My mother age 80 complains that when she gets hot she feels like she is in a bed of ants. She has painful stinging all over her body. She does not have to be hot for long. She states she has to get to a cool enviroment and drink something cold to cool off before she gets relief. She does not have to be outside or get overheated like might indicate heat stroke. She just can not tollerate the heat. What can be causing this? She is in good health and take only ll blood pressure medication and cholesterol med. Thanks.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to take a history and examine your mother, I can not common on the exact cause of her symptoms. However, I will try to describe some conditions which cause burning and tingling.
The cause of burning and stinging symptoms is variable, but may include neuropathy. There are 2 types of nerves that provide sensation to the feet, large nerves and small nerves. A problem with either of these could lead to burning and tingling. There are many many causes to this group of disorders called "neuropathies". They include but are not limited to diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune disorders such as lupus or a disease called Sjogren's, diabetes, certain types of neoplasm, and certain toxins (such as lead). As I mentioned, there are several other genetic, metabolic, and hereditary disorders that cause neuropathy, and what tests need to be ordered depend on the history and physical examination of the patient. The fact that your mother's symptoms only occur when she is hot is unusual, but this could simply be a triggering factor for her pain. Neuropathy is best diagnosed by a neurologist.
Another cause of heat-induced symptoms or heat intolerance is thyroid problems. This can be checked for with a simple test called TSH. Other hormonal problems can also be associated wtih heat intolerance.
I recommend your mother be seen by her regular doctor (PCP, family physician). After she /he examines you and obtains a history he/she will be able to direct the differential diagnosis and order appropriate tests or make referral to a specialist.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find this information useful. Good luck.
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