6 reasons you may be feeling hot — or cold

Woman sitting on a couch holding a fan feeling hot

Are you the type of person who’s always cranking up the thermostat? Or are you sweating in T-shirts during the dead of winter?

While we’re all familiar with the typical internal body temperature of 98.6 degrees, that doesn’t necessarily correspond to how we’re feeling on the outside. Whether you run hot or cold is usually a subjective matter, and rarely is it cause for concern.

That said, there are certain medical conditions that can affect how hot or cold you feel.

Menopause, as you likely know, can cause hot flashes — a brief, intense warmth that causes the heart to race and the body to sweat. For some women, menopausal hot flashes can last as long as a decade.

Hyperthyroidism, when your thyroid gland produces too many hormones, can accelerate your body's metabolism and make you feel hot all the time.

Hypothyroidism, on the other hand — when your thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones to regulate your body — is likely to make you feel cold.

Certain tumors that secrete hormones or adrenaline can also cause the feeling of being hot all the time. While these are possible, they’re also very rare.

Your diet might also cause a difference in how hot or cold you feel. If you’re running a caloric deficit to lose weight, you might feel colder than usual.

Your level of exercise could function the same way. If you exercise a lot and your body is constantly burning calories, you may feel cold.

Feeling hot or cold is part of life, and it can change as we age or fluctuate with weight and physical activity. But if you experience a sudden change, especially if it’s accompanied by other unusual symptoms, such as a significant, unintentional weight loss, noticeable changes in your bowel habits or muscle cramps or fatigue, talk to your doctor.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Ohio State 19th in the nation for excellence in the treatment of diabetes and endocrine disorders.

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