About 1% of the American population is affected by hyperhidrosis. The causes of this medical condition are still vague but excessive sweating is generally attributed to psycho-emotional factor. It can also run in the blood as an autosomal inherited disorder as in the case of primary hyperhidrosis. The disorder can also develop from existing systemic disorders such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, tumors or gouts. Certain maintenance drugs can also cause hyperhidrosis.
Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis symptoms manifest early on in childhood and puberty. If detected early, the downbeat on the social functioning of a hyperhidrosis patient can be minimized.
Here’s a checklist to find out if you have hyperhidrosis symptoms.
Does anyone in your family have hyperhidrosis?
One factor is genetics. Hyperhidrosis has been observed to occur in children with parents or siblings with the same sweating problem. The pattern of inheritance suggests that it’s an autosomal disorder with incomplete penetrance. This means that a parent with severe hyperhidrosis can pass on the disorder to his offspring, but the child may only have mild hyperhidrosis.
Are you overweight?
Overweight people sweat more. The sweat glands work more to keep the body temperature normal (thermoregulation). Profuse sweating means the body is trying to flush out the excess heat during metabolism. Fats are harder and longer to metabolize; thus the body sweats more.
Are you in your menopausal stage?
Women with perimenopausal syndrome may experience excessive sweating in the face and neck areas due to hormonal changes. Commonly called as hot flashes, it usually occurs at night when women in their 40s perspire excessively for about 30 seconds to several minutes.
Is your relationship in school, work or even home affected by your sweating?
Daily activities can be affected if you sweat excessively. Kids who are learning to write may be embarrassed when they wet their papers with their dripping hands. Teenagers become inhibited to make friends with their peers because they feel self-conscious when they sweat and smell at the same time. The same is true in workplace; dealing with clients and co-workers can be hard when you always feel insecure about your sweating. Marriage and family life can also be at risk when family members do not understand what a hyperhidrosis sufferer is going through.
Do you sweat when agitated by stressful situation?
If there is a meeting or business presentation, you may sweat a lot. The emotional pressure on how to deliver your speech in front of people, especially if you’re not used to it, can be disturbing and cause excessive sweating. Sweating can occur in the palms, face and the armpits. The more you think of it, the more you sweat. Other stressors can be in a form of emergencies, due dates, unexpected visitors, additional workloads or even family issues.
Does your sweating cause you to be depressed?
Many adults with hyperhidrosis experienced extreme depression and social anxiety. Social contact is what they are afraid most. When excessive sweating seems unbearable and affecting almost all aspects of your life especially relationships, depression can even drive you to drinking, smoking, loss of appetite and loss of weight. If grown-ups can be depressed, you can just imagine how teenagers emotionally crumble.
Have you become socially detached and self-conscious?
There’s nothing wrong with sweating except when it is comes with sweat patches on your clothes and unpleasant odor in the armpits and feet. This makes you very self-conscious and you prefer to withdraw from interacting with others.
Hyperhidrosis damages a person’s self-esteem as early as childhood. However, if this disorder is treated immediately, it will help a lot in improving his social interaction and make himself a more confident person.