Sweating, Excessive

Background

Excessive sweating reflects instability of the part of the brain called the autonomic nervous system. It affects about 2% of the population.

If you‘ve had it since childhood, it is probably genetic. If not, consider hormonal imbalances, stress, anxiety and infections.

Common Causes

Estrogen and progesterone deficiency

Estrogen and progesterone deficiency with menopause and peri-menopause. This can begin as much as 12 years before periods stop and your blood tests for menopause become abnormal. The tipoff is that the sweats/flashes are worse around and in the week before your period and/or having irregular periods.

Testosterone deficiency

(In men) Consider this if you have fatigue, low libido, difficulty with erections, high cholesterol, or depression.

Infections

Infections of many types. Sinusitis or spastic colon suggests yeast overgrowth in both men and women.

Drops in blood sugar

Caused by a low adrenal.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux being inhaled (especially at night while sleeping). Taking 1/2 tsp of baking soda in 4 oz of water at bedtime, and using a sleep wedge can help (see Acid Reflux).

CFS/FMS

Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are associated with unusual sweats (from what is called "dysautonomia").

Overactive thyroid

If racing heart, weight loss and palpitations.

Treatment

Treat Underlying Causes

Treat any underlying causes discussed under Background. Begin with anxiety if sweating is worse during stress.

Recommended Supplements

Black cohosh

The herb black cohosh is very helpful for sweats/hot flashes in general (use the Remifemin form).

Soy bean pods

For menopause symptoms, soy bean pods (called "edamame" — available in the freezer section in most grocery stores) 1 handful a day can be helpful, as these naturally raise estrogen levels. Alternatively, use bioidentical estrogen from a holistic physician.

Medications

If sweating in just a small area (e.g., palms or soles), rub a regular antiperspirant onto those areas. If it persists and is annoying, see a dermatologist. They have many options including:

Aluminum salts

Botox injections

More Information Online

Treating Excessive Sweating, Night Sweats, Hot Flashes

The Safety and Effectiveness of Bioidentical Hormones: Natural (Bio-identical) vs. Synthetic HRT

Can Testosterone Be Good for You?

Treating Hidden Antibiotic Sensitive Infections in CFS/FMS

Treating Hidden Viral Infections

Contributor: 

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies; Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill); Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press); the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series (Fair Winds Press);  Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press); The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (Penguin/Avery); and his latest, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015).