Are you someone who suffers from unexplained excessive sweating? Do you hold back when your friends ask for a Hi-5? or making excuses when someone wants to give you a hand shake?
People of different ages are suffering from emotional and social embarrassment because of unexplained sweats. Normally, our body uses sweating as a means to regulate our own body temperature in response to changes generated by body heat, environment, hormonal or emotional stimuli. Unfortunately, abnormal and uncontrolled sweating can occur- this refers to Hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis is defined as an excessive involuntary sweating response of the body that may or may not be related to temperature, emotional response or one’s activity. It may occur in various sites of the body including the hands, armpits, feet and less likely the groin and buttocks. The incidence of this condition is approximately 0.5 to 1 percent of the population.
Types of Hyperhidrosis
- Primary Hyperhidrosis- Refers to excessive sweating with no known cause and is unrelated to any other medical conditions this may be in response to emotional stimluli such as public speaking or situation which may make someone apprehensive or anxious. Primary hyperhidrosis is classified in four categories, including axillary, palmar, plantar, and truncal hyperhidrosis.
- Secondary Hyperhidrosis- Is sweating that occurs due to underlying conditions or diseases such as Hyperthyroidism and Diabetes or due to medications.
Causes of Hyperhidrosis
The causes of hyperhidrosis may include:
- A lesion that affects part of the sympathetic nervous system
- Abnormally large and hyperactive sweat glands
- May be genetics
- Systemic Infections
- Metabolic disorders
- Neurologic disorders ( e.g. Parkinson’s Disease)
Evaluation by a dermatologist is very imperative to ensure that you have primary hyperhidrosis, rather than sweating from a secondary cause such as Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes or any Malignancy. Typically, Dermatologists often recommend the use of:
- Topical agents that contain Aluminum Chloride, such as Drysol, Driclor, Dove Clinical Stregth, Certain Dri and Clinical Secret
- Botox injection- The most common treatment for hyperhidrosis. Botox does this by blocking the nerve impulses that lead to sweating. You can enjoy at least 6-9 months of being sweat free.
- Sweat Liposuction ( Suction and Curettage)- Removal of sweat glands.
- Iontophoresis- With the use of low electrical current
- Anti-cholinergic Drugs ( rarely used because of known side effects)
- Surgery- Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS)- Used to surgically destroy the nerves that activate sweating.
- Ultrasonic Liposuction- Newest technology to remove sweat glands through ultrasound. Also known as Vaser Liposuction.
- Laser Therapy- Not a standard treatment for hyperhidrosis ( Experimental).
TAKE NOTE: Botox is a good choice of treatment for hyperhidrosis, but it is not for everyone. Pregnancy as well as a personal or family history of neurologic conditions like multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) are some exceptions of getting a Botox.
If you want to save extra bucks and avoid risky surgeries, a good and healthy diet may work effectively to prevent excessive sweating. There are eating and drinking habits that encourage hyperhidrosis, and there are others that discourage it. Here are some diet tips to prevent excessive sweating:
Things to Avoid:
- Garlic-Contains Allyl Methyl Sulfide which is not digested and passes through the skin.
- Onion- Has a heating effect that increases circulation.
- Caffeine- Is a stimulant, raising the blood pressure and body’s circulation.
- Spicy Foods- Raises up metabolism, thus increased sweating.
- Alcohol- Dehydrates the body initially, but increases body temperature causing fluids to be flushed from your sweat pores.
- Drink Water- Cool water can lower your internal body temperature.
- Sage Tea- Contains high level of tannic acid. A natural anti-perspirant. 2 cups a day may work best.
- Fruits- Contains about 80% water which is effective for cooling the body.
- Olive Oil- Allows you to create less heat in the body. Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Whole Grains-Contains B vitamins. Allows your body to work efficiently. Less work, less heat.
- Calcium- Helps your body cope with stress and anxiety.
END OF…Hyperhidrosis | Cure for Excessive Sweating