If a person has an accelerated methabolism, and thus a higher body temperature, would this person feel more hot or cold than a normal person in the same ambient?

(Question edited for the sake of clarity and conciseness)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ the enzymes in her body would still get denatured at a certain temperature, and there most definitely is such a thing as "hot": temperature is the average kinetic energy of molecules in a substance, and heat is the total kinetic energy of said molecules. So a thermometer would measure more energy in her body, and so would her nerves (unless they are differently-calibrated). $\endgroup$
    – Esther
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you can easily tell that somebody has a fever by touching them. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 18:15

3 Answers 3


It depends on the outside temperature.

Desert animals like mammals and birds often have an higher body temperature than similar animals living in more temperate lands, so that the heat transfer balance is shifted toward the outside of their body. In this way they would not feel "hot", because their body would actually lose heat toward the outside instead of having heat flowing inside.

On the other hand placing a fennek at the pole would surely make it feel much more cold, because of the higher temperature difference and the related heat flow.

  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't part of the reason a desert adapted creature would feel colder in a frozen environment be because their body temperature is lower, due to environmental factors? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 17:09

If hyperthyroidism can serve as proxy for accelerated metabolism, she would feel sensitive to heat.

The thyroid more or less governs metabolism. Here is what the NHS says people might experience with hyperthyroidism.


Common symptoms Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:

nervousness, anxiety and irritability

hyperactivity – you may find it hard to stay still and have a lot of nervous energy

mood swings

difficulty sleeping

feeling tired all the time

sensitivity to heat

muscle weakness


needing to pee more often than usual

persistent thirst


loss of interest in sex

Weight loss is not on the list but it should be. I think your character could have more from this list, to make things interesting.

The converse, hypothyroidism comes with sensitivity to cold. Sadly though hypothyroid people also lose interest in sex. Sex drive requires the Goldilocks thyroid.


When someone has an elevated temperature, such as running a fever, they definitely feel hotter than the average person.

Even now when we have thermometers, we still use how hot someone feels as an indication that more precise measurement is needed.

In fact one of the diagnostic criteria for heat stroke (dangerously elevated body temperature) is that the skin feels warmer.


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