Causes of Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating causes a lot of discomfort and can affect social interaction as well as everyday activities, such as writing and driving. I have heard of many women complaining about excessive sweating, but a small percentage of men also do. Excessive sweating primarily results in annoying perspiration and disgusting odor but the long term effect to an individual is that excessive sweating causes anxiety and low self-esteem. People may have been trying to find all ways to treat it by using antiperspirant, deodorants, powders, constant bathing and using colognes and perfumes yet excessive sweating still persists.

Usually when a person sweats excessively or beyond the normal sweating level, the condition is known medically as hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis affects many areas of the body usually under the armpits although it may also be on the face, the feet, the hands, or on the lower part of the body (torso).

The causes of hyperhidrosis are many. It can manifest early at puberty or affect a person during menopausal stage. Genetically, a child may inherit the disorder from his or her family. It is basically neurological so it’s either the sweat nerves or the central nervous system is responsible for it. Overweight or obese individuals are also affected with hyperhidrosis. Even the weather, the food that you eat, or the kind of exercise you do can trigger excessive sweating.


Girls and boys who are in their puberty stage undergo physical changes that mostly are hormonal. Sweat glands are affected by the growth hormones in teenagers. The sweat glands produce chemicals that react with the hormones. The armpits have many sweat glands so this is the reason for the stinky smell from the armpits of adolescents.


In menopausal women, this is what they commonly call as hot flashes.  Again, it’s hormonal. In menopause there is decreasing estrogen production levels causing hormonal and biochemical imbalances. The hypothalamus, which regulates the heat in the body, during menopause overproduce heat. Because the estrogen level is declining, the hypothalamus emits chemicals which results to the expanding of the skin blood vessels; thus the hot flashes.


If your father or mother or any one of your siblings may have suffered from it, too. Then it’s in the genes. A research led by  Samuel S. Ahn, MD, of the vascular surgery division of UCLA, studied the family histories from 49 people with hyperhidrosis and the research revealed that two-thirds (65%) of them had other family members affected or have been affected by hyperhidrosis. The research further noted that there is 28% chance of kids having it if one parent has the disorder. Or if a child has hyperhidrosis, the parents have a 14% chance of also getting the disorder.

Abnormal Functions of Nerves, Spinal Cord and Brain

The central nervous system has a lot to do with it. It is the result of the overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system.  The hypothalamus is the command system for sweat glands to release body fluids. When the brain becomes overactive and signals to the sweat nerves ,  the glands begin  to release excessive fluids. Some abnormal conditions of the spinal cords can also result to hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating causes may also be syringomyelia (cyst in the spinal cord), lesions and tumors.


You may have observed that overweight or obese individuals sweat more than the average person. The sweat glands release sweat fluids that’s twice than the normal to get rid of the excessive fats and minerals in the body. Fat kids and adults are prone to excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis.

Spicy Food and Hot Weather

Too much intake of spicy foods can make a person sweat more. Also, if you live in cooler areas or work in air-conditioned room, then your sweat glands are not as active. However if you expose yourself to humid or warm weather, the sweat glands will have to work harder to cool down your body. This is when you sweat the most.

Extraneous Activities

Whether in a gym workout or just working in your backyard garden, you can tell that you sweat more. When you do exercise or manual labor, your body heats up and the sweat glands releases sweat to cool down the body. This is still normal and can be remedied by having a cool and refreshing shower.

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