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What does intolerance to hot and cold mean?

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by sick2long, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. sick2long


    Good morning everyone. I wish I could say it is a good morning but with my me/cfs mornings are always the worse. Anyone else feel this way?
    I understand that heat intolerance at least in my case I get excessive sweating even on a moderately warm day with humidity many times. This occurs just being outside when having a bad day. Any physical activity causes extreme sweating and intolerance to heat. I like to woodwork as a hobby and anything that requires mental reasoning that would normally be a simple task such as measuring wood to cut or setting up a certain power tool causes me to sweat excessively. On a good day no problem at all. Some times the simplest of things to do become monumental.

    On the other hand what do any of you feel in response to cold weather? I get raynauds phenomenon where my hands and feet get ice cold and when I come inside there is a mottled appearance of my blood vessels in my hands and probably feet also. Other times I feel nausea when exposed to the cold. Not sure what that is all about. I can tolerate cold when dressed for it much better than hot humid days.
    Any feedback greatly appreciated.
  2. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

    Mine is due to Orthostatic Intolerance (I have POTs type like). I take vassocontrictor meds (midodrine) and that has gone away (while on meds, not permanently). I do not sweat generally so I overheat very bad, or have excessive sweat at sleep times.
  3. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

    Near Cognac, France
    I'm pretty much the same as you. Heat intolerance is the biggie for me but I do get cold extremeties (and was cold all the time with no heat intolerance at the start. Now if I get cold I can stay that way for days (I had to quit astronomy as a hobby for that reason).

    My feeling is that its an autonomic issue. Many years ago I was prescribed a beta blocker (full strength) for the heat intolerance and went from one extreme to other and couldn't function at all so I had to quit them.
  4. jerrymcfadyen

    jerrymcfadyen Senior Member

    East Bend, NC USA
    The cold doesn't bother me nearly as bad as the heat does. In warm weather and even inside with 70 f. degree temps I sweat like crazy from any simple movement. I can drink a cup of coffee and need a fan to cool down. Even in cold temps I feel cold but sweat like crazy from any activity.
  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    When I get cold, I can't warm myself up. It affects my entire legs and arms though, not just hands and feet. Then I need an electric blanket or another external heat source to warm me up. Normal blankets and clothes just provide a barrier between me and the warmth.
    Ellie_Finesse and xchocoholic like this.
  6. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

    At the extreme end of cold intolerance there are things like cold agglutinin disease. I'm not saying I think you have this but it's something to be aware of.
  7. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

    The hypothalamus is responsible for central functions of temperature regulation, and dysfunctions of the hypothalamus are virtually universal in PWME. As a result, both heat and cold intolerance are very common in PWME. The hypothalamus also controls the sympathetic nervous system, which is a major part of the autonomic nervous system. A large proportion of dysautonomia problems can be traced to the hypothalamus.

    As you might expect, there's no easy way to "fix" the hypothalamus. However, intensive magnesium therapy (usually parenteral) can often relieve symptoms, especially those of dysautonomia.
    Tired of being sick likes this.
  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Its not just hypothalamic. It involves both peripheral neuorology and vascular chemistry, as well as peripheral and tissue based chemistry. In other words its complicated, and might be due to a combination of factors, and these might vary patient by patient.

    From a practical standpoint this means a variety of things might need to be tried till you find something that helps.

    For heating I find hot water bottles great. For cooling I want to try a cool vest.
    August59, melamine and zzz like this.
  9. Tired of being sick

    Tired of being sick Senior Member

    Western PA USA
    POTS is the reason I'm heat intolerant..

    I'm talking, I can go outside with just a T shirt when the temperature is in high 30's.

    When I'm a passenger in a car or truck on a cool to cold day the entire passenger side windows a windshield will fog
    to where the defroster will have to be adjusted accordingly..

    I have at least 3 heat flashes a day breaking out in soaking wet sweat on my head,face,neck,arms,upper chest
    ,upper back and shoulders .

    Every time I wake up through the night, morning or day I am soaking wet on the same areas above as well..

    And the SUN is the worst.
    The minute I step out into the sun,the sun literally drains the life out of me..

    The sun is to me as Kryptonite is to Superman..
  10. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

    NSW Australia
    Heat = migraines, nausea, increased weakness, reduced stamina
    Cold = more muscle stiffness and pain
  11. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

    Very true. That's why I started my post with, "The hypothalamus is responsible for central functions of temperature regulation," but clearly, I should have been a lot more specific. I think you covered the rest of the factors very well, as well as the fact that they may be combined in various ways.

    At the same time, at least some of these other factors still come back to the hypothalamus. For example, you mention peripheral neurology, implying the involvement of the peripheral nervous system, which is certainly true. But the part of the peripheral nervous system that is active in these situations is the autonomic nervous system, and typically the sympathetic nervous system, which goes back to the hypothalamus.

    However, there are a whole class of circulatory problems that are not related directly to the brain, and I gather that these are some of the problems you were referring to. These typically result in a feeling of cold, although not always. Their treatment varies depending on what they are. I could also see how problems with tissue based chemistry could cause temperature regulation problems, but in the absence of specific comorbidities, I don't think that this is very common. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Then there's thyroid dysfunction, which can be responsible for either hot or cold overall body temperatures. In ME/CFS, hypothyroid seems to be the most common, leading to low body temperature and a feeling of cold; this condition needs to be treated with the correct type of thyroid hormone for the individual.

    Overall, though, it is the hypothalamus that is responsible for maintaining a specific body temperature, and in the absence of thyroid dysfunction, involvement of the hypothalamus has to be highly suspect, possibly with the existence of the confounding factors that you mentioned.

    So yes, it's complicated.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
    melamine likes this.

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