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Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

Are you someone who feels like they are perpetually sweating, no matter the temperature? Even if you are sitting still in an air-conditioned room, you look as if you’ve just run a marathon on the hottest day of the year – the armpits of your shirt are soaked, your hands are slick with sweat, and beads of perspiration are running down your face. Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can be a difficult problem to deal with, making you feel self-conscious and embarrassed as you try to hide your condition. But even if you feel as though you’re alone in your struggle, at The Rejuva Center at Williams, we know that hyperhidrosis is a common and treatable medical issue, and we’re here to help you navigate and understand the ins and outs of your condition.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Did you know that the human body has between two and five million sweat glands? Of that number, 100,000 are located in your underarms – which may seem like a lot, but is pretty insignificant compared to your total number of sweat glands. About two to three percent of the population is affected by hyperhidrosis, a condition originating in your sympathetic nervous system. In a nutshell, hyperhidrosis causes sweat glands to work overtime, making you perspire heavily and nearly constantly no matter the temperature or level of activity.

Nearly 90 percent of people suffering from hyperhidrosis have primary hyperhidrosis, which is caused by your eccrine glands. Eccrine glands are found primarily in your underarms, hands and feet, as well as on your face, and cause excessive sweating in only those areas. The root cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown, but doctors believe it can most likely be attributed to a genetic condition.

Hyperhidrosis is divided into two categories – primary and axillary. Axillary hyperhidrosis makes you perspire all over your body, and can be the result of a number of factors, including some medications and medical conditions, including:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Infection
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lymphoma
  • Gout

Causes of Hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating in any form can be embarrassing and have a significant impact on your confidence, especially in social situations. While two to three percent of Americans have hyperhidrosis, knowing that it is a fairly common problem doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Again, while the exact cause of the condition is unknown, there are

Several factors that can affect the severity of your hyperhidrosis, including:

  • Stress – when you’re nervous, the stress triggers your “fight or flight” response, which in turn causes the release of cortisol and epinephrine – your stress hormones. Stress hormones help you cope, but they also raise your body temperature, which results in your body working to regulate the elevated temperature by activating your sweat glands. If you are already self-conscious about your sweaty palms, the anxiety you may feel in social situations can make your stress hormones kick in, and the vicious cycle of palmar hyperhidrosis continues.
  • Low blood sugar – whether you are skipping meals, eating too much sugar or suffering from diabetes, low blood sugar may contribute to hyperhidrosis. When your blood sugar levels fluctuate too extremely, your body releases stress hormones that not only help release the sugar from your body, but also results in shaking and sweating.
  • Hyperthyroidism – because hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack healthy cells, your body thinks it is fighting an infection. It responds by both increasing your body temperature and activating your parasympathetic nervous system, making you sweat more than normal.
  • Hormonal changes – pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause all cause fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone, interfering with your body’s thermoregulation process. If you are sensitive to these fluctuations, you may have uncontrolled hot flashes that can interfere with your daily life and affect your confidence.
  • Alcohol – while alcohol in moderation is fine for most people, if you have hyperhidrosis, it can not only trigger symptoms, but exacerbate them as well. Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, heating up your skin and triggering your parasympathetic nervous system to release sweat in order to bring down your body temperature.
  • Coffee and spicy foods – on their own, coffee and spicy foods most likely won’t cause severe sweating, but they can worsen your existing symptoms. Both caffeine and spice can trigger stress hormones and activate the neurotransmitters responsible for thermoregulation, causing them to overcompensate and produce excessive amounts of sweat.

While all of the above factors may contribute to excessive sweating, your condition may simply be the result of genetic predisposition. No matter the cause, at The Rejuva Center at Williams, we offer a number of options for treating hyperhidrosis in all of its forms.

Schedule Your Consultation

Call us today at 518-786-7004

If you are tired of the embarrassing toll excessive sweating is taking on your self-esteem and social life, call The Rejuva Center at Williams today at 518-786-7004 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can treat this common condition and restore your confidence in yourself.

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