Many people with dysautonomia experience heat or cold intolerance.
Dysautonomia symptoms may be exacerbated by heat, especially if the individual experiences insufficient sweating. For others, poor circulation caused by low blood volume or blood pooling can cause cold intolerance.
The most important rules of thermoregulation are to listen to and address your body’s temperature needs by avoiding environments that are too hot or too cold or adapting via the strategies below.
Managing Heat Intolerance
Those with heat intolerance may find their symptoms can be managed by wearing cooling vests, using cool compresses or ice packs, sleeping on a cooling mattress pad, or carrying a mini portable fan. Air conditioners in the home are a must for these individuals. Additionally, taking lukewarm showers may make showering easier and less likely to trigger symptoms.
Managing Cold Intolerance
There are generally two ways to manage cold intolerance: systemic and local warming. Systemic warming is achieved by keeping the entire body warm with layered clothing, including gloves and hats, and avoiding large and fast temperature shifts like entering into an air-conditioned area after being outside in the heat. ¹ Heated blankets and heated mattress pads can also help. Local warming includes solely addressing the cold extremities. Examples include: using hand warmers, layers of socks, warm compresses, and rubbing or soaking the hands or feet in warm water. ²
Reviewed by Medical Content Experts, 2021