Sweat is your body’s way of cooling itself, and it occurs naturally during exercise and in warm weather. If you often find yourself sweating when everyone else is perfectly dry, you may wonder if you sweat too much. Excess sweating is actually a condition called hyperhidrosis, which is defined as sweating more than your body needs to.
A Hyperactive Cooling System
If you suffer from Hyperhidrosis, you sweat four or five times the amount your body needs, and as much as that sounds, you can rest assured knowing that 3% of the world also suffers from this condition.
Although it’s hard to draw a line where you’re certainly sweating too much, one key component to look for is localized sweating, or sweating excessively in one area of your body.
The Doctors Aren’t Sure Why We Sweat Too Much
Even though you may find yourself sweating in the middle of winter, doctors aren’t too concerned. Half of the people who sweat more than normal will have a relative who suffers the same condition. Other than genetic factors, excessive sweating can occur as a side effect of some medication for diabetes, thyroid disease, endocrine problems, or some other health issue. Menopause can even account for too much sweating, but this is because the body is coping with changes and feelings of extreme bodily heat.
Miscellaneous causes attributed to extreme sweating include:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Parkinson’s disease
The doctor may simply tell you that the sweating is idiopathic, or in other words, they don’t know the cause!
Managing Excessive Sweat
There are a few tricks that can minimize sweat. For example, drink cool water constantly to lower body temperature and remain in air conditioned areas if possible when it’s warm outside. Avoid high intensity exercise and spicy foods, as these may trigger excessive sweating in a short period of time. Social situations that cause anxiety may also lead to sweating, although that may not be entirely avoidable.
Whatever the case, if you sweat a lot it’s important to replace the fluids lost by your body. Drinking more than the recommended amount of water per day is advised as it’s possible to sweat several litres a day.
How to Treat Hyperhidrosis
The failure to prevent sweat can lead to worry and more sweating. You may find yourself in a stressful office situation with dark patches under your armpits.
Regular antiperspirants likely won’t be strong enough, in which case you may ask your doctor for prescription-strength antiperspirants with aluminum. There are also medications that control how the nerve signals to sweat glands function called anticholinergics.
Botox injections operates in a similar way by blocking nerve paths to sweat glands, although the injections are limited to underarm sweating.
The most permanent solution to stop this excessive sweating is where a surgeon removes the individual sweat glands. Another procedure to cure this is to destroy the nerves to sweat glands so that they remain inactive for the rest of your life.
Paul Graver lives in Toronto with his lovely wife Liz and his pet dog Berno. He is now leading a quiet retired life after being in the health industry for about 30 years. But being retired hasn’t stopped him from being updated about the latest developments in the medical field. He loves reading and writing about living healthy and staying fit. He can be followed on twitter @PaulGraver1.