In this post, we share some (surprising) causes of internal body heat in women. If you suffer from this problem, one of the causes below may be responsible, and you will learn which can be treated and which are preventable.
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What is Internal Body Heat?
Internal Body Heat is a term that people use different terms to describe:
- uncomfortable experience of excess internal heat,
- a burning or peppery sensation.
It may affect the entire body or just a part - such as the chest or head or feet.
People may also sweat a lot with the sensation of internal body heat.
Inspite of this, they may not have a measurable high body temperature (fever).
You have a fever when your body temperature rises above 37.2 degrees (99 deg F). Having a fever happens with many conditions like infection or heat stroke. It can also occur after taking some drugs.
But when people complain of internal body heat, it's often outside the context of a high body temperature, so it's essential to explore other causes unrelated to common reasons for a fever.
Here are some of them below.
Causes of Internal Body Heat In Women
Means having insufficient fluid for your body's needs. For example, you can get dehydrated if you do not take enough fluids after exercise or on a scorching day.
In addition, conditions like vomiting and diarrhoea make you lose body fluid and make dehydration likely. Sweating is one way your body regulates heat, and you can't sweat if you are dehydrated.
If you do not feel unwell, you may not realise when you are getting dehydrated if you do not pay attention to the water you drink.
Therefore, your urine's appearance - colour or concentration and volume are good clues.
Very dark urine is a sign you are dehydrated; or not passing urine frequently. Keep an eye on this and ensure you are taking plenty of fluids every day.
2. Food or Alcohol
Certain types of food and alcoholic drinks could cause a burning sensation that some people refer to as internal body heat.
They cause dyspepsia and acid reflux.
These conditions develop from the excess production of acid in the stomach, which travels up into the food pipe and leads to heartburn and reflux.
Foods that can increase the risk of excess acid and reflux include:
- Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons.
- Caffeinated and fizzy drinks.
- Spicy foods.
- Processed meats - for example, salami, bacon.
- Fatty foods may increase reflux symptoms for some people, even though it is not supported by recent medical studies.
If you find you suffer periods of internal body heat, keeping a food diary can be useful to identify whether your symptoms are worse after eating some foods.
Alcohol also causes excess acid symptoms.
Remember that other factors like stress, eating too fast, overeating or eating late at night can cause acid reflux symptoms.
If you develop a recurrent burning sensation in the chest, throat or back, please speak to your doctor. If the cause is an ulcer or acid reflux, preventive measures and medicines can help.
When you are pregnant, your blood vessels increase in number, as do your body's mass and metabolic functions.
These contribute to a feeling of increased body heat that many women experience. In fact, some may register a higher body temperature than usual for them, though not reaching the level of a fever.
Understanding this should relieve anxiety over why you feel so warm inside - and it settles after your baby is born.
Perimenopause and Menopause are the periods in a woman's life when she approaches and completes her reproductive cycle.
Menopause means you have stopped ovulating altogether.
After you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months, you've reached Menopause.
On the other hand, perimenopause is when the frequency of the menstrual cycles starts to fluctuate just before Menopause sets in.
Among the symptoms of Menopause are:
Hot flashes often occur with night sweats, racing heartbeat or facial flushes. They can be responsible for a woman complaining of internal body heat.
We think some of these symptoms are a result of hormone changes affecting temperature control.
After some time (which varies from one woman to another), the sensation of excessive heat will settle.
At this stage, the hormone levels are probably stable and no longer able to affect temperature changes.
Here are a few things that appear to trigger hot flushes during the day or night.
Trying to avoid or control them when possible may reduce the frequency that your internal body heat happens:
- eating spicy foods
- caffeine and alcohol
- wearing thick clothing
- a high temperature
- feeling stressed or anxious
- treatment for certain types of cancer (chemotherapy)
- certain medicines
- some health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid, diabetes and tuberculosis
Being extremely overweight can create an uncomfortable feeling of internal body heat.
This is because being overweight makes your body retain more heat.
It is also more challenging to cool down if you are overweight.
The solution to this is to choose a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight. This can be a combination of reduced food portions, unhealthy snacks and drinks - and exercise.
Combine this with loose, cotton clothing to help your body cool down better and ensure you are taking plenty of fluids.
For some ladies, checking the type of fabric your clothing is made from is essential.
This includes the under and outer garments. Generally, heavy and tight clothing can produce the sensation of excessive internal heat.
Silk and lycra materials worn for long periods and in hot environments should be avoided if you suffer internal body heat problems.
Breathable fabric made from cotton is the best type for clothing for daily activities or work.
Or bedding/sheets that reduce the risk of uncomfortable body heat sensations.
You should be conscious of the types of clothing you choose to minimise the feeling of discomfort as you go around your daily activities.
7. Thyroid Disease
Your thyroid gland is a small but essential organ that helps to regulate metabolic activities in your body. It is essential for your cells to function normally.
If you did not have your thyroid gland and the hormones it produces, you might die.
When you have an overactive thyroid, it is producing excess thyroid hormones.
One of the symptoms of this condition is an uncomfortable feeling of excess body heat or discomfort in a warm room (heat intolerance).
- Restlessness, anxiety and irritability,
- Trembling, twitching
- Mood swings
- Problems with sleep
- Feeling tired and weak
- irregular or very fast heart rate
- Increased frequency of bowel movements
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Neck swelling from an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)
In severe cases, excess thyroid hormones can cause a Thyroid storm.
With this life-threatening condition, the body temperature is extremely high. In addition, other symptoms like sweating, very fast pulse, vomiting or agitation may happen with a thyroid storm.
8. Mental Health Problems
Mental health problems can cause physical symptoms. Examples include headache, palpitations (feeling your heart beating very quickly or in an abnormal rhythm), and a sensation of excessive body heat.
Common disorders where you may experience the sensation of internal body heat are:
Certain medicines can cause internal body heat problems, too.
Some medicines can affect your ability to sweat, which means you could experience that uncomfortable sensation of excess heat when you take them. A good example is a diuretic, also called a 'water tablet'.
Water tablets are used in treating conditions like high blood pressure or heart failure. They work through the kidneys to remove fluid from the body, which helps to treat these conditions.
However, you may find one of the side effects you experience is excessive body heat.
Other drugs that may affect sweat are Antihistamines (like Piriton, Diphenhydramine, Hydroxyzine or Promethazine).
On the other hand, some drugs can cause the body to produce excess heat - stimulants like amphetamines or thyroid hormones.
Detecting the causes of internal body heat in each person is essential to getting the proper treatment.
As you can see, there are several causes with more than one solution.
If you have any questions on internal body heat, share them in the comments section below or book an appointment to discuss them with one of our clinicians.
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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