Why do I feel hot and cold at the same time?

Although the causes of hot and cold flashes at the same time are most commonly associated with menopause, both men and women can experience them. Here are some tips to combat the effects.

Why do I feel hot and cold at the same time?

The main culprit: menopause

In middle-aged women, menopause is the most common cause of feeling hot and cold flashes at the same time.

  • This condition is typically transient, usually due to hormonal imbalances, and does not normally require medical treatment.
  • If the cause is an excess of a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland, doctors may prescribe something like an antithyroid drug.

Anxiety disorders may be a trigger

The feeling of hot and cold flashes may also be commonly triggered by anxiety and stress.

  • People suffering from panic attacks almost always report the sensation of feeling both hot and cold at the same time.
  • Panic attacks are a very common psychological disorder that can be treated by mental health professionals.

Other minor reasons

Other causes may include extreme fatigue, migraines, flu-related illnesses, starting a new medication or hormonal imbalances apart from menopause.

  • Sometimes, these sensations are accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, chills, itching, frequent urge to urinate, palpitations, tremor or a feeling of dread.

Rare causes

A very rare disorder that can cause these uncomfortable sensations is known as dysautonomia.

  • In this disorder, the nerves that control the bodily functions malfunction and one may experience a whole host of other symptoms besides a mix of feeling cold and hot. That includes: excess sweating, excessive thirst, slow of fast heart rate, difficulty breathing, abdominal distension, dizziness and fluctuations in blood pressure.

Nervous system-related disorders

People suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) also often complain of feeling hot and cold at the same time.

  • This complex disorder of the nervous system can cause vision problems, fatigue, muscle weakness, incontinence and often presents in the third or fourth decade of life.
  • One form of MS can be progressive and possibly result in severe disability.

There are several other nerve disorders known as peripheral neuropathies that present similarly.

  • Most people also have other associated symptoms with peripheral neuropathy that include tingling, numbness, constipation, weakness or pain.
  • These disorders require extensive work up and treatment that is done with a wide range of medications that include painkillers, antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs.

What should I do if I have hot and cold flashes at the same time?

Discovering the actual cause requires assessing a person’s medical history, performing a full physical exam, and possibly a blood test.

  • If the doctor observes symptoms of anxiety, stress or menopause, then blood work may not necessarily be required, however that will be left for the doctor to determine.
  • If menopause is determined to be the main cause, the doctor may suggest alternative approaches to manage the symptoms.
  • If any kind of infection is suspected, other tests could include blood cultures, throat swabs or checking the urine for the presence of bacteria or fungi.

Always seek medical advice

For people who experience these mixed sensations of hot and cold – even if it's without having any other symptoms – and are concerned about what may be causing them, the best course of action is always to consult the family doctor.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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