Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan
Quiz: Find Out What’s Causing Your Excessive Sweating
Published | 5 min read
Staying cool is easier said than done. Excessive sweating can be triggered by several things. Find out what is the root cause and how you can stay dry and breezy.
Excessive sweating is bound to happen if you live in the south or someplace warm. It’s also common during the warm summer months or when you get nervous.
But if you notice that you sweat more than those around you, it could be due to a condition characterized by excessive, unprovoked sweating called hyperhidrosis.
Take our quiz below to find out if you suffer from excessive sweating and what you can do about it.
What is Hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhyrosis is defined as excessive sweating for no apparent reason. It occurs when the sweat glands overreact, causing you to sweat more than you need to.
There are two types of hyperhidrosis. Primary focal hyperhidrosis is a chronic skin disorder that develops before age 25. It’s not associated with any health conditions and mostly affects the under arms, hands, feet, and head.
Meanwhile, secondary generalized hyperhidrosis is due to underlying medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. It mostly occurs in adults and can be exaggerated by certain medications, such as zinc supplements and anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen (Aleve).
What Causes Excessive Sweating?
A normal amount of sweat is normal for the body to keep itself cool, such as when you’re sick, nervous, or exercising. It occurs when messages are sent to your sweat glands, telling them to produce sweat.
If you have hyperhidrosis, your sweat glands start to overproduce sweat for no apparent reason or singling from other parts of your body.
The causes of hyperhidrosis may vary depending on what type you have. Focal hyperhidrosis may be due to heat, anxiety, emotional stress, and hot foods.
Secondary generalized hyperhidrosis may be due to medical conditions such as infections, menopause, thyroid problems, metabolic disorders, gout, certain cancers, and more.
Take our quiz to find out what’s causing your excessive sweating and how to treat it
If you answered mostly “A:” Normal sweating
You seem to be sweating normally, like when you’re overheated, exercising, or getting anxious about something.
Make sure you use deodorant! Take a small towel with you when you’re exercising outdoors.
If you’re about to face a situation that you know will make you nervous (like a job interview or a date), maybe you could bring along a lightweight jacket or a cardigan to hide the sweat stains on your clothes.
If you answered mostly “B:” You may have primary focal hyperhidrosis
There’s a chance that you’re suffering from primary focal hyperhidrosis. This suggests that your excessive sweating is not caused by another illness, and you most likely inherited it from a family member.
The symptoms of primary focal hyperhidrosis are:
- You are sweating on specific parts of the body, also known as focal areas: hands, feet, underarms, and face or head. The sweating is symmetrical, which means they’re occurring both on the left and right sides at the same time.
- You have at least one episode of excessive sweating every week.
- Sweating occurs when you wake up, but not when you sleep.
- You have been sweating excessively since childhood or teenage.
If you answered mostly “C:” You may have secondary generalized hyperhidrosis
What you’re experiencing is most likely secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. The word “secondary” here means another medical condition causes excessive sweating or is a side effect of a medication you take for another sickness.
The symptoms are:
- Sweating occurs all over or on larger areas of the body (generalized areas).
- Night sweats.
- Symptoms appear only after a person becomes adult.
If you have this type of hyperhidrosis, it’s best to consult a doctor to find if you have other underlying health issues, such as diabetes, gout, accident-induced injury, menopause, obesity, hyperthyroidism, or a tumor. Your doctor will also ask you if you have been taking any medicines.
How to Treat Excessive Sweating
According to Zhou Bin Rong, Senior Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician at Eu Yan Sang, these excessive sweating symptoms are likely due to the imbalance of body functions.
For example, if someone perspires often in the morning and feels fatigued all the time, then he or she may be suffering from weak qi (yang deficiency). If someone is experiencing sweaty palms or feet, then the problem could lie in the spleen, heart, stomach and kidney.
“If the sweat has a yellowish tint, or you find a lot of sweat stains on your clothes, then your body may have a lot of damp heat,” she explains.
There are some treatment options you can try to treat excessive sweating.
Proven treatments for excessive sweating
Doctors would usually suggest treatments that will work such as, antiperspirants, deodorants, botox injections, and iontophoresis treatment.
Botox injections and iontophoresis should be done under the supervision of a medical practitioner. However, many natural remedies can also be considered.
Lok Mei Pa Pills contain a blend of herbs, such as astragalus, ginseng, and cordyceps, that may help control excessive sweating by treating yang-deficiency, invigorating the kidneys, and increasing vitality.
Anticholinergics are oral medications prescribed to patients with secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.
Talk to your doctor to make sure anticholinergics won’t clash with other medications you take.
Physician Zhou Bin Rong says acupuncture can potentially be an effective treatment to hyperhidrosis, along with TCM and healthy diet.
It bears remembering that a treatment that works for one person might not work for another.
Sometimes, a person must undergo a combination of treatments before they can finally find the solution to their condition.
The point remains that hyperhidrosis is treatable and, therefore, not something you should be ashamed of.
Consult your doctor or a TCM physician for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment. In the end, remember that everyone sweats!
- International Hyperhidrosis Society. N.d. Diagnosing Hyperhidrosis. [Accessed on 24 January 2022]
- International Hyperhidrosis Society. N.d. Two Types of Hyperhidrosis. [Accessed on 24 January 2022]
- International Hyperhidrosis Society. Natural Remedies. [Accessed on 24 January 2022]
- International Hyperhidrosis Society. Oral Medications. [Accessed on 24 January 2022]
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. N.d. Hyperhidrosis: Signs and Symptoms. [Accessed on 24 January 2022]
- Shen-Nong. N.d. Chinese Medicine Treatment for Excessive Daytime Sweating. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
- Cleveland Clinic. 2020. Hyperhidrosis. [Accessed on 24 January 2022]
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