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Excess Sweating

2009-04-13 11:18
Excess Sweating

Sweating is the release of a salty liquid from the body's sweat glands. Sweating or perspiration is important in cooling the body. It is common to sweat under the arms, on the feet, and on the palms of the hands. When the production of sweat is in excess of the amount needed for cooling the body (thermal regulation) it is call hyperhidrosis (excess sweating).

Hyperhidrosis may be primary or secondary. Primary (essential) hyperhidrosis is excess sweating in an otherwise healthy individual.

When excessive sweating affects the hands, feet, and armpits, it's called primary or focal hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis affects 2 - 3% of the population. Less than 40% of patients with this condition seek medical advice. In the majority of primary hyperhidrosis cases, no cause can be found. It appears to run in families.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is associated with any number of systemic illnesses. These including pheochromocytoma, thyrotoxicosis, diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, hypopituitarism, anxiety, menopause, carcinoid syndrome, and drug withdrawal. Nocturnal sweating, in particular, may be a clue to the diagnosis of tuberculosis, lymphoma, endocarditis, diabetes, or acromegaly. Treatment of the underlying disease will decrease or cease the excess sweating in secondary hyperhidrosis.

Several common medications occasionally produce hyperhidrosis. These include tricyclic and serotonin reuptake inhibitors, opioid analgesics, acyclovir, and naproxen.

It is important to know if there are any triggers (stress, anxiety, food, etc), if the sweating occurs mostly at night or during the day, which areas of the body are involved, is there an elevated body temperature, or any other problems.

You should see your doctor, if:

* You sweat a lot or if sweating lasts for a long time or can't be explained.

* Sweating occurs with or is followed by chest pain or pressure.

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* Sweating is accompanied by weight loss or most often occurs during sleep and associated with a fever.

Treatments for excess sweating may include:

* Antiperspirants. Excessive sweating may be controlled with strong anti-perspirants, which plug the sweat ducts. Products containing 10% to 15% aluminum chloride hexahydrate are the first line of treatment for underarm sweating. Antiperspirants can cause skin irritation. The strong doses of aluminum chloride can damage clothing.

* Medication. Anticholinergics drugs, such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul, Robinul-Forte) are rarely helpful. Beta-blockers or benzodiazepines may help reduce stress-related sweating.

* Iontophoresis. This FDA-approved procedure uses electricity to temporarily turn off the sweat gland. It is most effective for sweating of the hands and feet. The hands or feet are placed into water, and then a gentle current of electricity is passed through it. The electricity is gradually increased until the patient feels a light tingling sensation. The therapy lasts about 10-20 minutes and requires several sessions. Side effects include skin cracking and blisters, although rare.

* Botox. Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) was approved by the FDA in 2004 for the treatment of severe underarm sweating, a condition called primary axillary hyperhidrosis. Small doses of purified botulinum toxin injected into the underarm temporarily block the nerves that stimulate sweating. Side effects include injection-site pain and flu-like symptoms.

* Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS). In severe cases, a minimally-invasive surgical procedure called sympathectomy may be recommended. The procedure is usually performed on patients with excessively sweaty palms. It is not as effective on those with excessive armpit sweating. This surgery turns off the signal which tells the body to sweat excessively. ETS surgery is done while the patient is asleep under general anesthesia. The surgery takes about a half hour. Patients usually go home the next day, but may experience pain for about a week. ETS requires special training so make sure your doctor is properly trained. Risks include artery damage, nerve damage, and increased sweating. New sweating occurs in about 50% of patients.

References
Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2004:2365, 2446-2447.
Medscape

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Comments

There are TONS of baking soda cures out there. Baking soda is used for everything. It puts out fires, it cleans your teeth, it cleans dishes, it cleans clothes, it gets rid of smells and yes… it even discourages sweating! Here’s my quick, disclaimer for those of you out there with severe hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Baking soda is not some magical cure-all. However, when used properly, you’ll TOTALLY feel a difference. I’m going to give you a couple of baking soda cures for sweating that you’ll definitely find useful. First, let me just really quickly explain why baking soda helps eliminate sweating so effectively… WHY IT WORKS - Baking soda is an alkaline and your body’s sweat is an acid. When the two combine, gas is formed, causing the instant evaporation of the sweat. So, it’s not that baking soda blocks the sweat from escaping your pores. Instead, it conditions your skin to quickly dry up as soon as the sweating begins. When you apply the baking soda cures for sweating below, it’s the residue of the baking soda on the skin that conditions the dryness. The treatments work way better if you apply them consecutively for days on end so be consistent about it. Baking Soda for Hand Sweating: 1. You’ll want to fill up a big bowl or two separate aluminum pie pans with warm/hot water and equal parts baking soda. The solution should be very cloudy. The baking soda will gather at the bottom, so be sure to mix it up very thoroughly. 2. Soak your hands for 25 minutes in the solution. It’s important that the water is warm or hot so your pores really open up. You want the baking soda to penetrate your skin. During that time, intermittenly grab the clumps of baking soda at the bottom of the pan or bowl and rub your hands together to really saturate them in the solution. 3. After the 25 minutes are up, your hands will be a little pruney - this is totally normal. Just dry them off with a towel. Don’t wash them off with soap and water if possible. You want to retain the residue of baking soda on your skin. Some people say they have a light powerdy look to the skin after drying them off. The more residue of the solution, the better your results will be. Here’s what you should expect from the treatment above… Your hands will definitely feel dry the first 30 minutes after treatment and results should last at least a couple of hours following. If you use this remedy consecutively for 5 days straight, the results can last up to 5 or 6 hours on end. It’s normal for the skin to feel a tiny bit rubbery directly after treatment. You’ll see what I mean when you try it. Anyway, the goal is to keep them dry, so I’m sure that small side effect won’t bother you. This cure for hand sweating works best for people with less severe cases of hyperhidrosis although EVERYONE will find some benefit. If you’re about to go on a date or have an intimate night planned with your significant other, this treatment makes an awesome quick fix. This next treatment I recommend for ANYONE. It’s well worth trying out. Baking soda is well known for its odor eliminating effects. That’s because it neutralizes acids and odor causing bacteria in the body. This makes it a perfect bath additive to really give you a wonderful, fresh and dry feeling right out of the tub. Let me tell you, I never used to take baths in my adult life. I was always a shower kinda guy. Besides, who has the time for a bath? Well, speaking from a very positive experience using the following treatment, you NEED to make time for a “Baking Soda Bath Blast” at least once a week. Since implementing this tactic, my overall body sweating haulted drastically. Have you ever taken a shower and started sweating the moment you got out and began drying off? It’s terribly frustrating, right? Well, you’ll never have that happen to you with a “Baking Soda Bath Blast”. The treatment will keep you super dry from the moment you step out of the tub. I love it! Plus, baths are just a relaxing experience overall. Here’s how it goes… The Baking Soda Bath Blast: 1. This treatment works best if you schedule it AFTER a shower. This way you get clean with soap and water first, then you’ll just soak your already clean body in the baking soda solution without needing to wash it off with soap. 2. While you’re in the shower, use a loofah (dry sponge) to exfoliate your skin. Exfoliate your hands, feet, armpits or anywhere else you sweat profusely from. You’re going to do this to allow the baking soda to penetrate your pores more efficiently. Next, you’ll be taking the bath. 3. Fill a bath with warm water (not exceptionally hot) and add 1/2 - 1 cup of baking soda to the tub. 4. Soak for 15 - 20 minutes and make sure to grab any clumps of baking soda gathered at the bottom of the tub, rubbing it into your armpits, hands, feet, chest or back. Give these two treatments a fair shot. That means at least 5 consecutive days of trying this out. You’ll body will need to acclimate itself to the baking soda before feeling the best results. Want More Excessive Sweating Tips? I’ve got an entire FREE 30 minute video for you at http://www.Prevent-Sweating.com that outlines my 12 Favorite excessive sweating treatments.