Intolerance to cold environment is very typical of low body temperatures. However, some people with low body temperatures experience heat intolerance and say they feel “hot all the time.” It’s not clear why this occurs. It’s not that their skin feels hot to the touch; it’s often cool. It’s that they may want the thermostat turned down when others want it turned up.
People with low body temperatures are usually cold intolerant, but some are heat intolerant.
If you are cold or heat intolerant, I suggest that you start taking your body temperature and find out what really is going on. If your temperature is consistently below below 97.8 F. (36.56 C.) chances are good you have slow metabolism.
Low thyroid hormone function can be a cause of low body temperature and low metabolism, even if blood tests show your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is normal. Your body may not be converting T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) to T3 (the active form.) Or your cells may be resistant to T4. This condition is known as Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome (WTS.)
People can recover from WTS with proper thyroid support, which often includes a trial of T3. You can discuss T3 therapy with your doctor and we will be happy to discuss your case with your doctor. Your doctor can call 800.420.5801. The object of T3 therapy is to normalize your oral body temperatures to average 98.6 (37 C.) during treatment. (See “How are body temperatures measured” for complete instructions.)
When your temperature improves, you metabolism will return to normal and you’ll be better able to tolerate both heat and cold. People whose metabolism is “reset” with T3 therapy often find that they can stop the T3 after a few months and their symptoms do not return because their temperatures stay normal!
Hart EC. Orthostatic intolerance in the heat: are the α-adrenergic receptors the culprit? J Physiol. 2010 Oct 15;588(Pt 20):3847-8.
Michel V, Peinnequin A, Alonso A, et al. Decreased heat tolerance is associated with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis impairment. Neuroscience. 2007 Jun 29;147(2):522-31.