The summer heat can be uncomfortable for many people, but if you find yourself unusually overwhelmed by sudden sweating and feeling hot most the time—it may be signs of thyroid issues.
Signs of Thyroid Issues: “Hot Flashes” (Not Menopause)
Your thyroid actually serves as your body’s thermostat, regulating your body temperature along with your energy use and hunger levels. So even when temps began to rise, the weather may not be the only reason you feel unusually hot and have high amounts of perspiration.
Additionally, when your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, these are just the beginning of symptoms you may experience. Persistent fatigue and moodiness are also common signs of thyroid issues.
Thankfully, there are ways to balance your hormones naturally, like changing your diet, reducing stress, and increasing your consumption of certain nutrients. Plus, for people who seem to be particularly sensitive to the heat, there are easy ways to stay cool all summer long.
Temperature Intolerance and Thyroid Dysfunction: What’s the Link?
Among its many important roles in the human body, the thyroid gland controls body temperature, and you typically experience different physical reactions to hot and cold temperatures depending on the levels of thyroid hormone your body is producing.
Essentially, thyroid hormone (a collective term used to describe the many hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland) increases the rate of metabolism and heat production, while also increasing oxygen consumption and stimulating enzymes, thus explaining its thermogenic effect on the body. (1)
When talking about your thyroid health, there are two primary conditions that you may be experiencing (although other issues are possible). With hypothyroidism, which is the more common type of thyroid problem, the thyroid is underactive. This means that the thyroid isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone, slowing the body (and its normal functions) down.
Feel Cold All the Time?
Those with hypothyroidism generally have an increased sensitivity to cold temperatures, often feel chilly and may have skin that feels cool to the touch. Hypothyroidism may also cause fatigue, dry hair and skin, brain fog, unexplainable weight gain, digestive issues, and muscle weakness.
Although it’s commonly referred to as hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease is actually a little different because it’s not a lack of thyroid hormone that causes symptoms. Instead, antibodies react against thyroid gland proteins, causing the gradual destruction of the entire thyroid gland.
Feel Hot All the Time?
Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, causes the opposite effect of hypothyroidism because the body produces too much thyroid hormone. The higher levels of thyroid hormone speed up your body’s processes, which can increase your heartbeat, make you sweat, and cause hot flashes.
Signs of thyroid issues for people with an overactive thyroid usually have skin that’s warm and moist to the touch, and they tend to sweat more and feel really uncomfortable in the heat. It’s typically more common for people with hyperthyroidism to experience thyroid “hot flashes” because their bodies are in overdrive. But any changes in thyroid hormone can lead to temperature intolerance, so it’s important to balance these hormone levels in order to react to hot and cold temperatures normally.
Let’s take a closer look at how to do that:
How to Balance Hormones and Avoid Thyroid “Hot Flashes”
#1. Change Your Diet
In order to maintain thyroid hormone levels, you must focus on eating a nutrient-dense diet with anti-inflammatory foods and healthy fats. If you are experiencing hot flashes because of a thyroid imbalance, focus on eating foods that are rich in selenium, like brazil nuts, spinach, grass-fed beef, organic turkey and chicken, and eggs.
It will also be helpful to eat foods high in B vitamins, including organic animal proteins and organic yogurt. In addition to eating foods that are high in these key nutrients, focus on limiting your carbohydrate intake and increasing your consumption of healthy fats. This will help to reduce inflammation and balance your hormones naturally.
Some of the best options for healthy fats include wild-caught salmon, coconut oil, walnuts, and chia seeds. You should also try to cut
back on processed and packaged foods that can be highly inflammatory and throw off your hormone balance.
#2. Reduce Stress Levels- ASAP
You’ve probably heard about how detrimental emotional and physical stress can be to your health, and it’s true. When we suffer from persistent stress or are feeling overworked, our bodies are in a constant state of “fight-or-flight” that wreaks havoc on our adrenal and thyroid glands.
If you feel like you have a thyroid problem and you know that stress may be at least part of the cause, then make a serious effort to reduce this mental and physical strain. Try some natural stress relievers like exercise, taking walks in nature, putting aside time for yourself, meditating, and getting enough rest every night. (2)
Try l-carnitine: L-carnitine is a type of amino acid that plays a central role in energy production. Research shows that l-carnitine may inhibit thyroid hormones from entering the cell nuclei, which can be beneficial for people with hyperthyroidism. A 2017 pilot study found that l- carnitine, and selenium significantly reduced symptoms of hyperthyroidism and improved quality of life for patients. (3)
#3. Stay Cool
If you are prone to hot flashes, especially over the warmer summer months, make an effort to stay cool by drinking plenty of water, eating hydrating foods, and avoiding direct sunlight on very hot days. You should also check your medications, as some of them (including antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure and cholesterol medications, diuretics, and laxatives) may alter your ability to deal with high temperatures.
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