Question

Functions of Skin

What causes excessive sweating?

A Answers (2)

  • AMalcolm V. Brock, MD, Oncologic Surgery, answered on behalf of Johns Hopkins Medicine
    Patients with hyperhidrosis have normal sweat glands in terms of number and functionality. But their glands have an excessive sympathetic tone, meaning the motor that drives them is excessive. This results in a lot of sweat from little or no activity.
  • AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered

    Excessive sweating reflects instability of the part of the brain called the autonomic nervous system. It affects about 2% of the population.

    If you've had it since childhood, it is probably genetic. If not, consider hormonal imbalances, stress, anxiety and infections.

    Common causes include:

    Estrogen and progesterone deficiency - Estrogen and progesterone deficiency with menopause and peri-menopause. This can begin as much as 12 years before periods stop and your blood tests for menopause become abnormal. The tipoff is that the sweats/flashes are worse around and in the week before your period and/or having irregular periods.

    Testosterone deficiency (In men) - Consider this if you have fatigue, low libido, difficulty with erections, high cholesterol, or depression.

    Infections (of many types) - Sinusitis or spastic colon suggests yeast overgrowth in both men and women.

    Drops in blood sugar caused by a low adrenal.

    Acid reflux being inhaled (especially at night while sleeping) - Taking Pepcid or Tagamet at bedtime for a few nights to see if night sweats lessen will tell you if this is the cause.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.

    Overactive thyroid - If racing heart, weight loss and palpitations.

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What is sweat?