Have you ever been in an exercise class and noticed you’re the sweatiest person in the room, no matter how fit and healthy you are? Or do you often find yourself concerned about your sweating, especially when you’re presenting in an important meeting in front of others? Sweating is our body’s natural way of responding to heat and stress, and everyone sweats. If your sweating is impacting your daily life however, you could be suffering from excessive sweating. If you stop and pay attention to the times you are excessively sweating, then it might teach you something about your body.
The below are things that can trigger sweating for anyone. For some people, sweating during these activities can be difficult to control and can impact their daily life. If this is you, speak to your GP about your options.
It seems obvious, but every time you exercise you are increasing your heart rate, and in turn, you sweat. It’s not a bad thing to sweat when you exercise, but if it’s stopping you from doing the exercise you really want to do, you should speak to your GP about what can be done. You don’t want to be avoiding yoga because you’re too self-conscious to lift your arms up into downward dog!
It is well known that smoking can impact your body in many ways, but evidence shows it can also cause excessive sweating. Nicotine in cigarettes causes the release of acetylcholine, which stimulates sweat glands. If you’ve ever noticed yourself sweating a lot while smoking, you aren’t imagining it – it really can cause more sweating than normal.
Stress sweat can be different to regular sweat. When the body is reacting to an emotion, like anxiety, stress or excitement, sweat is released from the apocrine gland. Both eccrine and apocrine sweat glands are activated by nerves. These respond to a variety of things including:
- messages from the brain indicating that the body is too hot
- physical activity or exercise
If you’re finding yourself sweating excessively in the above situations, and on a daily basis, you could have hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. It occurs when overactive sweat glands release a volume of sweat that is significantly more than your body’s normal requirements for cooling. Hyperhidrosis can be a very embarrassing condition, especially primary axillary hyperhidrosis (underarms) but it’s important to know that you’re not alone and things can be done about it.
Sweating is a natural part of life, but if it’s affecting you daily there could be a chance you have hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. If you’re finding yourself not able to do your daily activities because of your sweat, speak to your GP or dermatologist about your treatment options.