What causes excessive sweating?

Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine

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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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.