicinal uses.
- It is effective as a pain-relieving agent for joint or muscle sprains when used as a cream or patch.
- Capsaicin produces local heat to the affected area with some benefit.
- Another cause of the sensation of internal heat is a serious or chronic illness like cancer.
- In some mental health conditions, people may experience a sensation of 'internal heat' or other sensations.
- A problem with the way your Thyroid gland works (overactive Thyroid or hyperthyroidism) can also give you a feeling of abnormal internal heat.
- Pregnancy is another condition where the term also comes up. A woman's body temperature may go up by a few degrees when she is pregnant which could lead to the feeling of internal heat.
Other symptoms you may have with internal heat include 'reddish or dark discolouration to the skin', a rapid heartbeat and increased anxiety. Night sweats (described below) may also happen.
And there are several other causes of “internal heat”. Click HERE to learn more.
What are 'Night Sweats'?
The body has sweat glands located all over your skin.
They make sweat under stimulation from our brain under circumstances.
Sweat is one of the reactions from your body to help it cool down when it feels overheated.
Normal situations for you to sweat are exercise, or stress; fear or even certain foods.
Why Worry About Night Sweats?
When sweating happens without the usual trigger, it suggests there may be something wrong.
Sweating may happen at night if you are in a warm room, or if you suddenly wake from a bad dream
However, when it appears spontaneously, you should pay attention.
You should become concerned when the amount of night sweat does not match what is expected from the environmental temperature.
Some Causes of Night Sweats
Night sweats can happen for a lot of reasons.
Something happens to change the way our bodies create sweat which leads to sweating in abnormal circumstamces.
- Chronic infections like Tuberculosis
- Problems affecting the Immune system
- Some types of Cancer such as Leukaemia
- When a woman undergoes Menopause.
Having symptoms of internal heat and night sweats is not uncommon in menopausal women and can be highly distressing.
You should report unexplained night sweats to your doctor so they can arrange tests to determine the cause.
Simple Remedies for Internal Heat and N
Now this will depend on the specific causes of the problem, but generally the following will help:
- Wear light clothing.
- Keep your bedroom cool at night
- Take a cooling shower before bed.
- Try to rest as much as possible to reduce overall stress levels.
- Avoid triggers like spicy food, caffeine, smoking and alcohol.
- Regular exercise and healthy eating.
What other remedies have you found helpful? Have you some more specific concerns about internal heat symptoms - ask about them here.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
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