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Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects

Body can`t cool itself down.

04/24/2006

Question:

I am a 26yr old male who went overseas and had a couple of heat casualties. The 1st one I had I felt like I was burning up and you kind of start to panic, telling yourself whats wrong and I need to get cooled down somehow. Second one was the same where you feel like your going to go crazy if you don`t cool down. When I had these episodes I needed IV`s. I never had a problem with the heat before, but now when my body gets hot my pores puff up (like orange peel) the only way to cool down is cold shower, pool, or cool places. I live in Washington western part which is only hot for about 2 to 3 months and not that hot. Even through out the whole year this happens, when I do some kind of activity that makes my body hot it reacts, but when its cold outside the cold air cools me down. So its not as big of a deal. In the winter times I wear a t-shirt and a vest. Its like my body gets hot quickly. What would make my body overheat and why don`t I sweat normaly, my skin just gets damp. I have no pain symptoms at all just my body can`t cool itself off. I would like to be able to go places when its hot outside instead I have to stay in a cool area and not do activities. I would like to know whats really happening. I told Dr.s about this and they did back MRI and Brain MRI everything came out normal. They did thyroid and checked for diabeties, 24hr urine sample, and blood tests nothing everything came out fine. I am getting out of the military, but know one know what to do.

Answer:

I cannot give you a diagnosis. There are some genetic disorders (known as ectodermal dysplasia – has many different types) in which people have decreased ability to sweat, but they usually have other problems as well such as having sparse scalp and body hair and dental problems. However, I am not familiar with this happening suddenly – people with ectodermal dysplasia are usually born with these problems.

The testing that you have had is very appropriate. You may want to talk to your doctor about having a genetics evaluation to see if there is a possibility you could have some type of genetic disorder. You can locate a genetics clinic near you at the National Society of Genetic Counselors Website listed below.

Related Resources:

National Society of Genetic Counselors Resource Center

For more information:

Go to the Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Anne   Matthews, RN, PhD Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University