Excessive sweating which is medically termed as hyperhidrosis or diaphoresis means increased abnormal sweating. The excessive sweating may be anytime irrespective of any temperature or weather.
Sweating is a normal phenomenon of body which helps to regulate normal body temperature and keeps the body cool. However, unpredictable excess sweating can be a reason for social concern, anxiety, and embarrassment. It may further be a cause of withdrawing oneself from society.
Hyperhidrosis can be either localized to a part of body or may be generalized (all over the body). Specific areas in the body like groins, soles, palms and arm pits have the highest amount of sweat glands compared to other parts of the body. These may be hyperactive in many individuals due to which they may suffer from hyperhidrosis.
Causes of excessive sweating:
There are many causes of hyperhidrosis. In some individuals it may happen barely because of nervousness or an anxious temperament (Neurogenic hyperhidrosis) whereas in some it may be related to specific illness and localized disease.
Following are the causes of hyperhidrosis:
- Excessive salt intake
- Anxiety, worries, stress or any emotional ups and downs
- Post accidents or injuries (Spinal injury)
- Excessive exercise
- POEMS syndrome
- Burning feet syndrome
- Pretibial myxedema
- Severe localized burning pain in limb
- Trench foot
- Thyroid disease (Especially hyperthyroidism)
- Diabete and its complications (neuropathies)
- Herpes zoster (Shingles)
- Heart attack (Congestive heart failure)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Excessive secretion of growth hormone (Acromegaly)
- After exposure to cold due to cold induced sweating syndrome.
- An episode after fainting (hypoglycemia/ hypotension)
- Night sweats
- Menopausal syndrome
- Compensatory sweating
- Certain medications like pain killers (NSAID’S), anti depressants, cholinergic drugs and diabetic medications (insulin) are known to cause hyperhidrosis.
Primary causes are the commonest ones that can be evaluated in a clinical setting which usually does not need any treatment. Secondary causes need further evaluation and appropriate treatment according to the underlying causes. Most of the times a neurological factor is found to be the reason for excessive sweating.
Excessive sweating can be relaxing when you are getting tanned under the sun or taking a sauna but it can be alarming as well. It can be a sign of something wrong with the metabolism, brain, and hormones or simply idiopathic (without any cause). If you are sweating unnecessarily without any known cause, get yourself examined and evaluated in order to get rid of THAT discomfort soon.
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– Dr Kanchan Gohil, Associate Doctor to Dr Rajesh Shah, Team LifeForce