Symptoms and Causes of Excessive Sweating – Hyperhidrosis

Have you ever wondered why you sweat and what purpose it serves for your body? The body sweats in an effort to cool down due to factors such as exercise, exposure to heat, stress, and nervousness. Although some people think sweating is disgusting, it is a necessary bodily function. For nearly two percent of the entire world population, sweating is more than just normal, it is a nuisance and often times an embarrassment because they suffer from sweating. This is also known as hyperhidrosis and occurs when the body sweats more than what is necessary for cooling down and occurring more frequently than the body requires.

Causes of Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating is a result of a malfunction of the body’s thermostat or temperature regulating system, better known as the sweat glands. There are two different types of excessive sweating and the causes are dependent on which type you suffer from. The two types of excessive sweating and their associated causes are:

Focal Hyperhidrosis – This type typically occurs during the daytime hours and stops while you are asleep. Brought on by no specific reason, this type of sweating affects areas such as the armpits, hands and feet. Someone suffering from this type of excessive sweating may be fine one minute showing no signs – while the next minute they may be sweating for no apparent reason whether the body needs to cool down or not. Although there have not been any conclusive causes found for type of sweating, it is believed to be hereditary.

Generalized Hyperhidrosis – This type is not hereditary at all. Caused suddenly this type is typical of other conditions such as menopause. During menopause, women experience hot flashes, most feel a hot sensation and may perspire normally while in others the hot sensation will trigger sweating. Other conditions and causes may include the side effect of taking a drug, a heart attack, an infection, eating spicy or hot foods, certain types of cancer, low blood sugar, or an overactive thyroid to name a few. Night sweats may also be apparent with this type of excessive sweating.