As temperatures rise during the summer months, our bodies undergo certain adjustments in response to the heat.

Increased warmth and sun exposure can elevate the risk of issues like dehydration and headaches.

However, it is possible that the effects of the heat are concealing other underlying health problems.

Dr. Johannes Uys, a GP at London’s Broadgate General Practice, spoke exclusively with to shed light on this matter.

Here are three symptoms of medical issues that may be mistaken for the effects of hot weather.


The summer heat can leave many individuals feeling tired or weak. However, continuous or excessive fatigue could be an underlying symptom of various medical conditions, including anaemia, thyroid disorders, and certain infections, as explained by Dr. Uys.

“If you consistently experience fatigue or if it worsens over time, it is advisable to seek advice from a healthcare professional.

“For instance, in hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormones, fatigue can occur due to the hormones’ crucial role in regulating metabolism and energy production in the body.

“On the other hand, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones.

“While hyperthyroidism is often associated with symptoms like increased energy levels and restlessness, fatigue can still be present.

“Fatigue is also a common symptom among cancer patients.”


Heat or sun exposure often result in headaches during hotter weather. However, severe or recurrent headaches can also indicate more serious conditions such as sinusitis or high blood pressure, according to Dr. Uys.

“For example, high blood pressure can lead to increased pressure and stress on blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the brain, thereby causing debilitating headaches.

“Hot weather can also increase blood pressure. In response to heat, the body dilates the blood vessels near the skin’s surface to release heat and cool down.

“Consequently, blood flow to the skin rises while blood vessels in other parts of the body may slightly constrict.”

Breathing difficulties

The hot and humid air can make breathing slightly more challenging. However, persistent or severe shortness of breath may indicate underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), warned Dr. Uys.

“If breathing difficulties are severe or persistent, it is necessary to seek medical attention.

“For instance, COPD is often characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways, primarily caused by long-term exposure to irritants like cigarette smoke, air pollution, or occupational hazards.

“This inflammation causes the airways to narrow and thicken, reducing their elasticity and obstructing airflow, thus making breathing difficult.”

If you experience these symptoms and believe they are not solely due to the heat, it is important to consult your GP.



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