Is it hot in here ... or is it just you? If you’ve been kicking the bed sheets off while your partner is bundled all cozy, or slipping on a T-shirt while your friends don sweatshirts, you may be wondering if there's more to why you feel so hot all the time.
There's good news: If a temperature change isn’t that noticeable — or you’ve been this way your whole life — you may just run a little warmer than your friends, says Nilem Patel, M.D., an endocrinologist at in Los Angeles. But if it's a new symptom or you feel significantly hotter than everyone else, then there could be something else going on. Here are the most likely culprits for why things are getting toasty.
1. You're drinking too much coffee.
That morning cup of coffee isn't just responsible for turning you into a fully-functioning human being — it could also be raising your ambient temperature. That's because caffeine is a stimulant, so it increases heart rate and blood pressure, says Rob Danoff, D.O., program director for family practice residency at in Philadelphia. The result? Feeling warmer than you otherwise would. (Side note: If you're going through menopause, found that your cup of joe could be the reason your hot flashes feel worse.)
2. You're pregnant.
As if morning sickness and sore breasts weren't enough, it turns out that pregnancy can also make women feel like they're a portable heater because of those drastic hormone fluctuations, says Jill Stocker, D.O. a practicing physician at in West Hollywood. Oh, and hot flashes? Menopausal women aren't the only ones to experience them. A study published in found that out of the 429 pregnant women they followed, 35 percent reported feeling the sweaty, uncomfortable brushes with heat stroke. Sometimes the flashes continue after pregnancy too, as 29 percent said they experienced more post-delivery.
3. You're super stressed.
Feeling like there's a lot on your plate could be the reason you need to turn the thermostat down. When you're stressed, your heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and you start to feel a little toasty, Dr. Danoff says. If you've ever gotten flush before a big work presentation, it's the same thing.
4. You have an overactive thyroid.
An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can lead to heat intolerance. “What that means is that you feel warm when other people don't," Dr. Patel says. "You're in an air conditioned room and you're sweaty.” The says that weight loss, increased appetite, menstrual changes, and rapid heartbeat are also commonly associated with hyperthyroidism, so if you're experiencing any of those while also feeling hot all the time, talk to your doctor about potentially running some tests.
5. You're experiencing perimenopause.
If, instead of feeling hot all the time, you experience moments of heat that come and go, then you could be experiencing perimenopause — AKA symptoms that precede the end of menstruation. “The estrogen levels start to fluctuate and decrease…[which] might cause the body to overheat and feel warm,” Dr. Danoff explains. The says perimenopause usually begins around age 45, so if you’re in that age range, you could be transitioning into a new life stage.
6. Your medications are raising your body temp.
Stomach medications, antidepressants, antibiotics, even antihistamines and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories — these could all be responsible for making you feel hot because they can potentially change how you regulate heat, Dr. Danoff says. If you've started a new prescription recently, tell your doctor about your symptoms to see if there are any remedies.
7. You have hyperhidrosis.
If your main symptom is simply that you’re sweating all the time, it could be hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes people to sweat a lot more than usual, Dr. Stocker says. And we're not talking about just a little bit of sweat: Think soaked clothing, drenched bedsheets, and never-ending palm sweat. While it mostly occurs on its own, the says that hyperhidrosis can result from other conditions too, including diabetes, infections, and thyroid problems. It's also possible that it runs in your family, so if you’ve got a parent or sibling with the sweats, well, maybe buy each other some cold compresses for Christmas.