What Causes Excessive Sweating?

November 12, 2012

What Causes Excessive Sweating?

A lot of people have experienced the horror and embarrassment of excessive sweating of the underarms at one point of the other. What is it and what causes it, though?

What Is It?

Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, refers to a problem wherein people sweat much more than usual for no real reason. Of course, there are several basic factors that might make you sweat more, in general, though, such as the following:

  • Heredity – some people’s soles and palms have the tendency to sweat a lot
  • Certain drinks and foods
  • Drinking hot drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Drugs, like antipsychotic medications, which is used for mental disorder treatment
  • Analgesic overdoses, including an overdose of acetaminophen and aspirin
  • Menopause
  • Hot flashes, in general
  • A sudden drop in the levels of estrogen
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Low male hormone levels
  • Reduced testicle functioning
  • A drop in sugar levels

Conversely, there are also various early symptoms that may signal the onset of excessive sweating, such as the following:

  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Shakiness
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood sugar levels after eating
  • Intestinal or stomach surgery
  • Too much insulin production in the body
  • Fever with a lot of different viral and bacterial infections
  • Breaking of a fever
  • Overactive thyroid
  • An excessive production of thyroxine
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia

So, if you ever experience any of the symptoms of excessive sweating mentioned above, make sure that you get medical care right away. Remember: every minute will count, especially when it comes to a heart attack.

What Causes It?

The skin has two different kinds of sweat glands in it: the apocrine glands and the eccrine glands. The apocrine glands tend to appear in areas that are full of hair follicles, like the genitals, scalp and underarms. The eccrine glands, on the other hand, tend to appear practically anywhere on the body. Overall, each person has millions of eccrine glands. In general, when the temperature of the body goes up, the autonomic nervous system will stimulate the eccrine glands and secrete fluid on the skin’s surface. After that, it will evaporate and the body will cool down.

Conversely, the apocrine glands secrete fatty sweats not the gland’s tubule, so it contracts whenever you undergo emotional stress. The sweat will then get pushed onto your skin’s surface and the bacteria will start to break it down there. Well, a lot of the time, this breakdown of bacteria is what causes excessive sweating, as well as the bad odor that comes with it. Now you know.


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