Causes of Excessive Sweating: The Connection with Hormone Balance

Sweat is a human physiological response long associated with effort. Phrases like “no sweat,” “sweat equity,” and “Don’t sweat the small stuff” each imply that sweat is the product of exertion — physical, mental or emotional. Of course, moisture from our pores can also mean we are enduring warm temperatures, an exertion of a different sort. In fact, sweating is the way the human body regulates its own temperature as to avoid overheating. Still, some individuals suffer from hyperhidrosis, i.e. sweating more than circumstances or atmosphere would normally demand. What is at the root of this excessive sweating and is there a remedy?

Primary Hyperhidrosis

Also known as focal hyperhidrosis, primary hyperhidrosis is localized and occurs at specific regions of the body. For example:

  • Palms of the hands
  • Soles of the feet
  • Armpits
  • Face
  • scalp

Sufferers of this form often inherit it genetically. It is idiopathic in that it occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. Affecting 2.8 percent of the overall U.S. population, this type of hyperhidrosis results from irregular nerve signals that stimulate the eccrine sweat glands. These are the glands that receive their signals from the sympathetic nervous system. Because it is unassociated with any other pathologies or disorders, focal hyperhidrosis shows itself through medical history and a sweat rate greater than one milliliter per meter squared over the course of one minute. This measurement, of course, must take place while the patient is at rest and the room temperature normal.

Generalized Hyperhidrosis

Generalized, or secondary, hyperhidrosis, differs from primary in that it usually accompanies an underlying condition. Infections, heart disease, alcoholism, medication reactions, metabolic disorders or menopause, to name a few. Another distinction is that people diagnosed with secondary hydrolisis experience night sweats. While it may at times be focal in nature, it can happen simultaneously in multiple regions as well.

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Causes of Hyperhidrosis


As noted above, over-sweating can run in family lines. So, it frequently shows up in childhood, growing more intense in the teen years. Females, in particular, experience the most acute symptoms during puberty. As a disorder within the autonomic nervous system, it is seen as an involuntary physiological phenomenon, like normal sweating, AT a cellular level, sweat glands are under the control of the ITPR2 gene, which is a major culprit in an opposite condition, anhidrosis, i.e. where the sufferer cannot sweat at all. Some scientists speculate that perhaps ITPR2 mutates in a different way for hyperhidrosis. Although the exact pathway between gene and condition has yet to be discerned, the research is promising and scientists are hopeful for a discovery that leads to better treatment.

Medical Conditions

What about those illnesses and syndromes that are associated with secondary hyperhidrosis? Here, the connections are easier to see. Cardiovascular disease, for instance, demonstrates the relation among poor circulation, low blood supply to the kidneys, fluid retention and reactive hyperhidrosis. In addition, certain forms of neuropathy from diabetes lead to damaged nerves, some of which regulate sweating. Moreover, the hot flashes that accompany menopause in women regularly lead to w profusion of sweating.

Drugs and Medicines

Hyperhidrosis is also traceable to prescription and over-the-counter medications. Anti-depressants, anti-inflammatories, some steroids, triptans for migraines, opioids, asthma inhalers and even Viagra are among the drugs implicated in exaggerated sweating. Furthermore, medicines that lower glucose — prescribed for diabetics — might induce hyperhidrosis. To be accurate, many of these sweat stimulators only do so when they are taken over the long term. There are cancer medications, of course, that fit this classification.

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Hormonal Changes

As with menopause, sweating can relate to changes in hormones like estrogen and progesterone. The “hot flash,” as an example, is a response to elevated body temperature due to these transformations in reproductive hormones. Another hormonal condition that leads to hyperhidrosis is an abnormal level in human growth hormine (HGH). Acromelagy, where the body generates a surplus of HGH, not only manifests in over-sized, hands, feet and facial traits, it also produces more sweat than necessary. Strong body odor follows. Over time, according to a study published in Clinical Endocrinology, the sweat glands pass the point of no return in terms of resuming normal function. Growth hormone deficiency is the flip-side of this condition and carries its own issues relative to sweat glands, namely low output.

Humatrope is a synthetic HGH replacement therapy that helps to correct hormonal imbalance in children and adults. By no means an instant fix, Humatrope is designed to improve a patient’s HGH profile incrementally. With time, the results are evident. Consult a physician when inquiring about Humatrope for sale.

Anxiety and Stress

An uncomfortable job interview; a tough academic examination; or a field goal mkick that wins or loses the big game: these are all instances where pressure can fill us with anxiety or otherwise stress us out. Needless to say, this emotional state directly impacts sweat production. Even though the body does not require cooling, under stress it will produce sweat. In fact, it is part of the fight-or-flight function of the sympathetic nervous system. Normal when circumstances warrant, stress-induced sweat becomes a problem when chronic stress is commonplace. Counseling, psychotherapy and even medication might help with this condition. Again consult your doctor.

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Hyperhidrosis, whatever its cause, can be an embarrassing condition — creating stress in and of itself. Whether the genesis is genetic, hormonal, environmental or chemical, it is important for those suffering to check with a physician. The fix could be simple or more complicated. The first step is learning more.

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