While sweating is perfectly natural and helps the body stay cool, there are instances where it can become excessive and unpredictable. It’s important to note that excessive sweating (also known as hyperhidrosis) can be sporadic, occur frequently or persist indefinitely. According to NHS, as many as 2 million people in the UK suffer from hyperhidrosis! This high number can be attributed to the fact that different triggers can bring about hyperhidrosis. Below we have listed 7 of the most common causes of excessive sweating.
Have you ever noticed that when you are anxious or tense, you tend to sweat more?
Excessive sweating can precede or accompany an episode of nervousness, elevated stress, anxiety and fear. Stress hormones can alter how the body functions when your mind perceives danger. One of these changes is that the body prioritises eliminating water via the skin rather than through the kidneys.
This is a flight or fight response to ensure you don’t have your bladder isn't full in the midst of defending yourself from or escaping perceived or actual harm.
Medications are a common offender when it comes to excessive sweating. For example, some antidepressants, blood pressure and migraine medications are known to cause excessive sweating as a side effect. Often this is a result of the effect such drugs have on how the body regulates its core temperature.
If you suspect this to be the case, talk to your healthcare provider about options like reducing the dosage or substituting the drug with a similar medication.
You know how people often say pregnant women are “glowing?” Well, that “glow” may at least partially be due to a thin sheen of sweat that covers them a lot of the times. It’s common for pregnant women to notice an increase in how much they sweat.
Excessive sweating in pregnant women is often brought about by hormonal changes, increase in blood circulation and metabolism. For example, your brain’s hypothalamus might be triggered into thinking your body is even hotter than it really is, resulting in more sweating than usual.
4. Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is one of the most common causes of heavy sweating. When your blood glucose drops too low, your body compensates by producing excess adrenaline, which causes someone to sweat more than usual. Once the blood glucose returns to normal, the sweating should stop.
It’s important to note that not all cases of low blood sugar mean you have Diabetes.
That being said, people with Diabetes may find that they sweat excessively. In extreme cases, Diabetes can result in damage to the nerve that controls sweating. The result is sweat glands that are always “switched on.” and more than ready to release more and more sweat.
5. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing while asleep, usually multiple times in the night. Tissue in the throat, as well as the tongue, block the airway, making breathing difficult. Sleep apnea has been linked to night sweats. Research shows that excessive sweating at night is three times more common in people with untreated sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea has also been linked to Sleep Bruxism.
In menopause, estrogen levels decrease, causing certain bodily changes such as affecting the body’s temperature regulation. As a result, almost 85% of women experience hot flashes during menopause—with excessive sweating being another common symptom.
This increase in sweating also occurs in the transitional time before menopause, called perimenopause. As a woman’s body prepares for menopause, her estrogen levels rise and fall considerably. The hormonal fluctuation can cause sudden onsets of hot flashes and increased sweating.
7. Overactive Thyroid
The thyroid is a gland located at the front of the throat. It produces hormones that play a role in regulating several critical bodily functions such as metabolism, heart rate and body temperature. In some instances, te thyroid may produce too much hormone, a condition known as hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid.
Hyperthyroidism raises the body’s metabolism and heart rate, which can also result in excessive sweating. If you have excessive sweating because of hyperthyroidism, you’re probably experiencing other symptoms like heart palpitations, sudden loss of weight, heat intolerance, tremors and fatigue
How to Treat Excessive Underarm Sweating
Although essential to your body, sweating isn’t always welcomed. No one likes sweating so much that it soaks through their clothes or drips off their hands. For these people, sweating is a problem that can be very hard to live with. In most cases, it not possible to pinpoint the exact cause.
But you don’t have to live with this embarrassing condition. Injections of Botox can turn off excessive underarm sweating for months at a time by blocking the nerve signals responsible for sweating.
In fact, Botox has been FDA-approved for people who sweat excessively from their armpits. Have you been suffering from excessive sweating? Has this been negatively impacting your life? Talk to us today and get started on life free of abnormal sweating.