Picture this: You’re in a comfortable surrounding, yet covered in sweat and wet clothing, experiencing an immediate uptick of self-conscious anxiety.
Excessive sweating: What causes it? More importantly, how can you prevent it?
Too much of a Good Thing
Most of us know that sweating is an essential body function, regulating the body’s temperature to stay at a comfortable 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweating is how the body maintains this steady and healthy internal temperature. Though previous studies stated excessive sweating in the general population was reported at a level of 1% – 2%, recent reports show an increase of up to 4.8%. The growing problem of excessive sweating, also known as “hyperhidrosis”, occurs when the sweat glands don’t seem to stop producing moisture when it is no longer needed by the body.
Different Causes, Different Locations
There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary. This is important for doctors to diagnose because the causes and locations of excessive sweat are related to each type.
Regarding primary hyperhidrosis, people report their sweating is localized on their hands, feet, face, or underarms for no known reason. Their physical surroundings don’t warrant the need for the body to regulate its temperature by sweating, however, it sweats anyway. Nerves are responsible for activating the sweat glands in our bodies to function as needed. Unfortunately, in people with primary hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands don’t receive the “off” signal from the nerves, resulting in the uncomfortable condition. Even more disturbing is that there seems to be no physiological explanation for the occurrence of the problem. Anxiety is another cause of excessive sweating. For example, how many of us have thought of a troubling or fearful situation, leading to us breaking out in a cold sweat?
Psychological causes must also be investigated to determine if this is part of a patient’s production of excessive perspiration.
In contrast, secondary hyperhidrosis presents differently. People report excessive sweating occurs all at once all over their bodies, or in one large area. This is the type of sweating that occurs when people sleep. It also has causes that are either medically induced or physically generated. Numerous physical ailments can cause excessive sweating, such as diabetes, pregnancy, menopause, or infection. The importance of seeing your doctor cannot be overemphasized as an important first step for getting relief.
Available Treatment Options
Since overactive nerves seem to be the culprits of primary hyperhidrosis. One treatment option available involves taking medications that inhibit nerves from sending signals to the sweat glands. There are also electrical and Botox treatment options used by doctors, and even surgery to remove certain sweat glands identified as overactive is often considered. You’ll want to research the possible side effects of each treatment option, before deciding on how to proceed.
For secondary hyperhidrosis symptoms, doctors go on a detective search to locate the possible medications or physical conditions that are correlated to the patient’s excessive sweating, adjusting treatment plans to help remedy the problem for their patient. By using the process of elimination, doctors are often successful in helping their patients find relief.
Hope and Help
There is definite hope in treating this troublesome and inconvenient condition. By exploring the available treatment options with the help of your doctor, you’ll be well on your way to leaving your excessive sweating problem behind you.